Bird Island Basin

Campsite at Bird Island Basin Campground with the Laguna Madre in the background.
Bird Island Basin Campground

NPS Photo

Bird Island Basin Campground
Located a short distance away from the boat ramp on the waters of the Laguna Madre, these camp sites offer fantastic opportunities for windsurfing, kayaking, boating, birding and fishing. Both RV and tent camping sites are available but it is dry camping only. The park does not take reservations, so use of this area is available on a first-come, first-served basis only.

Campground Fee: $8.00/day or $4.00/day with the Senior or Access passes.

Amenities: There are chemical toilets only, but flush toilets and cold-water rinse showers are available at the Malaquite Pavilion Bathhouse (open every day and closed only from 7:00-9:00 a.m. for cleaning). No food, firewood, or fishing licenses are sold in the park, and the park does not have a gas station. The nearest amenities from the park entrance station are about 12 miles away, so please come prepared. The park also does not have a post office or sell stamps, and cannot mail items for visitors. Ice is available from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. daily at the Malaquite Visitor Center.

Camping Rules:

  • Camping fees for the sites may be paid for at the campground kiosk via self service, or at the park entrance station. Both credit cards or cash are acceptable forms of payment.
  • Fires are permitted in fully contained grills at designated sites unless a burn ban is posted.
  • Please do not run generators between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.
  • Please note that a 14-day camping limit is in effect at all camping areas. At the end of 14 days of camping anywhere in the park, campers must vacate their site and leave the park for a minimum of 14 days before returning to camp. The total number of days spent camping in the park should not exceed 28 calendar days per year, in any combination of visits or consecutive nights.
  • Check out time is 12 noon.
Bird Island Basin Windsurfing
The windsurfing area is ranked by Windsurfing Magazine as the best flat water sailing site in the continental USA. The park entrance fee is required to use the Bird Island Basin windsurfing area. For information on kayak and windsurfing rentals, lessons, and sales, please call Worldwinds at (361)949-7472 or visit
Day Use: Visitors may fish, picnic, bird watch, kayak or windsurf at Bird Island Basin at no charge provided you are not camping overnight. Parking for day users is located next to the Worldwinds concession or at the north end of the campground where a small cul-de-sac with several parking spots is located.

Bird Island Basin Boat Ramp Area
Fees and General Regulations:

  • $5.00/day or $30.00/year; $2.50/day or $15.00/year with the Senior Pass or Access Pass. This fee is in addition to the park entrance fee and is only required for boat launching. All passes are obtained at the park entrance gate and will be displayed on the dashboard of the vehicle.
  • Pets must be on a leash not exceeding six feet, or physically confined, at all times.
  • Do not litter. Due to illegal dumping, trash cans are no longer provided at the boat ramp area and visitors are responsible for packing out their own trash. However, free trash bags are available at the park entrance gate and at Malaquite Visitor Center, and trash and recycling containers are located at Malaquite Visitor Center.


  • Parking is first-come, first-served. The purchase of an annual pass does not guarantee a parking space.
  • Once the 122 parking spaces located at the Bird Island Basin boat ramp area are filled, the area will be closed to parking.
  • No roadside shoulder parking is allowed in any area of Bird Island Basin.
  • Overflow parking is available at the Malaquite Visitor Center parking lot. When possible, please notify park law enforcement at (361)949-9238 if a vehicle will be left in the visitor center parking lot overnight.
  • The boat ramp area has 114 parking spaces that are for vehicle/trailer combinations only. f. The boat ramp area has 4 parking spaces that are for vehicles without trailers only.
  • The boat ramp area has 6 handicap parking spaces that can only be used by impaired individuals displaying the appropriate documentation. The 6 handicap spaces include 4 spaces for vehicle/trailer combinations only and 2 spaces for vehicles without trailers only.
  • Vehicles without trailers cannot park in vehicle/trailer spaces. Vehicles with trailers cannot park in vehicle only spaces.
  • Vehicle/trailer combinations must be parked so as not to impede the normal flow of traffic. Vehicle/trailer combinations that cannot fit into a single parking space without impeding traffic must park at the Malaquite Visitor Center parking lot.
  • To help provide day-use parking for vehicles without trailers, vehicles without trailers that are parking overnight are asked to park at the Malaquite Visitor Center parking lot when possible.

Last updated: October 18, 2018

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 181300
Corpus Christi , TX 78480


(361) 949-8068
This is the primary phone number for the Malaquite Visitor Center at Padre Island National Seashore.

Contact Us

Stay Connected