When you think of Kansas, forget about flat. There’s a world of unexpected outdoor adventures waiting for you in the heart of America. Camping in Kansas brings you closer to world-class hiking, fishing, horseback riding, and the ability to enjoy a sunset over the plains. With twenty-six state parks, multiple lakes, and an abundance of trails and wildlife, camping in Kansas is sure to surprise you.
The scenic Flint Hills National Wildlife Refuge lies in the broad, flat, and beautiful Neosho River Valley. It’s the country’s largest remaining tract of tallgrass, complete with captivating wildflowers and a nearly endless horizon. El Dorado State Park is situated conveniently at the edge of the Flint Hills and perfect for camping nearby. A destination for boating, fishing, hiking and wildlife viewing, the hills make camping in Kansas as fun-packed as it is gorgeous.
For water lovers, there are a handful of public camping areas near the Kansas River Trail, as well as sandbars welcome to campers scattered along the way. Cyclists and hikers will love camping in Kansas for the numerous trails winding through Kansas River State Park’s breathtaking oak-hickory forest. Plus, you can access the Kansas River (also known as Kaw River) from a boat ramp for canoeing, kayaking, and other small watercraft.
If you’re looking for fresh air, awe-inspiring views, and crystal water, Kansas may have just the right thing. With tall grass, stretching fields, and open skies, the Sunflower State is perfect for those who love trail exploration, wildlife, and even archery! From the Flint Hills to the Kansas River and everything in between, camping in Kansas is perfect for a picturesque and peaceful getaway.
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This campground offers a quiet out of the way experience. There are only 15 sites, about half of which are electric and water. There are no modern restrooms or showers but there are several vaulted toilets that are cleaned quite frequently. Nestled below the dam this is a hidden gem. I camped here on Labor Day and the park was full. Prior recons of this park were only half full or less. This park sits on the Elk City Lake. It has modern (brand new) playgrounds, basketball courts, and even a sand volleyball court. The sites are spaced well apart from each other and I never heard much of my neighbors. You can only book this campground through recreation.gov. you wont be disappointed!
My husband and I pulled into this campground around 7 pm and didn’t have a reservation. The instructions at the self pay were confusing, as the directions made it sound like you needed a reservation but when we talked to the campground host she said we could just pay at the permit office in the morning. We stayed in Campground 1 in one of the primitive sites. There were many sites to choose from even through there were quite a few campers here during the middle of the week. It was a bit of a hike to the water but the bathrooms were clean and had single room toilets with showers. Beautiful area with lots of wildlife!
My husband and I stayed in a site with beautiful trees and sunflowers growing all around us. The monarchs must have been migrating because they were all over the trees. You can drive down to the water. We didn’t see a lot of campers but there were quite a few people fishing off the shore. Bring bug spray, as the mosquitoes and chiggers were biting! Very quiet stay for a couple nights!
We really enjoyed our time here. We had only one neighbor in our area of the park and were right on the water. The lake was busy during the day and quieted down in the evening. Bathrooms need a refresh but I can only imagine how much use they get each year. Overall we highly recommend this place. Before entering the park grab some firewood and last minute supplies from the local bait shop, 2nd right after getting off the main road.
Driving across Kansas can be long and tedious and I'm often looking for a place to primitive-car-camp on the cheap to get some sleep while crossing the country. This little lake worked perfectly for me. Not a huge detour from I-70 (maybe 20-30 minutes total) - I found the campground completely empty on a Monday night in early September and woke up with a picnic table and a fire pit next to a calm lake with jumping fish and just a few local fisherman visible in various spots. There were no annoying gates or camp managers or $ charges, and that's perfect for my purposes.. Made a cup of coffee by the lake and got back on the road. I didn't see bathroom/shower/electrical or any other "advanced" services so this is more for those of us who just need a peaceful place to tent camp.
Nice, no frills, rv park with friendly staff. Great place for a stop over. We stayed 2 nights after a 500 mile driving day. Gravel sites with grass surrounding the park. Approximately 30 or so full hookup spaces. Community room with restrooms, showers and laundry.
We arrived at 10 pm Sunday and got a space on the lake. Very well maintained campground. It’s not truly a destination, but for a night during travel it’s great. The sites are pull-thru with 30 amp and water. There is a dump site there, too. We would definitely stop there again. Really cool little town, too. Beautiful architecture on the churches.