Garner State Park
Guide

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Introduction

Located in the heart of the Texas Hill Country in Uvalde County, Garner State Park is an idyllic RV destination offering gorgeous views of limestone hillsides and the majestic Frio River. You will be awed by the scenery that surrounds you in this beautiful state park including limestone cliffs, deep canyons, and towering mesas. Set within the Balcones Canyon­lands, Garner State Park offers a picturesque setting for RV visitors since it features rocky hills and geological wonders including the Glen Rose Formation.

If you visit during the peak season from Memorial Day to mid-August, you can enjoy all sorts of outdoor fun from swimming and kayaking to biking and summer dances. The off-season, from mid-August to Memorial Day, is quieter, but just as enjoyable when you can have fun hiking and birdwatching. The summer season is sunny and humid, while the cooler months are generally mild. No matter what time of year you make your motorhome trip to Garner State Park, you’ll be greeted with a wide range of fun-filled activities in the beautiful Texas countryside.

RV Rentals in Garner State Park

Transportation in Garner State Park

Driving

Garner State Park is easy to access off of U.S. Highway 83 about two hours west of San Antonio. Navigating within the park should not be difficult since from the park entrance you can drive along internal roads to all the camping areas and most of the hiking trailheads. During the busy season, the park may be closed to day visitors when it reaches maximum capacity. There are no limitations for driving motorhomes or large vehicles within the park.

Parking

You shouldn’t have any problem finding parking for your vehicle or RV at Garner State Park. The state park map clearly designates all the parking areas located within the park. Most parking lots are located near the camping areas and restrooms, as well as near the Nature Trail.

Public Transport

Campgrounds and parking in Garner State Park

Campsites in Garner State Park

Reservations camping

River Crossing Camping Area

The River Crossing Camping Area is a small campground located next to Shady Meadows and the Nature and Education Center. Nestled next to a flowering river, the campground offers about 10 sites for RVs and tents with water and electric hookups. Amenities include picnic tables, fire rings, grills, lantern posts, restrooms, and showers.

Live Oak Camping Area

Live Oak offers sites for tents and RVs up to 65 feet long. You'll have access to electric and water hookups. Your site will be close to showers and restrooms, and you’ll be provided to picnic tables and fire rings with grills too. These sites offer breathtaking views of the Texas Hill Country.

Rio Frio Camping Area

Located amidst shady trees, the Rio Frio Camping Area offers over 70 sites that vary in length with water and electric hookups, as well as water only sites for RVs up to 65 feet in length. You’ll have access to showers, restrooms, outdoor grills picnic tables, and fire rings to make your trip far more enjoyable.

Oakmont Camping Area

The Oakmont Camping area offers 39 sites that offer water and 20- and 30-amp electric hookups. You can relax in the serenity of shady trees in the heart of the Texas Hill Country where some of the most scenic sites are near the beautiful banks of the Frio River. Also, you’ll have access to restrooms, picnic tables, outdoor grills, and fire rings. Generator use is permitted during the day.

Persimmon Hill Camping Area

Persimmon Hill offers about 20 sites for mostly tent camping only. However, some sites can accommodate pop-ups, trailers, and RVs up to 20 feet long. These scenic sites offer water connections, picnic tables, outdoor grills, and fire rings. Generators may be used during the day.

Pecan Grove Camping Area

This camping area offers amazing views of rocky Texan hillsides. While site lengths vary, motorhomes, trailers, and pop-ups up to 20 feet in length are permitted. There are 49 sites available, offering access to water connections, fire rings, outdoor grills, and picnic tables. You’ll be conveniently located near the boathouse for renting aquatic equipment, too. Generator use is allowed during the day.

Shady Meadows Camping Area

There are 12 full hookup, pull-through campsites located in the Shady Meadows Camping Loop, plus several water and 30 amp electric spots. Sites are reserved for RVs and trailers since no tents are allowed in this area. You can camp under the backdrop of forest-lined hillsides with access to picnic tables, fire rings, restrooms, and showers. RVers will absolutely enjoy the wildlife viewing area and playground nearby.

First-come first-served

Alternate camping

Private Campgrounds

If you prefer to stay outside of Garner State Park there are a number of private campgrounds and RV Parks within Uvalde County. You’ll be close to all the natural attractions of the state park while enjoying a range of modern amenities that may be offered at these private campgrounds. Private RV parks may feature wireless internet, cable TV, laundry facilities, kitchen facilities, and swimming pools.

Cabins and Screened Shelters

Garner State Park offers 57 cabins and 37 screened shelters that can be reserved for use. The cabins offer modern amenities and are equipped with kitchens, bathrooms, and some are outfitted with fireplaces. Luckily, the cabins include central AC, heating, a small kitchen, and a few beds.

The screened shelters are more primitive but offer electricity, picnic tables, water spigots, and fire rings. Unfortunately, no RVs are permitted at the screened shelters or cabins.

Seasonal activities in Garner State Park

In-Season

Swimming

The beautiful Frio River flows right through the park, making it a perfect spot for swimming in authentic nature. Once you park your RV you can buy swim gear and sunblock at the Park Store and head on over to the river to beat the summer heat. Make sure you pay attention to swift currents and the weather in order to have fun while swimming safely.

It is strongly advised by the park that all children swim with another person and with a life jacket strapped on. The currents at the park can quickly change due to the flash floods, wind, or tides, and swimmers are asked to leave the area if these changes occur or if the river turns a muddy brown color.

