Skip to Content

Cabin Camping in Texas and Oklahoma

Cabin Camping in Texas

When the weather gets too hot for outdoor activities in the south, staying in a cabin lets us get outside and provides a cool space to relax so we’re ready to do it again the next day! We’ve stayed several nights in various cabins and yurts around Texas and southern Oklahoma.

Tent camping isn’t exactly fun in the 100 degree Texas heat, so cabins have been a welcome treat for the hot days and the wet and rainy days. Each cabin or room has unique features and most are within a state park, which means we are close to lots of activities and hiking options. This type of “glamping”, as my husband calls it, is one of the reasons we are able to get outside all year long.

Cabin camping in Texas
The sunrise from one of the CCC Historic Cabins at Bastrop State Park just outside of Austin, TX

In addition, we run a nature community called North Texas Kids Outside and our members include people with various physical abilities and interests. Some join us for the adventure and others just want to relax and sit outside. It is not uncommon for us to have babies and grandparents on the same camping trip! Cabins help make sure our camping trips stay inclusive, which is our priority.

We wanted to share four of our favorite cabins and rooms to reserve for North Texas Kids Outside events. If you are ever coming to Texas, shoot us a DM on Instagram @ntkidsoutside or an email and let us know how we can help you plan your trip!

Benefits of a Camping in a Cabin

Convenience

When traveling with small kids, grandparents, or those with mobility issues or special night time needs, a cabin is the ultimate convenience. Because most cabins have everything you may need, your packing list and bags become lighter. They also typically have a parking lot right in front or very close by. When you spend less time shuffling gear and more time playing outside we consider it a win for all!

When little kids wake a lot in the middle of the night, it’s easier to take care of their needs without waking others or walking yards and yards to a bathhouse. My husband and several of our community members sleep with a CPAP, so staying in a cabin gives them extra peace of mind and less of a need for battery power. And let me be real for a minute. If he sleeps without snoring, we all sleep well!

Comfort

Cabins and hotel-style rooms usually provide most, if not all, the creature comforts of home. Private bathrooms, running water, beds, and refrigerators make for more enjoyable experiences when the weather isn’t the best (hello Texas summers) or you are not quite sure if you love camping just yet.

Many times we’ve introduced North Texas Kids Outside members to camping by staying in a cabin. Once they are outside with us they can focus on enjoying themselves rather than worrying about setting up a tent, forgetting something essential for cooking, or bringing the right things so their baby or toddler can sleep at night.

Walking the paved trail at Quartz Mountain State Park in Southwestern Oklahoma in the Wichita Mountains
Hikes with little ones in the summer are less daunting when you know you have a cool place to go back to for, hopefully, a nap!

Staying in a cabin removes some barriers and although it seems expensive for a night, many new campers are willing to try camping again after their first time proves to be fun and not miserable.

I’ll never forget the first time we camped on the 4th of July in Texas in a tent. I can laugh now, but not so much at the time. I had been an avid reader of this Tales of a Mountain Mama blog and some of my friends from northern states told me summer camping is the best!

So, I persuaded my husband (boyfriend at the time) and his friend’s family to join us with their two toddlers. I planned everything and it was their first EVER time camping. They bought a new tent and everything. I wasn’t a Mom yet, so I hadn’t learned the tips and tricks for camping with kids. I also didn’t realize at the time that my friends up north meant summer camping in the NORTH was the best…not the south! Thanks, climate!

Let me spare the details, but it was probably the last time that particular family went camping ever again. The tent got so hot in the middle of the day that they couldn’t even let their kids sleep inside and we didn’t want to open the flaps because mosquitos were everywhere.

The only saving grace was the carne asada tacos (grilled meat tacos) and Dutch oven cake for dessert, our kayak, and how much time we spent submerged in the water. Honestly, I’m surprised my husband married me after that.

It’s the kind of type 2 fun (or type 3 fun if you talk to that one family) that we laugh about now. We’ve learned that our community prefers a cabin in the summer over a tent any day! Same with winter. Some of our families don’t like what little cold weather we get, so they are more comfortable having four walls. If it gets us outside together, we do it!

