10 Free Camping Spots in Texas

This post may contain affiliate links.
Sitting on a large hay bale in a field in Texas

If you find yourself in the Lonestar State and enjoy budget-friendly camping, we’ve got good news for you. There’s excellent free camping in Texas! 

You’ll be camping in one of the largest states in the country, which means you’ll likely enjoy plenty of privacy and space. Let’s look at 10 sites that are some of the best in terms of free Texas camping.

How to Find Free Camping in Texas

Finding the best free camping in Texas doesn’t have to be complicated. Using a resource like Campendium or iOverlander can make finding spots to camp incredibly easy. Both resources provide robust databases on free sites.

These resources both rely on user-submitted information and reviews. Other users can leave feedback regarding the condition of the area and the roads, where to dump tanks, or where to fill up on fresh water. They can even share pictures. It’s not uncommon for users to provide details regarding cell phone reception and data speeds to stay connected. 

If you want a place to stay in the Lonestar State without charge, these resources might be great places to start. There’s also the power of word of mouth. The next time you meet up with another RVer or outdoorsy individual, ask them about their favorite free camping sites. 

A woman wearing a tan hat and blue plaid jacket steps out of her travel trailer and smiles off to her left.

10 Free Camping Spots in Texas

You don’t want just any free camping spot; you want the best free camping spot. Luckily for you, we’ve collected 10 of the best locations to camp for free in Texas. Let’s take a look.

1. South Beach 

Located on the Padre Island National Seashore, South Beach provides a unique free camping experience. You’ll want to be aware of the tides here, as you can camp right on the beach. If you set up camp during low tide, you could find yourself in a sticky situation once high tide sets in.

You can have that beach-front property you’ve always wanted, but stays are limited to 14 consecutive days. Cell service is weak, so arrive with weather and tide information in mind. As this is a public beach, it can get crowded during peak season, especially during weekends. 

If you’re looking for a place to enjoy the stars, fall asleep to crashing waves, and that’s budget-friendly, this is a great option.

Pro Tip: Here are 10 National Seashores you need to visit at least once. If you stay at South Beach in Texas, that’s one down and nine to go!

Two campers lay next to their RV as they relax in the sand while beach camping.

2. Mustang Island

This is another fantastic beach for free camping in Texas. The sand is soft but still firm enough for most RVs to drive on. With only the sound of waves and birds, you’ll have the perfect conditions for a restful night’s sleep on Mustang Island

If you enjoy fishing, what’s better than stepping out your RV door to fantastic fishing waters? There’s a chance you could have this entire spot to yourself for fishing and camping, as it’s a hidden gem in terms of boondocking. You won’t regret staying here with excellent cell service and plenty to see and do in the area!

3. Brazoria Beach

Brazoria Beach is a county-run beach that allows camping and has incredible cellular speed on all the major networks. This is 100% dry camping, so come with a full fresh water tank and empty wastewater tanks for your stay. You’ll love the soothing sounds of the waves at night, especially if you have the beach to yourself.

With a 14-day stay limit, you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy the massive space with plenty of room for even the largest of rigs. The beach is wide, and the tides are moderate, so you won’t have to worry as much about parking too close to high tide. 

This is a reasonably quiet place during the week but does fill up on the weekends with locals seeking time in the sand.

4. Spring Creek Park Campground

This free county-run campground requires you to submit an online form for a free reservation. The campground has a bathhouse and access to restrooms, which are nothing to write home about. But they’re available should you need them.

At this location, you can stay for a month and seven days. There are eight sites here that are concrete pads and near water. All of the sites come with water, electric, and sewer hookups. 

You read that right–water, electricity, and sewer at a FREE campsite. Who doesn’t love that?

The front of a kayak points towards the sunrise on a calm lake.

5. Sea Bee Park

About 200 miles west of Dallas sits the city of Abilene, which is home to Sea Bee Park. It’s a city park that offers two nights of free camping to guests. There are four sites available for dry camping only, but there are flush toilets within the park. What this place lacks in amenities, it makes up for it with views of the lake.

