Crystal Springs Campground, perched on the shores of Lake Ouachita in Arkansas, is an ideal spot for families, friends and couples. Approximately 1.2 million people visit the lake each year to explore its crystal clear waters and scenic mountain landscape. Click here for the Lake Ouachita Virtual Tour.
Visitors enjoy fishing, water skiing, hiking and boating. Scuba diving is particularly popular because of the lake's high underwater visibility. Small and rare freshwater jellyfish (non-stinging) can be found, in addition to many types of fish, including the striped bass, lazily drifting between rocks.
Bald eagles are a big attraction for bird watchers and photographers in winter months.
The campground consists of 68 sites including 63 sites with electric and water hookups. There is also a reservable group campsite that includes electrical and water hookups. The two group picnic shelters have electricity. Other amenities include a dump station, fish cleaning station, hot showers, boat ramp, playground and a swim beach.
Lake Ouachita is nestled in the Ouachita Mountains just 10 miles west of Hot Springs National Park. The pool is fed by the cool waters of the Ouachita River and extends about 30 miles over 40,000 surface acres.
Part of the scenic 223-mile Ouachita National Recreation Trail runs just north of the lake. Here, hikers and mountain bikers can explore an array of breathtaking views in the Ouachita Mountains.
ADA Access: N
We absolutely loved our stay at Crystal Springs. The woman at the gate booth was wonderful upon checkin, just so kind. The site was wonderful. It had trees for a couple hammocks, a picnic table and firepit facing the water(most of the sites are lakeside with wonderful views), and was an easy pull-thru for our vintage Avion trailer.
I also feel like our site was the most ideal site if you have kiddos with you. They can walk in the water from the adjacent beach, you can see them the entire time, and you’re super close if they need you. The beach has a very large area that is shallow enough for littles to stand in and play(our daughter is 7), and it gradually deepens.
There is also a small playground on the beach(however, it was roped off for Covid-19). I don’t recall our site number, but it’s just to the right of the beach, and you can see its position in our youtube video.
On one day, we made the short drive to Hot Springs National Park for an afternoon hike and also went digging for Crystals at Ron Coleman Mining which our daughter loved. And I didn’t know this beforehand, but the“Coleman Rock Shop& Crystal Mines” on the corner of the main road(State Hwy 7) also offers crystal mining for a LOT cheaper. They mine a different area though, and we don’t have video or pics of their mining lot. Call to compare the two before you go.
I can definitely say, we will visit Crystal Springs again(same site, too). Our Little D loved the entire trip.
We had a lake front site that was almost perfect. There wasn't as much shade as we thought we'd have. We have a popup so it got a little warm. From our site, the kids were able to get in the water. There was an awesome playground, but it was inaccessible due to C19. The bathrooms were clean. The sites on the other side of the campground were away from the lake a bit, but were very shady. Overall, the views were fantastic, and we would definitely go back. Pretty decent cell service with T-Mobile.
Reviewed park on line ACE site, no notice that is was going to be closed, definitely was when arrived, had to find alternate park.
Crystal Springs campground is near Hot Springs, Arkansas. The campsites all have great views of the lake, but I believe this campground is meant for RV's. The sites are very exposed. That isn't a big deal if you are in an RV or camper, but it is tough if you are in a tent on a windy lake.
Our site was on a point. The rain and wind really beat our tent up. In fact, we had to cut our trip short because of the windy conditions.
There weren't any hiking trails near the area, but there were great fishing opportunities.
As a Ranger for The Dyrt, I get products to test from time to time- today I am testing Red Ledge Women's Rebel Stretch Shell Jacket . This was my first "legit" rain jacket.
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4. The pockets have zippers for added protection.
5. The zipper zips both ways.
Red Ledge created a stellar product with this medium weight jacket.
Stayed at this campsite after a long day on the Lake Ouachita Vista Trail. Wouldn't recommend Site #2 but I did arrive at camp around 6PM on a Friday and was able to get the site so that was a plus. Took a brief walk around the camp and it has some nice amenities including showers and a beach if you want to go swimming.
It was flooded when we went and dead but still incredible! Clean bathrooms and friendly DNR. The lake was really nice and good fishing! The scenery was great and lots of wildlife. Went crystal digging at Coleman which was also unbelievable. Will definitely go back when half the US is underwater!
I want to start by saying how nice the staff was. There was a nice lady at the check in desk that helped us find a site before the busy labor day weekend. We had a wonderful conversation about our travels and since she had to help cars driving by she greeted everyone cheerfully even while helping us.
This park offers all amenities. The facilities were well kept and the campsites were very nice. There is RV and tent camping available. This area is good for day use as well as there is a swimming and picnic area. What I found so neat, is that there is the ability to park boats right on the lake near your campsite. you literally walk down a hill to your boat once you load it in. It is right on the Ouchita lake, so there is plenty of room for all water sports.
Level sites. Water & Electrical available. Beach. Marina just down the park entrance. Boat launch ramp up the road.
The campsites (I'm referring in particular to those with hookups because I have not seen primitive ones here) are too close together. Nonetheless, this is an attractive and popular spot, with activities for families like a nice beach and play structure. There are some sites positioned close to the water, so you can look at a view instead of just your neighbor. In the hottest months of summer, bear in mind that Charlton Recreation Area, just a hop down the road, has colder (spring-fed) swimming water than the lake as well as plentiful forested, spacious, primitive sites in their own dedicated primitive camping loop.
We’ve enjoyed Crystal Springs Camp Ground on beautiful Lake Ouachita for the past several years. It’s waterfront campsites are easily accessible for families to walk to and from.