The best WALK IN camping near
Van Buren , MISSOURI

295 Reviews41 Campgrounds

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Most Recent Van Buren Camping Reviews
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!

Gorgeous in the Fall

My group and I camped in two of the basic sites in Asher Creek campground and we couldn’t get enough of the front-row lake view! The sites closest to the lake are very level, and everyone in the campground is only a short walk from the cleanest park restrooms I’ve ever seen. If you’re like me and are just doing basic tent camping, I’d recommend a pop-up canopy for the table area since there is not a lot of tree cover in those sites. Overall, an excellent place to camp!

A sweet little spot

Easy to miss with a quick turn off but once you cross the bridge on the main road you will be curious about the creek below. A handful of primitive camp sites with a fire ring, picnic table & lantern hook. Quick access to the cool creek and the much cooler river—crystal clear waters. Would advise a pair of water shoes for walking the riverbed and water as they are very rocky (available at nearby store if needed).

A peaceful and inexpensive site to rest your head and rejuvenate in the waters.

nice site

nice place beautiful and friendly people but too many trains lol but worth it for the memories

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.

Fantastic

Great camping!  Flat spots.  Mostly shaded.  Nice hosts.  Bathrooms close to all the spots.  Shower facilities nice.  Great swimming holes (recommend checking out the bluff hole).  Ranger programs on the weekends were very informative and friendly.  Can't wait to 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.

The campground is nice and clean.....but the park is GREAT!!!

 Pros

-- The rivers and streams meandering through the park and all the quiet swimming spots they offer-

--Well-marked trails

--Campground is clean and well maintained (it's brand new, so not surprising)

--WiFi is crazy fast-

-The lodge (I'm not normally a"lodge" sort of person, but we stopped in and it was nice to have) 

Cons:--Campground has almost no tree cover-- not its fault, because it's a brand new park, but good to be aware of

--Campsites are packed pretty close together, so there's minimal privacy 

Echo Bluff is a new park; it opened in 2016. If you're into finding little spots to swim or just hanging out in a gently flowing, crisp, clean river this is the spot. One thing that we noticed is that people tended to go in the water right near the campground, so when we hiked a bit, or even just went behind the lodge, there were PLENTY of places where we were the only ones there. 

The trails were well maintained. I normally would've gone for a bike ride, but didn't have a chance to. That said, the roads winding through the hills here looked great. The campground itself is fine. It's not a place you come for the campground, though; the park is what Echo Bluff is all about. 

Overall people were quiet and respectful, but we did have a few times at night and early one morning when a couple of people seemed to assume that everyone at the campground wanted to hear"Boot Scoot Boogie" at full volume(incorrect). 

So….Come for the park, stay at the campground. Go in the water!!!!