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Fires Allowed
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About Backbone State Park
Drive In
Walk In
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ADA Accessible
Alcohol Allowed
Drinking Water
Electric Hookups
Fires Allowed
Firewood Available
Pets Allowed
Phone Service
Picnic Table
Sanitary Dump
Sewer Hookups
Trash Available
Water Hookups
Backbone State Park is located in Iowa
42.616 N
-91.56 W
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15 Reviews of Backbone State Park
Contaminated water

Lakewater often unsafe for swimming. To the extent the beach had weeds growing on it. Campsites are close together w no privacy.

Hiking, swimming, fishing, and resting!

Have camped here twice with large groups (12-25 people) of college age friends. Was a great time with plenty to keep everyone interested.

My favorite memory was definitely swimming in the river. Also enjoyed hiking along the backbone trail, and climbing around some wooded areas.

Fun for the whole family

This campground has many things to do. This place has tent, rv and cabin camping, you can choose modern or non modern camping. Fun activities include fishing, swimming in a lake and also ground fed springs, boat rentals on the lake, hiking also horse trails, rock climbing, caves, playgrounds shelters for events and parties. I am sure there are even more things to do that I didnt have the time for.

Love this place

Absolutely love Backbone! Beautiful hiking trails and a great place to camp with good bathroom accommodations!

Fantastic location cation for individual or group tent camping!

I went with a group of entering sixth grade Girl Scouts on a weekend tent camping trip to this park. The campsites were simple to access and the grounds were easy to navigate. We hiked on the famous Backbone trail - a really fun hike that isn’t too incredibly long. The grounds were well kept and we had a phenomenal time. The girls gathered our firewood in the neighboring tree line, and our evenings were filled with fun and friendly camping neighbors. I highly recommend this park.

plenty to do

lots of things to do and great hikeing park, also swimming and boat rentals

October Foliage!

We went camping at Backbone for a friend's wedding that was taking place at the park's lodge. While most of the wedding guests stayed in town, we opted to camp, during October. It was gorgeous! We loved waking up in the morning and going for a walk along the many trails, seeing deer on the trail, and the lake. Great place to camp or host an event like a wedding!

Very nice and lots to do!

There is a variety of things to do here. You can rent cabins, shelters, tent and RV camp, hike the trails especially the “Backbone”, explore the cave, fish trout streams, visit fish hatchery, swim at the beach, canoe, kayak or just have a picnic. Beautiful park! My sons have even repelled the bluffs.

Backbone State Park

This has been one of my favorite state parks in Iowa to camp thus far. I've tent camped in April and cabin camped in October. The cabin camping was the better of the two experiences, mainly due to the unusually chilly overnight temperatures in April. During the warmer months you can rent canoes from the concession stand. Climbing/rappelling is also allowed in the park via registration at the park office.

We stayed in a family cabin that sleeps up to 4 people. You have to reserve cabins and there is a 2 night minimum stay, but the price is extremely reasonable. These cabins also offer heat and A/C. Our cabin had a common area with a kitchenette.The bathroom included a toilet and shower. The small, but cozy bedroom included a mattress - you're responsible for bringing your own linens - along with a sink. Additional amenities included stove, frig, microwave, pots and pans, and even a small coffee maker. And, the couch in the common area pulled out into a futon, providing extra sleeping space. Outdoor amenities included a fire pit and picnic bench. Bonus: The back of our cabin area looked out onto Backbone Lake.

We purchased firewood in Strawberry Point, a small town just a short drive from the park. Iowa requires that firewood be obtained within the county you're staying in due to the Emerald Ash Borer epidemic.

We fished for trout and hiked along several trails in the park. The Devil's Backbone was our favorite mainly because of the scenery along the bluff. It was the perfect way to view the changing leaves and watch the Maquoketa River flow by.

While we did have neighbors on either side of us, the noise level was minimal, and everyone was respectful of parking spaces as there is a common parking area in front of the cabins.

This is a beautiful spot to visit especially in autumn.

Beautiful weekend

Just my husband and I this time. We hadn't been to Dundee in about 9 years so we decided to head up and check out the trout streams. The camp ground that we stayed at was family friendly. Hammocks were ok to put up. The only not so great experience was that 2 out of the 3 showers on the women's side were out of order. And the only working shower didn't have warm water. It was a quick shower but I got clean after walking through streams and hiking trails. Spoke to Ed the previous years campground host. Super nice and friendly. Didn't profile our VW bus as a hippie bus and us as pot smokers. Which happens more than people think. A very enjoyable experience.