The Little Blue Area at Grand Lake State Park is comprised of a small creek and plenty of camping spots. Visitors will find shallow, crystal-clear waters perfect for families with young children, as well as 30 primitive tent camping spots nestled between the trees and Grand Lake. Leashed pets are welcome, and the park is open 24 hours a day.
The Little Blue Area at Grand Lake State Park is centrally located between Tulsa (65 miles), Joplin (67 miles) and Rogers (63 miles), which lets you get away without wandering too far from home.
Nearby entertainment includes Hogan's Off Road Park, which is located right beside the neighboring dam spillway. The park gives off-roaders easy access to the range with about five square miles of trails and rock structures for rock crawlers. Guests can also check out Grand River Dam Authority Ecosystems and Education Center and book a tour of the Pensacola Dam.
It took us an extra hour to find this campground once we got up there.. towing a jeep behind you looking for a campground with next to no service was very frustrating to start off.. lack of signage.. If it’s your first time up there, print out directions because your phone might not work.
Once we finally found our campground and site, there was a family of six or seven already unpacked and in our spot cooking, THAT WE ALREADY PAID FOR! it was after 4 o’clock and there was no one at the office, it was closed. (On a Friday) We had to resolve this issue ourselves. The reason they were in our site was because somebody took their site. Extremely unorganized, extremely frustrating, after hours of driving there and getting lost, now we have to deal with this. With our two little frustrated kids in the backseat… Our site was number 8 right in the middle, as far down to the waterfall as you can get.
All night long, even after curfew, people were running and yelling on their way down to the water right by our site.. and there was a huge powerline light right over our campsite.. It did not feel like camping at all, more of a party atmosphere. not a place I would bring my two kids again. We maybe got five minutes of sleep thanks to the obvious drug users that were in the site next to us.. (they were kicked out the next morning) The next morning we wanted to go see the crystal clear water that is described on their site, which was very true, but the amount of trash that is down there is absolutely disgusting. Dirty diapers, cans of beer left behind, condoms, so much trash it was so disappointing. I couldn’t even take a nice picture without trash being in it. People have absolutely ruined this campground. Also it was a hell of a time trying to find a spot by the water with all of the people (the clear creek side)
After a few hours of off-roading, we came back to our campsite, that has turned into a parking lot. People have absolutely no courtesy! It’s our damn site! Someone even dumped out their trash from their car IN OUR SITE while we were gone. People that do not stay at that campground still come in and park at the end so they can go in the water.. which is exactly where our campsite was. We were so frustrated we ended up packing up and leaving. Even though we paid for two nights, we couldn’t take it anymore. Within moments of us taking our tent down, more cars swooped into our site to park there, all while we were still trying to pack up everything with our 2 little kids and dog. This has potential to be a beautiful area, but the people, the trash, and the disorganization absolutely ruined it for us. we will not be back.
I tried camping here, but I think they had already shut down for the season. The bathhouse was locked, the grass hadn’t been mowed, and there was a bit of trash blowing about. Thankfully this is just down the road from Cherokee State Park, which was still open. I walked around the campground and noticed there were about 18 or so sites, with some back in the trees a bit, away from the road. Most sites had obvious campfire rings, some had additional campfire rings not put in by the park, some had grills, but not all, and a few had a picnic table. All in all, it almost seemed like this campground had been abandoned. When I stopped in at the state information center in Siloam Springs the attendant (Betty Ross, no less!), she said that a lot of the smaller campgrounds along the big lakes are like that out of season. Anyway, across the street from Disney is Grand Lake, with a decent boat ramp that was in use even in late October. The parking lot is small, but you can just drive over the grass to your campsite. The big draw here besides the lake is the creek bed that the spillway feeds. This is apparently a hot spot for ATV/ORV driving. There were two groups of ATV/ORV’s hanging out in the ravine: one looked like a tour, and the other looked like a group of like minded friends out for a fun day.