When you think of Texas, you probably think of cowboys, the Alamo, bbq, rodeos, and football. You probably don’t think of the vast open lands, national parks, coastlines, and canyons. But, as the second largest state in America, Texas has a lot to offer adrenaline junkies.
There are several adventure spots in Texas that are worth exploring. Whether you’re into hiking, swimming, windsurfing, kayaking, cliff jumping, or camping, there is something for everyone. You can take a trip to one of the islands in the gulf, or head to one of the many national parks around the state. You can head up to the hidden hills or check out the caverns near San Antonio. You can spend your day at a natural spring, or spend it gazing up at a waterfall. The options are literally endless and will make you want to keep coming back to Texas for some new adventures.
But, let’s start with just three for now. These top adventure spots in Texas will have you hiking, camping, and backpacking into some gorgeous places, you never knew existed.
1) Big Bend National Park
Head to Southwest Texas to explore Big Bend National Park. Within the National Park is the Chisos mountain range and part of the Chihuahuan Desert. You can hike Emory Peak, Window Trail, or the Lost Mine Trail. You can take a drive down the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive to check out some ruins of a former ranch. Explore the Santa Elena Canyon and lay your eyes on amazing limestone rock formations. Go bird watching, horseback riding, and more!
2) Lost Maples State Natural Area
Located about an hour drive from San Antonio, the Lost Maples State Natural Area is home to over 2,906 acres of hiking trails and campsites. This place is the perfect spot to spend a weekend if you’re hanging out in San Antonio. The best time to visit is in November when the leaves on the trees change to crimson. During your hike you’ll be thinking that you’re actually in New England experiencing Autumn there!
3) Palo Duro Canyon State Park
Up in the Texas Panhandle you can find Palo Duro Canyon State Park, often referred to as “the other Grand Canyon.” The Canyon is 120 miles long, 20 miles wide, and 800 feet deep, making it the second largest canyon in America. Palo Duro is a great spot for hiking and camping. You do need a permit and they are first-come, first-serve upon arrival. You do have to hike to the campsite about ½ a mile, and you have to bring everything you need, including water. Some popular trails to check out during your time there are the Lighthouse Trail, Givens, Spicer and Lowry Running Trail, and Paseo Del Rio.