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Places to Camp in Minnesota

The Land of 10,000 Lakes is also notable for its likewise numerous assortment of trails and campgrounds for avid lovers of the great outdoors. Minnesota has many diverse natural environments to explore all across the state. While there are lots of spots to choose from, here are a couple especially neat sites to consider for your next foray when camping in Minnesota.

Part of the massive Dulux Complex rock formation, Eagle Mountain stands at a whopping 2,301 feet, the highest point of elevation in the state. Isolated from higher ground for hundreds of miles and overlooking several different lakes and a vast forest, the peak offers excellent opportunities to take a bird’s eye view of Minnesota’s rich natural beauty.

In addition to the campsites adjacent to Whale Lake, there are also many trails that run along the mountain, through the woods, and beside the lakes. Just keep in mind that Eagle Mountain’s trails overlap with the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, so be sure to get a BWCAW permit if you plan to cross over. Plus, you need an overnight permit from the Forest Service in nearby Tofte, MN.

The starting point for the grand Mississippi River, Lake Itasca, rests within Itasca State Park. The park hosts a variety of camping amenities such as lodges and internet access. You can also stop at the Mary Gibbs Mississippi Headwaters Center to learn more about the lake and its link to the Mississippi. Or you can check out the University of Minnesota’s Itasca Biological Station and Laboratories campus.

In addition to excellent camping facilities, Lake Itasca has many other outdoor sights and activities for visitors to explore. Multiple trails snake by the shores of the lake and into the adjacent wilderness, and it’s definitely a great place to experience the beauty of Minnesota’s northern ecosystems. Plus, you can go fishing at the lake, assuming you have the necessary permits.

With so many different campsites and trails throughout Minnesota’s diverse natural environments, there’s bound to be one that’s just right for you. Whatever you’re looking for in your camping experience, whether it’s finding deluxe accommodations or exploring unique trails or getting a great view of the landscape, you’re sure to have a blast camping in Minnesota.

Best Camping Sites in Minnesota (1,152)

    Camper-submitted photo from Split Rock Lighthouse State Park Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Split Rock Lighthouse State Park Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Split Rock Lighthouse State Park Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Split Rock Lighthouse State Park Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Split Rock Lighthouse State Park Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Split Rock Lighthouse State Park Campground

    1.

    Split Rock Lighthouse State Park Campground

    67 Reviews
    322 Photos
    377 Saves
    Beaver Bay, Minnesota

    Camping Drive-in Sites46 electric sites in Shipwreck Creek Campground Open seasonally, May - October. Most site parking pads are at least 70 feet long. This park does NOT have a dump station or water fill station!

    Wheelchair Accessible SitesFive sites Two sites in the cart-in campground and three sites in the Shipwreck Creek Campground. Sites 110 and 203 have elevated tent pads with a ramp. Site 314 does not have an elevated tent pad, but the entire site is packed, crushed gravel - no grass.

    Backpack Sites4 sites These sites range from 1/2 to 2 miles from the campground parking lot. Two of the sites are accessible from Lake Superior for use by kayakers.

    Cart-in Sites20 sites These beautiful sites are all within 2,000 feet of the parking lot. Wheeled carts are available to haul gear and supplies to your campsite. These are secluded sites.

    Carts are not available in the winter. A backpack or sled is recommended to haul gear during the winter months. Please call park office with questions.

    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Electric Hookups
    • Phone Service
    • Reservable
    • ADA Access
    Camper-submitted photo from Jay Cooke State Park Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Jay Cooke State Park Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Jay Cooke State Park Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Jay Cooke State Park Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Jay Cooke State Park Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Jay Cooke State Park Campground

    2.

    Jay Cooke State Park Campground

    61 Reviews
    255 Photos
    313 Saves
    Carlton, Minnesota

    The rugged land formations of Jay Cooke State Park enhance the beauty of the hardwood forests and make for great camping near Minneapolis. The water-eroded gorge, steep valleys, and massive rock formations are seen throughout the park. In some seasons, the water of the St. Louis River thunders over slabs of ancient, exposed rock. At other times, it slows to a gentle trickle. Visitors enjoy the scenic splendor of Jay Cooke State Park during all seasons.

    Drive-in Sites 79 Sites: Most are wooded sites. In winter, 12 sites are kept available for winter camping. Of these, five are electric sites.

    Pull-Through Sites: One Site

    Electric Sites: 21 Sites Majority of sites are 20 and 30 amps, some 50 amp.

    RV Length Limit: Variable by site up to 60 Feet Length is measured from front of tow vehicle to rear of vehicle being towed.

    Wheelchair Accessible Sites: 3 Sites Located near drinking water. Two sites are electric, one is non-electric.

