Stayed on a Monday -Wednesday in a walk-in spot in loop 5. Every spot was occupied but park was maintained well and good time.
This has long been one of our favorite places to go as a family. The campground itself is perfect for families with lots of activities, especially during the summer months. Everything from walk in tent sites to full hook ups and even a few cabins. Book far in advance though! The Shut Ins themself are up the road from the actual campground and require a good hike back to actually get to the water. It’s all flat but you’ll still want to travel light. While the water area itself is beautiful you do need to be extremely careful. Especially with little ones. There are areas up top that you can hang out with children and let them swim without issue. But the shut ins themselves need to be navigated with caution. Overall this is one of our favorite parks in the state with plenty of fun for everyone!
The shut-in are a classic eastern MO destination with crystal clear water and beautiful bluffs. Campsite are less than 1.5 miles from the swimming area and are very clean and well maintained. Very nice visitors center with cool exhibits. General store at the campgrounds with limited hours. Word of caution.. the shut-in are for strong swimmers only! I would not recommend it for small children. The swimming area below the shut-ins however are fine. Water shoes a must!
Nice park. It’s a pretty long trek from parking to the swimming area with young children and all your gear. I recommend finding a nice pooled in area to swim in. Moving from pool to pool gets dicey. There are some awesome deep pools and “natural slides” but it definitely gets very slippery and you really have to watch the kids. Campground is pretty clean but average for state park.
I want to start by saying that this is an awesome sight to see and experience. With that being said, it is also hazardous and not easily accessible. The shut-ins are rock formations smoothed over by water. They are extremely slippery! Shoes are a necessity. The rocks also become very hot to the touch. There is no easy access to the swimming hole. You must climb up and down the hot, slippery rocks. It is not for the faint of heart, or anyone not physically capable of hoisting your own body out of the water, or small children who do not listen.
Despite these warnings, I was glad that my family was able to traverse the shut-ins. It was adventurous (and a little scary) but very cool to do.
The campsites are very nice. I don't mind the concrete pads they have for camping and parking. We have a camper but used cots when we tent camped so concrete was not a problem for us.
The kids loved the shut ins. We didn't even make it all the way to the back as it was a very long walk. We also visited some of the historical sites in the area.
Johnson Shut-Ins State Park is located on the Black River in Missouri, just south of St. Louis. This makes it a popular location on hot summer days, especially weekends. If you plan to go, make a reservation by calling toll free 877-ICampMO (877-422-6766). This is a State Park with about 80 walk-in, basic, electric, sewer/electric/water and equestrian campsites. Some of the sites have wooden platforms. The park also has a small store located in the center of the campground. Swimming is popular at the park. The “shut-ins” are rock formations where the river is limited by hard rock that it is cutting through. In these shut-ins, the river cascades over and around smooth-worn rock, creating a natural water park. There is also hiking and rock climbing.
The Shutins are a perfect spot for an active camper. The rocks in the river make for an amazing natural waterpark! Wearing water shoes is a must! I only gave it 4 stars because dogs are not allowed in the shut-ins area, only at the campsite. My dog goes everywhere with me so it makes us hesitant to return.
We have stayed in cabins and tent camped. Beautiful spot, but can be very heavily populated
A lot to do on the grounds and surrounding areas. Sites were very large with ample parking space