The best HIKE IN camping near
Esther , MISSOURI

154 Reviews10 Campgrounds

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Most Recent Esther Camping Reviews
Good fall spot

Well kept up place, good spacing between sites. I didn’t get a chance to go on any trails but there were a couple that looked good, including the Ozark Trail.

Huge!

Very large, open place with the river close to most campers. I never floated here but I'm sure it's quite the party!

Great Missouri SP

Just spent the weekend with my family at Sam A Baker (SAB). We stayed at campground 2. Spot 145 and had plenty of shade and space. There are two traditional camps and one equestrian. The park is crowded but that’s because of how great it is. Lots of paved walk/bike trails around the park. If you forget your bike no problem you can rent one for $5 a day! The visitors center was neat. The general store has everything you need and a restaurant attached where you can get breakfast, lunch and dinner. We spent some time on the gravel bar which was a short walk from our campsite. The water on Big Creek was clear, shallow, and not too cold. I would recommend this state park to any family looking to camp.

Perfect Family Campground

The state of missouri does an amazing job providing opportunities for families to enjoy the beauty of nature. Nature programs for kids and parents to learn. Well kept facilities. The ice cream is just a bonus. This is by far my favorite campsite for the kids.

Great swimming hole!

We went with the whole fam to Sam A Baker. Shower houses were conveniently located in camping area. Big River was just a small walk away from the campsite. I know they had been flooded, but I am still cleaning rocks and dirt from the camper. They had a nice camp store and were very friendly. Mostly electric sites. A few full hookups close to the front of the campground. Nice paved roads and larger than normal sites. It was during a pandemic, but bathrooms were pretty clean. Will definitely go again.

Fun weekend

Great access to river. Stayed on the family side and had a great time. Staff super helpful and upbeat, everyone looked like they wanted to ACTUALLY be there. Would definitely go back.

Amazing river swimming, but try to come mid-week if you can!

 Pros:

--Tons of swimming in the rivers and"shut-ins" throughout the park(just remember to wear water shoes if you can; it's VERY gravely)

--Lots of trails

--Nice, mellow bike path connecting the two main campgrounds and the very fun camp store(look up on the ceiling!)

--Tall pines(I love tall pines, that's all) 

Cons: DISCLAIMER-- We were here on a weekend in August, so I suspect our experience was very much shaped by that….

--Campground was PACKED and LOUD

--Campground was PACKED and LOUD

--Campground was PACKED and LOUD 

Okay, I think you get the picture with the campground itself. It was one of those things that made me feel like a cranky old man, saying,"man, why can't these people stop trying to show-off their lame-ass stereos???" That said, the park itself was beautiful. 

The main attraction is the water. The river twists and turns through the park. It's shallow, gently flowing, and VERY clear pretty much everywhere(except a few places where it was stagnant!). PRO TIP!!! Since the campground was PACKED and LOUD, most people seemed to not venture too far from the campground itself, so if you want your own private swimming spots, you can hike a relatively short distance and grab one. We did the short"shut-ins" trail and found a perfect one. 

BOTTOM LINE: If you want any peace and quiet, don't stay here on the weekend. I suspect the weekdays would be better, and if you managed to schedule mid-week, I suspect it would be an incredible place to stay.

Nice but pricey

Very pricey, as soon as we pulled into the campground we were bombarded by workers asking us if we went in and paid yet.

Fun Campground

We enjoyed our 1.5 mile hike to get to the river access to float. We brought our own flotation devices and really enjoyed every aspect of the seclusion. They have equestrian trails as well and we got to see horses while floating too. The water was crystal clear and we even found quartz in some rocks in the water.

NOT family friendly with young children!

The first thing that bothered me the most was the constant giant burning pile of garbage in the campground! And ALL the dumpsters were overflowing with garbage. Our campsite was so narrow you could touch the other RV from under your awning. Our firepit was next to their sewer line. The campsite was so unlevel my 1 year old couldnt even stand outside the camper without falling. There was NO room to play at all outside the camper on the family side. The family beach was really nice but all the dogs kept trying to pee on all our stuff. That was annoying. No playground and the the roads are loose gravel so my 3 year old couldnt ride her bike. We ended up staying only 1 night when I booked 3. I would personally never go there again. Also they CHARGE for WIFI!