The 7 Best Camping Spots Near Dallas, Texas

Posted by
Cindy Brzostowski
July 12, 2023
Updated October 02, 2023

camping near dallas texas
Cleburne State Park at sunset. Photo: NPF Photography

We research, evaluate and select travel destinations based on a number of factors, including our writers’ experience, user reviews and more. We may earn a commission when you book or purchase through our links. See our editorial policy to learn more.

Dallas may be one of Texas’ largest metropolises, but there’s still top-notching camping spots within easy reach of the city.

When people think of Dallas, they probably think of highways, football, and the 80s TV series…but don’t forget its many lakes, parklands, and green spaces. Drive north, south, east, or west, and you can quickly reach a spot that feels worlds away. These are the places where you’ll find excellent camping options whenever you’re in desperate need of a nature retreat.

From sprawling state parks to close-knit campgrounds, here are some of the best spots to camp near Dallas. All of these camping destinations are found within an hour’s drive or less from Dallas’ downtown so you can spend less time driving and more time enjoying the outdoors.

Best Camping Near Dallas – Our Top Picks

From sprawling state parks to close-knit campgrounds, here are some of the best spots to camp near Dallas. All of these camping destinations are found within an hour’s drive or less from Dallas’ downtown so you can spend less time driving and more time enjoying the outdoors.

1. Ray Roberts Lake State Park

Ray Roberts Lake State Park
Photo: Megan Purcell

Why you should go: Ray Roberts Lake State Park is one of the most popular places near Dallas to trade city life for natural splendor thanks to its massive size. Divided into nine units, the park has two main areas for camping on either side of the lake with literally hundreds of sites combined. The lake covers 29,000 acres and has two marinas. For hiking, there are miles and miles of trails, including the 20-mile-long Greenbelt Corridor.

Pros: If you’re in the mood for a swim, there’s a sandy beach where you can play in the water or lounge in the sun. There’s also a good chance you’ll see some deer wandering about, and if you keep your eyes peeled in the winter, you may spot some bald eagles too.

Cons: Remember this place is very popular so it can get crowded on the weekends, especially in the swimming area. Make your reservations far in advance, and consider coming during off-peak dates.

If you go: Isle du Bois Unit, 100 PW 4137, Pilot Point, TX; 940-686-2148

2. Cedar Hill State Park

Cedar Hill State Park
Photo: Shutterstock

Why you should go: Cedar Hill State Park is a great spot to get active thanks to its popular mountain bike trails and its proximity to a big lake. Named for the Dallas Off-Road Biking Association, the DORBA trails are challenging, and they twist and turn across 1,200 acres. The nearby Joe Pool Lake has a gravel beach to swim from and ample opportunities to catch bass, catfish, and crappie.

Pros: It only takes 20 minutes by car to get from downtown Dallas to this lakeside state park. There’s no shortage of camping spots either with over 350 total, ranging from full hookup spots to hike-in primitive sites. You’re also right next to Penn Farm Agricultural History Center if you want to learn about Texas farm life.

Cons: This state park has a reputation for being popular with ants. Still, some campers don’t report any issues with the insects. To be on the safe side, keep all your food and waste in sealed containers, make sure your tent is zipped up, and consider using a peppermint oil spray around your camping area.

If you go: 1570 West FM 1382, Cedar Hill, TX 75104; 972-291-3900

Related read: 15 of the Best Free Things to Do in Dallas, Texas

3. The Vineyards Campgrounds and Cabins


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Vineyards Campground & Cabins (@vineyardscampground)

Why you should go: Located close to Grapevine Lake and a Great Wolf Lodge, The Vineyards Campgrounds and Cabins combines natural beauty, lots of visitor conveniences, and a prime location. “There’s not a bad site in the park,” one camper said. “Located near the heart of Grapevine so there is plenty to do, eat, see, and shop for. Our family has been all over Texas and this remains our #1 choice.”

Pros: This campground offers tons of amenities for visitors, including rentals for kayaks, paddleboards, and Corcls (those cute round boats that are popular with kids). For easy maneuvering around the grounds, you can also rent a golf cart or bicycle. The on-site camp store is stocked with everything you need like firewood (available 24 hours a day), ice, and luxuries like complimentary coffee and donuts on Sundays.

Cons: If you like tent camping, you’ll want to look elsewhere. This campground is designed for motorhomes, trailers, and campers, or for people who want to rent one of the cabins. One tent is allowed per campsite but only if there’s another approved camping unit there (one of the recreational vehicles mentioned before).

