Camping near Des Moines with fishing

Camp outside the capital city of Iowa to explore the bounty of state parks and unique urban attractions.

97% (503 reviews)
97% (503 reviews)

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11 top campgrounds near Des Moines with fishing

98%
(65)

Greenhouse Camping

2 sites · RVs5 acres · Ankeny, IA
We love this beautiful land that has been in our family since 1917, and think you will too!   We are located 1/2 mile off I-35 at the north border of the City of Ankeny.  Here you'll find the best of both worlds just fifteen minutes away from your quiet campsite - Boating, skiing, jet-skiing, fishing at Saylorville Lake.   Canoe,  kayak and paddleboat rental at Big Creek State Park.  Swimming & waterplay for all ages at the Ankeny Aquatic Center.  Upscale shopping and dining at the District.  Or venture out a bit further to concert venues in Ames & Des Moines, local farmers markets, Des Moines' beautiful riverwalk and exciting nightlife, or the Iowa State Fair.  It's the best of country and suburban living!  End your day with a quiet stroll along the mowed walking path that overlooks one of the most beautiful areas of Four Mile Creek in Iowa, which circles right back to your cozy campfire.   Learn more about this land:You'll love this relaxing space to camp and enjoy the Iowa outdoors!  Very easy access,  we are just 1/2 mile off of Interstate-35.  Our farm is bordered by nature on three sides and the city of Ankeny on the south.  This is a single campsite, private and quiet. Your campsite has an adjoining mowed private walking trail overlooking Four Mile Creek, and is also within walking distance of Ankeny sidewalks for biking, walking, jogging.  It’s the best of both worlds - town and country! We're a 15 minute drive from Big Creek and Ledges State Parks, Jester Park and Saylorville Lake where you can enjoy fishing, skiing, boating, horseback riding, hiking, biking, and the beach life.  You'll find unique shopping experiences, delicious dining, a good movie, a thriving live music scene just 15 minutes away in downtown Des Moines, downtown and campus town Ames, and  at The District in Ankeny.  Upon your arrival you'll find the greenhouse mini-fridge is stocked with 4 complimentary bottles of water and everything you'll need for making S'mores.  One free bundle of wood is included with each booking.  
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$35
 / night
97%
(431)

Come Enjoy the Beauty

61 sites · Lodging, RVs, Tents30 acres · Earlham, IA
This property has a year round running creek called Bear Creek. They also mined the stone off the property for the State Capital in Des Moines, Iowa. Abundant wildlife and mature beautiful trees.
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$29
 / night
100%
(5)

The Waypoint

5 sites · RVs18 acres · Earlham, IA
A vanlife destination located at the confluence of I80 and I35. 18 acres of land featuring a limestone quarry pond, perfect trees for hanging hammocks, flat ground for parking vans and so much space for community. If you’re interested, we are happy to coordinate introducing you to our small herd of alpacas and Great Pyrenees dogs.
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$25
 / night
97%
(203)

Nature Heaven

8 sites · Lodging, RVs, Tents40 acres · Knoxville, IA
This seclude, beautiful pet friendly 40 acres of fenced camping site is on top of hilly land and is rare in Iowa. It has close view of 3.5 private fishing ponds and far view of the Red Rock Lake. There are 10 acres nature timber area that keep you away from the other campers and rest of the world. Each site has a firepit, picnic table and a solar light . The drinking water is at the entrance, but no electricity on site. The RVs need to be self contained. There are tons of nature features, you may see deer, rabbits and other game birds by your campsite. Each camping sites have good distances to keep privacy from each other. A recently built a 20ft diameter geodesic dome tent is for those who want more climate controlled stay while still enjoying the magnificent nature's gifts. For surrounding areas, the close by White Breast Beach is open from May 23-September 3, 2024, boating, hunting and hiking activities in the lake red rock year around. For our campers safety, any hunting activities are not allowed within our camping ground. However, in case you come for hunting with Iowa hunting tags, a couple of public deer hunting grounds are near our camping ground. The recently built glamping geodesic Dome tent is located on a top of hill. You will have a fantastic sunset view of ponds and lake view while enjoy the great nature, and have a comfortable stay . The cell phone signals are good, you may use your cell phone hotspot work remotely at this astonishing Lake Red Rock Oasis ^_^. Hope you will find joy, peace and happiness in this wonderful piece of natural land and the Red Rock lake areas. A little history of this land: This 40 acres of land was a surface mining site. The reclamation works done during the 1970s. But over the years, the soil was seriously eroded. Anna and Peilin, who have Master's and PhD in soil and environment health background, bought this land several years ago and started to restore the vegetation. Now the site looks beautiful and ready for nature lovers and campers to enjoy the fantastic view of the lake, ponds and tall grass... The site is totally different from what the Google map shows now.
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$25
 / night
93%
(27)

