Park Alerts . . . . 

Hill Country State Natural Area

Located near Bandera, Hill Country SNA is a scenic and rugged mosaic of rocky hills, flowing springs, oak groves and grasslands.

Things to Do

Tucked away in the rugged terrain southwest of Bandera is Hill Country State Natural Area, an undeveloped and secluded retreat. Approximately 40 miles of multiuse trails wind up grassy valleys, cross spring-fed streams, and climb steep limestone hills. Equestrians, hikers and mountain bikers can enjoy exploring the trails. Take a virtual tour with our interactive trails map

Campsites for primitive and back country camping are available to equestrian and non-equestrian campers. There is also a Group Lodge with a kitchen

Swimming and fishing are not available at this time due to extremely low water levels. Fire danger conditions can change rapidly and a burn ban can be enacted with little advanced notice. Please contact the park for current conditions prior to your arrival. 

Special Notes:

  • Trails and backcountry campsites may be closed due to poor conditions or weather. Please contact the natural area or check their Facebook page prior to arrival for current information. 
  • Be sure to bring drinking water. Potable water is not available; all water must be treated.
  • Campfires permitted in fire rings only, except during burn bans.
  • As with all Texas State Parks, pets must be on leashes no longer than 6 feet (strictly enforced).
  • We are a primitive park, back to nature - so we say "If you think you need it, we don't have it, so you'll need to bring it!"


Recreational activity centers around 40 miles of designated, multiuse trails. The park offers a back country setting for activities such as primitive camping, backpacking, mountain biking, hiking, horseback riding, equestrian camping, and nature viewing.

Equestrian Use

This park is located 12 miles southwest of the town of Bandera on FM 1077, 52 miles northwest of San Antonio. Formerly the Bar-O Ranch, this 5,400-acre site provides a back country setting. Visitors may bring their own horses (must have current Coggins.) The park offers 40 miles of designated, multi-use trails open to backpacking, primitive camping, horseback riding, and mountain bicycling. The terrain ranges from flat, broad, creek bottoms to steep, rocky canyons up to 2,000 feet in elevation. Well water is available for horses but visitors should bring their own drinking water. Hitching posts are provided, and parking is allowed around the perimeter of the designated equestrian area. The park does not provide horses.

Chapa's Group Camp has a capacity for a large number of people. It is in a 10-acre, shaded area and has a large barn with a concrete floor and electricity. There is water for horses, fire rings, picnic tables, approximately 9 horse stalls, and a vault toilet nearby. Reservations are required.

At the Trailhead Campground there are six primitive equestrian sites. These have picnic tables, fire rings, pens, water for horses, two 40-foot pull-through and four 40-foot back-in parking spots for horse trailers, and a vault toilet in the area. These have access to the 40-mile trail system.

A group lodge is available for equestrian or non-equestrian use and will sleep 12 persons. It has four bedrooms, two with queen size beds, one with two twins and a dorm room with three twins. The lodge has one and a half bathrooms, kitchen with a stove and refrigerator, and seating for 12; central heating and air-conditioning; porch; a separate covered barbecue pit; and five stalls, two pens and corrals for horses. Towels, bed linens and cooking utensils are not furnished. Use of the equestrian arena is subject to park permission.

Bar O is a primitive day-use facility, located across from the park HQ in six shaded acres. It has a water trough and a flushing toilet. The Bar O has limited facilities for securing your horses at hitching posts.

Fires may be built in fire rings only and you must bring your own firewood; gathering of dead wood or cutting of standing timber is prohibited. Trash has to be packed out for disposal, including all hay and animal byproducts.

Due to water conservation measures, no horse washing is currently allowed.

Guide Service Providers

Don’t own a horse? Let one of our commercial guides give you a tour of the natural area on horseback. Guides can help you explore the natural area or try a new activity. Guide services include horseback riding, mountain biking, hiking and hay rides. Visit our Guide Service Providers page for contact information.

Ranger Programs

The park offers a variety of educational opportunities. Check the calendar for upcoming events or contact the park for special tours.

Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

Teachers: This is a Texas Aquatic Science Certified Field Site.

Volunteer Information: For information on volunteer opportunities contact the park or their friends group:  Hill Country State Natural Area Partners (S.N.A.P.), P.O. Box 2282, Bandera, TX 78003. Go here for information on volunteer and Park Host opportunities at other Texas State Parks.

Area Attractions

Nearby interests are Guadalupe River State Park and Garner State ParkLost Maples State Natural Area; Kerrville-Schreiner Park; numerous dude ranches; kayak/tube rentals on the Medina River; regional rodeos; and other special events in the towns of Bandera, Medina and Pipe Creek. For more information on this area, visit the Bandera County Convention and Visitors Bureau website.

10600 Bandera Creek Road
Bandera, TX 78003

Latitude: 29.628034

Longitude: -99.181086

(830) 796-4413

Make reservations online

Reserve by phone: (512) 389-8900

image park reservation promotion. New ways to plan park visits coming in 2019
Entrance Fees
  • Adult : $6 Daily
  • Child 12 Years and Under: Free

Open daily.

Check for scheduled closures due to park hunts.

Office Hours

8:15 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.


Trails and backcountry campsites may be closed due to wet conditions or poor weatherPlease contact the natural area or check its Facebook page prior to arrival for current information. 


Busy Season
Spring and fall


January average low temperature is 31 degrees. July average high temperature is 94 degrees. Average rainfall is 35 inches.

National Weather Service forecast for this area

Up to 2000 feet.

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