Visitors to Enchanted Rock State Natural Area near Fredericksburg can purchase a day pass with a specific time up to a month in advance. Pam LeBlanc photo

No more driving all the way to Enchanted Rock State Natural Area just to get turned away at the gate.

Officials from the Texas State Parks Department unveiled a new system Wednesday that allows visitors to buy day passes in advance, reserve specific campsites or buy or renew a Texas State Parks Pass online.

The system, which works on a computer or smart phone, lets visitors purchase day-use passes up to one month in advance, guaranteeing access to parks even during weekends and holidays, according to a press release. At some busy parks, pass holders must designate a specific arrival time.

The new system is designed to alleviate growing crowds at state parks. Read my article about long lines at Enchanted Rock here.

“We are excited to introduce these helpful features to park visitors and provide a new way to efficiently schedule a trip, either for the day or overnight, to any Texas State Park,” Rodney Franklin, director of Texas State Parks, said in the release. “These options give park goers the ability to plan their perfect state park vacation, no matter where and when they want travel.”

Visitors don’t have to wait until they get to a park to pick their campsite, either. The system allows visitors to look at photos and get details like utilities, amount of shade and parking pad size for each campsite, shelter or cabin ahead of time. They can search the website by park name or site type, and groups can pick and reserve neighboring sites.

Existing park reservations have been moved into the new system, officials said. (If you have trouble, call 512-389-8900.) As the new system goes online, wait times at the Customer Service Center are expected to be longer than normal.

For more information about the system, or to make a reservation to a Texas State Park, visit www.texasstateparks.org/reservations.


On busy weekends or holidays, visitors get turned away from Enchanted Rock State Natural Area. I arrived early last fall for this visit. Chris LeBlanc photo



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