Having a trip to Texas state parks doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. In our article are tips to guide you when visiting the various state park in Texas without breaking the bank.
An ordinary Texas State Parks pass is $70. For this price, you receive unlimited free entry all year long for yourself and your guests. You may also receive discounts on camping, park purchases, equipment rentals, and more!
Benefits of Texas State Parks Pass
Free entry to over 90 state parks for your entire carload
Entry for up to 14 guests if you enter by bicycle, motorcycle or on foot (for guests entering the same way)
50% discount on the second night of consecutive camping days
10% discount on most retail and rental items in the park store
Some parks offer special discounts for programs, activities, and events
Texas Parklands Passport
You may qualify for a free Texas Parklands Passport. Parkland Passport benefits apply only to the pass holder, though benefits may be extended to one additional person to assist the pass holder. We offer four parklands passports:
Obtain these passes at any state park.
If you are 65 years old or older and are a Texas resident, you qualify for the Senior Partial passport good at Texas state parks that charge entry fees. With this pass, you pay 50 percent off the entry fee rounded to the next whole dollar.
For example, if the entry fee is $3, you will pay $2. The pass holder may extend this same benefit to one additional person to assist them.
Present one of the following items to get your passport:
Military discharge papers
Other papers that confirm your age, identity and home address.
If you were born before Sept. 1, 1930, you qualify for the Senior Full passport. With this pass, you can enter any Texas state park for free. One additional person may assist the pass holder at a reduced rate of 50% of the standard entry fee.
Present one or more of the following items to get your passport:
Military discharge papers
Other papers that confirm your age and identity.
The Disabled Veterans passport allows free entry to Texas state parks for U.S. veterans with a 60 percent or more service-connected disability or loss of a lower extremity. One additional person may assist the pass holder at a reduced rate of 50% of the standard entry fee.
Present valid identification (such as a driver’s license) and one of the following to get your passport:
Disabled Veterans of Texas license plate receipt
Veteran’s award letter (which establishes the degree of disability)
Tax exemption letter for Texas veterans.
If you are medically disabled and receive Social Security benefits, you qualify for the Disability passport, good at Texas state parks that charge entry fees. With this pass, you pay 50 percent off the entry fee. The pass holder may extend this same benefit to one additional person to assist them.
You must renew the pass each year. Present the following to get your passport:
Identification (such as a driver’s license) and
An Award of Benefits Letter or a Statement of Benefits from the Social Security Administration which says that you are permanently disabled.
The Youth Group Annual Pass allows free entry to state parks for nonprofit youth group members and a reasonable number of adult sponsors.
The pass costs $100 and is valid for one year. Up to a total of 50 kids and sponsors can enter the park with the pass.
To purchase, you must show proof of nonprofit status and certify that your group serves children ages 13 to 17.
To apply for the pass, download an application and submit: Youth Group Annual Permit – Application Packet (PDF 455 KB)
We must receive all application documents at least six weeks before your next park visit so that we have time to process and mail your pass. If you do not present the pass when you check in, the park staff will have to charge you standard entrance fees. Parks will not accept a sales receipt in lieu of the pass.
Restricted Annual Activity Passes
Some parks issue passes that give access to specific things like swimming or golfing. These passes grant entry to the park only for specific activities. You will have to pay entry fees to use other park facilities. Rules, terms and applications vary; please contact parks for details
Purchase gift cards for any value between $5 and $500. You can buy gift cards online or at a state park. Redeem gift cards at most state parks to purchase park passes, retail items, or to pay for park entrance or overnight fees. Gift cards are fully transferable and must be treated like cash. Funds on gift cards expire three years from purchase.
1. Can I drink alcohol in a state park?
It is against park rules to drink or display an alcoholic beverage in a public place at any time. All outdoor areas are public in a state park. Also, we cannot sell alcoholic beverages within a state park.
2. Can I ride my bike in state parks?
Almost all state parks offer road or mountain biking, or both! Many parks have long stretches of road (some winding and hilly). Many of our parks have multi-use trails.
3. Can I fly a drone or other remote control aircraft in a state park?
Two parks offer zones for flying remote-controlled aircraft (including drones): San Angelo and Martin Dies, Jr. You can request a filming permit for your craft at any park by contacting that park. Allow several weeks for us to review your request.
Besides covering your day use fees for a year, your Texas State Parks Pass also gets you a few nights of discounted camping, as well as discounts in park gift shops or for equipment rentals in some parks.
We hope this article has been helpful for you. Please share it with anyone who you think will appreciate the information!