Access for People with Various Abilities and Mobility Levels

Our nature community members that have ages that span just a few weeks old to their 80s! This means we have a wide variety of abilities and mobility levels. Some of the members in our community have been able to camp with us thanks to wheelchair access, ADA accessibility, and outdoor seating options.

Many cabins are also either being remodeled or already have accessibility for those with disabilities or who need a wheelchair. In summer 2020, I hurt my foot badly by dropping something that sliced into the top and I couldn’t bear weight for months. I was able to still enjoy being outside because the place we went had an entrance that I could use on my knee scooter!

Outside the CCC Historic Cabins at Bastrop State Park
Right outside the door of the CCC Cabins at Bastrop State Park you can explore nature even if you have mobility issues or need to be close to your home away from home.

The Moms with babies have appreciated being able to let their kids nap inside while they sat outside and cooked dinner or rested in the sunshine. All they had to do was baby-proof the bed and turn on the baby monitor thanks to the wonders of electricity!

When I worked for Texas State Parks my Mom traveled with me for business trips and watched my kids. She is NOT a camper and staying in a cabin allowed her to have a place where she felt comfortable, had privacy, but still got to enjoy the outdoors with me and the kids.

1. Cabins at Cooper Lake State Park – South Sulphur Unit

There are a variety of cabin types available at Cooper Lake State Park – South Sulphur Unit. We’ve stayed in both the larger 6-person cabins and smaller 5-person cabins. Our kids were both under 2 when we stayed in both cabins and each provided just what we needed. On both trips we also had a grandma and another family had a baby just six-weeks old! Talk about one rock star Momma!

Large Cabins at Cooper Lake State Park South Sulphur Unit
Playing in the rain after a storm while staying in the larger cabins at Cooper Lake State Park South Sulphur Unit

Large Cabins at Cooper Lake

The larger cabins feel more like a home and provide a kitchen with a large refrigerator. living room, and private bathroom. Six of the larger cabins are ADA accessible and have wheelchair access from the parking lot. Linens are provided in the larger cabins, however you’ll need to bring your own cooking and eating utensils.

Smaller Cabins at Cooper Lake

The smaller cabins have only one room with bunk beds and a small fridge. One cabin has wheelchair access from the parking area to the cabin door. These cabins have a water spigot, restrooms, and showers nearby. A small fridge is provided, but you’ll want to bring along a large cooler if you plan on staying multiple nights. We mostly kept water bottles and ready-to-go snacks for kids in the fridge. Think of it like a tent with walls.

When you rent the smaller cabin, you can also pitch a tent outside and have 8 people max (5 inside and 3 outside). This is a great option for a larger group or if you have people in your group that need to sleep inside while others don’t mind sleeping outside.

Inside small cabin at Cooper Lake State Park South Sulphur Unit

Standard Cabin Amenities

Both cabins have electricity, AC and heat, an outdoor picnic table, and a fire ring. If you are staying on a Friday or Saturday night, you must book at least 2 nights.

Funny story about the small cabins. We arrived before any members in our group and realized a cabin’s AC wasn’t working. We called our friends and told them not to bring too many blankets because it may get a little hot at night. The rangers were so quick to get it fixed and left it at full blast for them so they’d have a nice place to unpack in the 100+ degree heat.

They were still new at camping at the time, so they followed our advice. The next day they told us they FROZE that night because the AC worked beautifully and it was so cold inside without blankets. We asked, “Why didn’t you turn the AC down?” My friend looked at us and busted out laughing. To this day we laugh and laugh about that trip and always check the controls on the AC.

View of bunks inside cabin at Cooper Lake State Park South Sulphur Unit
AC in the small cabins at Cooper Lake State Park South Sulphur Unit make it easier for baby to nap. Don’t forget the white noise machine!

