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.