Family-friendly campground perfect for a rookie camper? Check. Warm temperatures year-round featuring the naturally chilled Frio River to awaken your soul? Got it. Covid safe travel alternative
? Yep! Challenging hiking trails and exciting mountain biking for seasoned adventurers too? Garner State Park’s got it all!
In this ultimate guide, learn everything you need to know to make a Garner State Park RV rental the trip of a lifetime!
Garner State Park Facts
Learning a bit about your destination is an important part of a fulfilling journey. Prepare yourself with these Garner State Park facts!
- Garner State Park is the very first state park established in Texas.
- The park’s towering cliffs resulted from prehistoric limestone formation roughly 138 to 63 million years ago.
- Garner State Park is home to a diverse array of wildlife like white-tailed deer, mourning doves, black vultures, golden cheek warblers, and black-capped vireo.
- Thanks to the pocket that the canyons form, cool winds naturally funnel through the canyon, adding moisture and allowing for abundant plant growth.
- The park was completed in 1941. It was a result of the efforts of a popular, depression-era development project, the civilian conservation corps.
Best Garner State Parks and Campgrounds
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Now that you’ve got a little background about the park, let’s find your home base with this handy guide to the best Garner State Park RV campgrounds!
Shady Meadows Campground
Amenities: Looking for RV campgrounds in Garner State Park with access to all the park offers? Look no further than Shady Meadows Campground. It rests at the dead center of the park for easy access to trails, the Frio River, park amenities, and more. Visitors recommend Shady Meadows for its secluded atmosphere and ultra-convenient location.
Capacity: 42 RV sites
More Information: Shady Meadows Campground
Amenities: Oakmont is one of the Garner State Park RV campgrounds situated just next to the Frio River. That makes it a great choice for boating, swimming, or kayaking along the river. Don’t forget a rod and tackle if you’re an angler! You’ll find dense packs of largemouth bass, catfish, and sunfish ready for the taking. You’ll find 20 and 30 amp and water hookups, restrooms, a picnic table, and a fire ring nearby too.
Capacity: 66 RV sites
More Information: Oakmont Campground
Rio Frio Campground
Amenities: Rio Frio is one Garner State Park RV campground along the Frio River. It’s a short drive north of Oakmont and offers similar opportunities for adventure along the water. The location is a bit more centric than Oakmont making it a nice pick for trail access too. You’ll also find 20, 30, 50 amp and water hookups, a restroom with showers, and outdoor grills.
Capacity: 137 RV sites
More Information: Rio Frio Campground
Live Oak Campground
Amenities: Following the water farther north still takes you to Live Oak Campground, one more option for Garner State Park RV camping next to the Frio River. You’ll find the same access to the river and all the great activities it offers as listed above. Live Oak is also one of the best RV parks near Garner State Park for mountain biking since the trailhead is right outside of camp. You should take note that this spot is closed in January and February.
Capacity: 35 RV sites
More Information: Live Oak Campground
River Crossing Campground
Amenities: Finishing up our list of RV campgrounds in Garner State Park is River Crossing Campground. This is one more centric location situated near the Frio River for easy access to everything Garner State Park offers. Amenities include a picnic table, grill, and fire ring for a night of fireside eats. Sites come with 30 amp and water hookups with restrooms and showers a few strides away.
Capacity: 35 RV sites
More Information: River Crossing Campground
Best Time to Visit Garner State Park for RV Camping
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Now that you’ve found the perfect campground to settle into, it’s time to think about when to start your next adventure RV camping in Garner State Park. The answer there seems to depend on your activity of choice. Read on for a breakdown of the best time to visit Garner State Park!
One downside of Garner being an extremely popular park in Texas is the crowds. If you’re looking for peace and quiet, high season Garner State Park RV camping might not be ideal.
