State Parks Getaways – September 2022

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Make Time for Fall Camping

Campers at Tyler State Park, link to video

If you've been spending a lot of time in air-conditioned buildings during the long, hot summer, now's the time to plan your escape. Autumn will soon arrive with its cool breezes and fancy fall colors, the perfect time to go camping at your parks. There are a variety of camping facilities at most parks, check out these:

Insider tip: For a list of primo campsites, see the Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine story Prime State Park Campsites. They're popular, so make your reservations sooner rather than later.

If you want to improve your camp skills, try our guided Texas Outdoor Family Workshops. Find out how a family repaired itself after taking a workshop in the magazine story Saved by Camping. Life's better outside, and we'll see you there!

Road Trip! Davis Mountains

Davis Mountains cliffs next to water, link to video

Davis Mountains is called a sky island because its elevation creates a climate very different from the surrounding Chihuahuan Desert. Its cooler temps make the park a haven for a variety of wildlife, including javelinas and hummingbirds, and viewing stations give you a front-row seat to their antics.

This park has many facets – the Skyline Drive offers a breathtaking 360-degree view, historic buildings are rich in handcrafted beauty, hiking and biking trails offer spectacular vistas, and the view of the night sky is so fine, the McDonald Observatory was built next door. 

There are plenty of campsites, ranging from full hookups to hike-in primitive spaces, so plan to visit this much-loved West Texas jewel soon. 

Tips for a Safe and Cozy Campfire

man building campfire, video link

Campfires are great for s'mores, snuggling and storytelling. You can have a campfire in most parks, but follow park rules. For tips on building one, watch our short video Campfire Tips.

It's important that you don't carry any firewood in or out of your parks. Tree-killing insects and disease can hitch a ride on firewood and spread to more trees. Burn it where you buy it!


hand-holding by a fire

Campfires are the #1 source of human-caused wildfires. The 2 basic tips for campfire safety: 

  1. Never leave a campfire unattended
  2. Put out the fire with water, stir it with a shovel, then water again

For more tips on building a campfire, see Smokey Bear's Campfire Safety.  

Easy Ways to Elevate Your Camping

Ranger John putting food in a foil envelope, video link

Looking for simple ways to give your camping experience a big boost? Ranger John and Ranger Lisa share their expert tips for outdoor cooking, recreation for all ages, and how to make your campsite special – all in the video How to Elevate Your Camping Experience

Camping license plate, link

Throw Your Next Party at a Park

Kayak party in a line

If you want your next event to be affordable AND unique, throw an activity-themed party at a park. Kayaking, nature walks, caving and geocaching are just a few fun park activities. Add on some grilling and picnicking, and you've got an event that's memorable and Instagram-able!

To get started, choose a park activity appropriate for your group. Then pick from the list of parks that offer it. Or start by finding a park in a specific location, and seeing which activities they offer that appeal to you. Many parks also offer group facilities you can rent. Be it a family reunion or your child's birthday, your parks are a special place to celebrate. 

Insider Tip:

If you enjoy tent camping, and you prefer to camp in an area without RVs, choose a campsite without electricity.

Toyota Tundra ad with link

Messages from Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine advertisers:

National Museum of the Pacific War with link

Don't Pack a Pest, with link