the dyrt
THE BEST CAMPING IN
Missouri
917 Reviews 490 Campgrounds

A hefty sum of forty-one state parks with more than 3,600 campsites makes camping in Missouri a breeze to plan and enjoy. Long known as “The Cave State,” Missouri has nearly 6,400 historic caves to offer the archeologists at heart. And with abundant shoreline space, water activities are surprisingly easy to find at Missouri campsites. So round up the crew and grab your gear – it’s time to make memories camping in Missouri!

Thanks to the Lake of the Ozarks, the state has over 1,150 miles of shoreline, making camping in Missouri a must for water lovers. Experience the Ozarks’ breathtaking outdoors in the beautiful Ozark Mountains at one of Elk River’s three campgrounds, which offer rafting, canoeing, camping and angling.

Looking for a little history lesson along with your camping adventure? Look no further than Missouri’s intricate cave scene. Meramec Caverns located in the Ozarks is a 4.5-mile cave system that has existed for the past 400 million years. Meramec Caverns is just one hour from the heart of St. Louis, and offers lodging, camping, and canoeing in addition to guided tours of the cave.

The quaint and historic Graham Cave State Park is just over an hour west of St. Louis, and offers a walk through ancient history along with year-round camping availability, five hiking trails, and over 386 scenic acres to explore. Take a trip down literature lane and visit the famous Mark Twain Cave near Hannibal, MO. Mark Twain, a Hannibal native himself, incorporates the maze-like cave in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Cave-lovers can also descend into the Onondaga Cave State Park to view towering stalagmites, stalactites, and active flowstones.

Get away and explore Missouri’s scenic shoreline spots and cave wonders. With The Dyrt, you can be sure to find the best camping in Missouri along the way.

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Recent Reviews in Missouri
C

Hope you like airplanes!!! Not too far from KCI and planes making their final decent fly right over top. Campground itself was clean with very friendly staff. RV lots were cramped however. It seems as if in its prime this place was the place to be but has since kind of run down a bit. Need to start investing in it before it’s too far gone. Ordered pizza from the shack for lunch one day…it was meh. Had great camping neighbors tho and with it being the weekend before Halloween several folks brought candy to hand out to kids. Won’t return.

Easy Access to City

This isn't our typical "go to" type campground; we stopped here because we were having some trouble with our truck and needed to have it looked over before heading out further west. The RV park is really close to downtown Independence, Missouri and has everything we needed for the night. It's within walking distance of everything in town, has full hook-ups, wifi, bathrooms, and a laundry facility.

It is what you might expect for an RV park so close to downtown, a little lacking in outdoor aesthetics. But, the bathrooms were clean, the showers very hot, and the laundry room was tidy! Also, the manager was super nice and accommodating.

Independence has some cool stuff to check out and has a very midwestern, small-town feel to it, even though it is basically a suburb of the greater Kansas City area. There is a lot of charm and some interesting architecture in the immediate area. The Truman Library, the Community of Christ Church, the downtown theater and court house are all interesting and worth a look. We had some time to kill and made the rounds to these various places. If the weather would have been warmer, it would have been a very bikeable area, too.

Primitive Camping

This is primitive type camping only thing available is outdoor restrooms. It butts up to the lake. Has great scenic views. Open to others to come and swim. Great for fishing. Also is a boat launch area.

My Favorite

One of my top 3 campsites to visit in Missouri. Through the warm season visit at least once a month. Good clean facilities, great staff who are friendly, respectful and fun to laugh with. Always make you feel welcome. Beautiful river flowing by. There are a few choice spots that I prefer depending on time of year that can fill up quick. So book ahead. Water is chilly year around so if you like bathwater warmth, not the place for you. For us it's perfect.

Close to historic town of Arrow Rock

The campground is neat and tidy and well maintained. The main appeal is the nearby town of Arrow Rock with its many historic buildings and an excellent interpretation center. Great for a pleasant cycle in the evening or a stroll after a bottle of wine.

The best in northern Missouri

Exceptional primitive camping, private spaces with plenty of shade. Clean toilets and welcoming full time staff. Small swimming lake a short walk away and nice treks. RV area is a bit more open. Artisan brewery in nearby Cameron and highly recommended deli in nearby Hamilton. Always spaces available during the week.

RAIN!!

Hard to give an accurate account for our stay due to it raining basically the entire time. When it wasn’t raining the sites were nice and spacious and relatively level. Made for easy set up and break down. Like the other Jackson county campgrounds the convenience of being close to home was nice and because of the rain made it easy to run and grab a pizza. Will go back!

