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Posted On 03/28/2019 16:42:35
Trip Date 03/19/2019
Camping | Hiking | Texas | Bastrop | Austin | Bastrop State Park | Central Texas Campgrounds | RVing in Central Texas | Texas State Parks | Best Places to Camp Near Austin
Days before the beginning of Spring, we pulled our RV to Bastrop State Park in Bastrop, Texas for two
nights of RV camping. We chose this central Texas campground as it was less than 1 1/2 hours from our Austin
area home and would give us the perfect opportunity to test everything before a long spring RV road trip.
If you are considering RVing in central Texas, Bastrop State Park is one of the best places to camp near Austin, plus it is a
member of the Texas State Park network. This post will provide you with a brief overview of the campground and
campsite amenities as well as the hiking opportunities available to park guests. We'll also share our favorite campsites
within the park along with why we like them!
Campground Amenities at Bastrop State Park
With a total of 70 campsites, Bastrop State Park has
some great options for both RV or tent campers. The park is in an area referred to as The Lost Pines because of
the loblolly pine trees which are separated by 80 miles from the Pineywoods in East Texas. Although the park,
located just over 30 miles east of Austin, has had its share of natural disasters in recent years, a visit to the park confirms
that it is on the road to recovery. Burning for 55 days, the 2011 Bastrop Complex Wildfire affected 96% of the
park. Less than 4 years later, a Memorial Day Flood caused a dam collapse in the park. Finally, in 2015 the
Hidden Pines Fire burned in the county for another 11 days.
Entering Bastrop State Park
The park was clean and the bathhouses in both the Copperas Creek and Piney Hill Camping Areas may
just be the nicest that we've seen at any campground. Dumpsters for landfill trash as well as recycling are located near
each bathhouse. Something that we haven't seen before were Dish Washing Stations, one under the roof of each
bathhouse. With our campsite located near one of the bathhouses, we were amazed at the number of campers regularly
walking with dishes to clean!
Dish Washing Station at Bastrop StatePark
Either newly built or recently remodeled, the men's and women's bathhouses were sparkling clean. So often it looks like
something is growing between the tiles in either the shower stalls or on the bathhouse floor - but not at Bastrop State
Women's Bathhouse in Copperas Creek Camping Area
Park guests have a variety of both land and water recreational activities from which to choose. There are plenty of picnic
tables and grills where you can enjoy a meal or snack, trails for hiking or biking and even some pretty cool historic sites.
The park's playground has slides, swings and more for the youngsters ready to expend some of their energy.
Bastrop State Park's Playground
Although Bastrop State Park Lake has been empty since the dam collapse, fishing is still available in Lake
Mina. As with all Texas State Parks, no fishing license is required when fishing from the shore (and the park
even has fishing equipment to lend)! The park also has a pool open from May to September within the grounds. The
additional fee for the Bastrop YMCA managed pool is $3.00 for park guests or $5.00 for those at the park only for
Swimming Pool managed by Bastrop YMCA
There are more options than just tent and RV camping - the park also has both group barracks and individual cabins available for rent. It
was fun to reminisce about my stay over 30 years ago with my parents and sister in the Pioneer Village Cabin
Area. I didn't remember that the cabins were originally built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (or maybe I
didn't even know about the CCC in those days)! Priced from $80.00 to $200.00 per night, the 14 historic cabins sleep
from 2 - 8 people.
Historic Cabins built by the CCC for Rent
In addition to the cabins, the CCC and Works Progress Administration built other structures still standing for
visitors to admire today including a Refectory, Golf Shelter and Shade Shelter.
Creations of the CCC and WPA at Bastrop State Park
For campers who are interested in possible day trips, options include driving (or biking) the scenic 12 mile Park Road
1C which connects the park to Buescher State Park. There's also the 30 mile journey to the Live Music
Capital of the World (Austin) or the short drive to historic downtown Bastrop.
Dinner with Friends at The Grace Miller, "Gracie's" in Historic Downtown Bastrop
The cost for our two night stay totaled $30.00 with our Texas State Parks Pass discounts. The pass waived the
$20.00 daily use fees ($5.00 per person per day) plus we received a 50% price reduction on our second night of camping
Campsite Amenities at Bastrop State Park
We lucked out when we did an online search for a campsite at Bastrop State Park just a couple of days before our desired dates - there were
still two campsites available that would accommodate our 33 foot rig! Sites are priced at $14.00 (water only), $20.00
(water and 20-/30-amp electric) and $25.00 (water, 20-/30-/50-amp electric and sewer) per night. In addition to utilities,
each site has a picnic table, grated fire ring and most also have a grill.
We chose site 59 in the newer Copperas Creek Camping Area when we made our reservation. Located across
from the bathhouse, the site has back-in parking on a paved surface. Unfortunately the pavement had some side-to-side
slope and was not quite long enough to park both our RV and tow vehicle. The good news was that the overflow parking
where we parked our Expedition was right next to the site.
