Texas is a big state with a lot to offer. From the bustling metropolitan areas of Houston and Dallas to the small towns dotting the landscape, there’s something for everyone in Texas. And that includes nature lovers! If you’re looking to get away from it all and explore some of the best that Mother Nature has to offer, then you’ve come to the right place. In this blog post, we will be counting down the 10 best national parks in Texas. So whether you’re looking for hiking, camping, fishing, or just a scenic drive, there’s sure to be a park on this list for you!
Big Bend National Park
Big Bend National Park is one of the best national parks in Texas. The park is located in southwest Texas and covers over 801,000 acres. It is the largest national park in Texas and the second largest in the United States. The park has four different ecosystems: Chihuahuan Desert, Rocky Mountains, Great Plains, and Rio Grande. There are over 1,200 species of plants and animals in the park.
Guadalupe Mountains National Park
The Guadalupe Mountains are a mountain range located in West Texas and southeastern New Mexico. The range includes the 4,750-foot (1,440 m) Guadalupe Peak, the highest point in Texas. The Guadalupe Mountains are bordered by the Pecos River to the west and the Rio Grande to the south.
The Guadalupe Mountains National Park is home to numerous hiking trails, including a 32-mile (51 km) backpacking trail. The park also offers horseback riding, camping, and picnicking opportunities.
Canyonlands National Park
Canyonlands National Park is home to some of the most beautiful and unique landscapes in the world. The park is divided into four distinct sections: the Island in the Sky, the Needles, the Maze, and the Colorado Plateau.
The Island in the Sky district is characterized by its expansive views and easy accessibility. This area of the park is ideal for visitors who want to experience the grandeur of Canyonlands without having to hike long distances. Popular attractions in this section include Mesa Arch, Grand View Point, and Upheaval Dome.
The Needles district is named for its striking red rock spires that rise up from the desert floor. This area of the park is perfect for those who love to hike and explore off-the-beaten-path places. Some of the most popular trails in this section include Chesler Park Loop, Druid Arch Trail, and Squaw Canyon Trail.
The Maze district is one of the most remote and least-visited sections of Canyonlands National Park. This area is only accessible by four-wheel drive vehicle or on foot, making it an ideal place for adventurers looking for solitude. Highlights of this section include Orange Cliffs Overlook, The Doll House, and White Rim Road.
The Colorado Plateau district encompasses a large portion of Canyonlands National Park and includes some of its most iconic landmarks. Arches National Park and Dead Horse Point State Park are both located within this district. Other popular attractions
Caprock Canyons State Park
There are few places in the world as unique as Caprock Canyons State Park. The park is home to some of the most unusual rock formations in the state, as well as a variety of plant and animal life.
Visitors can explore the park's many hiking trails, go camping, or take a scenic drive through the canyons. The park also has a Visitor Center where you can learn more about the geology and history of the area.
Whether you're looking for an adventure or just want to enjoy some beautiful scenery, Caprock Canyons State Park is definitely worth a visit!
Davis Mountains State Park
Davis Mountains State Park is located in the Davis Mountains of West Texas and offers visitors stunning views, hiking, camping, and stargazing opportunities. The park is home to the largest protected area of Chihuahuan Desert in the United States.
The Davis Mountains are a beautiful sight, and Davis Mountains State Park is the perfect place to take them all in. With over 30 miles of hiking trails, there's plenty of opportunity to explore. And if you want to extend your stay, the park offers camping and stargazing opportunities as well.
Big Thicket National Preserve
In east Texas, the Big Thicket National Preserve is a diverse collection of plant and animal life. Hiking, biking, and birding are all popular activities in the park.
The preserve is made up of nine units, each with its own unique ecosystem. The Piney Woods unit is the largest and most diverse, home to over 100 species of trees. The Aboretum unit is a botanical garden with over 1,000 species of plants.
Other units include the Cypress Slough, Sandhill Crane Prairie, Turkey Creek Unit, and West Fork Sanctuary. Each offers something different for visitors to enjoy.
Padre Island National Seashore
Texas is home to some of the most beautiful national parks in the country. Padre Island National Seashore is no exception. This park is located on a barrier island off the coast of South Texas and is known for its stunning beaches, bird watching, and sea turtle nesting grounds.
Visitors can enjoy camping, fishing, kayaking, and windsurfing in this park. There are also plenty of opportunities to see wildlife, including alligators, dolphins, and whooping cranes. With so much to offer, it's no wonder that Padre Island National Seashore is one of the most popular national parks in Texas.
Palo Duro Canyon State Park
Palo Duro Canyon is a popular state park located in the Texas Panhandle. The park is known for its dramatic canyon views and diverse wildlife. Visitors can enjoy hiking, camping, picnicking, and horseback riding in the park.
Hill Country State Natural Area
Texas is home to some of the best national parks in the country, and the Hill Country State Natural Area is no exception. This park is located in the heart of Texas Hill Country and offers visitors a chance to experience the beauty of the area up close.
The Hill Country State Natural Area covers more than 4,000 acres of land and features a variety of different ecosystems. Visitors can explore forests, grasslands, streams, and canyons while hiking, biking, or horseback riding along more than 50 miles of trails. The park also has a 30-acre lake where visitors can go fishing or swimming.
Whether you're looking for a day trip or a longer camping trip, the Hill Country State Natural Area is a great place to explore all that Texas has to offer.
Brazos Bend State Park
Brazos Bend State Park is a 4,897-acre state park located in Fort Bend County, Texas. The park features a variety of landscapes including prairies, woodlands, wetlands, and lakes. Visitors can enjoy activities such as hiking, biking, picnicking, bird watching, and fishing. The park also offers educational programs about the local ecosystem and its history.