Looking for amazing scenery and great options for your next Arkansas camping trip? You’re in luck! With abundant bodies of water and large swaths of open land, this state has something for everyone to get out and enjoy nature, whether that’s in an RV, a tent, or a yurt . . . or even just you and a backpack.
So, what are you waiting for? Read on to learn about 20 great spots for camping in Arkansas.
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1. Bull Shoals–White River State Park
Situated on the shores of both Bull Shoals Lake and the White River, Bull Shoals–White River State Park is known around the world for its top-notch trout fishing.
The park is home to a high-tech, 15,744-square-foot visitor center. Deeper into the park, you’ll find the marina, where you can rent a boat and buy bait and tackle.
Fishing not your thing? This park also has some of the best hiking and mountain biking in the state, and it offers regular interpretive programs, including everything from campfire cooking demonstrations to trout fishing workshops.
With all these features, Bull-Shoals–White River State Park Campground is at the top of the list for great Arkansas camping.
2. Blanchard Springs Campground
Clean campsites, clear water, and quiet away from city noise, all at a great nightly rate? Yes, please!
Blanchard Springs campground is one of the best places for camping in Arkansa. You’ll love the natural beauty, especially the calm, clear water of the North Sylamore Creek. But beware: the best swimming spots can get crowded on hot days, so it’s best to arrive early.
The nearby Blanchard Springs Caverns offer an amazing display of millenia of nature doing nature. The ticketed cavern tours begin with a brief interpretive video before you enter the cavern. Check the Cavern’s website for seasonal closures (usually between the end of November and the beginning of March).
3. Steel Creek Campground
Beautiful bluffs surrounding the Buffalo River make this smaller campground one of the most breathtaking in the state.
Steel Creek Campground has 26 campsites, though few and somewhat close together, each have a table and fire ring. The tent camping area has drinking water, clean restrooms, and flush toilets (no showers).
Camping in Arkansas with your horse? You’re in luck at Steel Creek! This campground has 14 horse-friendly sites that can accommodate six people and four stock animals per site.
Tent sites 1 to 13, and horse-friendly sites 27 to 32 can be reserved anywhere from 5 days to 6 months ahead of time. The rest of the sites are all first come, first served.
4. Buffalo Point Campground
Beautiful scenery, well-maintained trails, and the clear, floatable water of the Buffalo National River make this dog-friendly location one of the best places for camping in Arkansas.
Buffalo Point Campground is the largest and most developed in the Buffalo National River Park. Sites vary from reservable to first come, first served.
This campground is great for those with limited mobility, too. All the roads within the campground are paved, and all restroom/shower facilities except one are wheelchair accessible. ADA-accessible sites are available.
5. Tyler Bend Campground
Tyler Bend Campground sits in the middle area of the Buffalo National River Park and is home to the primary visitor center for the region, which is open year-round.
Sweeping views of the river and surrounding pastures will tempt you into a hike on one of the campground’s well-maintained trails or to launch your kayak, canoe, boat, or tube right into the calm waters. This truly is one of the best places for camping in Arkansas.
Want a taste of Ozark history? Try a hike to a 1930’s restored home—the Collier Homestead. Flora and fauna more your thing? Learn all you could ever want to know at the visitor center.
6. Hickory Creek Park
Hickory Creek Park is another candidate to check out when planning your best Arkansas camping trip. Set on the shores of Beaver Lake, the campground features sites directly on the water’s edge, allowing for stunning views and easy access to the lake.
Hickory Creek Park campground is far enough into nature but close enough to nearby amenities should you need any supplies. (If you’re camping with kids, this is a very real possibility!)
The park is clean and relatively quiet, with very little boat traffic. Kids are safe to ride their bikes around the camp. The marina nearby has restaurant options if you need a break from camp food.
7. Lake Chicot State Park
If you’re looking to the east for the best place for camping in Arkansas, Lake Chicot State Park Campground is the perfect spot. Stay in a cabin or pitch a tent at a lakeside site, then take a dip in the seasonal pool (free for cabin guests, available to tent campers for a small fee).
Of course, you don’t need to hit the pool if you prefer to swim in the largest natural lake in the state (and largest oxbow lake in North America). You can even rent a boat at the park store.
Bird watchers and anglers alike are drawn to this flyway near the Mississippi. Large pavilions throughout the park can accommodate your next family reunion or other large get-together.
8. Lake Poinsett State Park
This smaller, quiet campground accommodates tent campers and RVs alike, and can’t be overlooked when you’re planning your Arkansas camping getaway.
Many patrons escape to Lake Poinsett State Park Campground for a weekend away from the city or simply to fish. The lake, drained and refilled a few years ago, is a bountiful fishing spot, and you can rent a boat at the park and purchase bait nearby if you don’t bring your own.
The day-use area at this park features several picnic tables and a heated and cooled pavilion. The kids will love the on-site playground and open field (bring your gloves, bats, and balls!).
In addition to the easy hiking trails throughout the park, kayak tours are also available through the visitor center.
9. Bear Creek Lake Recreation Area
Bear Creek Lake Recreation Area includes three campgrounds and 30 miles of shoreline. In addition to pristine swimming beaches, the area also has an ADA-accessible fishing pier.
Enjoy the scenery along the park’s interpretive nature trail, or fish for trophy largemouth bass, red-eyed bream, and channel catfish in the lake, as well as in nearby rivers and streams.
Even if you’re not an angler, there’s so much more to explore at this campground, making it a perfect spot for camping in Arkansas.
10. Lake Charles State Park
Lake Charles State Park is a camping win during any season and undoubtedly one of the best places for Arkansas camping. Just a short drive from Jonesboro (about 30 minutes) or Memphis (about 90 minutes), you’ll find peace and quiet on the lakeshore or along one of the easy-to-moderate hiking trails.