Site 59 in Copperas Creek Camping Area at Bastrop State Park
Site amenities included 20-/30-amp electric, water, an uncovered wooden picnic table on a concrete base, fire pit with a
grate, grill and a double lantern hook. The site did have some tall pine trees, however the few that would accommodate
the hanging of hammocks were all close to the road. Probably due to the loss of many of the trees between the park
and the highway, the site also came with a noticeable amount of road noise.
Cooking and Eating Amenities at Campsite 59
The only dump station within the park was in the Piney Hill Camping Area. Long RVs may have some difficulty
maneuvering the relatively tight turn to reach the dump when the parking area for the bathhouse is full.
Bastrop State Park Trailer Dump Station
Due to the park's close proximity to Austin, there is a good assortment of broadcast television stations - most with good
reception. We also had excellent phone and data service with both Verizon and T-Mobile.
Favorite Campsites at Bastrop State Park
With our Bastrop State Park map in hand, we walked through both of the camping loops to pick out our favorite sites so
that we're prepared for a future visit. All sites were clean in both loops, however it's important to note that on-site
utilities, parking (back-in vs. pull-through) and length drastically differ between campsites.
Copperas Creek Camping Area
Of the two loops, we prefer the sites in the Copperas Creek Camping Area, even though none were pull-through.
Our favorite sites (in order of our preference) are:
Site 69 is the best site in the loop, however will probably never be available as it is dedicated to the Park
With double-wide parking areas, campsites 54 and 52 would easily accommodate both a longer RV and a tow
Located next to the Park Host, site 70 has a little less concrete but still has a nice, paved area with site
amenities including picnic table, etc. and full utilities; and
Of the remaining sites with full utilities, our next favorite is site 73.
A few other comments to note about sites within the loop:
Sites 62 - 68 all have very small driveways accommodating only smaller RVs or tents.
Campsites 69 - 78 are the only sites with full utilities in Copperas Creek;
While sites 76 and 78 are both long with double-wide parking, the sites have few trees therefore allowing the sun to
beat down and probably heat up an RV; and
Although not quite long enough for our car and RV, with its nice trees alongside the pavement, site 53 is well-shaded.
Piney Hill Camping Area
Sites in the original Piney Hill Camping Area are all pull-through with full utilities. The camping loop sits up on a
hill and was therefore slightly windier during our stay. Our favorite sites (again ordered by preference) are:
Although not level, Sites 5 and 6 have trees spaced so as to accommodate hammocks and also have concrete
With all utilities and a few tall trees, our next favorite Site 2 does not have trees from which hammocks can
Site 18, with its wooden picnic table and nice view, will get morning sun but should be nicely shaded in the
While Site 21 has more limited trees, a wooden picnic table and requires an extension to hook-up to sewer
while parked, it rounds out our favorites list.
Final comments about sites within this loop include:
Sites 1 and 22 are Park Host sites;
Sites in the Piney Hill Camping Area are not available to tenters and are not quite as level as in the newer camping
The number of trees decreases as you move further toward the back of the camping loop.
Hiking at Bastrop State Park
Bastrop State Park has over seven miles of hiking trails
ranging from some easy paved trails perfect for those pushing strollers to challenging backcountry trails. Rather than trail
hiking, we walked mostly uphill along Park Road 1A from Copperas Creek Camping Area to the Scenic
Overlook to enjoy the view.
Bastrop State Park's Scenic Overlook
We did, however, take the longer 1.7 mile Scenic Overlook Hiking Trail back to our campsite. Hiking through the
park brings mixed emotions - sadness for the many blackened tree trunks standing and lying in the forest and happiness
when seeing new growth.
The Rebirth of Loblolly Pines at Bastrop State Park
Starting as a rocky path, the terrain of the mostly downhill hiking trail was quite diverse. It changed from rock to sand to
packed dirt with some wooden steps and bridges interspersed along the way. The trail also took us past the Historic
Water Fountains built nearly 90 years ago by the CCC.
Crossing Bridges on the Scenic Overlook Hiking Trail
Central Texas Campgrounds
If you're planning to camp in Texas, don't miss our other reviews of central Texas campgrounds. Our posts titled
Review: Lake Somerville State Park - Birch Creek Unit and Review: Taylor Park and Campground will help
you decide the best place to stay during your visit.
Camping near Austin, Texas
For those wanting to camp in the Austin vicinity, what campgrounds would you encourage them to check for availability ...
and, why do you recommend these campgrounds?
Created On 03/25/2019 22:50:21
Updated On 03/31/2019 15:13:04
Scheduled On 03/26/2019 15:42:35
Posted On 03/28/2019 16:42:35
Last Editor Stacy
Location Bastrop State Park, Bastrop, TX, United States