Amistad National Recreation Area
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Introduction

Amistad National Recreation Area is a unique oasis in the desert that sits within a transition zone between major life and climate zones, and features diverse flora and fauna species that make the park a lovely RV destination. Located near Del Rio, Texas, on the US-Mexico Border, this recreation area is easily accessible by RVs, trailers, and cars, and features paved and gravel roads that make navigation a breeze. Amistad derives from the Spanish word meaning friendship.

Over 70 campsites within five RV campgrounds are available at Amistad National Recreation Area, all of which are available on first-come, first-served basis only. No reservations are accepted, but the campsites are open year-round. You’ll find a picnic table and fire grill at all the campsites in the park, but only one campground has potable water. There are no RV hookup options at the park. Other amenities available include vault toilets, trash cans, restrooms, and a picnic shelter.

Bring your adventure to life as you engage in a wide variety of recreational pursuits at Amistad National Recreation Area, including wildlife and bird viewing, fishing, and hunting. The park is a boater’s paradise too. If you enjoy water skiing, scuba diving, or swimming, then you’re covered. Come along with your camera to take beautiful photographs of the park’s features.

Park Alerts (5)

[Park Closure] Spur 454 Day Use Area is now closed to vehicles

The Spur 454 Day Use Area and boat launch has closed to vehicles due to the rise in the lake level and water over the road. The area beyond the gate can still be accessed on foot.

[Caution] Zebra Mussel Alert [+ Info]

Samples collected from Lake Amistad in December 2018 tested positive for zebra mussel DNA. These findings do not indicate that live adult zebra mussels are in the lake, but place us in the inconclusive status. Click the link to learn more:

[Park Closure] The Visitor Information Center will be closed both Saturday and Sunday.

Due to an unanticipated staffing shortage we will be unable to keep the visitor center open on Saturdays and Sundays until the vacant visitor center position is filled. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

[Information] The Visitor Information Center Hours of Operation

The visitor center will continue to be open to the public on Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm. Boaters needing lake use passes can still get them on weekends at the automated machines located at the Diablo East and Rough Canyon boat ramps.

[Information] Opening of San Pedro Campground

San Pedro Campground will be opening for public use on December 20th, 2019.

RV Rentals in Amistad National Recreation Area

Transportation in Amistad National Recreation Area

Driving

Located near Del Rio, Texas, on the US-Mexico Border, Amistad National Recreation Area is accessed from the north or south via US Highway 227/377. The park sits 160 miles west of San Antonio along US Highway 90, and 230 miles east of Big Bend. Local paved and gravel roads within the park offer easy accessibility to the campgrounds and campsites. Driving off-road is not permitted within the park.

Parking

Within Amistad National Recreation Area, there are designated parking areas for RVs, trailers, and cars. Except when parking your rigs at your respective campsite, the designated parking areas must be used.

Public Transport

A public rail service is available in Del Rio. Greyhound USA also offers bus services from Houston to Amistad National Recreation Area.

Campgrounds and parking in Amistad National Recreation Area

Campsites in Amistad National Recreation Area

Reservations camping

First-come first-served

Governors Landing Campground

At Governors Landing Campground, there are 15 pet-friendly campsites that are available for RVs and tents. Although there are no hookups at the campground, there is potable water available. RV length limit at the campground is 28 feet. Amenities at the campground include restrooms, vault toilets, and picnic shelter. A picnic table and fire grill are available in each campsite. Quiet hours are from 10 pm to 6 am.

While camped at Governors Landing, you can enjoy fishing, beaching, biking, boating, and water access.

All the campsites are available on first-come, first-served basis only.

San Pedro Campground

There are 30 pet-friendly campsites that can accommodate RVs and tents, and 5 tent-only campsites at San Pedro Campground. No hookups or potable water are available in the campground, but vault toilets, picnic tables and fire grills are present.

RV/trailer length limit at the campground is 28 feet, and all campsites are available on first-come, first-served basis only. Quiet hours are from 10 pm to 6 am.

Access to the campground is via a 1¼ mile graded gravel road.

277 North Campground

277 North Campground features 17 pet-friendly campsites available for RVs and tents and on first-come, first-served basis only. No hookups nor potable water are available at the campground; however, pit toilets picnic tables and fire grills are provided at the campsites.

