Best Camping in Missouri

view of yellow tent and bicycles by the Missouri River
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Missouri is a hidden gem for camping enthusiasts, offering a diverse range of natural wonders and outdoor experiences. From the sprawling Mark Twain National Forest with its extensive trail system, to the tranquil shores of Lake of the Ozarks State Park, and the unique rock formations of Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park, there is no shortage of breathtaking landscapes to explore. For fishing enthusiasts, Bennett Spring State Park is a haven with its pristine streams teeming with trout. Whether you seek solitude in the wilderness, thrilling water activities, or simply a chance to unwind amidst nature’s beauty, Missouri’s camping destinations have it all. So pack your gear, set up camp under starlit skies, and immerse yourself in the wonders of the Show-Me State.



Mark Twain National Forest

Set against the picturesque landscapes of Missouri, Mark Twain National Forest invites outdoor enthusiasts to experience the wonders of nature. With its vast woodlands, serene rivers, and abundant wildlife, this campsite is a haven for those seeking an escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Embark on thrilling hikes, set up camp beneath the starry skies, and embrace the tranquility that awaits in the embrace of Mark Twain National Forest.

Reasons to Camp in Mark Twain National Forest:

  • Abundant Natural Beauty: Mark Twain National Forest boasts expansive woodlands, rolling hills, and scenic rivers, providing breathtaking views and photo opportunities at every turn.
  • Outdoor Recreation: From hiking and backpacking to fishing and wildlife viewing, this campsite offers a wide range of outdoor activities to keep adventure-seekers entertained and connected with nature.
  • Peaceful Seclusion: With its vast expanse of land, Mark Twain National Forest offers plenty of secluded camping spots, allowing campers to escape the crowds and enjoy a peaceful and rejuvenating camping experience.
  • Diverse Wildlife: Nature enthusiasts will be thrilled to encounter a variety of wildlife species within the forest, including deer, turkeys, squirrels, and a multitude of bird species, making it a paradise for birdwatchers and wildlife photographers.
  • Tranquil Waterways: The forest is adorned with sparkling rivers and serene streams, perfect for fishing, kayaking, or simply enjoying a peaceful afternoon by the water’s edge.

Recommended Gear: Tent, Sleeping Bag, Camping Stove, Hiking Boots, Insect Repellent, Camping Chairs, Headlamp


Lake of the Ozarks State Park

Situated against the breathtaking backdrop of Lake of the Ozarks, Lake of the Ozarks State Park beckons nature enthusiasts with its expansive beauty. With the shimmering waters of the lake and diverse wildlife, this campsite provides an idyllic setting for camping adventures. From thrilling water sports to tranquil fishing spots and picturesque hiking trails, Lake of the Ozarks State Park offers an unforgettable escape into nature’s embrace.

Reasons to Camp in Lake of the Ozarks State Park:

  • Scenic Lake Views: Campers at Lake of the Ozarks State Park are treated to stunning views of the picturesque lake, creating a serene and picturesque backdrop for their camping experience.
  • Water Activities: The park offers a range of water activities, including swimming, boating, fishing, and kayaking, providing endless opportunities for fun and adventure on the crystal-clear waters of Lake of the Ozarks.
  • Abundant Wildlife: Nature enthusiasts will have the chance to spot a variety of wildlife, including birds, deer, and other woodland creatures, enhancing the camping experience with opportunities for wildlife watching and photography.
  • Hiking and Trails: With miles of scenic hiking trails, campers can explore the park’s diverse terrain, from forested areas to rocky bluffs, enjoying nature walks, challenging hikes, and breathtaking views along the way.
  • Peaceful Natural Surroundings: Lake of the Ozarks State Park offers a tranquil and peaceful environment, allowing campers to escape the noise of daily life and immerse themselves in the serenity of nature, enjoying the calming sounds of the water and the rustling of leaves.

Recommended Gear: Tent, Fishing Gear, Kayak/Canoe, Hiking Boots, Portable Grill, Camping Chairs, Binoculars


Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park

Located in the southeastern region of Missouri, Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park is a captivating camping destination renowned for its natural beauty. The park’s remarkable rock formations, shaped by the East Fork Black River, create a mesmerizing landscape of cascades and serene pools. Campers can immerse themselves in thrilling water activities, hike along scenic trails, and bask in the rugged charm of Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park, making it an ideal choice for nature lovers seeking a memorable camping experience.

