The best DISPERSED camping near
Lawler , IOWA

55 Reviews13 Campgrounds

This map requires WebGL

Please update your web browser or enable WebGL to view the map.

Troubleshooting Info
EXPLORE
The Dyrt App

The #1 Camping App

Camp with confidence with the highest-ranked camping app for both iOS and Android. Search more than 1 million listings, reviews, and tips for campsites across the U.S.

Enter your phone number to get the app.

The Dyrt App The #1 Camping App
Most Recent Lawler Camping Reviews
Great campground with lots of activities.

If you're looking for a wooded campground that offers you both quiet sites to relax but also offers a variety of activities for all ages, this is the place for you to setup your tent, or RV. For little ones, there is a large sand playground area with slides and swings. There is a sand beach to swim, where they also rent kayaks & canoes. The campground is located along the Cedar river, for those who want to boat and fish on a river, as well as multiple lakes to fish and a lake to ski. There are numerous soft bike trails throughout the park. And a hard trail that is part of 150 miles of bike trails in the Waterloo & Cedar Falls area.

The campground's shower house is handicap accessible. All sites have 50 amp service and the water provided is from the city of Waterloo. There is an onsite dump station.

Crowded, many RVs. Decent tent sites along river.

From someone who typically prefers backpacking and sleeping in remote areas, this campground facility, pretty much in the city, is okay.

The facilities are nice, bathrooms were clean. What I didn't enjoy was how close each RV site is. The sparks from our fire were making their way to our neighbors site.

The campground is situated next to the Trout Run Trail, providing quick and easy access to the 11-mile loop or in to the city center of Decorah.

Overall, decent for a city campground, but very crowded. The tent sites near the river look more spaced out.

Many different camping options

There are two campgrounds at this park (the first state park in Iowa): a primitive one and a “modern” one. The primitive one (Six Pine) only has a pit toilet and each site has a fire grate and a picnic table. The modern campground (South Lake) has 30 amp, 50 amp, and tent sites. The electric sites are very close together (too close for our liking) so we opted for a tent site. We were in a loop with about six sites, and while the site size was generous and spaced a decent distance apart, there was no delineation between sites and no specific place to park your vehicle (and you cannot park on the road). These sites were also decidedly bumpy and not level; it took us about 15 minutes of maneuvering our van around to find a reasonably level spot. 

The restrooms were six separate rooms, each complete with toilet, sink, and shower; they were clean. 

We drove around the park and saw the balanced rock (meh) and I walked the short distance to the mouth of the cave. There was good signage to find the cave but once there, no information about the cave and its safety (or not) was available so I opted not to explore its dark and wet interior! There are seven trails in the park; the East Lake trail was a treat to hike. It hugs the lake for about two miles and while you can veer off onto the Bluebird Trail, I enjoyed hiking out and back for a different view. You can also hike from the South Lake campground to the beach– about a mile but the trail does start and stop, and you have to walk on the road for a bit. You can rent kayaks, canoes, and paddleboats but we did not take advantage of this. We also did not swim so I cannot speak to the quality of the lake (other reviewers took issue with this). There is also a CCC museum, but it was not open while we were there. 

We stayed one night which was sufficient for us. It might have been nice to stay longer if we decided to rent kayaks or hike different trails.

Great hidden gem

Out in the middle of bluff country. This nice campground plays to the active bodied person well. From golf to tubing to an indoor swimming pool and restaurant. This place has a lot to offer.

Favorite Iowa Park

This park is perfect for families or anyone looking for plenty of activities. They have boat rentals, amazing trails, a camp store onsite, a swimming beach and super clean bathrooms. Stayed at tent site #24 in the Southlake Campground, and it was fairly quiet even on a busy holiday weekend.

Great park!

I tent camped at Six Pines Campground for 3 nights in August. The park has two campgrounds and this one is non electric with pit toilets and water. Each site has a picnic table and fire ring with a really nice grill. The sites are large and flat and the ones on the outside of the loop are well shaded. Two trails can be accessed from the tent campground - Six Pines trail and West Lake trail. There are two shower houses that you can use at the RV campground but it takes about 15-20 minutes to drive across the park to that campground. The park is very large with about 20 miles of trails. There is a spring fed creek and, if you stay away from the trout fishing area, you can play and wade in the creek. It has a sandy/rocky bottom and sandy banks. It felt wonderful on a hot day. There is a swim beach on the lake but it was closed due to E. coli in the water. There’s a small camp store too. At night in this campground there are no lights except in the registration kiosk so it’s perfect for star gazing. The Field of Dreams movie site is just 45 minutes away and makes for a fun side trip. There is a town about 10 minutes away with a couple restaurants and coffee shops. The Six Pines trail can be taken from the campground to the Backbone trail. The Backbone trail is along a rocky ridge. There are side trails down to the base of the cliffs and lots of rock climbing to do. Very fun to explore the side paths and climb up the rock walls.

Nice, quiet campground

Our site was very large, which was nice as it gave us more than enough room to set up our tent, leaving space between us and the neighboring sites.

For the families - there’s a couple small playgrounds on site, which is a good opportunity for the littles to burn some energy. There’s also a nice covered pool, but we didn’t use it because the most shallow point was 4’6”, which is great for bigger kids, but with little ones, it’s a bit more difficult. There’s a river that offers tubing. Again, our kids are a bit too little for that, but we went down to the water to check it out, and it was beautiful, quiet, and not real deep. Perfect for a relaxing float.

Beware, the office and bar/restaurant are located inside the barn. I say beware because there are barn swallows that nest on the outside of the barn. TONS of barn swallows. They’re mostly harmless, but they do swoop down and get pretty close, so you need to watch out a little bit.

All in all, it’s a pretty great place to camp. Beautiful, quiet (people seem to mostly respect the idea of “quiet time”), spacious, and relaxing. Also, it doesn’t hurt that you’re away from the bright lights of the city, so star gazing is amazing!

Good Base Camp to Explore Cedar Falls

It was kind of loud, but it was busy. The lake for swimming was a little gross but we did it anyway. The bike trails are excellent and same for hiking. Bathrooms were a little old but clean when we were there, but there were massive hornets all over the bathroom area. It's also pretty bright here at night because it's right in the city. But overall, a decent, cheap place to tent camp if you want to explore Cedar Falls.

Great bathroom and hiking, awful lake

We stayed here two nights. That was plenty, although it's not really the park's fault. The lake was super gross, with excessive floating moss (probably a weather issue) and EXCESSIVE goose poop everywhere. The beach was basically unusable, with goose bombs everywhere. It was better when we kayaked, but still gross.

So why the five stars? 1. The bathrooms were fantastic. 2. The camp site was really nice and plenty of room. 3. The hiking was superb. Felt like we were not in Iowa. 4. The driving through the park was also really great and I will go back this fall to look at leaves. 5. There is a cave you can explore on your own. We did. It's awesome. It's muddy. It's super cool. 6. There are some decent bouldering spots. 7. Cheap, huge bundles of firewood at park entrance. 8. Really friendly at the camp store. 9. Close to Strawberry Point. Go to town to Clayton's Pharmacy and get an old fashioned soda. Fantastic. 10. Close to Edgewood and the Edgewood Locker. Go visit and stock up on meat on the way home.

Best Hike In sites around

The hike up the hill to the overlook is a daunting one. We used a collapsible wagon to haul all the supplies up the hill. There are two hike in sites here at overlooks that give spectacular views. The site has a shelter for the tent as well as other places outside for it. A fire spot and picnic table. Worth the hike.