The Best Places to Go Camping Near Houston, Texas

Explore the best scenery away from the big city with these camping spots near Houston
Explore the best scenery away from the big city with these camping spots near Houston | © Keith Douglas / Alamy Stock Photo
David Darbyshire

Writer

If you’ve been spending time in Houston among the skyscrapers, it can be easy to forget that Texas is all about the great outdoors. There’s no better way to experience it than by camping. From Lake Houston Wilderness Park to Lone Star Jellystone, here are our top picks for camping near Houston.

1. Lake Houston Wilderness Park

Natural Feature

This picturesque spot of almost 5,000 acres (2,023ha) of parkland is popular with locals and travellers alike, who come for the fresh air, beautiful views and spectacular range of scenery. Hiking trails, forests and creeks can all be found here. It is also ideally located for anyone wanting to escape the city without having to drive down highways for hours as it’s just North of East Houston, and only a 40-minute drive from the center of town.

2. Escape the Pavement

Natural Feature

Fur throws in a tent, with a chair and a dog on the lawn outside, at Escape the Pavement
Courtesy of Escape the Pavement

Escape the Pavement (ETP) provides camping, tours and activities for people looking for day trips, an overnight stay or something a bit longer. Plus, there are a range of service options depending on how hands on you want your experience to be, from tutorials on setting up your tent and campsite, all the way to catered sessions for campers who don’t want to have to make their bed before they lie in it. Its offices are in West Houston. From there, guides will take you to your activity of choice.

3. Texas Treehouse Swings Forest

Camping

This small, independently run site is truly off-grid. With no running water or electricity it’s a proper old-fashioned camping experience. It’s a beautiful, isolated spot surrounded by thick forest so you will truly feel connected to nature. The site has communal areas to share with other campers if you feel like making some friends on your trip. The site is south of Houston and only a 60-minute car trip.

4. Stephen F. Austin State Park

Natural Feature, Historical Landmark

A person hiking between trees on the banks of the Brazos River at Stephen F. Austin State Park
© Chris Howes/Wild Places Photography / Alamy Stock Photo

Get a history lesson thrown in with your camping trip when you travel back to the 1800s at this state park. Alongside the campsites at this historic park are nearby landmarks of significance, as this was the location for the first settlement of colonizers in this area. Only an hour drive from Houston, it’s also only an hour away from the historic town of San Felipe.

5. 5D Ranch

Camping

5D Ranch has 18 individual campsites of various sizes to pitch your tent among beautiful forests near Houston. Around the sites are 14mi (22.5km) of hiking trails and stunning views of the countryside and the nearby lake. Each pitch is spacious and isolated so you get your own space and there are restrooms and showers provided. It’s only an hour drive from central Texas.

6. Lone Star Jellystone

Camping

For groups with younger members this is a perfect place to enjoy the fun of camping while also having all the amenities and entertainment of a hotel. A wide variety of sports and other fun is on the menu, including a fishing lake, a pool, water slides and a golf course. Only a 50-minute journey from central Houston, it’s not even far enough away for the kids to get in a “are we there yet?”

Backpacking through the Lone Star State? Check out the best campsites in all of Texas and book your stay with Culture Trip.

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