South Beach, Mile 5-60, Padre Island, TX

Padre Island National Seashore

National Park Service

Free Camping on Padre Island, TX

South Beach, Mile 5-60, differs from Mile 0-5 in that 4WD is required, whereas at Mile 0-5, 2WD is allowed. The entire 60 mile stretch of Padre Island National Seashore is accessible from only one entrance, and that entrance starts at the north with Mile 0, thus if you went the full 60 miles, you have to retrace your route back north to get out.


Padre Island National Seashore

National Park Service

Malaquite Visitor Center

Tel: (361) 949-8068


GPS: 27.34829, -97.32651

Reservations: First come, first served

Camping Fee: None

Permit: Yes

Max Stay: 14 days

Amenities: None

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South Beach, Mile 5-60, Camping

Once you reach Mile 60, you will hit Port Mansfield Channel, and there is no bridge over the channel, and no bridge back to the mainland. So, be sure you have everything you need to camp, including enough fuel to drive another 60 miles back.

A camping permit is required to camp here. You can obtain a free permit from the information kiosk at the entrance to South Beach. You must also pay the park entrance fee at the gate. Fees are assessed at how many days you want to stay. You can get a 1-day pass, 7-day pass, or an annual pass. The Interagency Pass also works.

There are no amenities along South Beach from Mile 5-60. You must pack out all your trash.

The sand is more soft along this stretch than in Mile 0-5. 4WD is required here. Many campers with RVs will bring plywood boards to drive the wheels onto. Also be aware that tides will roll in quickly, thus keep your trailer hitched and be ready to move out.

Also, stay away from the sand dunes because the sand is softer there.

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