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Hueco Tanks State Park and Historic Site

By |April 10th, 2014|

El Paso, Texas Website:  http://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/hueco-tanks Overview: This is a very nice state park with a lot of rules and regulations.  You must have a day pass to explore North Mountain and only 70 people are allowed entrance per day. Make reservations to ensure your visit! In addition, East, West, and Eastern Spur Mountains require guided access.  They have daily tours, but sign up early and the fee is $2/person.  The gate is closely monitored and has a daily curfew of 6 pm.  No entrance/exit is allowed after 6 pm (except emergencies).  You must watch a short (15 minute) video prior to camping or visiting and carry proof of this with you (a card that is valid for one year).   You are not allowed to leave the campground after 6 pm (no exploring the park after hours).  To ensure all these rules they require daily forms to be filled out and returned each night.  Despite all the regulations this park is great for rock climbing and hiking volcanic rock.  In addition, the rock art is pretty cool too.  That is if you can find them.  (Maps are available from the office with deposition of an ID and more forms).  The park is about a 30-45 minute drive to downtown El Paso. Campsites: Fairly level, gravel sites with 50 AMP and water hook-ups.  Many sites are rather short (<45 feet long) with a couple larger sites.  Beautiful views of and many sites are nestled next to East Mountain. Amenities: Bathhouse, hiking trails (although must have additional day pass for North Mountain and guided access only of other 3 mountains), interpretative center, historic adobe ruins, historic pictographs Pet friendly:  Yes, but only allowed in campground and on roads [...]

Davis Mountains State Park

By |April 3rd, 2014|

Fort Davis, Texas Website:  http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/state-parks/davis-mountains Overview: This is a nice state park close to Fort Davis Historic Site and McDonald Observatory.  The park itself has nice hiking trails with amazing views.  It also has a historic adobe inn (Indian Lodge).  It is only a 30-45 minute drive to Alpine, Marfa, and Balmorhea State Park. Campsites: Fairly level, paved sites (although some are sloping on hill area), 30/50 AMP, sewer, water, and cable.  Shade shelter with picnic table at each site.  Each site is fairly private with trees/bushes and good spacing.  Pull through and back in sites available. Amenities: Bathhouses, Hiking trails, scenic drive and overlook, historic hotel with swimming pool and restaurant, camp store, interpretive center, amphitheater, guided hikes/activities Pet friendly:  Yes Internet:  Campground Wi-Fi available (minimal Verizon, Sprint, AT&T service in park) Price:  $25/night (30/50amp, water, sewer, cable), $20 (20/30 amp, water) Entrance fee $6/person/day (without Texas State Park pass) Rating: 4/5    

Maverick Ranch RV Park at Lajitas Golf Resort & Spa

By |March 25th, 2014|

Lajitas, Texas (Big Bend area) Website:  Lajitas Golf Resort and Spa Overview: We loved our stay at this resort.  It is centrally located between Big Bend National Park and Big Bend Ranch State Park along the Rio Grande.  We stayed here as the National Park was full (it was Texas spring break week) and we were very pleased.  We saw things we would not have if we stayed in the park.  For example an awesome scenic drive exists along the Rio Grande and Big Bend Ranch State Park on Hwy 170 between Lajitas and Presido.  This is a must see for anyone coming to the Big Bend Area! The amenities at the resort are fantastic and it is only 40-50 miles to the west entrance of Big Bend National Park.  This is a great resort! Campsites: Paved, fairly level sites with concrete patio.  Pull though and back in sites available.  When full the sites are somewhat close with shared hookups on the rear side of your RV.  The front patio is large though. Full hookups (30/50 AMP, water, sewer) at each site.  Some sites have cable television hookup. Amenities: Pool, community center with weekly entertainment, laundry, and dump station at the RV resort.  The larger resort has restaurants, a bar, general store, gasoline pump, spa, Movie Theater, amphitheater, golf course, equestrian center, activity center (shooting, hunting, ATV tours, jeep rental, river rafting, etc.), fitness center, and trails (hiking and mountain biking). Pet friendly: Yes (pets must be on a leash) Internet:  Campground Wi-Fi available but not reliable.  NO Sprint or Verizon service available with spotty AT&T coverage. Price:  $35-39/night (weekly rates and club discounts available) Rating: 4/5

