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How to Plan Your Park Getaway

Texas State Parks App in hand

This is a great time of year to visit a state park and to make plans for spring and summer vacations! Our mobile app can help: Texas State Parks Official Guide.

The app lets you search for parks by activities or overnight accommodations. View the map to find a park near you and get directions. Look at maps, photos and videos of each park. Watch this video to see the how it works.

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Hike Pick: Hueco Tanks State Park

Chain and Site 17 Trails

Chain Trail and Site 17 Trail at Hueco Tanks State Park

See thousands of years of human use in truly unique geology at Hueco Tanks State Park and Historic Site. To experience the rock from above and below, check out the Chain Trail and Site 17 Trail.

The Chain Trail is named for the chains up the mountain that help you ascend. At the top of North Mountain, you're in for a treat: a spectacular view of the Chihuahuan Desert. After descending, stroll down the Site 17 Trail to see Native American rock art and historic graffiti.

The total hike is about .6 miles. The Chain Trail (.28-mile round trip) is strenuous; the Site 17 Trail (.26-mile round trip) is moderately easy.

TPW Magazine: Park News

Dark as the Devils

Stars by Dale Blasingame
Photo copyright Dale Blasingame

Devils River State Natural Area has been named an International Dark Sky Sanctuary by the International Dark-Sky Association, the first such designation in Texas (four state parks are IDA Dark Sky Parks). As only the sixth international site to receive the title, the park is one of the darkest and most ecologically fragile sites in the world.

Sanctuaries are typically found in very remote locations with few nearby threats to the quality of their dark night skies. Devils River State Natural Area, far from cities and home to one of the most pristine rivers in the state, is a biologically diverse habitat for plants, fish and native wildlife, including a rare salamander and several protected fish species.

With a rating of a 2 on the Bortle Dark-Sky Scale, the sky over Devils River is dark enough to see the Milky Way and other astronomical clusters. The scale ranges from Class 1, the darkest skies available on Earth, through Class 9, inner-city skies, and measures how well astronomical objects can be seen in the night sky.

The IDA established the International Dark Sky Places conservation program in 2001 to recognize excellent stewardship of the night sky. Designations are based on stringent outdoor lighting standards and innovative community outreach.

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Go Wild

Armadillo

Enjoy wildflowers, wildlife and wild fun at your Texas State Parks!

Dig into springtime fun!

Spotlight on Texas Parks & Wildlife

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