Camping in Missouri is our favorite way to take in the state’s natural beauty and deep history.
With 56 state parks, Mark Twain National Forest, and countless private campgrounds, you have plenty of campsites to choose from, no matter your preferences.
Today, we’re going to break down the best places to go camping in Missouri to help you plan your next trip!
Best Campgrounds in Missouri
From secluded dispersed campsites to bustling RV parks and everything in between, Missouri campgrounds offer a little something for everyone. Here are 37 of our favorite.
Bennette Spring State Park
Bennette Springs State Park is a favorite Missouri camping destination for anglers of all ages. The amazingly clear waters are stocked with trout daily and boast some of the best fishing in the entire state.
There are 5 different campgrounds atBennette Springs with plenty of different options. You’ll find tent campsites and RV sites with full hookups.
You’ll also enjoy hiking, biking, canoeing, swimming, and more at the park.
Roaring River State Park
Located in the Ozark Hills, Roaring River State Park is one of the most popular state parks for camping in Missouri.
The reasons for this popularity are many. First, the river is one of the few in the state stocked with rainbow trout, making it a perfect place for a fishing and camping trip.
The park also offers amazing hiking trails, rustic campsites, and even full RV hookups (water, sewer, and electric).
St. Louis West / Historic Route 66 KOA
If you’re looking for a fun family camping adventure that mixes the natural relaxing elements of camping along with tons of fun family activities and amenities, then the Route 66 KOA is what you’re looking for!
This KOA offers loads of family fun including a heated swimming pool, train rides, gem mining, basketball, outdoor movies, hayrides, and much more.
Lazy Day Campgrounds
Lazy Day Campgrounds really is your chance to enjoy a perfectly lazy camping trip.
This campground offers plenty of activities including a 1/2 acre dog park, a stocked 3 acre pond, swimming pool, and great camping sites.
Nearby you can enjoy wineries, state parks, ziplines and different options if you’re a museum lover!
Graham Cave State Park
Graham Cave State Park is located right off I-70 between St. Louis and Columbia. This 386-acre park has a unique history that’s tied to the ancient hunter-gatherers who once inhabited the area.
In addition to checking out the artifacts recovered from the site, the eastern section of the park is home to a variety of glade species like prickly pear cactus and purple prairie clover.
There are 53 campsites that visitors can choose from during a visit to Graham Cave.
Campground At The Falls
Those who are looking for fun around the water should check out Campground at the Falls near Pineville.
This Missouri campground is just a short drive from Joplin. In addition to the falls that give the campground its name, visitors can enjoy a variety of water-based activities, such as fishing and swimming.
Additionally, there’s a shallow lazy river that toddlers are sure to enjoy.
The Campground at the Falls offers campers the opportunity to experience a canoe trip that’s five miles long. This float is sure to provide an amazing chance to view the scenery and the wildlife the area has to offer.
Mill Creek Campground
Located on the White River Arm of Table Rock Lake, Mill Creek Campground has 67 campsites available, many with electric hookups.
The campground’s location at White River and Table Rock Lake provides many opportunities for fun on the water. Table Rock Lake has 779 miles of shoreline that offer a number of great options for fishing. Bluegill, crappie and catfish are frequent catches at the lake.
Boating and kayaking are common activities. Those who prefer mountain biking and hiking will find Mill Creek Campground has plenty of trails to offer.
Table Rock State Park
Visitors to Branson who want to avoid high hotel costs might opt to camp at nearby Table Rock State Park.
This state park is nestled in the beautiful Ozark Mountains and provides wonderful views of the surrounding natural landscape.
The state park marina is a solid option for water lovers. Ski boats and paddle boards are available for rent.
There is also a premium yurt available for those who are apprehensive about roughing it in a tent or RV.
White tail deer, gray foxes and tarantulas are among the wildlife that visitors to Table Rock might just see.
America’s Best Campground
Those who wish to camp in Branson would do well to stay at America’s Best Campground.
This is one of the more luxurious campgrounds in Missouri. It has 136 pull-through sites with grills and picnic tables at each. All of the sites have full hookup available – not to mention free Wi-Fi.
Those who show up without a camper or RV can enjoy one of the nine cabins that are available. Visitors to America’s Best Campground will be sure to enjoy relaxing by the on-site pool and spa. Younger patrons can spend time playing basketball or romping around a playground.
Shadow Rock Park
Located in Forsyth, Shadowrock Park and Campground serves as the main hub for recreation in the area. The park is located on the shores of Bull Shoals Lake, so visitors can enjoy boating and swimming on the lake.
