The best HIKE IN camping near
Whelen Springs , ARKANSAS

79 Reviews10 Campgrounds

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Most Recent Whelen Springs Camping Reviews

Not the most stunning campground ever, however, I loved it! It was a great set up, plenty of bathrooms (no showers tho), set in a beautiful gorge with a beautiful creek. If you’re lucky enough you can get a site right next to the creek! Only around 40 sites total - they’re all RV compatible. I’m a tent camper personally. You’re right at a trailhead that connects with a vast network of trails taking you deeper into the mountains or directly to the actual hot springs, bath houses, and the historic area. If you want to drive to those places it’s a 7 minute drive.
Only a few cons. Not every campsite has a fit ring, there’s a heavily used road right by the campground thats on a hill so there’s some unfortunate revved engine noise pretty regularly, and there’s only about 10-15 campsites by the river.
I look forward to going back soon!

Quiet By The River

Stayed here for a night in August 2020. I can’t remember what site we stayed in but each campsite is reserved on a “first come, first served” basis. You can get there and pick an available site at 11Am and must reserve it in the campground office. The camp hosts are very nice! Bathrooms are cleaned and nicely spaced but no showers. Our campsite had plenty of room for both of our tents and 2 hammocks for daytime naps:) Cell reception with Verizon wasn’t an issue. We did have a difficult time finding fire wood as no store nearby sold any. Camp hosts didn’t have any either so come prepared. There are picnic tables, a grill, and fire rings at each site. Even though we had picked a campsite closer to a bathroom, we still ended up having to walk a bit to another since they periodically closed  rest areas for the day to clean. A little annoying when you don’t want to walk but I appreciate them taking all precautions during a pandemic. There’s trails nearby that take you to downtown Hot Springs so we didn’t have to drive. I’d definitely come back here. It was very relaxing!


Campground is really nice and convenient to the crater. Very hot Diamond mining in the summer as there is very little to no shade in the crater. Nice swimming creek nearby.

Beautiful, clean, great location

Beautiful, clean, great location. Camped here in Feb 2020, right on the river. Full hookups, mostly back-in but some pull throughs. Paved, level. Tent sites, too. Clean bathrooms, little camp store. Close to town. Would camp again.

Awesome place

Even though we set up and it rained 1.5+ inches (we are tenters) it is one of my favorite places ever. Great hikes, rich history and it's all free! Be sure too check out the church and old town of rock creek

favorite spot

quiet, beautiful, peaceful, big sights you will love this campground

Awesome Opportunity

This park has an unique opportunity while camping; hunting for diamonds. The whole family loves this park!  

The kids will spend hours playing in the mud and hunting for diamonds right along with the adults:-)  There is definitely fun for all at this unusual opportunity to find real diamonds and/or gems.


We found this place during a last minute Labor Day weekend scramble. Sounded good on paper.Gave them a call and found cabins were booked (as expected) and the only availability was 1st come 1st served. With a 7 hour drive ahead of us, we explained we needed more reassurances there would be a place for us. We were told we could rent the Pavillion out each day and camp in the beautiful grass field surrounding it, away from everyone. PERFECT!!! After a long day of work and an all night drive, I'm 36 hours no sleep when we arrive just after 7am. And immediately I can sum this place up in 2 simple words…HOBO CAMP. The gazebo was smack in the middle of everyone with extension cables running to it from all directions. The grass field was a gravel field. Broken down busses and old canoes littered the grounds. And we were also greeted by a festering dead squirrel on the way to the office. This place was so bad, I was ready to do another 7 back home right then and there before pulling my tent out the truck. (We found Big Fir at Lake Ouachita from this travesty and our weekend quickly, and vastly, improved! See my review on it!!)

Did not come close to meeting expectations.

Had a very unpleasant stay here. We were under the impression this would be a quiet place and it was the furthest thing from it. We drove four hours and were looking forward to a peaceful Labor Day weekend and it was the complete opposite. We arrived just after dark and set up our tent and everything seemed quiet and nice until we were woken in the middle of the night to headlights flashing in our tent for a good twenty-minutes. Then, at 4:30 am the people in the tent super close to us woke up and turned their light on and started a fire and were loud and did not care. We addressed this to the owner and she said she would talk to them(which I believe she would have), and that we could find another spot. Well, the other spots for tents were rock hard and right by peoples RV's. We decided just to leave as any amount of money staying somewhere else would be worth leaving. So in conclusion. Do not stay here if you plan to use a tent. RV may be different. We payed 112 to sleep somewhere for about 3 hours and not use a single amenity. Pathetic. I highly encourage you to stay elsewhere. We ended up finding a motel for 45 a night which was very worth it after a night we went through. It is unfortunate because I believe this can be a wonderful campground but we did not share a pleasant experience. And we are used to camping at KOA's and in remote wilderness and never had a worse night of sleep.