6 Texas State Parks in Hill Country for Spring Break in a Budget

Pedernales Falls State Park - Texas State Parks in Hill Country

Do you like water but budget a bit tight for playing in the beach this coming Spring Break? Don’t worry! These 6 Texas State Parks in Hill Country will make it up for you. You and your family will have ton of fun visiting one or several of these parks during next Spring Break.

6 Texas State Parks in Hill Country for Spring Break in a Budget

 

1.       Colorado Bend State Park

Gorman Falls at Colorado Bend State Park - Texas State Park in Hill Country
Gorman Falls.

 

You can be swimming, kayaking, or fishing in this park. Bring your own watercraft, or rent a kayak at the park. On land, you can be geocaching, birding, hiking, or mountain biking, even caving.

Popular Spot: Gorman Falls. A breathtaking 70-foot spring-fed waterfall but you must hike to get there. It’s only a .75-mi round trip hike, but prepared at least 2 hours because of the rocky terrain and a steep descent near the falls. But please, don’t climb into the falls. If accident happen and they close the trail, it’s not fair to others who follow the rules.

Entrance Fees: Adults: $5 daily, Children 12 years and under: free.

Hours: Open daily. Gate is open 6 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Where to Stay: One of the campsites with prices range from $10 – $75 nightly (people per site: 4-48).

Address: Park Hill Dr., Bend, TX 76824. West of Lampasas and southeast of San Saba. About 2 hours northwest of Austin. Ph.: (325) 628-3240.

Note: Spring Break is one of their busy season. Try to arrive early in the morning or booking your campsite online.

Go to https://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/colorado-bend for complete information.

 

2.       Inks Lake State Park

Devil's Waterhole at Inkslake State Park - Texas STate Parks in Hill Country
Cliff-jumping and canoeing by the Devil’s Waterhole at Inks Lake SP.

 

With the lake’s level usually constant, it’s a great place to swim, boat, water ski, scuba dive, and fish. You can bring your own watercraft, or rent them at the park. You can also hike along the 7-1/2 miles of trails through the shady forests and across the rocky hills.

Popular Spot: Devil’s Waterhole where people test their adrenaline by doing cliff-jumping for endless joy.

Entrance Fees: Adults: $6 daily, Children 12 years and under: free.

Hours: Open daily. Office hours is from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (M-T), 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. (F), and 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. (S-S).

Where to Stay: One of the campsites or cabins with prices range from $11 – $55 nightly (people per site: 4-8).

Address: 3630 Park Road 4 West, Burnet, TX 78611. Ph.: (512)793-2223.  

Note: Spring Break is one of their busy season. Try to arrive early in the morning or booking your campsite online.

Go to https://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/inks-lake for complete information.

 

3.       Pedernales Falls State Park

Pedernales Falls State Park - Texas State Parks in Hill Country
A view from the top.

 

The first three miles of the river, including the falls, are closed for swimming, tubing, or wading, but the rests are open for water play. Bring along your tube, canoe, or kayak. You can also fish, hike, camp, mountain bike, picnic, geocache, bird watch, and ride horses here.

Popular Spot: Potholes and falls around the Pedernales Falls area.

Entrance Fees: Adults: $6 daily, Children 12 years and under: free.

Hours: Open daily.

Where to Stay: One of the campsites with prices range from $10 – $75 nightly (people per site: 4-75).

Address: 2585 Park Road 6026, Johnson City, TX 78636. Ph.: (830)868-7304.  

Note: Spring Break is one of their busy season. Try to arrive early in the morning or booking your campsite online.

Go to https://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/pedernales-falls for complete information.

 

4.       Blanco State Park

Blanco State Park - Texas State Parks in Hill Country
Courtesy of Texas Parks & Wildlife

 

It may only one-mile in length, but doesn’t mean you can’t relax under the sun, swim, tube, fish, and paddle. Bring your own watercraft, or rent tubes or canoes at the park. On land, you can picnic, hike, camp, geocache, or watch for wildlife.

Popular Spot: Everywhere where you can relax on tubes.