If you go: 1501 N. Dooley Street, Grapevine, TX 76051; 888-329-8993

4. Twin Coves Park and Campground


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Matt & Ashleigh + Family Travel (@driventoventure)

Why you should go: Just 35 minutes from the heart of Dallas, Twin Coves Park, and Campground is positioned next to Grapevine Lake so you can take out your boat, launch your kayak, and go fishing with ease. When you’re not out on the water, you can try the disc golf course or play some yard games like cornhole and horseshoes.

Pros: Each campsite has a fire pit and a picnic table, so you’re set up for your BBQs and s’mores. There’s also two large pavilions here in case you’re throwing a bigger bash and need more space. “Absolutely can’t wait to come back,” one camper said. “You would not expect anything like this park to be in the location it’s in. Practically surrounded by neighborhoods but as soon as you turn on the park road, you’re in the middle of the wilderness.”

Cons: This park and campground are on the smaller side – there are 22 RV sites, 19 cabins, and six primitive tent sites. It’s a good idea to make your reservation online early if you want to snag a certain spot for a specific date.

If you go: 5001 Wichita Trail, Flower Mound, TX 75022; 972-874-6399

Related read: 9 Cool Places to Stay in Dallas that Will Blow Your Mind

5. Cleburne State Park

Cleburne State Park texas
Photo: Stanley Ford

Why you should go: One of the highlights of Cleburne State Park is the Spillway, which is three tiers that the Civilian Conservation Corps carved by hand out of limestone to control the nearby lake. You can do the 1-hour round trip on the Spillway Trail to get good views of this historic structure. On other hikes, keep your eyes on the ground to see cool fossils.

Pros: With tent and RV sites, this park is well set up for outdoor recreation. Bikers can take on the challenging, twisting Limestone Ridge Trail. Fishing enthusiasts can loan gear right from the park. And anyone who wants to get out on the 116-acre lake can rent a kayak or paddleboard from the self-service kiosk. Also, if you come during the spring, you’ll get the chance to see a bounty of bluebonnets in the fields.

Cons: Because of the number of trails and the nature of the markers here, it’s easy to get turned around. Keep your GPS handy or bring a map with you so you have a good grasp of where you are at all times.

If you go: 5800 Park Road 21, Cleburne, TX 76033; 817-645-4215

6. Lake Tawakoni State Park


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Lake Tawakoni State Park (@laketawakonistatepark)

Why you should go: Lake Tawakoni State Park is famous for fishing, particularly for catfish. From November to April, tons of people come out to see if they can snag a trophy blue catfish – the biggest one caught here weighed a whopping 87.5 pounds. If you’re not into fishing but still love the water, they have kayak rentals.

Pros: There’s a decent number of campsites here (nearly 80 including a large group camp), and they’re well spread out and spacious. One visitor said, “Each campsite feels very secluded and your own while also not being so far removed as to be inconvenient to get to park facilities.”

Cons: While this park does have hiking options, there are only five miles of trails in total, and most of them are categorized as easy (which could be great for casual visitors). It’s fine to stretch your legs, but not if you’re looking to challenge yourself. Deer sightings are common on the trails though!

If you go: 10822 FM 2475, Wills Point, TX 75169; 903-560-7123

Related read: The 8 Best State Parks Near Dallas for a Natural Escape

7. Pilot Knoll Park


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Highland Village Parks & Rec (@highland_village_pard)

Why you should go: Spread across a little peninsula in Lewisville Lake, Pilot Knoll Park has 55 campsites, and many of them are on the shore so you can count on excellent water views. “This turned out to be a great surprise and most beautiful in my list of parks in DFW area,” one visitor said. “The campsites are located across the lake and gives a 360 view [that] feels like a green forest island.” In our opinion, Lake Lewisville is one of the top lakes in Texas to visit!

Pros: If the weather is nice, you’ll definitely want to take a kayak or paddleboard out on the water (rentals are available through Bluet Sup). Separate from the camping area, there’s a day-use area where you can hike, swim, launch your boat, and play volleyball.

Cons: If you’re coming with an RV, keep in mind that the sites don’t have sewer hookups – just electrical. However, there is a greywater dump station where you can get rid of your waste.

If you go: 218A Orchid Hill Ln, Argyle, TX 76226; 840-455-2228

Explore Texas

Get epic travel ideas delivered to your inbox with Weekend Wanderer, our newsletter inspiring more than 10,000 readers every week.

Seen in: Camping, Dallas, Texas

Find your next adventure

Sign up for Weekend Wanderer and join thousands of readers getting epic travel ideas weekly.

Related Posts