Camping in Missouri

      Your comprehensive guide to camping experiences in Missouri.

      Your Guide to Camping in Missouri

      From the sparkling waters of the Ozarks to the rolling hills of the Mark Twain National Forest, Missouri boasts diverse landscapes that will leave you breathless. Hike through scenic trails, paddle down lazy rivers, or simply enjoy the peace and quiet of the great outdoors.

      With campgrounds ranging from rustic and remote to fully equipped with amenities, you can choose the level of adventure that suits your style. Pack your bags, grab your s’mores ingredients, and get ready to experience the magic of camping in Missouri!

      Best Places To Camp In Missouri

      Cunningham Falls State Park

      This park is renowned for its namesake waterfall, cascading 78 feet into a scenic pool. Campers can enjoy swimming, hiking along scenic trails, and exploring the nearby historic towns of Thurmont and Emmitsburg.

      Cunningham Falls State Park Missouri

      Gambrill State Park

      Encompassing over 5,000 acres, Gambrill State Park offers diverse camping options, from primitive campsites to cabins and yurts. The park’s extensive trail network caters to hikers, mountain bikers, and horseback riders, while scenic overlooks provide breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains.

      Gambrill State Park Missouri

      Gunpowder Falls State Park

      Located just outside Baltimore, Gunpowder Falls State Park provides a convenient escape for city dwellers. Campers can choose from campsites along the scenic Gunpowder River or in the more secluded, forested areas. The park offers opportunities for hiking, fishing, and boating.

      Gunpowder Falls State Park Missouri

      Patapsco Valley State Park

      This park encompasses over 14,000 acres, offering a diverse landscape of forests, meadows, and streams. Campers can enjoy hiking, biking, and horseback riding on the park’s extensive trail network. The park also boasts several historic sites, including Civil War fortifications and remnants of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad.

      Patapsco Valley State Park Missouri

      Assateague Island National Seashore

      This barrier island offers a unique camping experience, with campsites nestled amidst sand dunes and within walking distance of the beach. Visitors can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, kayaking, and wildlife watching.

      Assateague Island National Seashore Missouri

      Pocomoke State Park

      Situated on the shores of the Pocomoke River, this park offers a variety of camping options, including tent and RV sites. Campers can enjoy fishing, boating, and birdwatching, while the park’s trails lead through forests and wetlands teeming with diverse wildlife.

      Pocomoke State Park Missouri

      Things To Do In Missouri


      Nestled amidst the rolling hills of the Ozark Mountains, Branson is a haven for family-friendly entertainment and live music. Over 100 theaters pulsate with the energy of diverse live shows, from captivating musicals and comedy acts to magic performances and family-oriented productions. Beyond the stage lights, Silver Dollar City, an 1880s-themed amusement park, enchants visitors with thrilling rides, live shows, and delectable Southern cuisine. Table Rock Lake, a sprawling reservoir, beckons with opportunities for boating, fishing, and swimming against a backdrop of stunning natural landscapes.

      St. Louis

      Missouri's cultural hub, St. Louis, boasts iconic landmarks, world-class attractions, and a vibrant atmosphere. Towering over the city, the Gateway Arch, a majestic 630-foot monument, commemorates the westward expansion of the United States. Visitors can ascend to the top for panoramic views of the city and surrounding landscapes. Unleash your inner child at the City Museum, housed in a former shoe factory. This unique museum features interactive exhibits, whimsical sculptures, and architectural oddities, inviting exploration and creative play.

      Kansas City

      Renowned for its jazz heritage and mouth-watering barbecue, Kansas City offers a captivating blend of historical sites, cultural attractions, and a vibrant nightlife scene. Explore an extensive collection of artworks spanning various cultures and historical periods at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. Crown Center, a mixed-use development, features upscale shopping, dining, and entertainment options, including LEGOLAND Discovery Center and SEA LIFE Aquarium, which are perfect for family outings.

      Ozark National Scenic Riverways

      Escape to the heart of Missouri and embrace the natural beauty of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways. Crystal-clear rivers like the Current and Jacks Fork beckon you to explore by canoe, kayak, or raft, where stunning landscapes and diverse wildlife await. Immerse yourself further by hiking and camping amidst the Ozarks. A network of trails caters to all levels, from leisurely strolls to challenging hikes, leading to pristine campsites perfect for stargazing adventures.

      Meramec Caverns

      A captivating network of limestone caves awaits exploration in the heart of the Missouri Ozarks. Meramec Caverns, sculpted over millennia, stun visitors with its intricate formations. Towering stalactites reach towards the ceiling, while delicate stalagmites rise from the cave floor. Shimmering flowstone formations and glistening pools reflect the light, creating an ethereal spectacle. Delve deeper and learn about the cave's geological history and its significance to indigenous cultures who revered it as a sacred place.

      Mark Twain National Forest

      Escape the urban landscape and embrace the vast wilderness of the Mark Twain National Forest, spanning over 1.5 million acres. Rolling hills and dense hardwood forests give way to clear streams meandering through scenic valleys and dramatic bluffs. Hike along well-maintained trails, each offering unique challenges and breathtaking views.