Reasons to Camp in Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park:

  • Unique Natural Beauty: The captivating rock formations and cascading waters of Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park create a one-of-a-kind natural beauty that is sure to leave campers in awe.
  • Water Adventures: Campers can enjoy thrilling water activities such as swimming, sliding down natural waterslides, and wading in the tranquil pools, providing endless fun and excitement.
  • Scenic Hiking Trails: The park offers a variety of scenic hiking trails, allowing campers to explore the rugged terrain, witness breathtaking vistas, and discover hidden gems along the way.
  • Photography Opportunities: From the picturesque rock formations to the tranquil pools, Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park offers ample opportunities for capturing stunning photographs and preserving memories.
  • Serene and Secluded Setting: With its peaceful atmosphere and secluded location, campers can truly disconnect from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, enjoying a tranquil camping experience surrounded by nature’s beauty.

Recommended Gear: Tent, Water Shoes, Backpack, Swimming Gear, Camping Stove, Camping Chairs, Lantern


Bennett Spring State Park

Prepare for an unforgettable camping experience at Bennett Spring State Park, a hidden paradise nestled in the heart of Missouri. From the moment you step foot in this natural haven, you’ll be captivated by its tranquil beauty and abundant recreational opportunities. With its pristine streams teeming with trout, scenic trails winding through lush forests, and a peaceful atmosphere that rejuvenates the soul, Bennett Spring State Park is the perfect destination for nature enthusiasts and outdoor adventurers alike. Get ready to immerse yourself in the wonders of this enchanting park and create lasting memories amidst its natural splendor.

Reasons to Camp in Bennett Spring State Park:

  • Premier Trout Fishing: Bennett Spring State Park is renowned for its exceptional trout fishing, attracting anglers from near and far who seek the thrill of reeling in trophy-sized trout from its crystal-clear streams.
  • Scenic Natural Beauty: The park’s picturesque landscapes, including the tranquil Bennett Spring and surrounding lush forests, offer a visually stunning backdrop for camping and provide endless opportunities for photography and appreciation of nature’s beauty.
  • Abundant Outdoor Activities: Campers can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking along scenic trails, wildlife spotting, birdwatching, and exploring the park’s charming picnic areas, ensuring there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
  • Tranquil Atmosphere: Bennett Spring State Park offers a serene and peaceful atmosphere, providing a much-needed escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Campers can relax, unwind, and reconnect with nature in this tranquil setting.
  • Family-Friendly Environment: With its range of activities and amenities, Bennett Spring State Park is an ideal destination for family camping trips. Children can learn the art of fishing, enjoy nature walks, and create lasting memories in a safe and family-friendly environment.

Recommended Gear: Tent, Fishing Gear, Hiking Boots, Binoculars, Camping Chairs, Portable Grill, Insect Repellent


Elephant Rocks State Park

Experience the awe-inspiring wonders of Elephant Rocks State Park, where massive granite boulders create a surreal landscape unlike any other. Located in the heart of Missouri, this captivating campsite offers a unique outdoor adventure. Marvel at the colossal rock formations, meander through picturesque trails, and discover the rich geological history of the park. Elephant Rocks State Park promises an unforgettable camping experience surrounded by nature’s magnificent creations.

Reasons to Camp in Elephant Rocks State Park:

  • Unique Rock Formations: Elephant Rocks State Park is famous for its extraordinary granite rock formations, which resemble a herd of elephants. Exploring these colossal rocks is a thrilling and memorable experience.
  • Scenic Hiking Trails: The park offers a network of picturesque hiking trails that wind through forests, meadows, and, of course, the impressive rock formations. Hikers can enjoy breathtaking views and immerse themselves in nature’s beauty.
  • Geological Marvels: Geology enthusiasts will be fascinated by the park’s rich geological history. The granite rocks date back millions of years and provide a glimpse into the Earth’s ancient past.
  • Rock Climbing: Adventure seekers can test their skills on the designated rock climbing areas within the park. Scaling the massive boulders offers a unique and exhilarating challenge.
  • Family-Friendly Environment: Elephant Rocks State Park is a wonderful destination for families. Children can climb and explore the rocks, embark on nature walks, and learn about geology, making it an educational and fun-filled camping experience.