Location is king

No frills here. But everything you need. 30/50 amp, water, sewer. I was very skeptical, so naturally I booked 3 nights. Fully fenced, police very close. Never once felt unsafe.

Downsides. Kinda noisy. Kinda bright at night (I’ll take it for the safety) No privacy (no trees)

Very worth the stay. Great location. People very nice.

Fan-fun-tastic

Clean campground. Plenty of space.

Quiet fun

Watkins Mill offers easy access, level sites. The Mill is a great place to tour while getting some exercise. The small lake seems to not attract a lot of boaters, but has a fishing dock.

First to Review
Great for family camping

Busy summer camping with great amenities. Perfect for boating on Table Rock Lake, swimming, and fishing. Playground available in picnic area. Some sites are reservable, others are first come-first served. Water and electric available. Beautiful place to use as base camp for active campers, or just to relax by the campfire for those just looking for an escape from busy life. Just across lake from Big M Marina.

First to Review
Great for off-season roughing it.

My family has been camping here in October- after winterization, thus no water- for decades. In season, there are nearby showers and running water. Sites are large and heavily shaded. The sandy swim beach is clean and fun, even off-season. Lots of places to hike and fish. Great place for boating. The bathrooms are generally kept clean. I have little experience here during season, but highly recommend it if you are looking for a quiet place to camp off-season… unless you come the same weekend as my large family. :)

So close but plenty far away....

All campsites are on the lake. Very clean and spot on! Open all year. 24/7 security. Close to civilization but inside the river levy so also very peaceful.

Great place to camp.

During the camping season this campground has nice large shower houses and clean bathrooms. They sell ice and firewood at gates. Pleasant campground, very nice lake. I camp with kids from infant through 18 and hot showers and decent bathrooms are a must for us. Close to Smithville Missouri.

Great weekend retreat

Nice quiet relaxing. Owners very helpful and friendly

Large, popular, but holds its own

We were camping in October, and showed up midday on a Sunday - The campground had been quite full over the weekend and was still in the process of clearing out but someone had already vacated a nice site in the lower loop (one of 4) overlooking the Lake that was available for the next three nights. We are tent campers but in this shoulder season we like electric sites to mitigate some of the dark. The colors reflecting off the Lake and the flock of white pelicans hanging out on a sand bar made this a lovely place to hang out - stoking up a little afternoon fire, which we seldom do. Neighbors at this site were far enough away although there is little privacy between sites. The Park is situated on both shores of an arm of Lake of the Ozarks which allows it to feel more removed from the chaos of the tourist world which we appreciate and the waters are quite shallow in the area which reduced fast boat traffic - could almost imagine kayaking there. The trails in the park are many and we only sampled a few - nice forest. The Caverns were closed by this point in the season so ….. that will have to be fore next time.

Great side trip on route 66

While this is mostly an RV campground there are some tent campsites that are out of the way and usually free. It is an off-roading park so be aware of the noise.

Great sites, great sights!

Lots of river-side campsites, choice between wooded or open areas, pit latrines or flushies, and standard or electric sites. There are groop camping and cabins. Heated bathroom is available. On-site showers and laundry, RV Dump stations, and a store that offers fishing and camping gear, souveniers and a small selection of food. During the summer, swimming pool is open. Roaring River State Park is home to a Trout hatchery and the river is stocked each evening with trout for fishing the next morning. Sites have fire pits and picnic tables. Handicapped campers will find an accessible site with a large, flat concrete pad, accessible restrooms, and an accessible fishing area.

Fall Camping

Beautiful Campground. $21 Electric on season $19 Electric off season. Off season starts Nov 1. Water is turned off. Showers, laundry, dump station, playground in park. Great hiking trails.

Fall Camping

Great park. Electric $21 in season. $19 off season. Off season starts Nov 1. Showers, water, ice machine, firewood, firepits.

Blue, blue, blue, cold, cold, cold

Blue Spring is beautiful and cold! Aside from the over zealous teenagers jumping into the spring it was a nice visit.

This is a primitive camping area and there are a lot of partying people in and around this area plus frequent motorboat traffic. No amenities, many generators. Drive in, pick a spot and set up camp. There are so many areas to visit around the river this would be an excellent base camp or you could use it as a stop off on a float trip.

Eminence, MO is nearby and a good place to refuel and get stuff you need for your adventures. Make sure you get a paper map because phone signal can be iffy.

Moist

Love visiting this area. Big Spring Campgrounds near Van Buren, MO is still being renovated after the flood in 2017.

That being said porta pots are in evidence but they were clean. The showerhouse is crowded and old. The only one for the entire campground and three shower stalls. You have room to spread out in your site, privacy andshade if your on the outer loop. A short walk to the river to wade or swim but there is a good current so be aware and wear water shoes.