      Washington University in St. Louis

      Established in 1853, Washington University in St. Louis boasts a historic and picturesque campus. Stroll through tree-lined pathways, marveling at architectural gems like the neo-Gothic Brookings Hall and the iconic Cupples I complex, a former shoe factory now transformed into a vibrant hub for student life and academic pursuits. Immerse yourself in student life, witnessing the energy and dedication of the diverse student body. Explore the renowned Saint Louis Art Museum, housing an extensive collection spanning centuries and cultures, or visit the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, showcasing modern and contemporary art.

      Busch Stadium Tours

      Go beyond the roar of the crowd and delve into the iconic Busch Stadium, home to the legendary St. Louis Cardinals baseball team. Guided tours grant exclusive access to areas typically off-limits to spectators. Explore the players' locker rooms, where pre-game rituals and post-victory celebrations take place. Stand on the hallowed field and imagine the electrifying atmosphere during a game.

      National World War I Museum and Liberty Memorial

      Standing tall as a monument to peace and remembrance, the National World War I Museum and Liberty Memorial honor the sacrifices and legacy of World War I. Immerse yourself in interactive exhibits that bring the war's complexities and its impact on individuals and societies to life. Explore personal stories of soldiers, nurses, and civilians caught up in the global conflict. Witness artifacts, from uniforms and weapons to poignant letters and personal belongings, offer a tangible connection to the human experience during this pivotal period in history.


      Nestled along the banks of the Mississippi River, the charming town of Hannibal beckons history buffs and literary enthusiasts alike. This was the boyhood home of the renowned author Mark Twain, whose iconic characters and stories continue to captivate readers worldwide. Visit the Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum, where he lived as a young boy, and explore the iconic Hannibal Square, featured in several of his literary works. Take a scenic ride on the Mark Twain Riverboat, offering a glimpse into the town's history and Twain's legacy.

      Powell Gardens

      A haven for horticultural enthusiasts, Powell Gardens boasts over 900 acres of vibrant landscapes and diverse themed gardens. Explore the whimsical Children's Garden, where imagination takes flight amidst interactive exhibits and playful water features. Discover the fascinating Butterfly House, teeming with colorful butterflies fluttering amongst exotic plants. Immerse yourself in the world of tropical flora and fauna within the Conservatory, showcasing an array of plants from around the globe.

      Jacob's Well Cave

      Descend into the depths of one of Missouri's deepest caves, Jacob's Well Cave. Embark on a guided tour and witness the intricate cave formations, including towering stalactites resembling icicles and glistening pools reflecting the light. Learn about the cave's unique ecosystem, home to diverse species adapted to the dark and cool environment. Discover the historical significance of this natural wonder, believed to have been used by indigenous cultures for ceremonial purposes.

      Featured Missouri Parks

      Inspiration From Our Nearby States

      Book an RV in Missouri

      Experience Missouri's unique charm and diverse landscapes at your own pace with a comfortable RV rental. From the vibrant nightlife of Branson to the breathtaking Ozarks wilderness, an RV unlocks the freedom to explore hidden gems, charming towns, and national parks exactly how you want. Imagine waking up to stunning sunrises or cozying up by a campfire under starry skies - all with the comforts of home just steps away.

      Frequently Asked Questions

      No, camping is only allowed in designated campgrounds, national forests, state parks, and private lands with the owner's permission. Never camp on public property without proper authorization.

      Reservations are highly recommended, especially for popular state parks and during peak season. You can make reservations online or by phone through the Missouri State Parks website.

      Spring (April-May) and fall (September-October) offer pleasant temperatures ideal for camping. Summer can be hot and humid, while winter is mild but can bring occasional freezing spells.

      Amenities vary depending on the location. State parks often offer basic amenities like restrooms, showers, and picnic tables. Some offer full hookups for RVs, while private campgrounds might have additional amenities like pools, laundry facilities, and camp stores.

      You might encounter deer, squirrels, rabbits, raccoons, and various bird species. Be aware of larger animals like coyotes, wild boars, and bobcats in some areas. Remember to practice safe wildlife viewing and never approach or feed wild animals.

      Yes, state parks and national forests charge camping fees. The cost varies depending on the location and campsite amenities. Private campgrounds also charge fees, which typically depend on the site type and amenities offered.

      Popular activities include hiking, fishing, swimming, boating, exploring caves, and visiting historical sites. Many Missouri state parks offer specific activity options depending on the location.

      Alcohol consumption is allowed in designated campsites in most Missouri state parks. However, certain restrictions might apply, so always check the specific park regulations before consuming alcohol.

      Absolutely! Missouri offers a diverse landscape of forests, lakes, rivers, and rolling hills, making it a fantastic camping destination. With numerous state parks, national forests, and private campgrounds catering to different preferences, you can find the perfect campsite for your needs.

      Whether you're into tent camping, RV camping, or seeking a more primitive experience, Missouri has something to offer.

      Camping fees in Missouri vary depending on the location and type of campsite you choose. State park campsites typically range from $10-$30 per night, with additional fees for full hookups or specific amenities.

      National forest permits for dispersed camping are generally under $10. Private campgrounds offer a wider price range depending on the amenities and services provided but typically start above $30 per night.

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