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This state park sits on one of the prettiest and clearest lakes in the state of Arkansas. The area that I will be focusing on is the primitive tent sites. There is a loop on a peninsula that are reserved for walking in your gear to a tent site. These sites have GREAT views of the lake. A few of the sites even have access to the water for swimming, fishing, or putting in your kayak.
The sites are pretty close together and not very level. The more level sites are in the loop nearest the parking area. There are two shared water spigots. One near the parking area and one near the end of the peninsula. There is no electricity at these sites. The two best sites, in my opinion, are sites 7, 8, and 9. They have great access to the water and wonderful views of the lake. If you decide to camp here be warned that the sites are not very large. We typically bring a canopy for our outdoor kitchen, these sites are not large enough for a big canopy. Also, this lake tends to be very windy. There are trees around the sites, but the fire pits on sites 7-9 are very exposed. This poses are problem when trying to build a fire.
There are plenty of activities to do while visiting this SP. Some of the activities may still be suspended due to Covid 19. In July they have a boat tour that costs $10 per person. They take you out to "Bird Island" to see the purple martins. It's a neat tour. There are also plenty of hiking trails, swimming, fishing, and other typical state park activities. You can't go wrong with the views here, but there are some things to consider.
Park Rangers were nice and helpful, the other campers were great! The area could use some weeding and mowing. The bathhouses could use some cleaning. I do wish there was a play ground area for the kids. Overall a decent stay and would book again but in a different site. We had a great time. Site 34 backed up to a “swampier area of the lake” as it rained it got closer to camp and nearly took out the fire pit of the site next door.
D26 Back-in full hook-ups, fire ring & picnic table. 2 nights - Memorial Day weekend. Good spot, close to bath rooms/shower house/cafe. Pretty level - just 1 leveling block was all we needed for our pop-up. Lots of amenities- cafe, fishing pond, small general store, playground and off leash dog area. Staff was very friendly. Escorted you to your spot and helped us back in. Shower house was always clean. Loved the dog park! We are just starting to travel with our 2 boxers and was so nice to have an area for them to run a bit. Cons - spots are very close, no privacy. Each spot has a very bright “porch” light that is on until Midnight
This area is beautiful. The campground is located in the Ozark National Forest. Beware of flooding during the rainy seasons. When it rains a lot, the creek floods and covers the road into the campground.
The sites are primitive. There is a decent amount of space between the sites. Most have fire rings and a great view of Haw Creek Falls. There are toilets but no bathhouse.
Enjoy the nearby trails while you are here! Pam’s Grotto was my favorite.
Mount Magazine is a mountaintop oasis in NW AR. It is definitely NOT a family SP. It is structured for adults to enjoy a peaceful, tranquil, serene campground. The campground is small and has a typical setup with 30/50A, water, fire ring and picnic table. There are only 18 sites and are booked WELL in advance. We had to book our site almost a year in advance.
There is not much to do in the campground. There is access to hiking trails and to Signal Hill (the highest point in AR). The lodge is gorgeous and the restaurant has a buffet on Friday nights that is very good. There was an annual yoga retreat the weekend we were there which crowded the lodge, but the cabins and lodge have beautiful views of the valley.
Mt. Magazine is an amazing park (for adults), and make an effort to get there!
This lake and the trails around it were absolutely gorgeous. Not far from Mt Magazine and the water was so clean and the campgrounds were fantastic.
I went to Mt Magazine in the fall and it is truly a spectacular park. For anyone with kids, I would say at the outset that this isn't a very kid-friendly park. No playgrounds, very, very mountainous, and generally just not a park for kids. With that said, if you're a hiker, photographer or someone who can't wait to chase down the spectacular view, this park is for you. Also, Magazine is one of the few parks that offers climbers great opportunities to work their skills. The park essentially sits on top of a bluff that is nearly surrounded on all sides by straight rock face. There is ample opportunity for anyone into repelling or climbing to indulge themselves.
