Padre Island National Seashore is a park in Texas, United States of America. Located along the south Texas coast, Padre Island National Seashore protects the longest undeveloped stretch of barrier island in the world. Here, you can enjoy 700 mi (1,100 km) of sandy beaches, wind-carved dunes, vast grasslands, fragile tidal flats, and warm, nearshore waters.
Padre Island has remained a wilderness for most of its existence. From the time of the earliest Amerindians to the present day, development has never really touched the barrier island, except within the last 100 years. The island has been claimed by four flags: Spain, Mexico, the Republic of Texas, and the United States. The island's grasslands made it a very popular grazing ground for local ranchers.
In 1962, the federal government set aside a 70 mile length of the barrier island as a protected area, especially for rare species such as Kemp's ridley sea turtle, one of the rarest sea turtle species in the world.
Flora and fauna
From Corpus Christi, take the John F. Kennedy Memorial Causeway to Padre Island and then follow Texas Park Road 22 south to the park entrance.
Fees and permits
The park entrance fee is $10 per vehicle. An annual park pass may be obtained for $20, and is valid for a year after the day of purchase. Please note that this is a pass to Padre Island National Seashore only.
There are several passes for groups traveling together in a private vehicle or individuals on foot or on bike. These passes provide free entry at national parks and national wildlife refuges, and also cover standard amenity fees at national forests and grasslands, and at lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Reclamation. These passes are valid at all national parks including Padre Island National Seashore:
- The $80 Annual Pass (valid for twelve months from date of issue) can be purchased by anyone. Military personnel can obtain a free annual pass in person at a federal recreation site by showing a Common Access Card (CAC) or Military ID.
- U.S. citizens or permanent residents age 62 or over can obtain a Senior Pass (valid for the life of the holder) in person at a federal recreation site for $80, or through the mail for $90; applicants must provide documentation of citizenship and age. This pass also provides a fifty percent discount on some park amenities. Seniors can also obtain a $20 annual pass.
- U.S. citizens or permanent residents with permanent disabilities can obtain an Access Pass (valid for the life of the holder) in person at a federal recreation site at no charge, or through the mail for $10; applicants must provide documentation of citizenship and permanent disability. This pass also provides a fifty percent discount on some park amenities.
- Individuals who have volunteered 250 or more hours with federal agencies that participate in the Interagency Pass Program can receive a free Volunteer Pass.
- 4th graders can receive an Annual 4th Grade Pass that allows free entry for the duration of the 4th grade school year (September-August) to the bearer and any accompanying passengers in a private non-commercial vehicle. Registration at the Every Kid Outdoors website is required.
The National Park Service offers free admission to all national parks on five days every year:
- Martin Luther King Jr. Day (third Monday in January); next observance is January 20, 2020
- The first day of National Park Week (third Saturday in April); next observance is April 18, 2020
- The National Park Service Birthday (August 25)
- National Public Lands Day (fourth Saturday in September); next observance is September 26, 2020
- Veterans Day (November 11)
Note that no reservations are taken for camping. Call Malaquite Visitor Center at +1 361 949-8068 to check on availability in the campgrounds. Space is almost always available on the beaches, unless they are closed due to unusually high tides.
- South Padre Island, a small resort town on the southern tip of Padre Island
|Routes through Padre Island National Seashore|
|Ends at ← Corpus Christi ←||N S||→ END|