All about your neighbors

Round Springs in the Ozark National Scenic Riverways of MO is one of the smaller campground areas but it still has some options.

Single or group sites with nearby put in to the Current River make it ideal. Unfortunately the party climate of the area can make it less then ideal depending on who you get in the site next to or across from you. I love this area but it’s popularity takes away from the charm. Some people don’t respect their fellow campers and realize everyone wants to have a good time. Not much problem with wildlife the crowds keep them away but raccoons are still prevalent so store your food properly ;) Saw some deer but that was about it. People also use generators in the non-electric sites so you may be unfortunate enough to be next to them.

That being said it’s still possible to find some areas that are less populated and popular but still interesting to explore.Or if you are going to party, you will be in like company. Plenty to hike, float and explore in the immediate area!

Close to history

We arrived mid week in October without reservations. The campground host was SO helpful in steering us in the right direction both in terms of the campground and there is a Basic loop separate from those with electricity - not very used in October mid week. Bathrooms were centrally located in the campground. The campground is within an easy 1/2 mile of the historic town of Arrow Rock and also a slightly longer hike through woods and leaves and into the Wildlife Refuge to the Missouri River and a landing site. Lewis and Clark and the Santa Fe Trail play into this history here so that's pretty cool too. The Visitor Center at the State Park is really good and tells the story of the area well.

The past and the present

Alley Spring near Eminence, in the Ozark National Scenic Riverways of MO is in my opinion one of the best areas in this region.

There was a flood in 2017 which is a good and bad thing. Unfortunately MO has cut funding to the parks so prior to the flood the maintenance had dropped off considerably, many facilities had been closed and are no longer used due to the neglect. Since the flood there has been and is a lot of renovations going on. It’s not there yet. Some areas are still closed.

Alley Spring is somewhere in the midst of renovation. Still excellent area to camp in with mostly private sites. There are a few that aren’t so great but if you reserve ahead and stay out of the inner area you should be pretty happy with your location.

The nearby rental place for the river will come to you for pickup, there are some nice trails to explore and supposedly wild horses in the area. I’ve not seen them yet.

The spring is beautiful! Tranquility comes to mind when you see it. The trail that climbs above the spring to the overlook is moderate and unfortunately the overlook itself is damaged so you don’t get quite the same view as before. The trail also meanders around the mill and spring, if your lucky you will see the adorable muskrat that resides in the area.

There are pavilions for get together sand a small store with interesting things to see and a cold drink at the end of your journey.

Aqua central!

Van Buren, MO is in the midst of to the Ozark National Scenic Riverway. This whole area is party central for water lovers that spend their vacation time either motoring, floating or sitting along the Current River and the several natural springs that feed into it.

Big Spring State Park is nearby with plenty of camping options. The campground is still under renovation due to the 2017 flood. There is a showerhouse used by all that is a bit cryptic and bug infested. There is one flush toilet in the first campground loop, the other two loops have porta pots. Picnic table, fire ring and lantern hook on semi-private, mostly level sites. Some have more shade then others. Also a group site is available.

Skyline Drive is the scenic roadway through the Mark Twain National Forest in this area of the state. There are several areas that people camp on the Current River sand bars. If your looking to commune with nature it is possible even with the crowd, they stick mostly to the river.

Eminence, MO is the crossroads to several of the springs and Current River areas. Food , fuel and shopping.

Definitely a destination camping area.

Last Weekend In October

Quaint campground an hour outside of Kansas City. Beautiful fall foliage. The last weekend in October they have a lot of great activities for kids. Pumpkin Carving games. There’s a campsite decorating contest. Kids can go trick or treating at the campsites that choose to participate. Showers are immaculate. Vault toilets are extremely well maintained. Well marked trails and friendly people all around.

Closed

Unfortunately PowderMill is closed due to the flood damage in 2017. The limited funding for repairs of the area has caused several sites to be left to the elements and they are slowly being reclaimed by nature…maybe not a horrible thing ;)

There are still several areas to choose from that are currently being rebuilt/reclaimed.

Close to interesting cave

The campground has limited parking and some of the terrain was hilly but still a nice getaway with a cave nearby to visit!

A wonderful place to stay.

People's Creek has upper and lower campsites. Upper is basically less trees and isn't near the walake. I would probably avoid it if there are other choices but some folks like the large sites and the overview. I think there are fewer mosquito issues on those sites. People's lower has a mixture of sites that are very close to the lake but relatively less shade. The higher parts of people's lower are very shady and beautiful. Not all sites on lower have water or sewer but many do. I love this area and would highly recommend.