Magazine is one of the smallest parks I've been to. There aren't many camping sites at all. Each site is large and the camping area is spread out quite a bit. It's a great place to achieve some seclusion. To that end, there ins't much at the park. It's definitely a place where you need to pack well and plan to cook. It isn't easy to get anywhere at all. That's particular true if you don't have a vehicle that handles elevation well. Further, due to the elevation and drastic temperature change from the base of the mountain and the campground, it frankly isn't safe at all to drive on the mountain in the early morning or evening. I've included a picture to give you an idea of the type of fog I had to drive through on my way to the campsite at about 11:30 in the morning. One evening on our trip, we were stupid enough to attempt the trek at night and I seriously couldn't see 1 foot in front of my truck. My advice, stay on the mountain. The campground is like most Arkansas parks. It's very well kept and clean and the bath house was very nice as far as state parks go. You can't go wrong.
Apart from the campsites, I would add another note for anyone with a spouse like mine who would prefer to stay in places that look like ski lodges instead of our PUP. This place fits the bill and some. The lodge on top of the mountain is spectacular and looks like something you would see in the mountains of Colorado. During our trip, my brother and I ate dinner one night at the lodge and went with the surf and turf buffet - good choice, Donny; very good choice. There's also a bar in the lodge, among other things. The view off the back porch of the lodge is one of the best I've seen save for maybe Petit Jean. Apparently Mt Nebo is better but I haven't been yet. I am going this fall so I may have to update this post if it is. Either way, the back porch of the Lodge is equipped with several large rocking chairs and it is definitely a place to catch up on some tranquility and peaceful gazing. Most of the rooms in the lodge have private balconies that look out over the mountain as well. If your significant other isn't a "camper," they will definitely be pleased with the accommodations at the lodge.
Overall, if you want a place to escape for a weekend and get the feel of a high-end ski lodge for half the cost, this is your place. It's essentially camping in the heavens with the spectacular views and sunsets from all angles. The only thing I would add as a last note of advice is this: the temperature is literally about 10-15 degrees cooler on the mountain than below. One night we were there it got down to mid teens. So unless you're going in July, I would recommend you pack a pair of pants, long sleeves and maybe even a light jacket. You will probably be cold otherwise.
As the oldest State Park in The Natural State, in my opinion, Petit Jean sets the standard to which other parks should aspire. We frequently visit Petit Jean every year (2-3 times) and often joke that it serves as “home base” for our camping adventures. It’s just that good. If we’re unsure about where to head next, we always fall back on Petit Jean. By analogy, I view Petit Jean like a PB&J or a grilled cheese. Both are solid options every time, and you can’t go wrong with either. The same is true of Petit Jean. The campgrounds are generally clean and well kept. I also really like the spacing of the sites, as sometimes the sites in state parks make you feel like you’re right on top of your neighbor. Loop A is typically filled with larger campers, as those sites have sewer, and those sites are generally much larger than other areas. Since we have a PUP, I personally prefer Loops B or C. I have camped in D but it is the oldest camping area in the park and it shows. The bathhouse in that area isn’t as nice. Conversely, the bathhouses in Loops B and C are great. Even if the only site available is in D, I’d say it’s still absolutely worth going. The bathhouses are nice and clean, the amenities are numerous, and the scenery is unbelievable. The trails are fantastic, playground is great, and the food at the Lodge is phenomenal. We make it a point to eat in the Lodge at least one night of any trip. However, I would add, there is also a breakfast buffet in the mornings that’s a can’t miss for the price and convenience. Essentially, it is unequivocally the perfect park for a family with kids. However, it’s also perfect for anyone who may think they may want to go camping. In fact, even the most experienced camper would love this park and what it offers. It’s an absolute can’t miss and anyone debating whether they should go should pull the trigger immediately! (NOTE: I would note that you should be aware of a HUGE car show that occurs in the park every Fathers Day weekend. It is absolutely packed and unbelievably loud with old cars and motorcycles. If you go on Fathers Day weekend, do not expect any peace and tranquility whatsoever - you won’t find it.).