Additionally, for those who prefer to remain on land, tennis courts, a playground, and picnic areas provide opportunities for hours of outdoor enjoyment.
Tent campsites as well as RV campsites that offer full water, sewer, and electric hookups are available.
Cloud 9 Ranch Club
Those looking for a more luxurious camping experience might opt to visit Cloud 9 Ranch, a member-owned resort in Caulfield, MO.
The resort has more than 150 miles of ATV trails. Both members and guests can enjoy a horseback ride on one of the many trails that wind through the landscape.
Cabins and rental campers are available onsite for those who do not have access to an RV.
In addition to hunting, fishing and ATV riding, visitors at Cloud 9 Ranch can go cave exploring or hit the onsite batting cages and mini golf course.
Those who don’t want to put in the effort to cook camp food will appreciate the resort’s restaurant that will provide them with hot meals.
Norfork Lake is located on the Arkansas-Missouri Border and provides many options for recreation. Rustic campsites are available as well as more modern facilities.
Trails provide hikers with the chance to experience the beautiful scenery and wildlife that are on display in the Ozark’s. Boat rentals are available at marinas in the area. Visitors can enjoy fishing on one of the undeveloped stretches of the lake’s shore.
Sam A. Baker State Park
Anglers and kayakers are sure to love Sam A. Baker State Park. The park has two campgrounds and a separate equestrian campground for horse lovers.
Those who prefer more traditional lodgings can also enjoy one of the rustic cabins that are located onsite.
The park boasts some of the oldest exposed rock in North America, and the 1,313-foot Mudlick Mountain provides a panoramic view of the park.
Visitors have access to Big Creek and the St. Francis River. The park boasts many miles of trails that are accessible for hikers, bicycles and equestrians alike.
Kansas City East / Oak Grove KOA Holiday
The Kansas City East/Oak Grove KOA provides visitors access to the cultural and sporting experiences that the Kansas City area has to offer.
Campers can choose to reside in a tent, an RV or one of the campground’s rustic cabins. Lounging by the saltwater pool is great choice if you want to spend a few hours in rest and relaxation.
Kids are sure to enjoy the Horseshoe Creek Mining Sluice. They just might find gems or arrowheads in the process!
If you love history, the Harry S Truman Library and Museum and the Steamboat Arabia Museum are just a short drive away.
Echo Bluff State Park
Echo Bluff State Park is located just south of Rolla, and takes its name from the scenic cliff that rises on the side of Sinking Creek.
Nature lovers can check off each of the 105 bird species that reside within the confines of Echo Bluff State Park. The park offers visitors the opportunity to get away from the monotony of daily life so you’ll be able to enjoy fishing, biking and swimming during a visit.
The park also has 74 campsites that range from the primitive to the modern. Additionally, there are nine full-service cabins, and the Betty Lea Lodge is available if you’d rather not rough it.
Lake Wappapello State Park
Lake Wappapello State Park is located a short drive from St. Louis.
This public recreation area is the perfect place for camping in Missouri if you love canoeing and kayaking. Anglers can enjoy fishing for bass, crappie and, catfish.
Hikers and backpackers will also appreciate the many miles of trails that wind their ways through the landscape of this 1,854-acre park.
Montauk State Park
Montauk State Park is one of the top campgrounds in Missouri. Visitors to the campground can experience the springs and creek form the headwaters of the Current River.
Rainbow trout inhabit the cool and clear waters that emanate from these underground springs.
If you enjoy history, the park offers tours of an 1896 gristmill that provide knowledge of the inner workings of such a site.
Camping at Montauk State Park allows visitors a range of lodging options, including cabin rentals if you prefer not to tent or RV camp.
Alley Spring Campground
Alley Spring Campground is another wonderful option for camping in Missouri. The Ozark National Scenic Riverways have their origin within the bounds of this park.
The region has more than 300 identified caves that you can explore on a trip to the area. This was the first areas to protect a river system so there are plenty of opportunities to experience the wonders of nature on a visit.
Camping is available throughout the year at Alley Spring, but between October 15 and April 15, flush toilets and shower facilities shut down.
The springs and waterways in the area are perfect for swimming and kayaking. The region has trails available for hiking and horseback riding.
Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park
Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park covers more than 8,700 acres and is located to the southwest of St. Louis.
The park is known for its flora. About 40% of the plant species located within Missouri are found within the confines of this one state park.
The East Fork of the Black River is home to the shut-ins, a series of chutes, and waterfalls that occur within a stunning canyon.