Throughout most of the year, you’ll find tents and RVs packed in tight clusters within most campsites. The exception to the rule here is winter. Even though the temperature stays around an even 50 degrees on average, you’ll find the quiet solace you’re looking for around December and January. The Frio is still swimmable too but might be a touch chilly to be pleasant for most.
The park begins to warm at the start of April and stays temperate through mid-May before the summer heat rears its head. Spring is a fantastic time to avoid the high season of summer if you’re worried about the crowds. At the same time, it’s also a better time to enjoy aquatic adventures in the Frio.
The temperate weather also means it’s just right to walk trails or take in some panoramic views after a tough hike. Spring is at the top of our list for the best time to visit Garner State Park. Keep in mind that May is the wettest month of the year, so pack some rain gear. And avoid a spring break visit if you can help it.
Summer is the high season for a visit. Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day is the most densely populated period of the year for RV camping in Garner State Park.
The natural spring that feeds the Frio keeps the waters cool and refreshing all year round. That means a dip when the temperature swells to a scorching 90-plus degree afternoon, it makes a dip in the water that much more inviting. It’s undoubtedly the best time to enjoy this reliable quality of the Frio, but expect to be crowded in most campsites.
If you’re interested in photo-ops from your trip RV camping in Garner State Park, fall is the season for you. The vibrant, varied color scheme of the fall foliage simply screams “capture me.”
Junipers, bald cypress, and oaks paint yellow, orange, and amber tones reflected along the Frio while the evergreens add a verdant life to the bluffs towering in the background. Aim for mid-October for the sweet spot of coloration in the leaves. Do remember that the temperature hovers around the high 80s until early November.
Things to Do in Garner State Park
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This family-friendly park has plenty to see and experience, so read on for some of the best things to do in Garner State Park!
Dive into the Frio. This naturally cooled 2.9-mile stretch of river is the perfect way to refresh your body and mind. Grab a kayak, inner-tube, paddleboat, or plain ol’ swim trunks and dive in!
Hike the trails. Garner State Park boasts a whopping 16 miles of trails that weave throughout the entire park. There’s a little something for everybody with hikes ranging from an easy 1-mile trek to a 7.1-mile climb.
Ascend the Bird Trail Loop. Not for the faint of heart, Bird Trail is just a 1.8-mile loop but includes some steep sections. About midway through, you can visit a cave for a little reprieve. Though Old Baldy is the most popular viewpoint in the park, the overlook at the highest point of Painted Rock here seems to be superior.
Ride the mountains. For your daily dose of adrenaline, don’t forget to bring your bike! Garner State Park is loaded with mountain bike trails to tackle at speed. Consider a stay in Live Oak Campground if you’re drawn to the hills since you’ll have direct access to the mountain bike trails.
Tips for Visiting Garner State Park
You’re just about ready to go! Before you hit the road, check out these handy tips for visiting Garner State Park!
- The heat in Garner State Park is no joke topping out at well over 90 degrees. Make sure to stay hydrated, put on sunscreen, and wear protection from the sun during any strenuous activities.
- The Frio is a running body of water, not a swimming pool. If you’re not confident in your swimming abilities, don’t get in! Or at least throw on a life jacket to stay safe.
- Protect local wildlife and preserve the trails by not feeding the animals. It generates litter and disrupts the natural biosphere of the park.
- Bring a map in case of an emergency since phone reception can be spotty.
- Protect your feet with boots or sturdy shoes even during the summer months.
RV Rental for Garner State Park
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Well, friend, that wraps up our guide for one amazing Texan experience you’re not soon to forget. From the water of the Frio to the peak of highest limestone bluffs and everything in between, there’s no shortage of family-friendly enjoyment to be had in this stunning park.
Need a Garner State Park RV rental? Cruise America’s got you covered. Choose from their ready-to-ride fleet of RVs to fit any party size or budget. With a built-in shower, stovetop, fridge, beds, and toilet, each vehicle has everything you need to make the road your home away from home.
Book with Cruise America today
for one heck of an adventure!