Pro's- May be the most beautiful park in Texas with the deepest traditions. Cons- they allow multiple families in one campsite making it crowded and noisy in some instances. Overall.... Has to be one of the best parts in Texas it's not the best. If you're looking for real camping and not a "RV park"with Wi-Fi, cable, etc. Great hikes, and beautiful places to go to the river and enjoy all day. Very kid friendly. Downside is the park doesn't appear to stick to its site policies and there may be 15 people in one site making (what would be) nice semi-secluded campsites loud, noisy, and over-run bathrooms. One of our favorite spots is rock beach down near the dam, but there's great places to go all over this park. Don't miss the nightly dance! You won't find this anywhere else and that's like people come from campgrounds all around to go to. We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.
Great park. For being packed with people the restrooms were very clean. This is a great park for families. It was impressive to walk around and see "Garner Family since XXX." I think the oldest we saw was 1959. Old Baldy is a fun climb. The dances are fun but as a dad with 2 daughters ... I didn't like it. We are already booked for Garner for Spring Break 2015. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
We came through the area on Easter Sunday as families were leaving the park. There were other campers but rain in the afternoon ran many of the day visitors away. Skies cleared and we found the campground to be very nice. The huge old oak trees were beautiful and the river peaceful. We are an older couple but all the green space and water activities on the river are certainly a draw to those with children. The office staff was super nice and helped us locate a level site since we don't have levelers. We stayed in site 50. Sites are far enough apart for privacy and roads are paved with good access. We liked the park and the nature. We did not use the shower house. Price included Texas park entry fee since we do not have a Texas park pass. We camped here in a Motorhome.
Arriving at Garner State Park is like arriving at a deli and a border crossing at the same time. After being told by a sign to take a number, you then stand in front of a glass door while reading that only one person in your party is allowed to approach the clerk. When your number is called, you can then approach and speak to the clerk. I suppose such an approach facilitates the park handling a large number of people coming to stay at this most popular of Texas state parks. There are six different camping areas in the park, some equipped with water and electric, all (apparently) with at least water, and apparently a few with sewer as well. Sites were well maintained and clean. The daily fee does not include the daily per-person fee because we had the Texas pass (highly recommended, pays for itself quickly). We stayed in the Live Oak area with water and electric hookups. All sites are paved and tenting sites have a large flat area of dirt that looked good for tents and stakes. The older area of the park is located at the downstream end of the park. Don't trust your GPS to lead you to the correct entrance as there have been at least three that we could see. All sites were back-in and looked good for shade during part of the day. Leakey is 8 miles north of the park for some limited supplies. We were at Garner for three nights mid-week and most sites were open at that time. By summer time, we expect the park to be full much of the time as it's only 1.5 hours from San Antonio and a similar distance from Austin. This park is in the thick of the Hill Country, so over-air TV reception was very poor and our Verizon card didn't work at all. W-Fi at the entry station was slow and weak. The Tracfone, on the other hand, worked well. People driving to the park would do well to avoid the extremely hilly and tight Texas Route 337 and arrive on U.S. Route 83 from the north or south. We'd stay again if we were in the area. We camped here in a Motorhome.
Rate includes park pass purchase discount. Great time of year to visit. Can't imagine what it would be like with when its full, as I'm sure it is during peak season. Quite nice, well kept up sites by and large. Looked like a good selection would accommodate big rigs. Shade or open possibilities. No WiFi in park (except at HQ and that was slooow, no Verizon service). Hiking was good for a state park, even had a couple of interpretive hikes on the weekend. We camped here in a Motorhome.
We camped here in the off season (January) and had the park practically to ourselves. We chose the Live Oak loop, spot 352. This spot is directly across from the bathrooms and showers with a nice path to walk down to the Rio Frio river (bring chairs and skip rocks on the water, great area). This park was opened in 1941 and has aged pretty well. The roads are a bit bumpy and some of the slots have some older pavement but the buildings all seem pretty well maintained. The showers got nice and hot -- and it was in the 30Fs. The check-in process was a bit "quirky" and slow with an anterior waiting area. Leakey is about 10 miles away and has a great little mercantile with a good selection of meats and camping supplies. The scenery was great and we can't wait to camp here again. Highly recommend this state park. We camped here in a Tent Trailer.
This is for a spring trip before school is out. We camped here from Sunday to Friday. Weekends and summer it is too crowded for us. Arrive on Sunday after 1:00 and had the pick of where we wanted to stay. Stayed in the Oakmont section under the big oak trees. Us and one other camper till Wednesday. Started filling up Thursday. It was quiet and beautiful along the river. Water pretty cool but nice by late evening. Verizon customers have no cell service anywhere around here. Free WI-Fi at Visitor center. Will definitely stay here again at this time of year. Rate does reflect a Texas state park passport. We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.
In the off season it is quiet, a little breezy and cold but we enjoyed the hikes and solitude. Only had one family at a shelter a short distance from us that had there music too loud. If you can be at Garner in the off season, give it a try, much more peaceful and quiet. The strange thing was we saw no wildlife until we were driving towards the entrance. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
Great park! Beautiful setting! Can be crowded and check-in can be a very long wait when crowded. If you camp during the off season the crowds aren't as bad. Uvalde is only about 30 minutes away with grocery shopping, restaurants, shopping, drugstores. Would highly recommend this camp ground, and I plan on going back during the off season again. We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.
