Padre Island National Seashore

Corpus Christi, Texas (Kleberg County)

Last Updated: 02/21/2019
4.8 / 5 ( 5 reviews )
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Highlights

Highlight: Padre Island National Seashore
Without a doubt, the run on Padre Island National Seashore (PINS) is one of the most iconic overland runs in Texas. 60 miles one-way, completing this out-and-back beach route of 120 miles will require a solid 7-8 hours, leading most to set camp along the beach. Blue water, beautiful dunes, countless bird species, sea turtle spottings and awesome fishing are just some of the lures drawing visitors to experience the park. Be prepared for soft sand as even 4WD vehicles have been known to get stuck in the softer sections.

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Route Information

Technical Rating

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Waypoints

1. Padre Island National Seashore South Beach Entrance (0 mi)
A run on "PINS" begins at the entrance of Padre Island National Seashore "South Beach".

Directions to Trailhead

Starting Point: Corpus Christi

The most common starting point for a PINS run is at one of two gas stations at the corner of Park Road 22 and Whitecap Boulevard. To reach these gas stations, take the John F. Kennedy Memorial Causeway from Corpus Christi, across the intracoastal waterway, then follow Park Road 22 south approximately 2.6 miles. Being the last chance for gas before entering the park, this location also provides an opportunity to stock up on supplies and use the restroom facilities before making an extended run along the beach. From either gas station, travel southward along Park Road 22 for 14.3 miles to the beach entrance.

Camping

Dispersed

Trail Reviews (6)

Questions & Answers (4)

Q: Once you hit WP 18 is it possible to get back off the island? Or do you need to turn around and drive back? Also I've heard mixed reviews on the "safety" (people not animals) of this area. Is that accurate or is it just rumor? Thanks in advance!
–Ben Jimbo (02/09/2022)
–John-Paul Clark (02/09/2022)
Q: John, thank you for the feedback on the "air down" question I submitted, I like the way you describe it, makes total sense to me... We dont have too many beaches to worry about up here in the prairies of Kansas. Last thing I want is to be that guy stuck in the sand on low tide with nothing to secure my winch to, I think I will air down to 30 and see how that goes. One more question for you sir, I am taking two weeks to explore south Texas at the end of March, plugged in your GPX route for the Padre Island National Seashore trail and will camp for a couple days before heading over to Big Bend. I will take in the National Park and have all the routes plugged in for Black Gap, River Road, etc., going to take in most of what you laid out there as well, this will be my 2nd trip to Big Bend. For the last portion of my trip I plan to spend a few days camping in Big Bend Ranch State Park directly across from the NP, I have never been there before and honestly there is very little information at least that I can find on the internet related to this massive park. While Texas State Parks has a PDF called "the Road to Nowhere" that describes the off-roading areas in general (seems like a trail lovers dream), I cannot find a single GPX route or even make heads or tails with Google Earth of what is road trail vs. hiking trail, you know the drill... Probably a loaded question given the size and opportunity here for off-roading, but if you have blazed trails here or may be aware of others who have and would be willing to share advice on ideal camping spots and/or GPX routes, I would trade that experience in exchange for some authentic Kansas City BBQ. Sorry to post this question here, probably a better spot for it but I figured at least you would see it here.
–Matt Charles (02/18/2021)
–John-Paul Clark (02/18/2021)
Q: As long as I have been running trails, I have never been on a beach trail like this. I have been through sand before in short stretches and just sort of maneuver my way through it without getting real fancy. But, I can "feel" it when the tires are not in synch and some slipping is going on, and then I am just happy to be done with the strip of sand... So, now that I am gearing up for a trip that will take me through nothing but sand, I figure I should pay more attention to what I have normally avoided, how to address sand... I drive a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon with 33" Nitto Trail Grapplers on 18" wheels. The Jeep, rooftop tent, gear, me and the dog will come in around 5,000 pounds. Normally, I keep my PSI between 38-42, higher end of range when Im surfing highways to get to trails, and lower end for off-roading. I have read numerous times about this "air down" concept for navigating through sand. What I can't really seem to find is how much I should "air down" to give me the proper traction. Is there a rule of thumb for this, like a simple formula based on weight and tire size, etc? I know the tire will take up to 80, I run half of that, but what should I target for my trip to the sand? Any suggestions appreciated.
–Matt Charles (02/01/2021)
–John-Paul Clark (02/01/2021)
Q: Question for anyone recently running PINS. I have a fully equipped overland F250 6.4L. 51 gal tank, front and rear lockers on a 6" lift running 37 tires including all the recovery gear. I am not that used to soft deep sand so the question is: My son has a 2015 2wd TRD and would like to join us at the end of July; would the stretches of soft sand be too long and impassable with an occasional yank from ours? thanks, Darren
–darren contino (07/07/2019)
–John-Paul Clark (07/07/2019)

Writer Information

John-Paul Clark

Mapping Crew - Texas

JP began his off-road adventures as a "Toyota guy", then later crossed the dark side when he bought a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon. Describing himself as a 'heavy overlander / moderate crawler', he enjoys everything from long beach runs, to the mountains of Colorado, to the rocks of Moab.
For individual use only, not to be shared.