    Backpack Sites: 4 Sites Sites are located from 1 to 4 miles from parking area. Each site has picnic table, fire ring and latrine. Campers must haul water or treat water on site. Trail access to these sites has been restored after a 2012 flood, but a few nearby trails remain closed. Please register at the park office for details on how to get to these sites.

    Walk-in Sites: 4 Sites Sites are located 50 to 150 feet from parking area.

    Group Camp: 2 Sites - Each accommodates up to 25 people Remote, wooded camp with walk-in sites approximately 150' from parking area (limited parking). Carts are provided to carry in camping gear. Water spigot and vault toilets available. Tents only. Lodging

    Camper Cabins: 5 Cabins All cabins have a screened porch. Electricity and heat are available year-round. Agate and Basalt cabins are ADA accessible and sleep 5. Slate, Gabbro, and Shale Cabins sleep 6 people. Pets not allowed in cabins. More information on camper cabins.

    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Electric Hookups
    • Phone Service
    • Reservable
    • ADA Access
    Camper-submitted photo from Gooseberry Falls State Park Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Gooseberry Falls State Park Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Gooseberry Falls State Park Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Gooseberry Falls State Park Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Gooseberry Falls State Park Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Gooseberry Falls State Park Campground

    3.

    Gooseberry Falls State Park Campground

    61 Reviews
    237 Photos
    305 Saves
    Beaver Bay, Minnesota

    Campground is open year round. Showers/flush toilets are open May - October

    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Phone Service
    • Reservable
    • ADA Access
    • RVs
    Camper-submitted photo from Baptism River Campground — Tettegouche State Park
    Camper-submitted photo from Baptism River Campground — Tettegouche State Park
    Camper-submitted photo from Baptism River Campground — Tettegouche State Park
    Camper-submitted photo from Baptism River Campground — Tettegouche State Park
    Camper-submitted photo from Baptism River Campground — Tettegouche State Park
    Camper-submitted photo from Baptism River Campground — Tettegouche State Park

    4.

    Baptism River Campground — Tettegouche State Park

    52 Reviews
    254 Photos
    10 Saves
    Illgen City, Minnesota

    Located on the Baptism River, the campground is one and one-half miles from Lake Superior. These are secluded, well-screened sites. Eight sites are available in winter. Note: A campsite may be occupied by a group of six or fewer people using one camping shelter. Groups of six or fewer traveling in one vehicle may have one additional tent with prior approval from park staff.

    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Electric Hookups
    • Reservable
    • Standard (Tent/RV)
    • Picnic Table

    $25 / night

    Camper-submitted photo from Interstate State Park — Interstate State Park
    Camper-submitted photo from Interstate State Park — Interstate State Park
    Camper-submitted photo from Interstate State Park — Interstate State Park
    Camper-submitted photo from Interstate State Park — Interstate State Park
    Camper-submitted photo from Interstate State Park — Interstate State Park
    Camper-submitted photo from Interstate State Park — Interstate State Park

    5.

    Interstate State Park — Interstate State Park

    50 Reviews
    241 Photos
    199 Saves
    Taylors Falls, Minnesota

    There is so much to do at Interstate State Park along the beautiful St. Croix River. Explore unique geology and stunning cliff-top views, hike trails through diverse habitat, canoe or kayak, or relax on an excursion boat. The park is also a popular destination for rock climbers. Visit in spring for trails lined with wildflowers. Come in fall for picturesque valley views. Experience the park's glacial potholes during any season. These impressive holes were carved into the rock by swirling sand and water thousands of years ago.

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

    $24 - $34 / night

    Camper-submitted photo from Minneiska Campground — Whitewater State Park
    Camper-submitted photo from Minneiska Campground — Whitewater State Park
    Camper-submitted photo from Minneiska Campground — Whitewater State Park
    Camper-submitted photo from Minneiska Campground — Whitewater State Park
    Camper-submitted photo from Minneiska Campground — Whitewater State Park
    Camper-submitted photo from Minneiska Campground — Whitewater State Park

    6.

    Minneiska Campground — Whitewater State Park

    47 Reviews
    145 Photos
    171 Saves
    Elba, Minnesota

    Schools of trout happily swim through the lazy Whitewater River and various spring fed creeks of Whitewater State Park. And while it’s known for its fantastic fishing opportunities, the park also boasts year-round interpretive programs, a modern Visitor Center, and an especially appreciated lack of mosquitos, unique for the region.

    Whitewater is well seasoned, with a number of historical attractions within and nearby. In fact, 2019 marks the 100th anniversary of the park. To commemorate the occasion, local conservationists and naturalists have teamed up to release a special Oral History Project from stories of campers and those native to the region.

