We have camped at the South Llano River State Park on the southwestern edge of the Texas Hill Country on many occasions. One time we were planning on stopping, but the campground was closed for a public deer hunt.
This time we slipped in right before a hunt. It is always good to check ahead (click here), especially if you are heading west on I-10. The public campgrounds are pretty thin on the ground in west Texas.
The next state park west of South Llano is Balmorhea, about 260 miles. However, Balmorhea is closed until Spring 2020 for major maintenance work. Click here for updates.
South Llano sits about 5 miles south of the busy I-10 near Junction, Tex. It “is a unique combination of rocky upland backcountry and a lush pecan grove river bottom.”
In addition to camping, family activities include canoeing, tubing, swimming, fishing (no permit needed within park boundaries), hiking, trail and road biking, bird-watching, and nature study. The park has approximately 18 miles of trails and several miles of paved roads.
The only downside for us, is the near non-existent cell and wifi reception. It is spotty at best. We bicycled about a mile to a clearing next to the river and close to U.S. Hwy 377 where we captured two bars on Verizon.
The park is open year-round (with the exception of public hunts).
There are 58 campsites with water and electricity ($20) and six walk-in tent sites ($15) with hot showers, flush toilets nearby. Five hike-in (1.5 miles) primitive campsites ($10) with composting toilet in area. Plus $5 /adult daily entry fee.
South Llano River State Park
1927 Park Road 73
Junction, TX 76849
Make reservations online click here.
Reserve by phone: (512) 389-8900
Latitude: 30.446816 Longitude: -99.805268
Elevation: 1,710 feet
– Text and photos: Julianne G. Crane
Photos: Our campsite on the perimeter of the campground. (Next) Jimmy checking out the South Llano River. This is spot where we could use our Verizon cell phones and fish at the same time. (Bottom) “Nine-banded Armadillo is a cat-sized, armored, insect-eating mammal. Similar in form to an anteater, the bony, scaled shell of the armadillo protects it from attacks by predators.” Unfortunately, armadillos are slow moving and often fall victim to automobiles and are frequently found dead on roadsides.