Entrance Fees: Adults: $5 daily, Children 12 years and under: free.

Hours: Open daily.

Where to Stay: One of its standard campsites to full hookups to screened shelters with prices range from $20 – $30 nightly (up to 8 people).

Address: 101 Park Road 23, Blanco, TX 78606. An hour from Austin and San Antonio. Ph.: (830) 833-4333.  

Note: Spring Break is one of their busy season. Try to arrive early in the morning or booking your campsite online.

Go to https://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/blanco for complete information.

 

5.       Guadalupe River State Park

Guadalupe River State Park - Texas State Parks in Hill Country
Photo courtesy of Texas Parks & Wildlife

 

Many people come for swim, tube, canoe, and fish. They even loan fishing gear for use in the park. And just like other parks, you can hike, ride mountain bike or horses, picnic, geocache, and bird watch as well.   

Popular Spot: The main swimming hole by Swallow Cliff.

Entrance Fees: Adults: $7 daily, Children 12 years and under: free.

Hours: Open daily. Gate is open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Where to Stay: One of the campsites with prices range from $15 – $24 nightly (people per site: 8).

Address: 3350 Park Road 31, Spring Branch, TX 78070. Just a short drive from Austin and San Antonio. Ph.: (830) 438-2656.  

Note: Spring Break is one of their busy season. Try to arrive early in the morning or booking your campsite online.

Go to https://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/guadalupe-river for complete information.

 

6.       South Llano River State Park

South Llano River State Park - Texas State Parks in Hill Country
Photo courtesy of Texas Parks & Wildlife

 

A great place for swimming, tubing, canoeing, kayaking, or fishing. And you can always rent the watercraft, or bring your own. Here you can also hike, mountain bike, picnic, camp, bird watch, and do nature study.

Popular Spot: Anywhere along the riverbank.

Entrance Fees: Adults: $5 daily, Children 12 years and under: free.

Hours: Open daily. Gate is open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Where to Stay: One of the campsites with prices range from $8 – $20 nightly (people per site: 4-8).

Address: 1927 Park Road 73, Junction, TX 76849. Ph.: (325) 446-3994.  

Note: Spring Break is one of their busy season. Try to arrive early in the morning or booking your campsite online.

Go to https://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/south-llano-river for complete information.   

 

Note: If campsites at the state park you want to go are full, you can always check the tent campground or RV campground around the area. Some of the RV campground has spots for tent camping. Or, you can always stay at Lady Bird Johnson Municipal Park in Fredericksburg. It takes between 30-60 minutes to those state parks one way from Fredericksburg.

I’m sure you will have a memorable Spring Break at one or more of these Texas State Parks in Hill Country! Enjoy your break!  

 

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  1. Michelle says:

    I am happy to say that we have visited all of these state parks, but being a Texas girl, that only makes sense. We especially loved hiking down to Gorman Falls at Colorado Bend State Park, it is such a beautiful place. I really couldn’t believe we were still in Texas when I got down there. If you’re a wine drinker, be sure to visit Fiesta Winery not far from Colorado Bend, it’s great!

    1. Umiko Buhl says:

      Sadly, I’m the only one from my circle of friends who’ve been to those places. They even never heard about those parks. Well, I’m not a wine drinker but it’s good to know about it. Thanks!

  2. Tara says:

    I honestly had no idea that Texas had so many beautiful state parks! The kayaking on the lakes looks like so much fun! Those rocks are beautiful! Great ideas for spring break that will not break the bank!

    1. Umiko Buhl says:

      I know, right? I’m in the mission to tell my Texas folks that it’s time to check your own back yard. There’s nothing wrong going to the beach, but when your budget is tight doesn’t mean you can’t do anything.

  3. Anna says:

    Wow, this is a really useful article! I would love to visit Guadalupe River State Park and Inks Lake State Park. The cliff jumping at Inks Lake State Park looks like a lot of fun :). How is the water temperature in March/April?

    1. Umiko Buhl says:

      I would like to make another visit again. The water temperature in March/April is around upper 70s and 80s, depends on how’s the winter before. But most of the time those are didn’t get too cold during winter.