Experienced hikers and anglers are sure to appreciate the beauty and recreation that this gem can provide.
Hawn State Park
Another of the top campgrounds in Missouri is Hawn State Park.
The park is nearly 5,000 acres in size. It packs quite a punch. Hawn State Park has a 10-mile backpacking trail that’s considered one of the best in the entire state. The natural beauty of the park includes a wide variety of exposed rock types.
Campers can choose from basic, electric, and walk-in campsites that are covered by the massive pine trees that sprout from the ancient ground below.
St. Joe State Park
St. Joe State Park is fairly unique among campgrounds in Missouri. Like others, it has a couple of campgrounds that have a total of 99 sites.
What really makes this park different are the off-road trails that are set aside for ATV riders. St. Joe is one of only two Missouri state parks that are specifically intended for off-road vehicles.
There is also plenty for wildlife enthusiasts to enjoy while camping at St. Joe State Park.
The park is home to no fewer than 138 bird species so visitors can download a checklist and begin searching for the wide variety of birds that call the confines of the park home.
St. Francois State Park
Another option for camping in Missouri is St. Francois State Park.
This top-rated campground features more than 100 campsites. In addition, there are interpretive programs during the summer months.
Three hiking trails traverse the park’s terrain. One is open for horseback riders.
More than three miles of the Big River runs through the park. This stretch of the waterway provides the perfect opportunity for campers to fish for catfish and small-mouth bass.
Huzzah Valley Resort
Whether you’re bringing a tent or an RV, Huzzah Valley Resort can accommodate you.
These campsites are close to beaches, playgrounds and swimming areas that are nestled in this jewel of an RV resort.
The Huzzah River provides the perfect place to float along on an inner tube, kayak or raft. After spending a day on the river, the resort also offers a meal package that will have dinner ready for you.
The river is home to a wide range of freshwater fish species, and campers can fish anywhere along the river within the confines of the resort.
Mark Twain State Park
Mark Twain State Park is another wonderful option for camping in Missouri. The park is located in the north-central part of the state, and it provides visitors with the chance to visit Mark Twain Lake.
White tail deer and wild turkeys are among the wildlife that frequent the park. Visitors can hike more than six miles of trails or take advantage of the two boat ramps that offer access to the lake.
Patrons can choose from one of 95 campsites as they plan a trip to Mark Twain State Park.
St. Peters’ 370 Lakeside Park
The 370 Lakeside Park is a 300-acre park located in St. Peters.
The campground has a 140-acre lake for all sorts of water recreation. Boating and fishing are common sources of fun. Gas engines are prohibited, but that still leaves plenty of options for floating on the lake.
Those who come with an RV can access one of the 75 RV hookups that are available onsite.
Kids and adults alike are sure to love the spray park, the archery range, and the hiking trails.
Cottonwoods RV Park
If you’re looking to experience camping in Missouri on a football weekend, Cottonwoods RV Park is worth checking out.
This campground is located just off I-70 in Columbia, which provides visitors with easy access to University of Missouri football games.
Each of the sites comes with a concrete patio and a picnic table in addition to the full hookup.
Cottonwoods RV park also has an outdoor pool and playground for guests, and visitors can play horseshoes and basketball during a visit as well.
Pomme de Terre State Park
Pomme de Terre State Park is one of the largest state park campgrounds in Missouri with nearly 240 campsites.
It has locations on two sides of Pomme de Terre Lake. Your kids are sure to enjoy the two public beaches that allow swimming.
Additional activities that are allowed around the lake are boating and fishing for the numerous fish that inhabit the lake.
The park also has two hiking trails if you’d rather just get out and walk around in nature for a bit.
Mark Twain Cave and Campground
Located near Hannibal, another great option for camping in Missouri is Mark Twain Cave and Campground.
The campground has 99 sites available. The park comes with a few amenities like a horseshoe area, a playground, and free Wi-Fi access.
The campground is known for the cave that Mark Twain spent many hours playing in as a boy.
In addition to the cave that carries Twain’s name, visitors can check out the Cameron Cave and the Cave Hollow West Winery that are also found onsite.
Thousand Hills State Park
Few campgrounds in Missouri boast the petroglyphs that adorn the rocks at Thousand Hills State Park.
These etchings date back more than 1500 years and bear testimony to the early inhabitants of the region. Of course, Forest Lake is the main attraction at this park.
Those who are looking to camp can rest at one of the 54 campsites or the seven duplex cabins that provide views of Forest Lake.