Location: 

1690 FM 3505
Sulphur Springs, TX 75482

Cost:

  • 6 person max cabins – $125 a night + tax
  • 5 person max cabins – $60 a night + tax
  • Both include a refundable $75 deposit
  • Be ready to pay for entrance fees separately unless you have a state park pass (totally worth it!)

What We Love:

The cabins were close to the lake, hiking trails, and points of interest. Each cabin’s AC worked well and even in the heat of summer we were able to have a cool place to relax and let the kids nap. We usually eat potluck dinners when camping with North Texas Kids Outside members, and loved that there was enough space around the cabins for everyone to gather. We have some families who enjoy their personal space, and they loved that each cabin had just enough space in between so they could get some privacy.

Tips Before You Go:

  • Book your reservation early! Texas State Parks are popular, especially those close to a major city or metropolitan area. Check the alerts for the park, because some areas may be closed at various times throughout the year or due to weather or construction. 
  • No pets allowed
  • Be sure to bring a cooler as a backup. We usually stay a minimum of two nights when we book a cabin and sometimes the fridge isn’t big enough for the food we bring. Again, we tend to cook for our community, so we need more space. If it’s just a small group, the fridge space may be just right. 
  • Check out the state park event calendar! State park interpretive rangers usually plan lots of fun activities for the weekends.

2. CCC Historic Cabins at Bastrop State Park

Although I can’t remember the exact cabin we stayed in, I will never forget the experience! It felt like you were walking into history when we opened the door. Our cabin had a huge stone fireplace, kitchen, living area, private bathroom with a shower, and a large room with two beds. There was enough space between us and the neighbors and we could relax outside in a seating area near the outdoor firepit.

A bonus to us was that linens and cooking were provided in the cabin. We were not expecting this and brought our own just in case. We did have a small fridge and microwave, including a two burner stove. We had a 10-month old at the time and the sink was big enough to give her a bath!

It is astounding to see the craftsmanship of the men in the Civilian Conservation Corps. Each cabin has a unique feel inside and inscription above the fireplace. You can imagine the conversations the men had while placing each stone. The stone cabins appear to be part of the landscape and emerge from the ground.

In 2011 the park was engulfed by a wildfire and firefighters thankfully saved the historic cabins and facilities. Most areas of the park have been reopened or have undergone reconstruction.

The historic cabins at Bastrop State Park were constructed in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and were saved by firefighters during the 2011 wildfires.
The historic cabins at Bastrop State Park were constructed in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and were saved by firefighters during the 2011 wildfires.

Location: 

100 Park Road 1A
Bastrop, TX 78602

Cost:

  • 2 – 6 people max – $110 to $150 a night + tax
  • 8 person lodge – $200 a night
  • Be ready to pay for entrance fees separately unless you have a state park pass (worth it!)

What We Love:

Each cabin is so unique and you feel like you are going back in time even though you are just outside of Austin. There is enough room for a family to spread out and sleep comfortably. We had all the comforts of home, but were still able to spend most of our time outside. In the heat of the summer it is so nice to have a cool place to relax before getting out again. The pine trees are beautiful and there are a variety of benches and picnic tables so those that don’t want to hike or have limited mobility can still get outside to enjoy the fresh air. 

inside bedroom at CCC cabin in Bastrop State Park
A bedroom and private bathroom make cabin camping feel like home

Tips Before You Go:

  • Book your reservation early! Texas State Parks are popular, especially those close to a major city or metropolitan area. Check the alerts for the park, because some areas may be closed at various times throughout the year or due to weather or construction. 
  • No pets allowed
  • The cabin did have a strong campfire smell, so if you are sensitive to that smell or have breathing issues or asthma, you may want to consider opening windows or asking the park staff which cabin has the least smelly fireplace.
  • Make sure to visit Buescher State Park, which is adjacent to Bastrop and connected by a beautiful drive on Park Road 1C.

3. Quartz Mountain State Park Lodge

My husband found this place using Groupon in the summer of 2019. At the time it was called Quartz Mountain Resort and was run by a private company. In 2020, after the pandemic began, the lodge and its facilities were handed over to the Oklahoma State Park family. The park is located in the Wichita Mountains in Southwestern Oklahoma, which are just beautiful year round!