This is a safe location that law enforcement regularly patrols. With easy access from the highway and a gas station and grocery store nearby, it’s a fantastic free option if you’re seeking a short stay. 

Seabee Park is right on the southernmost finger of Lake Fort Phantom Hill, so if you love water sports, it’s an excellent option for you. Or you may have some luck in catching a fish or two for dinner. 

How’s that for premium free camping in Texas?

6. Neches Bluff Overlook

Located in Davy Crockett National Forest, Neches Bluff Overlook can be your home for up to 14 days. The roads and sites are big-rig friendly. However, it’s dry camping, and you should be self-sufficient when setting up camp. There are no restroom facilities or trash services, so take everything with you.

If you need to shower but don’t have access to one, Ratcliff Lake Park is a 30-minute drive and has a recently renovated shower house. Internet signal is strong among the major carriers, and you’ll enjoy immense privacy. 

Free camping with privacy and a strong cell signal? Yes, please! 

Sunlight streams through the forest in Texas creating striking contrast against the dark silhouettes of the trees.

7. Fort Lancaster Scenic Overlook

This parking lot is approximately 10 miles off the local expressway, but the remote location provides incredible stargazing views. You’ll also get the added benefit of seclusion and privacy at this spot. The large lot at Fort Lancaster Scenic Overlook has plenty of room for multiple rigs to maneuver and park for a quick overnight stop.

If you want a place to enjoy dinner before settling in for the night, there are several small pavilions with picnic tables to enjoy a meal. While there aren’t many amenities, there’s something refreshing about a remote and quiet camping location.

8. Elephant Mountain WMA

The Texas Department of Fish and Wildlife manages this free camping spot in Alpine, Texas. It requires registration but is still free. If you’re camping with a group, this is a fantastic location for a dry camping group gathering. There’s plenty of open space for those with solar panels, but it’s remote enough that you won’t bother anyone if you need to run a generator.

You may get lucky and spot some wildlife, such as javelinas or bighorn sheep. So keep your eyes peeled if you go for any of the short walks around the campground.

The town of Alpine is about 27 miles due north, and Big Bend National Park is approximately 50 miles southwest. Since you’ll be in the middle of nowhere here, note that there’s no cell signal. We don’t mean limited cell signal–zero cell signal. So plan ahead and make sure someone knows where you’re heading, just in case.

9. Schreiner City Park in Junction City, Texas

Update: Closed as of March 2022

Another fantastic city park with free camping in the Lonestar State, Schreiner City Park has eight spots that allow users to stay three nights. This is a wonderful place to stay if you’re passing through the area, as there’s an excellent cell signal for all the major carriers.

There may not be full hookups at the site, but there is a restroom. It’s a great spot to stop for a few nights, especially if traveling with children. There’s a large city park with plenty of space to run and play. There are also tons of pecan trees that guests can collect when they’re in season. 

10. Fort Anuhuac Park

This county park has a maximum stay of three nights and is a fantastic spot to do some bird watching. Stop by the offices on Airport Road to secure a permit from the park office. 

Find a spot to set up camp, but be mindful of other campers. There’s room for approximately three trailers, and you’re right on the water, but the sites are closer together here. 

The park is well-cleaned and maintained, but the only amenities you’ll find are bathrooms and a few tables. It’s a great place to stay for a few days to do errands or chores. 

A scissor tailed flycatcher perches on a branch, and it's one of many birds you might see if you enjoy free camping in Texas.

Enjoy Free Camping in Texas! 

In a state the size of Texas, you don’t have to spend a fortune to camp. There’s plenty of space to set up and enjoy the gorgeous sunsets and nature. You may get lucky and spot some wildlife during your camping adventures in Texas, too.

Keep In Mind: Avoid these 11 mistakes people make while camping in Texas to make sure your trip is one to remember for the right reasons!

We know that one of the best ways to learn about free camping is word of mouth. So, tell us: What’s one of your favorite places for free camping in Texas?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Previous Article

Should You Turn Your Water Off When You Leave the RV?

Next Article

This Is Why You Should Test Your RV Emergency Exit Window