Boating is permitted on the lake. There is a swimming beach available for those who just want to catch a few rays or splash around.
The hiking trails at Thousand Hills offer hikers the chance to get close to the abundant wildlife.
Harry S Truman State Park
Named for the former president who called Missouri home, Harry S Truman State Park is another wonderful place for camping in Missouri.
The park has a marina that’s perfect for boating, The lake provides some pretty impressive fishing opportunities.
The oak forest that covers much of the park is a habitat for many wildlife species, and visitors can see these animals on one of the park’s hiking trails.
Additionally, Truman State Park has six campgrounds that will provide the perfect home away from home for your next Missouri vacation.
Crowder State Park
If you’re looking for campgrounds in Missouri that offer easy access to great hiking trails, Crowder State Park definitely fits the bill.
With more than 17 miles of trails open to equestrians, hikers, and backpackers, there is sure to be a trail that fits your skill level.
In addition, this state park has an 18-acre lake among its 1,912 acres.
This means that there is plenty of territory to explore. Maybe you’d like to view some of the 126 species of birds that reside within the park
Pershing State Park
Pershing State Park offers visitors one of the most pristine landscapes in all of Missouri.
There is a wet prairie with sloughs and cutoffs that are tied to the stream that meanders through its territory. In addition to Locust Creek, there are four lakes that allow fishing.
This Missouri campground has tent campsites and RV campsites with electric hookups.
A boardwalk and hiking trail meander through the wetlands to give intrepid visitors a unique perspective of the primitive, yet beautiful, natural landscape.
Big Lake State Park
Big Lake State Park might be small at only 407 acres, but it still packs a big punch when it comes to exploring nature.
In fact, Big Lake is the largest oxbow lake that remains in Missouri.
Visitors can stay in a campground or in a camping cabin.
The lake provides shallow wetlands, yet it’s still a great place for boating and fishing. Waterfowl find Big Lake a perfect spot to land during their migrations. Campers will enjoy viewing the wildlife that calls the park home.
For a nominal fee, the park has a nice swimming pool available that has an entrance that gently slopes for young children and their parents.
Lewis and Clark State Park
Lewis and Clark State Park is hands down one of our family’s favorites places to camp in Missouri.
This park borders the lake discovered by the famous explorers who set out from St. Louis to check out the Louisiana Purchase. Clark described the lake and the variety of waterfowl that call it home.
The park has a boat launch. Fishing is a common activity for visitors to the park. There are also picnic areas and playgrounds available for campers.
Wallace State Park
Nature lovers are sure to enjoy camping at Wallace State Park.
Not only is the campground itself secluded and peaceful, but there’s also an interpretive program that has regular presentations.
Visitors can fish in the six-acre lake. There are also four trails that hikers can explore. Benches are available so that hikers can take a rest during their journeys.
The modern campground includes hot showers and restrooms. Plus, it’s just an hour from the Kansas City area makes it the perfect spot for a quick weekend getaway.
Weston Bend State Park
Another campground in Missouri that’s close to Kansas City is located at Weston Bend State Park.
Bikers will enjoy the three-mile paved trail. The park provides opportunities to view the massive Missouri River from its many trails. Those with disabilities can also view the river from a scenic overlook.
Weston Bend is home to 35 campsites. Dog lovers can let their canine friends experience a 1.75-acre dog park with pens that separate smaller and larger dogs.
If you’re looking for a unique wedding location, the Bee Creek Shelter can accommodate up to 125 guests. The park will also make bird lovers quite happy as 215 different species have been sighted within its environs.
Where’s Your Favorite Place to Camp in Missouri?
Now that you know our favorite places for camping in Missouri, we want to hear from you.
What’s favorite Missouri campground? Did we include it on our list or skip it this time? Let us know in the comments below!
Best Camping in Other States
Here is some of the best camping in nearby states:
- Best Camping in Illinois
- Best Camping in Indiana
- Best Camping in Iowa
- Best Camping in Tennessee
- Best Camping in Texas
- About the Author
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Hey there, I’m Ryan, the face behind Beyond The Tent.
With decades of camping experiences, my journey into the wilderness began on the rustic trails of a farm in southern Minnesota, where my childhood was filled with explorations and camping by a picturesque river.
My family’s adventures across the United States, from the majestic Colorado mountains to the serene national parks and the pristine Boundary Waters Canoe Area of Northern Minnesota have given me a broad perspective. With each journey, whether in state parks or private encampments, and through the homely comfort of our camping trailers, we’ve amassed a trove of stories, experiences, and invaluable camping wisdom.