Looking for another campsite for camping near by?
So, my family loves to camp. Some of us more than others. At the time of this most recent adventure, my kids were 9, 12 and 15.
We’ve done quite a bit of camping since we moved to Texas over 6 years ago. You may recall our Eisenhower State Park Camping post. This was one of our first camping trips and we’ve done quite a few since then.
Now if camping is not for you, I hear you, you can check out our hiking post and maybe that will give you all the nature you need.
Where is Colorado State Bend Park?
It is just short of 4 hours from Plano (two hours north west of Austin). You go right through Glen Rose if you’d like to stop to break up the drive.
We have lots of ideas for things to do in Glen Rose.
We recommend you make camping reservations before you go.
Before I start, if you’re a beginner camper, this is probably not for you.
Most of the campsites do not have electricity or water and the park only has composting toilets and only cold water showers out in the open. (There are some drive-up sites for RV’s if that’s more your style).
Things to do at Colorado Bend State Park
If I haven’t scared you away yet, there are mountains of amazing hikes, waterfalls, and creeks to cool off in. It is also a really great spot for mountain biking. It really is a beautiful place to visit.
A Weekend Itinerary
We arrived on a Friday evening and stayed 3 nights which was the perfect amount of time to explore the park. Our campsite was right down by the river with a lot of space for the kids to fish and run around.
On Saturday we got up, ate breakfast, packed lunches, and lots of water and set off on the hike to the beautiful Gorman Falls. This was labeled a challenging hike and it really was. The path was rocky and there were some steep climbs with only a rope to hang onto but it was so worth it. The Falls are 70 feet high and just beautiful.
We spent quite a bit of time photographing them. We then hiked a little further to Gorman Springs to eat lunch. There is no swimming in these Springs but there are lots of other places to swim in the Park.
On Sunday, we spent the day relaxing at Spicewood Springs and exploring the water holes and seeing all the wildlife.
Aside from hiking, there are plenty of pretty spots to swim, fish, and paddle the river and so much wildlife to see. We saw fireflies, armadillos, rattlesnakes, raccoons, deer, wild boar, and many varieties of birds.
They also offer some pretty amazing cave tours but unfortunately, they were not available the weekend we were there. Sounds like a good excuse to go back!
Our Tips and Tricks
With each camping trip we go on, we become a little more organized. There is still a lot of stuff to take, but a little planning beforehand really pays off.
We travel with another family who are more experienced campers than us and between the two families, we plan out our meals in advance, sharing dinners and breakfasts but bringing our own lunch supplies. We cook most of our meals over the fire or on a propane camping stove.
My advice is to keep meals simple – everything tastes better when you’re outdoors. Think about taking – burgers, fajitas, and pasta for dinners, and for breakfast, we usually cook bacon and eggs, pancakes, or cereal. We usually make lunch at breakfast time and take it with us. And don’t forget to pack lots of water. And it’s not camping until you’ve had s’mores after dinner.
I have camped with my parents since I was a kid and I love having these experiences with my own kids now. This is memory-making stuff. No internet, no screens, just good outdoor fun. The kids made a swing, played in a hammock, swam, fished and we all reconnected over the fire at night. This is why I go back time and time again. That, and the sky full of stars!
A couple of important things to note – water shoes were a must for this trip, a lot of the swimming holes were slippery or rocky. Also, firewood and ice is available to purchase inside the park before 4 pm.
What are you waiting for? Go book that next adventure. I can’t wait to hear all about it.
This post was written by Plano Mom, Melissa Beaumont