Campground photo 1
Campground photo 2
Campground photo 3

Top Tent Camping near Ames, IA

425 Reviews

Are you planning a tent camping trip to Ames? We've got you covered. With The Dyrt, it's easy to find Ames campgrounds for you and your tent. Whether you're looking for a quiet, dispersed site or an established camgpround with amenities, The Dyrt makes it easy to find the perfect place to pitch your tent.

Best Tent Camping Sites Near Ames, IA (84)

  1. Camper-submitted photo from Ledges State Park

    1.

    Ledges State Park

    39 Reviews
    57 Photos
    181 Saves
    Boone, Iowa

    Millions of years before the plains of Iowa were inhabited by the Sauk, Fox and Sioux peoples, much of the American Midwest was covered by a shallow inland sea. It was at this time that the area’s sandstone deposits began forming. Fast-forward to just 13,000 years ago, with the inland sea now long gone, Ice Age glacial meltwater raced across the dry plains, carving and scouring channels and canyons into the sandstone terrain. One of these canyons can be found in Iowa’s Ledges State Park. This 1,000-acre nature preserve and recreation area is located on a wide bend on the Des Moines River, and is just 40 miles north of the city of Des Moines. The park is subject to frequent flooding when the river breaches its banks, but is otherwise a popular year-round outdoor recreation destination. Visitors to Ledges can enjoy a variety of hiking, fishing and paddling opportunities, as well as explore a prehistoric river canyon that showcases nature’s ability to sculpt the landscape.

    The campground at Ledges State Park features 94 tent and RV sites situated among deciduous woods not far from the Des Moines River. Campers can choose from full-hookup, partial-hookup, or primitive tent sites. Most sites are back-in; only a few are pull-through for larger vehicles. Tent sites are located in both in the main camp area, and in a secluded walk-in area. There is also a youth group site. All sites are equipped with picnic tables, fire pits and cooking grills, and all have access to water faucets, flush restrooms, showers, and trash receptacles; a dump station is located near the campground entrance. The campground also features a kids’ playground, outdoor amphitheater, and is within walking distance of trails and picnic areas. Some roads and/or facilities may not be open or available in the winter. Reservations are accepted, however the park saves about half of the sites for first-come, first-served campers; sites are $11–$19/night.

    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Electric Hookups
    • Phone Service
    • Reservable
    • ADA Access

    $12 - $18 / night

  2. Camper-submitted photo from Jester County Park

    2.

    Jester County Park

    27 Reviews
    45 Photos
    91 Saves
    Granger, Iowa
    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Electric Hookups
    • Phone Service
    • Reservable
    • RVs

    $20 - $25 / night

  3. Camper-submitted photo from Prairie Flower Recreation Area

    3.

    Prairie Flower Recreation Area

    14 Reviews
    42 Photos
    52 Saves
    Polk City, Iowa

    Overview

    Prairie Flower Recreation Area is located on the 26,000-acre Saylorville Lake Project, which stretches more than 50 miles up the Des Moines River Valley. The lake provides a wide variety of recreational activities, including boating, swimming, fishing, hiking and hunting.

    Recreation

    Visitors enjoy Saylorville Lake for its excellent boating, sailing, water skiing, windsurfing and swimming opportunities. Anglers will find walleye, wiper, largemouth bass, catfish, crappie and northern pike. The paved Neal Smith Trail winds 24 miles from Des Moines to Big Creek State Park and connects the campgrounds on the east side of the lake. It is designated as a National Recreation Trail and is used for biking, hiking, jogging, walking and in-line skating.

    Facilities

    Prairie Flower is a large, open campground covering more than 60 acres. It offers 153 family sites and 10 group sites, all with electric hookups. Many of the family sites in the south end offer a pleasant view of the 6000-acre lake. The north end is made up of mostly group sites in a circle-the-wagon design. Amenities include flush toilets, showers, drinking water and a dump station. The campground also provides educational programs, group shelters, playgrounds and a swimming beach. Nearby amenities include a visitor center, hiking trail, volleyball courts and a disc golf course. Boat ramps and a fishing dock are also close by.

    Natural Features

    Iowa's prairie heritage is celebrated in more than 40 acres of prairie plantings throughout the campground. The wide variety of grass and flowers provides vivid colors from mid-summer to fall. Wildlife is abundant throughout the project. White-tailed deer, turkeys, waterfowl and other small game animals roam the lands around the lake.

    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Electric Hookups
    • Phone Service
    • RVs
    • Tents

    $24 / night

  4. Camper-submitted photo from Swede Point Park

    4.

    Swede Point Park

    10 Reviews
    21 Photos
    48 Saves
    Madrid, Iowa

    This recreation area is part of Saylorville Lake

    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Electric Hookups
    • Phone Service
    • ADA Access
    • RVs

    $11 - $18 / night

  5. Camper-submitted photo from Bob Shelter Recreation Area & Campground

    5.

    Bob Shelter Recreation Area & Campground

    15 Reviews
    71 Photos
    47 Saves
    Johnston, Iowa

    Overview

    Bob Shetler Recreation Area is located in the tailwater area below the 26,000-acre Saylorville Lake Project, which stretches more than 50 miles up the Des Moines River Valley. The lake provides a wide variety of recreational activities, including boating, swimming, fishing, hiking and hunting.