Weird but true: Lake Charles is touted for having the best restrooms and bathhouses in the state park system.
Less weird but still true: this is the spot in northeast Arkansas where the largest number of 20-inch bass have been caught. You’ll also find the 645-acre lake teeming with crappie, bream, and catfish (the visitor center is your one-stop shop for bait during the March through October season).
11. Crowley’s Ridge State Park
Tell no one about what you’re about to read.
Crowley’s Ridge State Park Campground is a true hidden gem in northeast Arkansas, with breathtaking scenery, swimming and paddle-boating, a playground, a volleyball court, and quiet trails to hike. Crowley’s Ridge is a local’s best-kept secret.
Close enough to the city of Paragould, but far enough away to feel secluded, Crowley’s Ridge is where generations pass down family camping traditions and make memories., making it one of locals’ top votes for best place for Arkansas camping.
Geology fans, this is your place. Crowley’s Ridge was created over a 50-million-year period by water (including ancient paths of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers), ice, and wind action. It’s the only uplift in an otherwise flat Arkansas Delta, rising 150 feet and spanning only 12 miles at its widest point.
12. Lake Ouachita State Park
Located near Hot Springs and Hot Springs Village, Lake Ouachita State Park includes the state’s largest lake, offering 40,000 acres of water in which to swim, fish, ski, canoe, and even SCUBA dive.
The campground has a variety of lodging options, from tents to dog-friendly cabins, surrounded by hiking trails of varying difficulty.
13. Lake DeGray State Park
The heavily wooded Lake DeGray State Park Campground offers easy access to RVs on paved roads and tent sites nestled in the trees or sitting lakeside (accessible sites are available). Feel like roughing it? Hike in through the trees and pitch your camp.
For those who want something between tent camping and full-on glamping, reserve a YURT (year-round universal recreational tent). Each comes with a double-burner stove, water faucet, table with chairs, bunk beds, and an ice chest, and can sleep up to six people. Enjoy your private fire pit, pedestal grill, and picnic table.
As the name implies, there’s a nearby lake with a swimming beach and a boat ramp. Hot showers, restrooms, and drinking water are all available.
14. Alpine Ridge
Can’t decide if you want to mountain bike, hike, or play in the water? You can do all three at Alpine Ridge Campground at DeGray Lake. This off-the-beaten-path location provides one of the best sunrise views in all of the state, so it follows that it’s one of the best places to camp in Arkansas.
The campground is quiet, clean, and one of the most modern in the state’s park system, with heated showers and electricity at each site.
15. Arlie Moore
Large, secluded campsites surrounded by perfect hammock-hanging trees make Arlie Moore a popular, though not-too-crowded, favorite place for Arkansas camping. Families with young kids and those with potentially noisy dogs will enjoy the space to spread out without worrying about disturbing their neighbors.
Arlie Moore offers a clean swim beach on the shores of crystal-clear Lake DeGray, as well as peaceful hiking trails abounding with wildlife.
16. Maumelle Park Campground
Just on the outskirts of Little Rock and along the Arkansas River, Maumelle Park Campground provides a taste of nature without getting too far from civilization.
Amenities like a playground, boat ramps, dock, fire pits, and a basketball court ensure there’s something to keep everyone busy, and all contribute to making this one of the best places for camping in Arkansas.
Bird lovers can see large numbers of spectacular wintering eagles as they migrate from Canada and the Great Lakes region.
17. Gulpha Gorge Campground at Hot Springs National Park
Gulpha Gorge Campground is one of the best places for Arkansas camping, and for good reason.
Situated near Hot Springs National Park, this campground accommodates tent and RV camping, with amenities you might not expect at a national park campground (full hook-up, electricity).
Bathhouse Row and historic downtown are close by and can be reached by taking a short hike over Tower Mountain from the campground.
18. Crater of Diamonds State Park Campground
Calling all miners! For a small fee, visitors to Crater of Diamonds State Park—home to the only diamond-producing volcanic pipe open to the public in North America—can search for diamonds and keep what they find.
Spacious campsites allow campers some seclusion at this dog-friendly campground, which also offers the typical amenities, like picnic sites, restrooms, and hiking trails, as well as less rustic options, including a cafe, laundry, and gift shop.
A small creek in the campground gives tenants a place to cool their heels after a long day of mining for their fortunes.
19. Moro Bay State Park
Moro Bay and Raymond Lake join the Ouachita River at this park site, resulting in some fabulous year-round fishing, as well as some beautiful nature views.
Although the campground at Moro Bay State Park is, by all accounts, one of the best places for camping in Arkansas, your inner-glamper will really be tempted by the cabins at the park.
The cabins sit on stilts in the tree canopy along the Ouachita River. They’re equipped with modern amenities, including Wi-Fi, satellite television, and heat and air, conditioning. Each has a kitchen with cookware, as well as all the linens you’ll need.
20. White Oak Lake State Park Campground
Tent and RV sites at White Oak Lake State Park Campground are well-separated, resulting in private, secluded tent camping that both RVers and tenters appreciate.
Common attractions bring visitors here during all seasons (wildlife, fishing, water play, hiking, and mountain biking), but the campground also entices patrons in the quieter times with events like camp trick-or-treating that’s open to both campers and non-campers.
Get Out There and Enjoy Camping in Arkansas
Now that you’re armed with so many great options all over the state, it’s time to get camping in Arkansas!
Check each campground’s website or give them a call before you head to your destination, and make sure you have the proper permitting (such as a national or state park pass).
Looking for more camping ideas? Check out the tips at Beyond the Tent.