The Quartz Mountain State Park Lodge has over 90 rooms and an on-site restaurant, making it easy to enjoy what the Wichita Mountains have to offer.
The Quartz Mountain State Park Lodge has over 90 rooms and an on-site restaurant, making it easy to enjoy what the Wichita Mountains have to offer

Disclaimer: When we last visited in July 2019 and December 2019 (pre-pandemic), the facilities did seem to need some TLC and they had a staff shortage. We paid less than $90 per room. It appears the facilities are better maintained than we visited last, so that may account for the increase in price. Because we loved this place in the past, we can’t wait to go back and see what’s new, now that it is under new ownership and part of their state park system. On our second visit we did receive a group rate because we booked several rooms for our nature community. It seems like they offer group events and rates even under the new ownership.

The Lodge is similar to a hotel and you can book suites and rooms with double or king beds overlooking the lake or the mountains. You can pack like you are staying in a hotel, because you are! Just outside the buildings with the rooms is an indoor swimming pool. We swam in the summer and in the winter we appreciated the jacuzzi.

There is an on-site restaurant, which is not included in the price. Most of the food was better than some of the meals we’ve prepared while camping, so we can’t complain. We’re only picky about Mexican food, because we grew up around the best of the best!

view from inside the rooms at the Quartz Mountain Lodge State Park
You can choose between suites and standard rooms with double or king size beds. Rooms either face the mountain or the lake.

Outside of the restaurant they had an outdoor fireplace and our nature community enjoyed a marshmallow roast that winter. I’m not sure if we were able to do this because there were so few guests at the time, or because the fireplace is always available. You may want to check with the front desk staff to see if the fireplace must be reserved.

There are numerous fishing piers, hiking trails, and activities within the larger state park. Some of the activities include disc golf, mini golf, swimming beach, and paddle boats . We took many hikes along the trails and our kids loved hiking to a cave in one of the mountains. It’s a rather short trail, but it is rather steep and rocky, so it took us a little longer than you’d expect. Some of the trails are longer and are enjoyable for more experienced hikers.

Location:

22469 Lodge Road
Lone Wolf, OK 73655

Cost:

  • Approximately $140 – $155 a night
  • The cost depends on the time you visit, how many nights you are staying, and what type of accommodations you need. There is also a cost difference for whether your room faces the lake vs the mountains. 
  • It’s best to check their Quartz Mountain website for cost when you know the dates you’d like to visit.

What We Love:

This is a favorite place to visit with our nature community because every member can find something they can enjoy regardless of mobility, interest, outdoor experience, and group size. It is a great place to visit any time of year! We love that there are paved trails that are stroller friendly and you can also hike along a well maintained path up the mountains. We visit the cave trail and our kids love climbing inside.

Additionally, the lodge rooms provide everything you need, so you don’t have to pack as if you were staying in a tent and bringing every single thing. Unless you have small children, then you’ll still feel like you’re packing a lot!

outside view of rooms at Quartz Mountain State Park Lodge
Because you have all the comforts of home, you can catch some summer sun and read a book while your little one naps, like we did when staying at Quartz Mountain State Park Lodge

Tips Before You Go:

  • Check the Quartz Mountain State Park website for availability!
  • Bring a stroller for the paved trails and backpack carrier for little kids when hiking trails up the mountain
  • Plan to eat in the restaurant for meals or bring your own food and use some of the limited grills in the day use areas. You’ll want to bring your own cooler if you plan to bring lots of your own food. The nearest town and large store is about a 20-30 minute drive.

4. Beavers Bend State Park near Broken Bow, Oklahoma

Head northeast from DFW for about 3 hours and you’ll find yourself nestled in the middle of a beautiful pine and hardwood forest in Southeastern Oklahoma. If you’ve got small kids like we did, your drive might last a little longer, but it’s worth it! 