Recommended Gear: Tent, Hiking Shoes, DaypackClimbing Gear, Sun Protection, Camping Stove, Camera


Table Rock State Park

Situated in the awe-inspiring Ozark Mountains of Missouri, Table Rock State Park entices campers with its breathtaking natural beauty and abundance of recreational activities. Set along the picturesque shores of Table Rock Lake, this campsite offers a perfect escape for outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you’re seeking water adventures like swimming and boating or prefer exploring the scenic trails that wind through the lush forests, Table Rock State Park provides an idyllic setting for unforgettable camping experiences amidst stunning landscapes.

Reasons to Camp in Table Rock State Park:

  • Scenic Beauty: Table Rock State Park boasts stunning natural beauty, with its picturesque lake, rolling hills, and lush forests providing a visually captivating backdrop for your camping adventure.
  • Water Activities: The park’s location along Table Rock Lake offers a plethora of water-based activities, including swimming, boating, fishing, and kayaking, ensuring endless fun for water enthusiasts.
  • Hiking Trails: Explore the park’s scenic trails, which wind through the surrounding forests, offering breathtaking views, opportunities for wildlife spotting, and a chance to reconnect with nature.
  • Rock Climbing: Adventure seekers can test their skills on the park’s rock climbing routes, which cater to climbers of various skill levels and provide a thrilling challenge amidst the rugged terrain.
  • Family-Friendly Environment: Table Rock State Park is a fantastic destination for families, with its range of amenities, picnic areas, and nature programs. Children can enjoy playgrounds, nature walks, and educational experiences, making it a memorable camping destination for all ages.

Recommended Gear: Tent, Water Sports Equipment, Hiking Boots, Fishing Gear, Camping Chairs, Binoculars, Portable Grill


Pomme de Terre State Park

Escape to the serene beauty of Pomme de Terre State Park, a hidden gem nestled in the heart of Missouri. Located along the shores of Pomme de Terre Lake, this captivating campsite offers a tranquil retreat surrounded by nature’s splendor. Immerse yourself in outdoor adventures, from boating and fishing to hiking and wildlife spotting. With its picturesque landscapes, abundant recreational opportunities, and a peaceful ambiance, Pomme de Terre State Park promises an unforgettable camping experience for nature enthusiasts of all ages.

Reasons to Camp in Pomme de Terre State Park:

  • Scenic Lake Views: Pomme de Terre State Park is situated along the shores of Pomme de Terre Lake, offering stunning lake views and a tranquil atmosphere that is perfect for relaxation and unwinding.
  • Water Activities: The lake provides ample opportunities for water activities such as swimming, boating, fishing, and kayaking, making it a paradise for water enthusiasts.
  • Hiking and Nature Trails: Explore the park’s scenic hiking and nature trails, immersing yourself in the beauty of the surrounding forests, spotting wildlife, and enjoying the peaceful serenity of nature.
  • Abundant Fishing: Pomme de Terre Lake is known for its excellent fishing opportunities, with a variety of fish species including bass, catfish, crappie, and walleye. Cast a line and enjoy a rewarding fishing experience.
  • Family-Friendly Environment: Pomme de Terre State Park is family-friendly, with playgrounds, picnic areas, and open spaces for children to play and families to bond. The park also offers educational programs and nature activities suitable for all ages.

Recommended Gear: Tent, Fishing Gear, Water Sports Equipment, Hiking Boots, Picnic Set, Binoculars, Camping Chairs


Roaring River State Park

Immerse yourself in the natural wonders of Roaring River State Park, a hidden gem nestled in the heart of the Ozarks. This enchanting campsite is renowned for its crystal-clear streams, cascading waterfalls, and abundant wildlife. Explore the park’s scenic hiking trails, cast a line in the renowned trout fishing waters, or simply relax amidst the serene beauty of nature. Roaring River State Park offers a tranquil escape and an unforgettable camping experience for outdoor enthusiasts of all ages.