    Recreation

    Visitors enjoy Saylorville Lake for its excellent boating, sailing, water skiing, windsurfing and swimming opportunities. Anglers will find walleye, wiper, largemouth bass, catfish, crappie and northern pike. The paved Neal Smith Trail winds 24 miles from Des Moines to Big Creek State Park and connects the campgrounds on the east side of the lake. It is designated as a National Recreation Trail and is used for biking, hiking, jogging, walking and in-line skating.

    Facilities

    The campground offers 67 camping sites, all with electric hookups. Amenities include flush and pit toilets, showers, drinking water and a dump station. Nearby amenities include a visitor center, hiking trail, volleyball courts and a disc golf course. Boat ramps and an accessible fishing dock are also close by.

    Natural Features

    Large shade trees dot the open grassy areas of the campground, which offers excellent views of the Des Moines River. Most campsites are within easy walking distance of the shore. Wildlife is abundant throughout the project. White-tailed deer, turkeys, waterfowl and other small game animals roam the lands around the lake.

    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Electric Hookups
    • Phone Service
    • RVs
    • Tents

    $24 / night

  6. Camper-submitted photo from Cherry Glen Campground

    6.

    Cherry Glen Campground

    13 Reviews
    35 Photos
    32 Saves
    Johnston, Iowa

    Overview

    Cherry Glen Campground is located on the 26,000-acre Saylorville Lake Project, which stretches more than 50 miles up the Des Moines River Valley. The lake provides a wide variety of recreational activities, including boating, swimming, fishing, hiking and hunting.

    Recreation

    Visitors enjoy Saylorville Lake for its excellent boating, sailing, water skiing, windsurfing and swimming opportunities. Anglers will find walleye, wiper, largemouth bass, catfish, crappie and northern pike. The paved Neal Smith Trail winds 24 miles from Des Moines to Big Creek State Park and connects the campgrounds on the east side of the lake. It is designated as a National Recreation Trail and is used for biking, hiking, jogging, walking and in-line skating.

    Facilities

    This large campground offers 125 family sites, all with electric hookups. Amenities include flush toilets, showers, drinking water and a dump station. Educational programs, group shelters, playgrounds, and a boat ramp all provide additional recreation opportunities for guests. Nearby amenities include a visitor center, hiking trail and a disc golf course.

    Natural Features

    Cherry Glen, the oldest and most popular campground on the lake, is nestled on a compact 13-acre wooded ridge. Wildlife is abundant throughout the project. White-tailed deer, turkeys, waterfowl and other small game animals roam the lands around the lake.

    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Electric Hookups
    • Phone Service
    • RVs
    • Tents

    $26 / night

  7. Camper-submitted photo from Acorn Valley

    7.

    Acorn Valley

    9 Reviews
    19 Photos
    15 Saves
    Polk City, Iowa

    Overview

    Acorn Valley Campground is located on the 26,000-acre Saylorville Lake Project, which stretches over 50 miles up the Des Moines River Valley. The lake provides a wide variety of recreational activities, including camping, bicycling, boating, swimming, fishing, hiking and hunting.__

    Recreation

    Anglers enjoy the lake for its abundance of walleye, wiper, largemouth bass, catfish, crappie and northern pike. The paved Neal Smith Trail winds 24 miles from Des Moines to Big Creek State Park and connects the campgrounds on the east side of the lake. It is designated as a National Recreation Trail and is used for biking, hiking, jogging, walking and in-line skating.

    Facilities

    The campground offers 29 family sites with electric hookups and 54 primitive walk-to tent sites. The campground also features 2 group tent camping areas; a youth group camping area with special restrictions to organized youth as well as a standard group area open to all visitors. Amenities include flush toilets, showers, drinking water and a dump station. Nearby facilities include picnic areas with group shelters, boat ramps, a marina and a fishing dock.

    Natural Features

    The mature Bur Oaks at the entrance to Acorn Valley beckon visitors to explore its 26 acres on the fringe of an upland timber stand. Wildlife is abundant throughout the area. White-tailed deer, turkeys, pheasants, waterfowl and other small game animals roam the lands around the lake.

    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Electric Hookups
    • Phone Service
    • RVs
    • Tents

    $84 / night

  8. Camper-submitted photo from Hickory Grove Campground

    8.

    Hickory Grove Campground

    5 Reviews
    19 Photos
    31 Saves
    Collins, Iowa

    Tent Camping Only

    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Electric Hookups
    • Phone Service
    • Reservable
    • ADA Access

    $17 / night

  9. Camper-submitted photo from Chichaqua Bottoms Greenbelt

    9.

    Chichaqua Bottoms Greenbelt

    7 Reviews
    33 Photos
    34 Saves
    Bondurant, Iowa
    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Electric Hookups
    • Phone Service
    • ADA Access
    • RVs
  10. Camper-submitted photo from Griffs Valley View RV Park

    10.

    Griffs Valley View RV Park

    8 Reviews
    27 Photos
    36 Saves
    Bondurant, Iowa
    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Electric Hookups
    • Phone Service
    • Reservable
    • ADA Access

    $35 - $90 / night


Pet-friendly camping near Ames

Recent Tent Reviews In Ames

425 Reviews of 84 Ames Campgrounds