  4. What a useful and informative article. You have opened my eyes to some beautiful spots in Texas, that I never knew existed. I love to hike, especially if there is a gorgeous waterfall at the end of it. It is always helpful to know of places to stay, costs and opening times.
    Amanda Goldston recently posted…Zermatt- Awesome Holiday PrizeMy Profile

    1. Umiko Buhl says:

      I was fortunate to meet a lady who likes to hike and do outdoor stuff with her husband around Texas. She’s the one who introduced me to most of these places. I hope more Texans will hear about these, too so they can start exploring the state park as well.

  5. My goal is to visit some state parks this year. I think we have to travel upstate for them. What a great resource for Texas folks! Im sure spring break is a busy time. Great list to help people plan! I like to have all the info before I visit places like this so I can plan!
    Harmony, Momma To Go recently posted…How to Plan Your Winter Getaway Like a ProMy Profile

    1. Umiko Buhl says:

      That’s what in my plan, too. Visiting more Texas state parks when the weather is nice and hopefully more Texas folks will do the same. It’s doable and healthy.

  6. I visited Texas a couple years ago and was surprised by how much I liked it. Now I want to go see these places! Blanco State Park looks amazing, and for only $5!
    Exploring Curiously recently posted…Two Days in Stockholm, SwedenMy Profile

    1. Umiko Buhl says:

      You just have to know how to find the places. I’m still digging around the state.

  7. I didn’t realize scuba diving was a thing in Texas! Always learning something new about all the corners of our fascinating world 🙂 I will definitely pin this to my RV Board for future travel planning! Thanks!

    1. Umiko Buhl says:

      You are welcome! I don’t do scuba diving, but I found it interesting, too. Fresh water scuba diving.

  8. Wiola says:

    Nice! So mamy wonderful locations with mostly affordable prices! I would especially like to visit the Blanco State Park because the photo of a waterfall looks incredible!

    1. Umiko Buhl says:

      I think Texas’ State Parks are mostly affordable. You can’t beat the price when budget is the first thing comes when planning for a vacation.

  9. What a fantastic post, pulling back the curtain a bit on the myth there aren’t many great outdoor adventures in Texas. We’ve always wanted to visit Guadalupe River State Park and this just gives us another push to do just that next time we are in the state.

    1. Umiko Buhl says:

      I admitted Texas is not Colorado, but we have our own outdoor adventures where you can enjoy the water more than 6 months in a year.

  10. Nafisa Habib says:

    That’s really great to know, so many beautiful parks and possible to explore at the lowest fee! I’m loving Blanco State Park the most. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Umiko Buhl says:

      You are welcome!

  11. Courtney says:

    Thank you for sharing! We alternate vacations– one relaxing, one adventurous, etc. We just went on our honeymoon (relaxing), so I cannot wait for our next adventurous vacation. I will keep these ideas in mind!

    1. Umiko Buhl says:

      That’s a good idea of traveling. I think so far we’ve done the adventurous ones.

  12. Followingtherivera says:

    A really lovely read with great photos to match. I know nothing about Texas, only that it’s a huge state! These national parks you have are stunning and great for on a budget!

    1. Umiko Buhl says:

      Thank you! Texas is huge, but not too many people know about places to visit or activities do here. I’m glad to introduce it to you. Hope one day you’ll get a chance to visit.

  13. Aleksandra says:

    that’s the type of activities i love so much! hiking in the beautiful parks surrounded by nature. hope one day i will have a chance to visit one of these places

    1. Umiko Buhl says:

      One of our family favorite things to do. I hope one day you will have a chance to visit Texas.

  14. Anshula says:

    I live in Texas and love this! This post is so helpful! Blanco State Park looks so pretty and sounds so serene!

    1. Umiko Buhl says:

      Texans need more information like this!

  15. Michelle says:

    Sadly I have not travelled to the US as yet, but when I do, parks will be very high on my agenda! Going to these parks seems like a great way of getting in touch with nature and getting some adventure in at the same time! I look forward to visiting them!