Seminole Canyon State Park

By |March 24th, 2014|

Comstock, TX Seminole Canyon State Park: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/state-parks/seminole-canyon Overview: Wonderful gem of a state park in the Lower Pecos area of Texas.  About 3 hour drive east of Big Bend National Park on Hwy 90.  If you are coming from east Texas to Big Bend stop here!   We loved our weeklong stay here. Seminole Canyon is beautiful and walking the canyon rim trail all the way to the Rio Grande is awesome (6 mile round trip).  The campsites have amazing views and you feel like you are in the middle of nature (because you are!).  The night sky is very clear for stargazing.  Great Texas State Park!  Only downside (or maybe it is an upside) is it is 45-60 minute drive to Del Rio, which is the closest town with grocery stores, gas, restaurants, etc.  So stock up your supplies and head to Seminole Canyon State Park. Campsites:  Paved, fairly level sites with 30 Amp electric and water.  Back in or pull through sites available.  Beautiful views!  Good amount of space for each campsite.  There is minimal shade cover with only some shrubs and trees at each site.  Shade shelter, picnic table, level tent site, and fire-pit/grill at each site. Amenities:  Clean bathhouse with hot showers.  Hiking trails with wonderful canyon and Rio Grande views!  Daily guided tour to pre-historic caves with pictographs ($5 per person).  Dump station.  Visitor center. Pet friendly:  Yes Internet:  Wi-Fi throughout the park.  Reliable, but somewhat slow.  AT&T  (and T-Mobile as it was using the AT&T network) is the only phone network that has a signal (no Verizon, Sprint). Price:  $20/night Rating:  4.5/5

Triple R RV Park

By |March 19th, 2014|

Crystal City, TX Triple R RV Park:  http://www.triplerresort.com/ Overview:  We stayed here as it was on our way from Corpus Christi to Big Bend National Park.  It is a nice RV park with little else around it.  The small town of Crystal City has a few restaurants and a grocery store.  It is a fine quick stopping point on your way across rural south Texas. Campsites: Range from level gravel sites in open area to paved level sites near river (but without a river view) with shade.  Most sites are back in, but some pull through. Full hook-ups (30/50 Amp, water, sewer, cable).  Sites vary on spacing.  A lot are very close, but some have privacy and trees. Amenities: Walking trail along the river, small lake for fishing/boating, horseshoe pits, recreational hall (pool table), laundry facility, bathroom facilities, Dog Park Pet friendly: Yes.  Fenced-in large off-leash park on site. Internet:  Free Wi-Fi throughout the park. Price:  $28/night Rating: 3/5

Mustang Island State Park

By |March 19th, 2014|

Port Aransas, Texas https://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/state-parks/mustang-island Overview:   This is a nice state park on the beach.  It is very close to Port Aransas, Corpus Christi, and Padre Island National Seashore. The RV sites are behind the dunes so there are no beach views.  The spots are very close with 2 RV sharing the patio space.  The bathhouse is dated and needs updating.  The beach is very nice with lots of sheltered table areas.  You can boondock (for minimal fees or free) on many beaches in this area, so if hookups are not needed I would check out those.  (Padre Island National Seashore offers free beach boon docking with a 14-day stay limit.) Campsites: Level paved sites with water and electricity (30/50 amp).  Spacing is very close therefore there is minimal privacy.  Shared patio area with shade shelters and picnic tables.  Amenities:  Dump station, Bathhouse (slightly old), beach access with shade shelters Pet friendly: Yes (must remain on leash) Internet:  public Wi-Fi available Price:  $20/night Rating:  3/5

