Friday, October 5, 2012

Texas State Parks Pass

I'm what you could call: A Camping Nut.

Every chance I get driving around to various cities for work, I try to sneak in something camping oriented.  Maybe a trip to Cabella's or Outdoor World. Sometimes a walk thru the camping isles at the Tar-jay or Wally World.  But my favorite activity doesn't have to do with shopping (gasp!)  because with my Texas State Parks Pass, the shopping's already been done!

RDB and I decided we'd buy our pass when we traveled down to Goose Island last spring (Remember The Battle of San Mosquito? Yep, that trip).  Now that I can get into any Texas State Park for free just by showing the pass, I've started planning out my drives to hit as many as possible (like this week, for example, I hit 3 between San Antonio and Austin).  It gives me something to look forward to on what can be long and grueling road time, I can review the parks facilities for my Park (P)reviews every Friday, and I can scope out which campgrounds we want to head back to when camping season starts back up.

I've been to a bunch, but have a bunch more to go!

Aside from getting into the parks without paying the entrance fees (that would have been over $120 for the ones I've already been to above), the Pass comes with benefits for us as a camping family, too.  Check this out:

"Camping Discounts- with the purchase of the primary Texas State Parks Pass, 4 discounted camping nights are held in the TxParks system. Discount is for 50% off the second night, when staying two or more nights in a campsite or regular screen shelter." -TPWD website

How cool is that? I've already booked our sites for the fall and winter, and we'll take advantage of another $40 in saving just by having the pass to discount our second night's stays.

But wait! There's more....

Not only is the entrance fee waived for me as the STPPass holder, it's waiver for whatever car load of people I happen to be traveling with (that can add up to quite a bit if you have a family and kids).  And it gets us 10% off anything we purchase in the Park Store.

So, why am I so sales-y about the Park Pass?  Because I love our Texas State Parks. And I love getting a good deal.  We've got over $180 worth of potential savings just from our $70 purchase of the Parks Pass.  And even if it didn't net out such an awesome financial benefit - it's an absolutely worth while cause.

If you're spending any time outdoors in Texas, its worth spending the month on this.


  1. I've used that pass for the last two years and it's worth every penny. The only real complaint I have is that many of the parks don't have the concession so you don't get 10% savings. And, it isn't always clear which one will give the discount until you try to use the card. But, oh well, it's a small price to pay! And DW and I prefer to camp rather than shop anyway!

  2. The Battle of San Mosquito... I really LOLed at that. I LOVE Goose Island, but HATE the constant mosquitoes there. Our last trip in late March was without Battles, but we have also had a colder than average winter in S TX.