We Texans know by now that a total solar eclipse will occur on April 8 and Texas is in the path of totality.
After all, that’s all everyone has been talking about since the past few months – along with the sky high lodging rates in Fredericksburg for the duration of this eclipse!
For those out of the path of totality – planning a vacation has never been more complicated. Hotel rooms are sold out in several places. Visitors are being priced out of several markets. Huge traffic is expected to be on the roads the day off – making a day trip almost impossible.
Related Posts: 20+ Best Spots to see Solar Eclipse in Texas
We have been recently getting emails from several readers about best places to stay in the path of totality. Especially asking for total solar eclipse camping spots near Austin, TX.
While some websites have been pushing their affiliate links – we have decided to go in the opposite direction and are going to suggest hidden gems in the path of totality that only a local would know!
For those who don’t know Enchanting Texas, I’ve been living and traveling in Texas for almost 10 years and know most of the state like the back of my hand! You can read more About Me here.
And with that out of the way, here are 5 hidden gems where you can camp and see the eclipse in a budget-friendly fashion in the Texas Hill Country near Austin!
Secret Camping Spots to See 2024 Solar Eclipse in Texas
In this first article in the series, we will be focusing on Austin and the nearby Central Texas area.
Austin itself lies partly within the path of totality and you can see the eclipse from Zilker Park or Mount Bonnell. However, we recommend getting away from the city for the best experience.
Here are the best total solar eclipse camping spots near Austin which have available campsites as well as clear views.
Emma Long Metropolitan Park, Austin
Emma Long Metropolitan Park is an amazing city park located in Austin that provides a unique camping experience.
This park is known for its expansive camping facilities which include 68 campsites, all equipped with amenities like water, electricity, and picnic tables.
The park’s beautiful terrain, coupled with the adjacent Colorado River, makes it a delightful spot for campers.
Tent campers can book a sight in the Bluff South or the Bluff North campground as well as in the Grove campground. The park has spots for RV campers as well.
The park is a great option for staying close to downtown Austin and still make your trip on a budget.
The park takes reservations 180 days in advance, which means the campsites haven’t even opened yet.
(We have never camped in the park, hence the lack of photos)
Total Solar Eclipse Duration – 2 minutes 37 seconds
Park Address – 1600 City Park Rd, Austin, TX 78730
Reservation Website – https://www.austintexas.gov/department/emma-long-metropolitan-park
Arkansas Bend Park, Lago Vista
Located in the beautiful Hill Country, a short drive from Austin, Arkansas Bend Park offers scenic views of Lake Travis as well as campsites that are perfect for viewing the eclipse.
The park has primitive campsites with fire rings and picnic tables. A great spot for stargazing as well, this park will give you an unforgettable experience during the solar eclipse.
The park has hiking and biking trails, playground for kids, as well as several newly built campsites. You can also enjoy swimming at the lake – a tranquil experience
As the park is transitioning to a new reservation system, currently campsites can be booked just two months in advance.
However, keep checking their website in case they change reservation system.
Total Solar Eclipse Duration – 3 minutes 18 seconds
Park Address – 16900 Cherry Ln, Lago Vista, TX 78645
Reservation Website – https://parks.traviscountytx.gov/parks/arkansas-bend
Pace Bend Park, Spicewood
Pace Bend Park, a vast sprawling park located in Spicewood, is a fantastic place to camp and experience the solar eclipse.
The park features a variety of recreational activities including mountain biking trails that crisscross the region, challenging cyclists of different skill levels.
The park’s location along the shoreline of Lake Travis gives it a unique charm with its inviting beach areas, perfect for a day of relaxation or a refreshing swim.
The high limestone cliffs bordering the lake are also a popular spot for cliff jumping, providing an exciting experience for the more adventurous visitor.
Be sure to take a moment to soak in the views from the cliff tops, they offer a spectacular perspective of the park and the surrounding landscape.
With its diverse landscape and activities, Pace Bend Park is an ideal spot to camp and observe the solar eclipse.
Total Solar Eclipse Duration – 3 minutes, 37 seconds
Park Address – 2805 Pace Bend Rd N, Spicewood, TX 78669
Reservation Website – https://parks.traviscountytx.gov/parks/pace-bend
Our Favorite Secret Spots
These next two parks are located within an hour of Austin, have almost 4 minutes of totality and are our personal favorites.
Join our FREE community to know about these exclusive spots that you can reserve today – yes they’re still available for about $50 per night!
Muleshoe Bend Recreation Area, Spicewood
Yes, our favorite spot for bluebonnets is also hosting a solar eclipse this year!
The Muleshoe Bend Recreation Area is located in Spicewood, Texas in Travis County. This park on the shores of Lake Travis covers over 654 acres, making it an excellent choice for camping during the solar eclipse.
The park is known for its open spaces, clear skies, and minimal light pollution. It offers a great view of the night sky, making it ideal for eclipse viewing. You’ll find spacious campsites available for tent campers.
Cannot get a campsite? You can still head out to Muleshoe Bend! The large grounds provide ample space, reducing the chance of overcrowding and ensuring a comfortable viewing experience.
The park is also dog-friendly, so feel free to bring your furry friend along! Be sure to make your reservations in advance as spots may fill up quickly.
Total Solar Eclipse Duration – 3 minutes 50 seconds
Park Address – 2820 Co Rd 414, Spicewood, TX 78669
Reservation Website – https://www.lcra.org/parks/muleshoe-bend/
Also Read: 18 Best Places to see Bluebonnets In Texas
Turkey Bend Recreation Area, Marble Falls
Our favorite, saved for the last.
Just as Muleshoe Bend is located on the south shore of Lake Travis, Turkey Bend Recreation Area is located on the north shore. The recreation area is just 25 minutes from downtown Marble Falls, Texas. It is an accessible location for those residing in or visiting the area.
This expansive green space covers over 1,146 acres along the waters edge and is much larger than Muleshoe Bend. During April, (if you’re lucky) most of the lake adjacent acres are covered by bluebonnets as far as the eye can see.
This beautiful park offers a variety of outdoor activities, including boating, fishing, and hiking. The park also features picnic areas, restrooms with showers, and stunning views of Lake Travis.
The park is known for its remarkable clear skies of Central Texas, though April always has potentially cloudy days and thunderstorms. The sprawling landscape offers about 30 campsites for tent campers.
With minimal light pollution, the conditions for viewing the solar eclipse will be optimal. The park is also dog-friendly, so you can bring your four-legged friend along for the celestial spectacle.
As with any popular event, early booking is recommended to secure a campsite. Note – this park had over 20 campsites available at the time of writing this article.
Total Solar Eclipse Duration – 3 minutes 53 seconds
Park Address – 4000 Shaw Drive, Marble Falls, TX 78654
Reservation Website – https://www.lcra.org/parks/turkey-bend/
Want more Secret Spots?
Given the sheer size of Texas – these are not the only spots where you can camp for cheap and see the total solar eclipse of 2024.
The Lone Star State has many such spots which we will be researching and making public as we get closer to the eclipse.
Make sure you are subscribed to our emails to get more information about the total solar eclipse in Texas!
Need more information? Know more total solar eclipse camping spots near Austin? Let us know in comments below.