    Explorers and adventurers will love this park’s diverse selection of attractions and oddities. Home of the park office and interpretive services, the Whitewater Valley Visitor Center should be your first stop. The friendly Park staff are ready to help you plan your visit and load you up on information, and even loaner equipment such as GPS units, fishing kits, discovery kits for kids, and birding kits. Don’t skip the Discovery Room, which showcases nature displays, exhibits and a spotting area to observe the local bluebirds, cardinals, hawks and bald eagles flying about.

    The vast expanse of outdoor wilderness is really what you’ll want to check out. If you only have time for a quick visit, check out the Chimney Rock Trail for an awesome view of the Whitewater River. Those searching for a more accessible hike can take the Meadow Trail, which drops off right into a grassy valley, surrounded by dramatic Minnesota bluffs. During the hot and humid summers, go unwind at the beach for a refreshing dip in the cold, spring-fed water. Those more interested in history lovers should visit the famous Elba Fire Tower. Built in 1933, this sturdy tower offers cozy 360 degree views of the entire wetland region below. You’ll be especially grateful for the chance to unwind, thanks to the arduous 500-step climb required to ascend to the top.

    Finally, firmly planted atop the land sits Inspiration Point; a beautiful limestone rock outcrop that overlooks the entirety of the Whitewater valley. Known as the most popular attraction within Whitewater State Park, visitors can still discover solace from their troubles. In fact, this is the only overlook in the entire park where there are no signs of civilization anywhere in sight. With just a little imagination, standing atop Inspiration Point on a clear, calm day can make you feel as if you could step down into a deep forested paradise, unspoiled and far from the reach of society.

    Whitewater campground here is plentiful, with every site having full electric hookups and full-through capabilities. The campground features a full range of amenities including regularly placed shower houses with laundry facilities, and a number of group camping areas as well. Furthermore, there are 5 cabins available with various sleeping capabilities.

    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Electric Hookups
    • Phone Service
    • Reservable
    • ADA Access
    Camper-submitted photo from Temperance River State Park Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Temperance River State Park Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Temperance River State Park Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Temperance River State Park Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Temperance River State Park Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Temperance River State Park Campground

    7.

    Temperance River State Park Campground

    44 Reviews
    237 Photos
    267 Saves
    Schroeder, Minnesota

    There are two campgrounds, an upper and a lower campground. Some sites in the lower campground have an excellent view of the lake. Most sites are in a shaded, wooded area.

    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Electric Hookups
    • Phone Service
    • Reservable
    • ADA Access
    Camper-submitted photo from Blue Mounds State Park Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Blue Mounds State Park Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Blue Mounds State Park Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Blue Mounds State Park Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Blue Mounds State Park Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Blue Mounds State Park Campground

    8.

    Blue Mounds State Park Campground

    45 Reviews
    120 Photos
    122 Saves
    Hardwick, Minnesota
    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Electric Hookups
    • Phone Service
    • Reservable
    • RVs

    $20 - $35 / night

    Camper-submitted photo from Lebanon Hills Regional Park
    Camper-submitted photo from Lebanon Hills Regional Park
    Camper-submitted photo from Lebanon Hills Regional Park
    Camper-submitted photo from Lebanon Hills Regional Park
    Camper-submitted photo from Lebanon Hills Regional Park
    Camper-submitted photo from Lebanon Hills Regional Park

    9.

    Lebanon Hills Regional Park

    40 Reviews
    83 Photos
    250 Saves
    Apple Valley, Minnesota

    Lebanon Hills Regional Park is the largest park in the Dakota County park system. Containing almost 2,000 acres, the park offers miles of trails and many lakes for year-round outdoor sports, recreation and environmental education.

    The Lebanon Hills Visitor Center, located in the eastern section of the park, offers park information, interactive nature displays, courses and programs, equipment rental and access to all the beauty the park has to offer.

    Dakota County Parks is actively restoring more than 1,100 acres of prairie and forest within Lebanon Hills Campground and planting more than 3,000 new trees and shrubs.

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

    $24 - $42 / night

    Camper-submitted photo from Wild River State Park Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Wild River State Park Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Wild River State Park Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Wild River State Park Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Wild River State Park Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Wild River State Park Campground

    10.

    Wild River State Park Campground

    41 Reviews
    120 Photos
    133 Saves
    Taylors Falls, Minnesota

    The park provides opportunities for semi-modern camping, group camping, equestrian camping, backpack camping, and canoe camping. Visitors who want modern amenities can reserve the guest house which provides a living room, dining room, kitchen, and fireplace. The park also has six camping cabins which include bunkbeds, a table, and benches.

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

    $35 / night

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