We visited Beavers Bend State Park as a family and were so amazed to watch the plains transition into a forest and windy path that had scenic views of the lake and mountains no matter which direction you turned. It was July 2019 and although it was hot outside, the shade from the trees gave you a bit of relief. This was also the first time I actually saw hundreds of fireflies on an evening walk. Being from the desert, it blew my mind! 

Located in a pine and hardwood forest, Beavers Bend State Park is just 3 hours from DFW

TMM reader Carrie Wren said, “Most families in North Texas go cabin camping in Broken Bow, Oklahoma”.  We met lots of families from Texas during our visit. Some went to enjoy a variety of outdoor activities and some just wanted to relax and escape the hustle and bustle of city living. My husband’s coworkers suggested we visit for a weekend and we were not disappointed by the variety of activities, hiking trails, and amenities in the state park. Another thing we liked was the variety of rentals the area offered. We didn’t have to haul all of our gear and could rent a kayak or canoe for a few hours. 

Photo Credit: Carrie Wren

There are hundreds of tent and RV sites and 40+ cabins inside of Beavers Bend State Park ranging in price and the number of people they accommodate. You can also rent a room in the lodge, a group site, or a yurt. Because of the popularity of Broken Bow, you’ll want to make reservations as far in advance as you can. Especially around holidays!

If you’re looking for something near Broken Bow Lake, but don’t need to stay in the state park, there’s a website called Cabins in Broken Bow OK where you can rent a variety of cabins at various price ranges. Make sure to check the site for amenities, accommodations, and specials! You can enjoy the outdoors AND have all the creature comforts of home when you choose to camp in a cabin.

Location:

4350 S Hwy 259A
Broken Bow, OK 74728

Cost:

  • Cabins range from $100 – $250 depending on season, size, and date
  • Lodge rooms are currently being renovated and should reopen in Sept 2022
  • To book within Beavers Bend State Park, you’ll need to check their website

What We Love:

We loved how the landscape was so different from what we typically see in North Texas. Hiking in the forest and relaxing by the lake were our favorite parts of the trip. Our kids were both under 3 when we visited and there were enough short trails and shallow swimming areas that we could enjoy ourselves and not run them, or ourselves ragged. 

Being a science teacher, I completely fell in love with their nature center inside the state park. They had lots of hands-on exhibits and activities for the kids. In fact, we still have the foam fish they made hanging proudly in our trailer. 

Photo Credit: Carrie Wren

Additionally, the cabins and sites offer enough privacy and space so you feel like you are alone. Yet, you’re close enough to activities, stores, and restaurants you have access to anything you might need. We ate breakfast on our last day at the onsite restaurant in the state park and it was warm, welcoming, and delicious. You can never go wrong with eggs and waffles. 

Tips Before You Go:

  • Check the Beavers Bend State Park or Cabins in Broken Bow OK sites for availability!
  • This area is extremely popular, so consider booking early
  • Bring a backpack carrier or front carrier for little kids when hiking trails
  • Plan to bring your own food and use available grill or kitchens, depending on the cabin you choose. Depending on the cabin, you may consider bringing your own cooler if you plan to bring lots of your own food. Keep the restaurant in mind, too!

The Bottom Line

When you want to get outside but the weather isn’t the best, or you are looking for maximum comfort, or you want to try introducing a hesitant friend to camping, we encourage you to try a cabin for your next adventure! 

Cabins provide convenience, comfort, and options for those with various mobility and ability levels. Our nature community, North Texas Kids Outside, has visited many cabins and rooms across the state and we are so excited to share these favorites with you! 

Do you have any cabins or glamping spots you’d recommend? We’d love for you to share them with us in the comments or on social media!

Related Articles:

Cabin Camping in Texas and Oklahoma

© 2022, Tales of a Mountain Mama. All rights reserved. Republication, in part or entirety, requires a link back to this original post and permission from the author.

Gifts for Outdoorsy Moms
← Previous
Best Hiking Shoes for Kids 2022
Next →