Beautiful, huge park alongside river with big tress (cypress). Scenic hills all around. Great, shaded, level sites. Great time of year to be there, did not need reservation, but VERY busy "anytime school is out" we were told. Part of park was closed, so many sites taken, but still quiet and good spacing between sites. Only here one night but would stay longer next time. Several interesting trails. We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.
Despite the reserve-on-line system which we used, make sure you are aware that check in (especially during peak season) takes a very, very long time. We waited, along with a parking lot full of other campers, for over two hours to check in for a weekend. The park employees were very nice, but the wait meant most of us were hooking up in the dark, even after having arrived hours before sunset. The campground was clean, the sites were level, and there were nice hikes and swimming areas. We found the Old Garner area to be surprisingly quiet. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
We stayed here for Spring Break our most recent time. The nightly dances are what appeals to my son! I never had a problem hooking up to the Internet. Bathrooms are supposedly being redone. This is a lovely park! Can't wait to go back again. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
We love Garner. Nice sites, quiet in the winter. They now have Wi-Fi. Campfires depend on the current rainfall. We love spending New Year's there. Downside: the check-in process is slow and clunky. But it's worth it for a quiet, safe getaway in a beautiful spot. Hiking is good, but can be steep, so go prepared. We take our bikes and there are plenty of roads to pedal around the park. We camped here in a Tent Trailer.
My husband and I spent 3 nights at this park in a tent. It was our first time there, and we were very impressed with the beauty and cleanliness of the entire park. We stayed in the Pecan Grove area, which is in Old Garner. Pecan Grove has only water, no electricity, so most campers were in tents. During this time of the year, we almost had the park to ourselves and it was wonderful. However, I have heard that summer will bring a more "lively" experience, with lots of people and activity. The Frio River is gorgeous and cold, and we were treated to beautiful fall color in the huge Cypress trees along the river. We took a day trip to nearby Lost Maples State Natural Area, where there were lots of people and long trails with exceptional fall color. If you have the chance to stay in Old Garner, it is the prettiest area. There are large trees, and the spaces seem further apart. Also, it is closer to the camp store and other amenities. The structures built by the CCC, when the park was developed, are really neat and it was enjoyable just walking around looking at everything. Park employees were very friendly and helpful. We took our two dogs (must be on a leash at all times) and the park is dog friendly. Garner State Park was great, and we are looking forward to returning with our entire family next time! We camped here in a Tent.
This is a very nice park with lots of space at each site. We found the staff very friendly and helpful. There is Wi-Fi available down by the river at where the laundromat is located. There are lots of birds to watch and deer, both local and exotic. We would camp here again. We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.
Never get tired of coming back. Old, established park but nice. The river has been enjoyable and makes for a great summer get away. Stayed for a month. You will enjoy the location, relaxation and friendliness. We camped here in a Motorhome.
This park is a great state park. We enjoyed our stay and the staff was extremely friendly. The park is extremely well kept and river was great for families with small children. The kids had a great time swinging from the ropes. Most campsites are very well shaded. However, you must book with plenty of time because the sites fill up quickly. We are definitely looking forward in returning to this wonderful park. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
As always -- GREAT!! Our 3rd year here. Some bathrooms are being redone or have been remodeled -- check when you arrive to see about closures. Lots of day visitors as usual. Be sure and bring everything in you need to eat -- nearest Walmart or grocery store is 45 minutes away. Ice available in the park store. Watch the alcohol consumption -- even in campsite. Rangers have been recently coming over to 'sniff' your drink, even in a red cup. Just watch it. We love the place! We camped here in a Tent Trailer.
Probably the best State Park camping facilities in Texas. New restrooms that are kept very clean, shady spots near the river, and good support facilities within the campground are some of the highlights. Just realize that this State Park is far removed from any town with grocery stores, etc. when you arrive, as driving into town to pick up a forgotten item will be a road-trip. Also, no cell coverage in this area. Overall, we loved our stay and playing in the Frio River and hiking the trails was so much fun!! We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
This is the most beautiful State Park in Texas. There is plenty of hiking and the river, for swimming. We camped in Site #26 in Old Garner. It is the closest site to the river that we found. The Park is very large, full of deer and other wildlife. We weren't there long enough. The water is crystal clear and perfect for swimming, although a little on the cool side in October. We will be going back! We camped here in a Motorhome.
Garner SP is the most visited park in Texas. Families have been having reunions here for 30-40-50 years or more. Books up WELL in advance of summer! Garner is a place like no other. Family-friendly, yet those nightly dances and 'hot summer nights' -- let's just say plenty of kids get their first kiss at Garner! Or their first dance, or both! Rope swings, tubing on the river, paddleboat/kayak rentals, hiking & biking -- it's all here at Garner! We camped here in a Tent Trailer.
Price after purchasing a Texas Park Pass. Come with groceries as park is pretty isolated and there is no cell phone service. Large, level, gravel sites. We would recommend this park. We camped here in a Motorhome.