Bolivar Peninsula

Crystal Beach, Texas (Galveston County)

Last Updated: 10/05/2020
4 / 5 ( 3 reviews )
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Highlight: Bolivar Peninsula
Rarely can one find a destination that appeals to such a wide variety of personalities and interests as Bolivar Peninsula. Port Bolivar on the western end of the peninsula hosts the Bolivar Flats Shorebird Sanctuary, easily accessible by walking from the western end of the drivable beach. Some may even choose to camp the night on the beach and walk through the sanctuary during twilight hours. For those party goers looking for an energetic atmosphere, the beaches along the centrally located Crystal Beach portion of Bolivar Peninsula are sure to please. Plan to camp the night at the Crystal Beach washout and let the party begin! Moving eastward through Caplan, the remnants of Rollover Pass – a manmade pass through Bolivar Peninsula - earned its name as smugglers used this narrow strip of land between the Gulf of Mexico and Galveston Bay, to “roll” their barrels of good across to awaiting recipients up through the Prohibition Era. (In 2019, the pass was completely filled in, making way for an upcoming park area and fishing pier.) Gilchrist and High Island on the western edge shows the effects and ruins of past hurricanes; notably the most recent Hurricane Ike, and provide cause for a moment of reflection.


Route Information

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1. Bolivar Flats Shorebird Sanctuary (0 mi)
The western-most edge of the vehicle accessible beach ends at the shorebird sanctuary.

Directions to Trailhead

Starting Point: Houston

The most common (and enjoyable) route to Bolivar Peninsula is to travel I-45 south from Houston to Galveston, where I-45 ceases and becomes Highway 87 (Broadway Avenue J). Follow the road to the coast then turn left, then left again to follow Ferry Road. Finally, take the Bolivar Ferry to Bolivar Peninsula. Access to the beach is gained through numerous points all along Highway 87. During times of heavy travel, an alternate route may be taken to avoid excessively long waits for the ferry. Travel I-10 east from Houston to Winnie (exit #828) then proceed south on High 124 until it meets Highway 87 at the coast. Access to the beach is gained through numerous points all along Highway 87.



Trail Reviews (4)

Questions & Answers (1)

Q: Must you air down your tires and drive in 4H for this trail ?
–CPeople (08/01/2019)
–John-Paul Clark (08/02/2019)
–Brandon McCullough (08/02/2019)

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.