• Aerial View of Padre Island National Seashore

    Padre Island

    National Seashore Texas

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  • Park Phone issues

    The visitor center main phone line and fax line are not working. To reach the park visitor center, call (361) 949-8069 or (361) 949-4793. Fax to (361) 949-7091, Attention: Visitor Center. We apologize for the inconvenience.

  • Bird Island Basin Campground rehabilitation starts August 18, 2014

    The second part of a project to repair facilities and rebuild eroded shoreline at Bird Island Basin Campground begins August 18. Minor disruptions of activities in the immediate area may occur. None of the work should affect use of the boat ramp.

Scenic Vistas

trough in fore-island dunes

Trough in the fore-island dunes near the 6 mile marker.

NPS photo

From horizon to horizon there are few man-made objects to interfere with the natural landscape. In the over 133,000 acres of the park there are perhaps a dozen buildings, none over two stories high, and all are at the northernmost ten miles of the park. Offshore are several distant natural gas platforms, which are lit at night, but at their distance the intrusion of their lights onto the nightscape is negligible.

The island is off the major shipping lanes in the Gulf and therefore few large ships pass by. Most large cargo vessels transit via the intracoastal waterway in the Laguna Madre and, for the most part, are hidden from view of the public on the Gulf shore by distance and the fore-island dune ridge.

The most serious problem affecting the park's scenic vistas is trash which floats in from the Gulf and collects on the shoreline. Periodic beach clean-ups alleviate the problem somewhat and help to slow the accumulation of trash in the northernmost area of the park, which is also the most heavily used. The problem with trash increases as one travels farther down island (south) because four-wheel-drive is required to reach the southernmost areas and because of the greater distances over which the trash must be hauled out. Therefore more trash accumulates the farther south one travels. Occasionally high tides will clean the beaches, but the trash is only redeposited elsewhere.

 

Did You Know?

NPS arrowhead

Beaches in Texas are considered public highways and therefore all vehicles on them must be street-legal and licensed. More...