South Beach, Mile 0-5, Padre Island, TX

Padre Island National Seashore

National Park Service

Free Camping on Padre Island

Miles 0-5 along South Beach, Padre Island is open for free, dispersed camping. This section of South Beach is open to 2WD vehicles, whereas South Beach Miles 5-60 requires 4WD. The only amenities at Miles 0-5 are vault toilets and trash dumpsters. A camping permit is required to camp here, which can be obtained for free on site at the information kiosk.


Padre Island National Seashore

National Park Service

Malaquite Visitor Center

Tel: (361) 949-8068


GPS: 27.4152, -97.3015

Reservations: First come, first served

Camping Fee: None

Permit: Yes

Max Stay: 14 days

Amenities: Vault toilet, trash cans

blm map overlay BLM  national forest overlay USFS  national park map overlay NPS  national wildlife refuge map overlay NWR  city boundary map overlay City  private property map overlay Private  wilderness area overlay Wilderness [CTRL + Left Mouse Click] for 3D Tilt

South Beach, Mile 0-5, Padre Island, TX

In addition to obtaining a free camping permit, you must also pay the entrance fee, which varies at 1-day, 7-day, and annual pass. The Interagency Pass also works here.

The sand here is generally firm packed, however depending on the weight of your RV or trailer, it could sink in. We found many RVers will bring strips of plywood to drive over and park on. However, be aware that the tide will come in, and you will want to move. Keep your trailer hitched and ready to move at a moments notice.

Also steer clear of the sand dunes because the sand is more soft there.

It’s also a good idea to bring some tow rope in case you need to ask someone to pull you out.

Browse Other Campsites Nearby

Leave a Comment