Prized for Lake Meredith itself, this national recreation area in the Texas panhandle offers visitors a place to swim, boat and fish, as well as takes scenic hikes along the naturally-formed canyons and multiple campsites. With a few activity-specific exceptions (such as boating permits) visiting Lake Meredith is free!
Thirty miles north of Amarillo, the national recreation area offers an inexpensive getaway for overnight or day visitors. However, potential guests should be aware: lake water levels have been extremely low in recent years, leading to record-low visitation. While this makes for a less crowded park, particularly for those interested in camping and hiking, the low water level severely limits available lake activities like boating and fishing. Call ahead to determine what water activities are available before deciding to make a visit.
Camping is completely free and sites are available on a first-come first-serve basis. Sites range from wooded areas to scenic lake views, with both primitive camping and sites with shade and fire rings available. No showers are available at Lake Meredith and RV connections are not provided. The park’s website offers an extensive list of nearby campgrounds and RV parks with additional amenities. With a few exceptions in the day camp areas, alcohol consumption is permitted on the premises.
Lake Meredith is expanding its hiking and multi-use trail system, with several miles of intermediate level trails available to visitors, featuring switchbacks, elevation changes and scenic views of the canyons. With beginner-friendly trails scheduled to open in the future and mountain bikers permitted on the trails, the national recreation area is expanding its focus on the non-lake aspect of its amenities. Eventually, the trail system will cover 22 miles for hike and bike use.
Off Highway Vehicles are permitted in Lake Meredith National Recreation Area in the specifically designated section of Blue Creek and Rosa Flats.
The main swimming area at Lake Meredith is at the day use-only Spring Canyon area. With picnic tables, grills, shelter, and shallow water access to the lake, it is the most popular spot for a family day outing. No plumbed toilets are available and no pets, alcohol or overnight camping are permitted in this portion of the park.
Know Before You Go
It’s very important to check on the water levels. The number one comment from visitors to Lake Meredith is the limitations imposed by low water levels that are not made evident on the recreation area’s website, maps, or promotional materials.
Most activities are free, but special exceptions apply in cases like boating, large group events, kegs, and ATV permitting. Check in advance for special case activities.