Sam's Throne Recreation Area really is a hidden gem, even for the non-climbers out there. We started a five day camping trip on a Saturday and sure enough, as we had already heard about this place's weekend popularity, the sites were packed. Many groups out there taking advantage of the beautiful March weather to hit the rock and explore all the many jaw-dropping routes on and around Sam's rocky Throne. Once the weekend ended though, there were an average of 2 or 3 other occupied sites in the area throughout the week.
Me, my boyfriend and our dog must have been the only non-climbers out there, which was completely fine because there really is SO MUCH to do and see. There are a number of trails outside the main established trails (see picture of trail map). Our second day there we spent eight hours skirting along the bluffs and exploring what looked like beautiful fairy lands.
The weather was perfect (high 50's/low 60's during the days and down to low 40's at night) and the bugs were almost non-existent (but we still defended ourselves from ticks with spray and covered legs).
We spent every day we were there exploring new spots and areas because the stretch of land is endless. What's nice is you can also drive 20 or so miles out to other beautiful spots like Pedestal Rock Scenic Area and Alum Cove Natural Bridge. We hopped on the Ozark Highland Trail for about six miles starting at the nearby Fairview Campground (which I highly recommend!).
And of course, don't forget to check out THE Sam's Throne, which is still accessible for those not harnessed and roped up. There is a climbable route that is fairly easy to moderate and allows you to access the throne and all it's glory. There are even a couple of fire rings up there which would definitely make for some breathtaking tent views. I may be partial to this place now because I happened to get engaged on the Throne at sunset during our last night there, and I couldn't have asked for a more beautiful experience.
I highly recommend this area, this forest, and hell the whole state for a great camping experience!
Good hiking trails and wonderful views nearby. Never disappoints.
Very beautiful place with vault toilets only and no running water. There are a few bears in the region so I would hang my food just to be safe. There aren't any specific spots for RV's but there are a few cleared areas with room to park an RV or trailer. Near the entrance to the facility right off of the highway there is a large gravel parking lot. This facility has day-use for rock climbing. Motorcycle friendly but there is a sign stating no OHV's. No trash cans, pack-in/pack-out facility. Donations are accepted but it is a FREE campsite.