Located along the Elk River in Southwest Missouri, River Ranch offers different selections of camping areas. For those searching for a more private space, primitive tent camping is available. Electric tent camping is also available for those requiring electricity. River Ranch camping is also RV camping friendly as well.
Horrifying. A huge fight broke out in the late night cove on Friday and staff handled it very poorly. There was a Very large guy shouting for people to wake up, and to come fight him, during quiet hours and was going threw everyone stuff while everyone was asleep! He even opened a tent while a girl was In there unclothed and started shouting about it!!! And the staff got into the girls faces that were saying the guy was going through their stuff.. not the guy who was going threw their stuff and caused the entire fight. the cops finally kicked him out about 2 and a half hours after he started the fight between everyone and then about 30 mins later, a car rolls through and they shout“I hope you know how to duck” talking about shooting the place up!!!! No one On the staff was patrolling during the night so they didn’t even know what was happening… There was no way to get ahold of the staff, we had to call 911 and it took forever for the cops to get there! We were so scared. It was a ton of people screaming at each other from 330-530 am… the bathrooms are shared male/female, so there is literally piss everywhere. The bathrooms don’t lock and the door is too far away to just hold it shut, and the toilet paper was gone by about 8pm Friday night.. we bought 2 pair of water shoes from their store and they both fell apart by the end of the day.. The river had no current, so you had to paddle. And there were spots that were too shallow and everyone had to get out and u had to drag the raft.. There was no“floating down the river” The river also had a ton of branches and turned over trees, it’s very dangerous if you are not watching what you are doing, so how does that go hand in hand with a bunch of drunk people? We watched several people flip because they didn’t know how to handle these trees.. there were no signs anywhere so you have no idea where you are, how far you’ve gone, or how far you have left to go. And now today, 1 day after floating, I am covered in rashes from the water. Just overall a very unsafe experience.
Website said site we reserved was shady and grassy. Shade was ok but barely tufts of grass. Mostly sharp rocks/gravel/dirt which ended up tearing a hole in the bottom of our tarp footprint and tent. Worker there said those sites hadn’t been grassy for years and their website lied. :(
We stayed on the island (NOT the party side) which was very far from bathrooms. Ended up driving to them when we really had to go. Bathrooms themselves would be not bad if it wasn’t for drunken idiots leaving them a mess every night. We had one good neighbor. The others were busy blasting their music for all to hear and smoking weed for all to smell.
Not really a swimming beach area. Rocks are rather large and definitely not pea gravel or easy to walk on without twisting an ankle.
Store was nice. Overpriced but that’s to be expected. Seemed to be lots of security but guessing it’s cause of the partiers. Often the police/sheriff would patrol which was weird to see multiple times a day.
Not the best place to camp if rain/storms possible.
Definitely won’t be coming again or recommend for those seeking nature or with children.
Loud very drunk people are everywhere in the summer if that is your think you will love it. If not maybe try a weekday.
This is the best place to stay when floating the Elk River. Lots to choose from, cabins, tents, campers, etc. Have a late night loop (for the partiers), sand volleyball courts, shuttle to a nearby open air dance club, huge store and restaurant with good pizza and breakfast buffet. The cabins are nice as well. This is our go to spot for the Elk River year after year. Canoes, rafts, kayaks, etc. They have a 5 and 8 mile float option, depending on river conditions.
If you’re looking for a quiet day on the river go during the week, still tons of fun, but way less people. Every trip was a great time, and super easy to figure it all out!