The BUSS BARN woods.

3 sites · RVs, Tents5 acres · Norwalk, IA
Learn more about this land:Woods/Timber camping. Fire rings provided. Camp in the woods (tent) or camper in field. Kybo (satellite) toilets provided. Rental of ATV (single) Firewood for purchase on site. Axe throwing targets on site.  Other accommodations can be made as needed.
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$39.99
 / night
100%
(4)

Cabin in the Woods

1 site · Lodging18 acres · Bondurant, IA
Cabin in the Woods is located on 18 wooded acres. Small stocked pond right outside your front door! Enjoy the wildlife and peacefulness of nature all around. Secluded area, yet 15 minutes to restaurants, shopping, Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino, Adventureland and more! The cabin is a small one room space, with a loft for extra storage or sleeping. There is electric, but no running water. Gallon of water will be available. There is an attached outhouse with toilet. Small fridge and microwave. TV with DVD player. Please note that the cabin does share a driveway with our house, so there may be cars that drive by. We do have animals on our property, so you may encounter dogs, cats, chickens and goats (all friendly)!
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$120
 / night
99%
(149)

Rock N Ranch Events & Campground

13 sites · Lodging40 acres · Menlo, IA
Our retirement dream is to share our beautiful property with people who love the outdoors.  We started with our rustic tent sites and slowly added cabins.  We go from primitive to sites with heat and air conditioning.  We are not far from the Interstate but sure seems like we are as you travel the 4.6 miles of gravel road to step back in time.
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$15
 / night
100%
(33)

Sleep in an Iowa Barn @ TLC

2 sites · Lodging, Tents28 acres · Zearing, IA
Threshold Learning Center is 28 acres of prairie, creek, woods, and our barn dormitory.  Threshold is first, an outdoor learning center for schools during the school year, and a summer camp offering several day camps, family camps, and trips.  As a non-profit, however, we are constantly trying to find a way to  offer our programs to everyone regardless of whether they are able to pay our fees while still making enough money to stay open.  We started renting TLC to the public 5 years ago for weddings, reunions, or just families who are looking to connect to the world around them.  Our motto is "No Child Left Inside" and we want every inner child to enjoy what we have at TLC.  We have 7 bedrooms in our dormitory, 5 camp sites, a large camp fire ring, a mini-golf course, and we are always willing to lead your group in an educational experience or take you on a hayrack ride.
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$15
 / night
92%
(13)

Firefly Creek Ranch

10 sites · RVs, Tents31 acres · Guthrie Center, IA
Our property was once the County Home until it was closed due to regulatory changes to the mental health industry. The property sat vacant for 2 years as a deficit for the county and its taxpayers. We had a plan to breathe new life into this property by re-opening as a non-profit Art, Community, and Retreat Center.  We are in the heart of the rolling hills surrounding Guthrie Center & Lake Panorama.  It is simply an amazing place.  Please come and see what makes this experience unique.  Learn more about this land:Peaceful farm setting in the rolling hills of Guthrie County, Iowa. Outdoor rustic camping and indoor simple Bed & Breakfast rooms.  10 Rustic Campsites or 1 with water and electric hook-ups for additional $5 night.  Self contained campers welcome.  Ask about our Gathering & Retreat Center with 8 indoor overnight accommodations available.  Sleeps 8-15.  
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$25
 / night