Summer Dancing

If you want to park your RV and head out onto the dance floor, you can bring your whole family to a summer dance at Garner State Park. You can take part in a traditional activity that's been going on since the 1940s and join locals and travelers at one of their regularly scheduled jukebox summer dances at the concession building. You can boogie all night to classic oldies and Top 40 hits in the heart of Texas.

Biking

Once you take your bike out of the travel trailer, you can head out onto the trail on one of the park’s idyllic biking routes. There are several trails that allow you to cycle through the enchanting scenery of the park.

The Frio Canyon Trail is an easy, flat, nearly three-mile trail that will take you through incredible sights of the canyon and surrounding mountains along the northern part of the park. The nearly one-mile Old Entrance Road is a great paved route open to cyclists where you can catch a glimpse of endangered golden-cheeked warblers.

Also, you can ride along the 0.6-mile Highway Trail starting at the Old Civilian Conservation Corps entrance from the 1930s. Or, journey along the Ashe Juniper trail with 2.5 miles of loops along the southern portion of the park. Prior to going for a ride, ensure that you are on the correct trail because some trails are hiking only, and be aware that the biking trails are also open to hikers.

Mini-Golf

If you want to enjoy a family-friendly activity during your stay at Garner State Park, you’ll love a visit to the miniature golf course. Located near the Oakmont Cabin Area and at the end of the Old Entrance Road Trail, the young and young-at-heart can enjoy endless rounds of thrilling mini-golf during the peak season. You can enjoy 18 holes as you try to be the hole-in-one champion!

Boating and Fishing

Garner State Park is a haven for RVers who love getting out on the water for some aquatic adventures. You can rent paddle boats, kayaks, and tubes to enjoy thrilling fun on the Frio River. Whether you want to paddle your canoe or go tubing, you’ll enjoy a fun and relaxing time with a crystal clear view of Texan forests and hillsides. You can also enjoy a fun-filled afternoon hooking your bait while fishing along the serene riverfront.

Off-Season

Picnicking

The off-season is a great time to enjoy a relaxing picnic at this state park, when the air is cooler and the trails are less crowded. You’ll love enjoying a scrumptious meal while being surrounded by beautiful views of Texas hillsides and rocky canyon faces. Whether you want to picnic along the riverfront or on top of a hillside, Garner State Park is a scenic oasis for RVers.

Geocaching

Did you know that you can go on a 21st-century treasure hunt during your RV trip to Garner State Park? Geocaches are hidden items that you can find by GPS coordinates using a smartphone app.

You might find tradeable items for children or a log book to write your name for future explorers to see you visited. Geocaching is a family-friendly activity where you can find the hidden objects in the park. Like every outdoor activity, make sure to bring plenty of water, sunscreen, bug spray, and a pen or pencil to sign the logs in the cache.

Nature Photography

You won’t be disappointed when you bring your camera during an RV trip in the off-season at Garner State Park. You’ll have a better chance of getting some amazing shots of nature and wildlife without worrying about the distracting crowds found during peak season. You can take incredible pictures of the rocky backdrop with the Balcones Canyonlands, the winding banks of the Frio River, or panoramic views of the Texas Hill Country.

Garner State Park offers a unique landscape for photographers to experience with the ancient rock formations including the Edwards Plateau and Glen Rose Formation. Each geological masterpiece once housed dinosaurs, and remains of fossils are still found today.

You might also get to snap a shot of wildlife native to the area like raccoons, white-tailed deer, the endangered Golden-cheeked Warbler, and Rio Grande turkeys. Not to be forgotten, Garner State Park also exhibits beautiful plant life to compliment any of your landscape photography; here you'll find Ashe Junipers, Texas Madrones, and old Cyprus trees.

Hiking

Garner State Park is a perfect place for RVers to get out on the trail and hike on over 11 miles of scenic routes. If you’re looking for an easy trail, take a leisurely stroll along the grassy knolls of the park like the half-mile Nature Trail. The short Nature Trail also features the park headquarters and bathrooms, and you won't have to worry about competing for trail space with bikers because it is a hiking-only trail.

Known as the longest trail in the park, the Frio Canyon Trail is 2.9 miles long, encircling both the Nature Trail and the vast majority of the northern side of the park. This trail features a hike near the Persimmon Hill, River Crossing, and Shady Meadows Camping Areas as well as a wildlife viewing area, parking, visitor center, and a playground.

If you’re up for more of a challenge, you can take a more strenuous hike in mountainous areas of the park to catch some amazing views along the 2.5-mile Ashe Juniper Trail. Also, you can check out the sometimes chilly, 30-foot deep Crystal Caves on the Crystal Cave Trail, or take in the breathtaking sight of the Frio River Canyon on the Old Brady Trail near the Pecan Grove Camping Area.

You'll find the White Rock Cave along the short and steep Bird Trail, and you'll be able to visit a scenic overlook on the Madrone Walkway that ends with a mini-golf course in the Oakmont Cabin Area. Whichever trail you choose, make sure to consult weather conditions and safety tips for hiking some of the rough terrain.

Birdwatching

The spring is one of the best times of year to birdwatch at Garner State Park. Once you take your binoculars out of your camper, you can try to spot the endangered golden-cheeked warbler or the black-capped vireo, both of which are native nesters in this area. You’ll want to look high in the Ashe juniper or low in the shrubs to spot these rare species. You might also catch a glimpse of turkey vultures, mourning doves, and eastern bluebirds.

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