    1. Umiko Buhl says:

      I would suggest National Parks to put in the itinerary for people who will visit the U.S. for the first time. If there’s more time, put on one or two state parks at the state you visited.

  16. Ketki says:

    It nice to know you can do so many fun things in just one place and too at affordable prices. Lovely photos.

    1. Umiko Buhl says:

      And they are not that far each other. That’s the bonus point.

  17. Michelle says:

    Great post! Texas really does have so many great state parks. Colorado Bend and Pedernales are some of our favorites!

    1. Umiko Buhl says:

      I have to convince my husband and son to go back to Colorado Bend though.

  18. Melanie says:

    What a great list of options!! We love cliff jumping and tubing, so will definitely check these out when we get to Texas! Saving this to my Texas bucket list!

    1. Umiko Buhl says:

      Great!

  19. Michelle says:

    I love state parks, and kayaking at Guadalupe River looks right up my alley! It’s been 11 years since I’ve been to Texas, but we visited Palo Duro Canyon State Park then and it was gorgeous! Hopefully sometime I will swing back through to see the national parks in Texas, but I’ll be sure to add some state parks to my trip! 🙂

    1. Umiko Buhl says:

      We love Palo Duro, too, and still we haven’t explore even half of the park. I hope you will make a stop to Texas soon.

  20. Michelle says:

    I haven’t been to any of these even though we’ve lived in Texas for five years. Looks like we’ve got some traveling to do in our own backyard!

    1. Umiko Buhl says:

      I’m trying to dig more in our backyard, especially during weekends or long weekends. We save the long holiday for others. 😉

  21. Sami says:

    Texas is bound to have a lot of parks because it’s HUGE! Great post!

    1. Umiko Buhl says:

      They have to though I don’t think it’s equal to its size.

  22. Sally E says:

    Ooh so many great places! I would have never guessed Texas had so many state parks. I’m a sucker for waterfalls so Blanco would definitely be my first choice to visit. I’ll have to add that in for my next trip to Texas.

    1. Umiko Buhl says:

      I would say that for a big state like Texas, there aren’t too many state parks. Part of it because most land are private own. But it surprised me also with all those waterfalls.

  23. Eloise says:

    Such a great list! I love waterfalls and canoeing. You provided many great ideas 😀 Are people really cliff jumping somewhere called “Devil’s Waterhole”?! Seriously, just the name is terrifying!!

    1. Umiko Buhl says:

      I tell you what. When we were there, most of the cliff jumpers were teenagers. And they sounded excited.

  24. Turtle says:

    All six of the parks looks really interesting. One of my favourite things to do in the US is to visit national and state parks – the natural landscapes are one of the true gems of the country. Your post just goes to show that you don’t need to go to the big famous ones to find some great natural adventure. Thanks for the tips!

    1. Umiko Buhl says:

      Thank you! Yeah, Texas is far from big and famous National Parks. But it’s ashamed, a lot of Texan forgot they have ones in their own backyard.

  25. Cat says:

    These look great, I’d love to go to Texas and these are some good spots to visit! We love the National Parks and the ones in the USA look like some of the best in the world.

    1. Umiko Buhl says:

      There’s so much to see in the U.S. in terms of nature. It’s just a lot of people don’t realize that. I’m glad you like these part of Texas

  26. What lovely getaways all. The best thing about all these State parks is the fact that they all look so pristine and untouched, absolutely in the lap of nature. That there are adventure activities too makes them ideal for a family getaway.

    1. Umiko Buhl says:

      I agreed with you.

  27. Candy says:

    So many great options! I love being out in the nature. I haven’t been to South Llano River State Park and would love to go tubing there. The water looks gorgeous.

    1. Umiko Buhl says:

      Sometimes we forgot how our own backyard has so much to offer. I hope more people will enjoy these nature.

  28. Lisa says:

    Texas State Parks look amazing! The rock structures are so cool and my kids would love exploring! Fun! 🙂
    Lisa recently posted…Best Family Friendly Hotel ChainsMy Profile

    1. Umiko Buhl says:

      Come to Texas!

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