Padre Island National Seashore

4.8/5 (6 reviews)
Corpus Christi, Texas (Kleberg County)
Last Updated: 02/21/2019

Trail Information


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.

Trail Difficulty and Assessment

Trail Navigation

Trail Reviews

4.8/5 (6)
Rated 5/5
Visited: 01/01/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

New years day 2022. 87 degrees Lots of blowing soft sand. We have a diesel turbo jeep so we were ok but others has to turn back.
Rated 4/5
Visited: 10/21/2021
Difficulty Accuracy: Easier

Visited this trail with the intention of camping along the seashore. Not very challenging but a really nice drive. Not crowded on a weekday but there were those fishing and some camping as well. We camped right past the 40 mile marker and we were the only people on the beach for at least 5 miles in each direction. A very unique experience. Not too much deep sand and the driving was very easy.
Rated 5/5
Visited: 03/23/2021

This trail scored an automatic 5 from me due to the fact you get to drive along not just any beach, but an oceanside beach... for 60 miles... Let me type that again.... drive along an oceanside beach, for 60 miles... Not sure you can get much more cool than this. While I didn't see David Hasselhoff or Pamela Anderson running up and down the trail, I did manage to see some pretty spectacular scenery. The first few miles in were a bit congested, and of course this rocket scientist went over Spring Break so to pay for my sin of terrible timing I would need to navigate around the spring break crowds for the first hour. Truth be told, the sideshows of entertainment made it sort of interesting for this spectator. According to my GPS, exactly 7 miles in there is 1 of several turn offs over the dunes labeled "do not enter." Those "do not enter" signs, at least in this case, were marked for oil tanker traffic entering/exiting oil wells on the other side of the dunes. As luck would have it, I was able to watch a tanker take too wide of a turn when exiting those dunes to the beach, becoming stuck in the sand while the unforgiving high tide attempted to pull the tractor out to Davy Jones locker. Fortunately for the tanker driver the oil company stations a camper/satellite office at this entrance, those guys were quick to radio in for help and before long a Massey Ferguson Tractor shows up and shows off, easily towing the sinking tanker out of the soup and back to the hard sand. I didn't take any handheld camera photos of this event so the first photo in my review was actually a snapshot from the dashcam video (apologize for the low quality), but you will at least be able to get a visual of the event. After the oil tanker show was over, the beach cleared up and by mile 10 it was me, the dog and my Jeep the rest of the way, along with a few other off-road enthusiasts every couple of miles or so. We camped overnight and explored some more the next day before heading back, truly an experience I will never forget. Put this trail on your trail bucket list for sure. Two quick additional notes.. 1. The beach was closed just before the last mile at this particular time due to some dredging work at the Port Mansfield inlet. 2. I did "air down" my 33" Nittos to 32 PSI, this seemed to help create a much more comfortable feel and despite having to drive through all sorts of sand grade from soupy to packed, I had zero issues with traction so that tip (which a guy from KS knows very little about), definitely seemed to get the job done confidently. Awesome trail, thanks for sharing!
Rated 5/5
Visited: 04/25/2019

Decided to drive down to the end and back. Wife and I had a great trip on a spectacular day. Beach was not crowded at all due to it being a week day. Sometimes drove miles and did not see anyone. Saw more turtle spotters than anyone else. Driving conditions were good this day. I aired down but only ran into a couple short sections of soft sand where I needed it. Fisherman in 4x4 pickups were making it through by driving fast and not stopping in these sections. On the way back out, the tide had dropped and I never had to get in the soft sand. Made it easily on one tank of gas. Scenery and water were beautiful.
Visited: 10/08/2018

I had wanted to drive this beach for years. Finally getting the jeep I wanted allowed it to happen. My wife and I were planning on camping a couple of days on the beach with a goal of getting to the "cutout" that separates North and South Padre Island. It is 60+ miles from the park beach house to the cutout. We were grateful that we checked the tide charts before setting up camp as the tide got high enough to reach the dunes. The tide can Isolate you for awhile to be prepared. during high tide and there are several lengthy areas of deep soft sand at high tide. 4 wheel drive is required for more than 2/3 of the beach. There are a couple of washed up buoys and boat wrecks along the route for photo ops. "Big Shell" area is a nice place to stop and look for shells. If you like raw undeveloped beach and privacy this is the place for you. The weather in October is beautiful and there are few people around. Great place to relax.

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