Houston’s best camping is about 30 miles southwest of the city at Brazos Bend State Park (21901 FM 762, 979/553-5101, www.tpwd.state.tx.us, $4 daily per person 13 and older). Covering roughly 5,000 acres, this popular state park offers hiking, biking, equestrian trails, and fishing on six easily accessible lakes. However, visitors are cautioned about alligators (seriously), which are numerous in some areas of the park.
Facilities include restrooms with showers, campsites with water and electricity, screened shelters, primitive equestrian campsites, and a dining hall. Many visitors make Brazos Bend a weekend destination due to its abundant activities, including free interpretive programs and hikes. A nature center with informative displays contains a “hands-on” alligator discovery area, a model of the park, a freshwater aquarium, live native snake species, and the George Observatory (3–10 p.m. Sat.).
Closer to town is the unremarkable yet convenient Alexander Deussen County Park (12303 Sonnier St., 713/440-1587, call for reservation information). Named after a respected Houston geologist, Deussen Park offers basic camping services, including site pads, fire pits, picnic areas, and restrooms. Pets are allowed, but they must be kept on a leash.
© Andy Rhodes from Moon Texas, 6th Edition