Bolivar Peninsula

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4/5 (4 reviews)
Crystal Beach, Texas (Galveston County)
Last Updated: 10/05/2020
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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.

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Trail Reviews

4/5 (4)
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Rated 4/5
Visited: 10/03/2020

October is arguably the best month for Jeep trips in southeast Texas, providing perfect temperatures during the day. We arrived on Bolivar Peninsular at 9:00am and were aptly greeted with absolutely perfect conditions. As we traveled along the beach, we noticed several changes since our last visit. Most notably; as we already knew, Rollover Pass had been completely filled in and (at present) now provides straight-through navigation along the beach. We do however expect travelers to once again have to cross along the old bridge, once construction of the new fishing pier is complete. We also found many of the prior washouts filled in, also making traveling the beach much easier. Effects of storm erosion could be found all along the beach, marked by various restoration efforts. Of course, those sections reside along the more heavily visited portions of Bolivar Peninsula / Crystal Beach area. The eastern end of the peninsula however did not fair nearly as well from the impacts of multiple tropical storms in 2020. Sadly, we were forced up onto Highway 87 a mile west of Waypoint 11 due to the erosion that occurred during the storms. The old "cross" that marks the end of the Bolivar Peninsula run and the beginning of the Lost Highway 87 run managed to survive the storm, but numerous smaller markers and waypoints were completely destroyed and no longer exist.
Trail Review: Bolivar Peninsula - John-Paul Clark
Trail Review: Bolivar Peninsula - John-Paul Clark
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Visited: 05/03/2020

Nice easy riding for any type of vehicle. Sadly Roll Over Pass is closed down and will be filled in.
Rated 3/5
Visited: 03/05/2020

We enjoyed it. I was hoping for more areas of deep sand. Was really only a couple very short stretches of the deeper sand. Pretty crowded because it didn’t require 4wd. Even cars and minivans made it just fine.
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Rated 5/5
Visited: 05/28/2019

We stayed in Bolivar all week long and took many drives on the beach. The sand is perfect to drive on, even saw some smaller cars making it through without any problems. We had various washouts to drive through from the tides but nothing huge. It can get really crowded on holidays and weekends but we had the drive to ourselves some nights. We drove down Hwy 87 to the beach access at the end Rettilon Rd and drove back towards Bolivar from there. It was so nice to cruise down the beach with the top down, listening to the ocean.

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