RVs and trailers larger than 36 feet cannot be accommodated at the campground. Quiet hours are from 10 pm to 6 am.

Spur 406 Campground

At Spur 406 Campground, there are 6 pet-friendly campsites available for RVs and tents and on first-come, first-served basis only. No hookups nor potable water are available at the campground; however, pit toilets and trash cans are provided. You’ll also find picnic tables and fire grills at the campsites.

RVs and trailers larger than 30 feet cannot be accommodated at the campground. Quiet hours are from 10 pm to 6 am.

Rough Canyon Campground

4 pet-friendly campsites that accommodate RVs and tents are available at Rough Canyon Campground. During winter months, camp hosts may be on-site at the Visitor Center in the campground. No hookups or potable water are available in the campground, but vault toilets, picnic tables, and fire grills are available.

RV/trailer length limit at the campground is 36 feet, and all campsites are available on first-come, first-served basis only. Quiet hours are from 10 pm to 6 am.

Alternate camping

Seasonal activities in Amistad National Recreation Area

Spring

Flora

Amistad National Recreation Area supports three major plant communities that occur in a combination found only in the park. They include Tamaulipan Shrubland, Chihuahuan Desert, and Edwards Plateau. The Tamaulipan Shrubland features plant species that have adapted to irregular rainfall and occasionally high humidity, such as acacia and retama. The cactus species that you’ll find in the park are typical examples of the Chihuahuan Desert plant community, while oaks and junipers that are found around the Amistad Reservoir are plants of the Edwards Plateau.

Summer

Swimming

The desert heat in summer at Amistad National Recreation Area is impressive, and RV campers find a perfect escape by swimming in the park’s waters. Swimming areas that are unsupervised are located at Diablo East and Governor’s Landing. Certain areas are closed to swimming in the park because of the concentration of vessels and fishing hooks/lines that pose safety hazards to swimmers. No lifeguards are on duty at the park, so exercise caution while swimming. Also, note that some areas in Amistad Reservoir have sudden drop offs.

Water Skiing/Scuba Diving

Although there is no commercial skiing available, water skiing is a popular activity at Amistad National Recreation Area. So, if you intend to enjoy this pursuit in the park, you must come along with your boat and skis. As you ski, be safe, stay out of shallow and dangerous areas, wear a personal flotation device and be familiar with boating safety.

The uniquely clear waters at Amistad National Recreation Area makes it a scuba diver’s paradise. At the dive cove located at Diablo East, you can launch away!

Fall

Wildlife and Bird Viewing

At Amistad National Recreation Area, there are many animals, but most of them are secretive, so you may only get to see white-tail deer, jackrabbits, and cottontail rabbits. Occasionally, porcupine and skunk are sighted in the park.

Thanks to the park’s location within a transition zone between northern, southern, eastern and western avifauna, there is a wonderful mix of bird species that offer great bird viewing opportunities for RV campers and visitors. Black-capped vireo, Colima warbler, and golden-cheeked warbler are some of the common birds in the park.

Look out for Monarch butterflies that are migrate through the park in fall and roost in the park’s trees.

Boating

Amistad National Recreation Area is a boater’s paradise, owing to the fact that the park offers amazing boating opportunities for RV campers and enthusiasts. From waters in narrow, steeply-walled canyons to open areas, boating at the park is absolutely refreshing. To use your watercraft on the waters in the park, you will need to obtain a Lake Use Pass.

There are numerous boat launch ramps within the park where you can kickstart your adventure on the park’s waters, with the main ones located at Rough Canyon, Diablo East, Southwinds Marina, and Box Canyon. Commercial boat rentals are available in the park.

Winter

Fishing

Different fish habitats are present in Amistad National Recreation Area, including Rio Grande, Devil’s River and Pecos, in addition to Amistad Reservoir. Amistad Reservoir is the primary fishing location within the recreation area and features abundant bass and catfish. Other fish species that are stocked in the reservoir include largemouth and shad. At Rio Grande, the primary fish available is darter, while in Pecos River, livebearers are common. Fish at Devil’s River if you want to catch minnow. Other fish in the park include sunfish, cichlid and drums, gar and silversides.

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