Campground
Kerry M.The Dyrt PRO User
Reviewed Aug. 21, 2021

Two campgrounds to enjoy at Backbone State Park

Backbone State Park is unlike any other place in Iowa, having geological features uncommon in Iowa.

There are two campgrounds. I have camped in both:

Modern Campground: This is a large, modern campground with all of the standard amenities found in a modern campground… electric hookups, flush toilets, water. I have camped here twice, both times in my travel trailer. Overall, it is a nice campground with decent space in between campers, however, I tend to avoid it during the busier summer and fall colors seasons.

Primitive Campground: This is my favorite at Backbone for camping, especially in the autumn after the leaves have fallen off of the trees. As this campground is non-electric, there are not many people camping after it turns colder. I have spent many nights there alone in the primitive campground, watching RVs pull in and then leave after realizing that it has no hookups.

Nearby trout fishing: Backbone is home to one of the more popular trout streams in Iowa. The fishing is easy as most of the fish are stocked (April-October). Still, it is an enjoyable fishing trip as the stream itself is mostly rocks and gravel, with several deep holes. The water is cold and clear.

Other activities: Hiking is very popular in Backbone. I have also seen rock climbing and rappelling. There are some nice spots away from the trout stream for wading and a little swimming. Backbone State Park also has a small lake with a swimming area and boat rentals during the summer. Several nice cabins are available for those who do not want to camp.

  • Backbone State Park Lake (showing the beach)
  • Trout Stream
  • Richmond Spring (feeds the trout stream)
  • Backbone cabin snowfall (in April)
  • Puffball in the woods (Backbone primitive campground)
  • Campfire at the primitive campground
  • Trout stream
  • Primitive campground (pile of leaves for my 10 year old daughter to jump into)

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