Hill Country RV Resort and Cottage Rental

By |March 6th, 2014|

New Braunfels, Texas Hill Country RV Resort and Cottage Rental:  http://www.hillcountryrvresortnb.com Overview: We chose to stay at this park due to its location between Austin and San Antonio and because of its rental cabins.  My family stayed in one of the rental cabins while we used the RV lot.  This is a very large park with lots of winter/semi-permanent inhabitants.  The cabins are very nice and well maintained.  They are still in the mist of upgrade construction (removing old trailers and preparing for more rental cabins) and are building a new outdoor swimming pool, so the grounds are in a little disarray.  The RV sites are very close together with minimal privacy. Having said that we enjoyed our stay here.  The section we were in was not full (it was a short term area) and allowed some privacy for us on one side.  The amenities are great.  We really enjoyed the pools and hot tubs.  My family was comfortable in the cabin and it was just a short walk away from our RV. Campsites: Fairly level gravel sites with full hookups (30/50 Amp, water, sewer) and cable, picnic table.  Sites are close together with minimal trees and privacy. Amenities:  Two heated indoor swimming pools (one is saltwater) and they are building a third outdoor swimming pool and hot tub, 2 hot tubs, exercise gym, recreation halls with daily activities, shuffle boards, pool table, playground area (jumping pillow, aero ball, sand volleyball, gaga pit, spider web, swings), bathhouses, camp store Pet friendly: Yes, and they have a medium-sized fenced pet play area.  30 pound pet limit (although not strictly enforced) Internet:  Yes, decent Wi-Fi (daily data limits) Price:  Full hook- up $49/ night (discount available for Passport America, [...]

LCRA Lake Bastrop South Shore Park

By |February 25th, 2014|

Bastrop, Texas http://www.lcra.org/parks/developed-parks/Pages/lake-bastrop-south-shore-park.aspx Overview:  We enjoyed our stay at Lake Bastrop South Shore Park.  Our full hook up site was very wooded and private.  The lake was very close (there are some lakefront sites with electric/water only).  It was a little swampy near shore.  The hiking/biking trails are very well maintained and range from easy to moderate difficulty.  The trails were our favorite part of the park.  The area has a lot of red dirt and thus the RV got a little dirty but that doesn’t bother us.  We also checked out the North Shore Park and that too is very nice. The RV sites are less private but many have a nice lake view.  As a side note, we also checked out the local state park, Bastrop State Park.  We were originally going to stay here for a week with my visiting family staying in one of their cabins.  Unfortunately, this park suffered from a very large forest fire in September 2012. In fact it was the largest in Texas history with 95 % of the park burned.  Thus it is in the early phases of regrowth and is bare.  It is a very nice park, but be aware this fire devastated it.  Due to this we chose to stay in another location with my family. Campsites:  Limited number of full-hookups (30/50 Amp, water, sewer) and lots of electric/water sites.  Level concrete pads with gravel patio, picnic table, and lantern post.  Most spots are private with trees surrounding. Amenities: Hiking/biking trails, bath houses, boat docks, fishing piers, beach area for swimming, mini-cabins (just heated/cooled bunk houses), pavilion, playground, kayak/canoe rental, dump station, Rental hall/facility for large groups Pet friendly: Yes Internet:  No Wi-Fi available Price:  Full [...]

Galveston Island State Park

By |February 23rd, 2014|

Galveston, Texas Galveston Island State Park:  www.tpwd.state.tx.us/state-parks/galveston-island Overview:  We enjoyed our stay in this beachside and bayside state park on Galveston Island.  We stayed in a beachfront site and had an amazing view of the ocean and dunes.  It is about a 10-15 minute drive to downtown Galveston and thus feels like you are in the ‘real’ (non-commercialized) Galveston Island.  But a short drive and you are at lovely downtown restaurants and shopping.  The beach was a short jaunt away and so peaceful.  The park has great walking/biking trails through the marsh and bay. It is a great bird viewing area!  They also have amazing paddling trails. Campsites: Level, paved sites with water and electric (30/50A).  Dumping stations are available on both sides of the campground.  Bathroom/shower facilities are available. Good spacing and most sites have a shade shelter. Picnic tables, lantern post, and fire pit at each site.  Beachside sites are parallel whereas bayside sites are in a circle and closer spaced. Amenities: Hiking trails, bicycle trails, paddling trails, nature center, camp store, public bathhouses, dump stations, fresh and saltwater fishing, beach access Pet friendly: Yes.  Pets must be kept on a leash, but are allowed on the beach and trails. Internet:  No Wi-Fi available.  However we had good Verizon and Sprint connections.  T-Mobile was ok. Price:  $20-25 per night, weekly/monthly discount available.  Entrance fee of $5 per person per day required in addition to camp fee.  This fee is waived if you are Texas State Parks Pass holder ($70-95 per year). Rating:  4.5/5