Padre Island Open Beach Camping

Padre Island National Seashore allows R.V. and tent camping on the open beaches in addition to site campgrounds at Malaquite Beach and Bird Island Basin.

North Beach

Located on the left hand side just as you enter the Padre Island National Seashore from North Padre Island is the paved road that leads to the sandy beaches of North Beach. The road to North Beach is before the Park Ranger Booth where the park entrance fee is collected. North Beach requires a camping permit obtained at the Malaquite Visitors Center. There are no hook-ups, campsites or dumping station on North Beach. This is an open beach where campers can set up there campground somewhere between a minimum of 100 ft from the waters edge up to the edge of the white sand dunes. No camping is allowed in the dunes on this beach.

The sand at North Beach can be soft at times (especially when there has been no rain) and R.V.s should exercise caution not to become stuck. Visitors should note there is no exit off the beach to the paved Park Road 22 (the road heading from North Padre Island to the Padre Island National Seashore entrance)for about 9 miles when heading north from the North Beach entrance. Bob Hall Pier is at the other end of then 9 mile drive (to the north of the National Seashore.) North Beach is primitive camping or boon-docking on the beaches of the Gulf of Mexico. Come prepared as the nearest gas station is over 12 miles away. Limited food and drink is located at the Visitors Center inside the park.

South Beach

This is where the paved road ends and the sand begins. In fact the sand goes on for about another 60 miles until running into the jetties at the Port Mansfield channle. South Beach begins at the southern end of Malaquite Beach past the Visitors Center. The first 5 miles of this South Beach are accessible by two wheel drive. Camping spaces are always available on this open beach. South Beach requires campers to register at the entrance to South Beach at Padre Island National Seashore. The northern boundary if South Beach is Malaquite Beach which is closed to vehicular traffic. South Beach goes on until reaching Little Shell Beach. Once past the 5 mile marker the "four wheel drive" only beaches of the Padre Island National Seashore begin. Camping along the roughly 60 milesof beach is available to anyone with four wheel drive.

Yarborough Pass

Yarborough Pass is located on the back side of Padre Island on the Laguna Madre. The entrance road is about 15 miles south (on Little Shell) of the visitors center. You must have a four wheel drive vehicle to reach Yarborough Pass. The unpaved road is a long 2 mile trek. Yarborough Pass is a primitive camping area in the middle of no where. Come fully prepared with plenty of water, food, shelter, and in the summer months mosquito spray. Padre Island campgrounds can have heavy mosquitos for about 10 days after a rain.

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