Reasons to Camp in Roaring River State Park:

  • Trout Fishing Paradise: Roaring River State Park is famous for its exceptional trout fishing opportunities. Anglers can cast their lines into the clear and pristine waters of the park’s streams, lakes, and Roaring River itself, providing an excellent chance to reel in some impressive trout.
  • Scenic Hiking Trails: The park boasts a variety of well-maintained hiking trails that meander through lush forests, along the river, and up to stunning viewpoints. Hikers can immerse themselves in the natural beauty, spot wildlife, and enjoy breathtaking vistas.
  • Natural Springs and Waterfalls: Roaring River State Park features natural springs and captivating waterfalls that add to its scenic allure. Witness the mesmerizing cascades, listen to the soothing sounds of rushing water, and marvel at the beauty of nature’s aquatic wonders.
  • Abundant Wildlife: Nature enthusiasts will be delighted by the diverse wildlife that calls the park home. From deer and wild turkey to various bird species, Roaring River State Park offers ample opportunities for wildlife observation and photography.
  • Family-Friendly Environment: The park provides a family-friendly atmosphere with facilities such as picnic areas, playgrounds, and nature programs. Children can engage in educational activities, explore the outdoors, and create lasting memories with their loved ones.

Recommended Gear: Tent, Fishing Gear, Hiking Boots, Binoculars, Camping Chairs, Insect Repellent, Camping Stove


Hawn State Park

Embark on a nature lover’s paradise at Hawn State Park. Tucked away in the scenic landscapes of Missouri, this captivating campsite beckons with its pristine beauty and abundant outdoor adventures. Explore the park’s winding trails, meandering streams, and picturesque rock formations that provide a breathtaking backdrop for camping enthusiasts. Immerse yourself in the serenity of nature, rejuvenate your spirit, and create lasting memories amidst the splendor of Hawn State Park.

Reasons to Camp in Hawn State Park:

  • Tranquil Natural Beauty: Hawn State Park is renowned for its pristine natural beauty, featuring lush forests, tranquil streams, and picturesque rock formations that create a serene and peaceful atmosphere.
  • Scenic Hiking Trails: The park offers a network of scenic hiking trails, allowing campers to explore the diverse landscapes, discover hidden waterfalls, and encounter a variety of flora and fauna along the way.
  • Rock Climbing Opportunities: Rock climbers will find Hawn State Park to be a haven, with its unique rock formations providing thrilling opportunities for bouldering and climbing challenges.
  • Wildlife Watching: The park is home to a diverse range of wildlife species, making it a paradise for wildlife enthusiasts. From deer and turkey to a variety of bird species, you’ll have the chance to observe and appreciate Missouri’s natural inhabitants.
  • Photography and Nature Photography: With its stunning landscapes, vibrant foliage, and captivating rock formations, Hawn State Park offers excellent opportunities for photography enthusiasts to capture the beauty of nature in all its glory.

Recommended Gear: Tent, Sleeping Bag, Camping Chairs, Hiking Boots, Backpack, Headlamp, Camping Stove


Meramec State Park

Thousand Hills State Park invites you to experience the beauty of Missouri’s diverse landscapes and abundant wildlife. Nestled in the heart of the state, this captivating campsite offers breathtaking views of rolling hills, tranquil lakes, and lush forests. Embark on hiking trails, enjoy water activities, and unwind in the serenity of nature. Thousand Hills State Park is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts seeking adventure and relaxation in a picturesque setting.

Reasons to Camp in Meramec State Park:

  • Scenic Beauty: Thousand Hills State Park boasts stunning natural landscapes with picturesque rolling hills, serene lakes, and lush forests, providing a visually captivating camping experience.
  • Abundant Outdoor Activities: The park offers a wide range of outdoor activities, including hiking, fishing, boating, and swimming, ensuring there’s something for everyone to enjoy during their camping trip.
  • Wildlife Viewing: Nature enthusiasts will be delighted by the park’s diverse wildlife. From deer and birds to various aquatic species, Thousand Hills State Park provides ample opportunities for wildlife observation and photography.
  • Family-Friendly Atmosphere: The park offers family-friendly amenities such as playgrounds, picnic areas, and recreational facilities, making it an ideal destination for families to bond and create lasting memories in a safe and enjoyable environment.
  • Tranquil Escape: Camping in Thousand Hills State Park offers a chance to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and immerse yourself in the tranquility of nature. The peaceful ambiance and serene surroundings provide a rejuvenating retreat for relaxation and rejuvenation.

Recommended Gear: Tent, Sleeping Bag, Camping Chairs, Hiking Boots, Fishing GearBinoculars, Portable Grill


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