RV Camping

Tent Camping at Texas Palmetto State Park

Tent Camping - Texas Palmetto State Park

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‍Tent camping at Texas Palmetto State Park offers a unique and memorable experience for outdoor enthusiasts. Located along the banks of the San Marcos River, the park boasts a rich biodiversity and picturesque scenery, making it an ideal destination for nature lovers. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the various camping options, amenities, and activities available at the park, as well as some helpful tips for securing a campsite reservation.

Camping Options

Campsites with Electricity

People per Site: 8

Number of Sites: 17

Designed primarily for RV campers, these campsites are long and narrow, accommodating only one tent per site. The hookups are located on the driver side of the site, with a maximum vehicle length of 65 feet. These sites offer the following amenities:

  • Back-in

  • Picnic table

  • Outdoor Grill

  • Fire ring

  • Water hookup

  • 30 amp hookup

  • 50 amp hookup

  • Lantern post

  • Restrooms with showers nearby

The nightly fee for these campsites is $18, in addition to the daily entrance fee.

Campsites with Water

People per Site: 8

Number of Sites: 19

These campsites are perfect for single families, as well as groups with multiple tents or families camping together. They offer a spacious setting and include the following amenities:

  • Picnic table

  • Outdoor Grill

  • Fire ring

  • Water

  • Lantern post

  • Restrooms nearby

The nightly fee for these campsites is $12, in addition to the daily entrance fee.

Group Camp

People per Site: 25

The group camp at Texas Palmetto State Park is bordered by the San Marcos River on three sides, providing a beautiful and secluded setting for larger gatherings. Although the site can accommodate up to 25 people, parking is limited to 12 cars, with no additional parking available. The group camp includes the following amenities:

  • Fireplace

  • Picnic tables

  • Outdoor grills

  • Fire ring

  • Water

  • Lantern post

  • Restrooms nearby

The nightly fee for the group camp is $60, in addition to the daily entrance fee.

Park Information and Fees

Prices and information are subject to change. Parks charge a daily entrance fee in addition to any facility fees. A Texas State Park Pass is available for purchase, granting free entry to more than 80 state parks for one year, along with a free entry for guests. Pets are allowed in most state parks, but they cannot enter Texas State Park buildings. For park-specific pet restrictions, contact the park at (512) 389-8900.

Gate Access and Office Hours

The park gate will remain open unless the area is flooded. If arriving after the office closes, day-use visitors should complete a self-pay envelope, deposit it into the iron ranger, and place the sticker on the driver’s side windshield.

For cabin guests, call the park at 830-672-3266 within office hours to obtain the key box code. The key box, located alongside the door, contains the front door key and rocking chair keys. Late arrivals may find an entrance permit/registration notice on their vehicle, serving as a reminder to complete their reservation. All after-hours arrivals must register at the park headquarters by 9 am the following morning.

A similar process applies to group camp visitors. Every effort should be made to arrive within office hours and submit payment for the outstanding balance and entry fees. After-hours arrivals are welcome to enter the area and spend the night but must register at the park headquarters by 9 am the next day.

Reservation Tips

To secure a campsite reservation during peak season, plan to book as early as possible. The cabin and campsites can be reserved up to five months in advance, while the group camp can be booked up to 12 months ahead. For walk-up visitors without a reservation, arrive at the park early in the morning to claim any unreserved sites.

Consider visiting the park during the week or during non-holiday periods if your plans are flexible.

Best Times to Visit

Peak season at Texas Palmetto State Park runs from March to November, with the park experiencing its highest crowds during this time. Summer months bring hot and humid weather, making a dip in the river or lake especially refreshing. The spring and fall seasons offer an opportunity to observe migratory birds, as well as milder temperatures. Be sure to check the weather prior to your visit, as rainstorms can cause the San Marcos River to flood.

Activities and Amenities

Water Activities

The park offers kayak and stand-up paddleboard rentals for visitors to explore the San Marcos River. Additionally, fishing is a popular activity in the park, with no fishing license required when fishing from the shore. However, a license is necessary when fishing from a boat.


With more than 240 species of birds, Texas Palmetto State Park is part of the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail. Bring binoculars to get an up-close view of the diverse bird species that inhabit the area.


Bike rentals are available at the park, providing another way to explore the scenic landscape.


Several facilities at the park are wheelchair-accessible, including the pavilion, cabin, and group camping site.

Safety Tips and Regulations

  • Closed-toe shoes are recommended, as snakes (including venomous rattlesnakes) can be found in the park.

  • Fires are permitted in fire rings only. Bring your own firewood or purchase it from the camp store, as gathering firewood in the park is prohibited.

  • Pets are allowed in the park, but they are not permitted inside any buildings, including the camping cabin.

Embarking on a tent camping adventure at Texas Palmetto State Park promises a truly unforgettable Texas camping experience. With a diverse range of activities, comfortable amenities, and breathtaking natural beauty, this park is the perfect destination for a memorable outdoor escape.


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