We love taking our dogs to the many state parks across Texas. Most of the parks are extremely dog-friendly but share common rules from the Texas State Parks and Wildlife FAQ page:
- Pets must be on leash, in a car, or in a crate at all times. The leash can be no longer than 6 feet.
- You must be with your pet at all times. You may not leave your pet unattended in the park, in a vehicle, or at your campsite.
- Do not bring a noisy or dangerous dog to a state park.
- Pets are not allowed in any state park buildings. This includes motels, cabins, screened shelters, group facilities and restrooms.
- You must pick up your pet’s waste and put it in the trash.
- Pets are not allowed in the water or on the land around a designated swim area.
- Your pet must have a current rabies vaccination, and you must have proof with you.
- If you break these rules, you and your pet may be asked to leave!
Admission Fees for Texas State Parks
Admission fees at state parks vary by park; some parks charge per person and some per carload. There are no additional fees for bringing your dog.
We have a one-year Texas State Parks Pass which we love; it provides admission for our entire car of two- and four-legged passengers. The park pass also provides discounts on camping and at park stores.
Overnighting with Your Dog in a Texas State Park
Many of the parks offer camping facilities that range from cabins and shelters to RV and tent sites. However, dogs are not permitted in any buildings at state parks and this includes shelters and cabins. If you would like to overnight at a Texas state park, you’ll need to bring an RV or tent.
The central reservation number for all Texas state parks is (512) 389–8900, Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and Saturday 9:00 a.m. to noon, or see www.tpwd.state.tx.us for online, mail, and fax reservations. For TDD service, call (512) 389–8915 weekdays.
Parks with Limited Access for Your Dog
A few Texas state parks limit dog access to particular parts of the park. For example, at Enchanted Rock, dogs are no longer allowed on the Summit Trail which goes up the dome to protect the fragile ecosystem on the rock (and your dog’s paws on the rock which becomes a griddle in hot weather!) These parks limit your dog’s access to only part of the park:
- Big Bend Ranch State Park
- Enchanted Rock State Natural Area
- Government Canyon State Natural Area
- Hueco Tanks State Park & Historic Site
- Seminole Canyon