Nunnikhoven Farm

1 site · RV, Tent10 acres · Harvey, IA
Our Century farm sits on 10 acres in south east Iowa. We grow tulips, cut flowers, sunflowers, pumpkins, kids, cows, chickens, goats & quail. We have one of the oldest barns in Marion County, built in 1864, and another great big hay barn, built in 1921, both of which we are always working to preserve, built by our great-great grandfather. Lake Red Rock is just 5 miles right down the road, where you can enjoy 12 miles of paved bike and walking paths, fishing in the biggest lake in Iowa, a swimming beach and various hiking trails. Boat, kayak, paddle board and canoe rental also available on the Lake. We are 11 miles from Pella, Iowa, one of the top 10 most charming small towns to visit in the US, and 9 miles from Knoxville, Iowa, the Sprint Car Capital of the world. If you are looking for adventure, shopping, or a relaxing getaway away from the hustle and bustle, we would love to welcome you to our farm.
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$75
 / night
100%
(1)

Middle River Retreat

4 sites · Tents40 acres · Greenfield, IA
Welcome to our beautiful 40-acre retreat nestled along the meandering Middle River, a hidden gem just a short drive from the vibrant Des Moines area. This property offers a unique escape where you can immerse yourself in nature and create unforgettable memories. With nearly half a mile of exclusive river access, you'll have endless opportunities to unwind and enjoy various activities. Take a refreshing dip in the refreshing river, cast your line and try your luck at fishing, or simply relax on the sandy riverbanks, soaking up the sun and enjoying the soothing sounds of nature. Keep your eyes peeled for the abundant wildlife that frequents the area too, as deer, turkey, and waterfowl often frequent the area. The diverse landscape boasts a mix of river bottom, open grasslands, farmland, and timbered ridges, making it a paradise for nature enthusiasts and adventurers alike. Embark on scenic hikes throughout the many trails, and discover hidden nooks perfect for picnics or find a cozy spot to curl up with a good book. For those seeking a truly off-grid experience, our property offers the opportunity for camping amidst nature. Escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and embrace the simplicity of sleeping under the stars. Share stories and laughter around a crackling campfire, creating memories that will last a lifetime. Conveniently located just south of Stuart, Iowa, our retreat provides a serene getaway while remaining easily accessible. Whether you're looking to reconnect with nature, seek adventure, or simply unwind in a peaceful setting, this property offers it all. Don't miss the chance to experience this slice of paradise for yourself. Book your stay today and discover the unique features that await you at the Middle River Retreat. Features: ½ miles of Middle River Frontage Established Trails & Untouched Timber to Explore Peaceful Setting, about 40 minutes from West Des Moines Primitive tent camping
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$49.95
 / night
Value Prop
Value Prop

Camping near Des Moines with fishing guide

Overview

In central Iowa, Des Moines is a welcoming city situated in the heart of farm country. The city and surrounding area is filled with state parks offering access to open space and trail systems. Visitors should check local events calendars when in the city, as live music and large farmers markets create a mellow and fun atmosphere. A surprising number of trails are convenient to town for both hikers and mountain bikers, making it easy to stay active on your visit before heading out of town to see more natural beauty.

Where to go

Botanical Gardens

Des Moines hosts one of the more active botanical gardens you will ever encounter. The grounds are fantastic with open green spaces and gardens on display. They have plenty of public space and even have live music, yoga sessions and educational events for gardening. Located downtown, the 12-acre property is the perfect stop while visiting the city. It’s open all year and has a cafe to enjoy between stops at the various gardens.

Racoon River Trails

The city has numerous parks, trails and wildlife areas to enjoy. Many are situated around the Racoon River where wooded bottomlands and open space prevail. Walnut Woods State Park is a perfect stop with 260 acres to explore. It has campsites available and is on the edge of the city for easy access. The Great Western Trailhead, Denman’s Woods Trail, Bill Riley Trail and plenty more are located on or near the river for hiking and biking.

Saylorville Lake

The large reservoir of the Des Moines River is a recreational paradise with around a dozen campgrounds for both RV and tent campers. The lake has big beaches like Oak Grove Beach, numerous bays and a ton of water to enjoy. Take a summer swim, play volleyball on the beach, go fishing or bring a boat and go water skiing. With 26,000 acres and ample public access, Saylorville Lake offers something for every type of camper.

When to go

As with most of Iowa, the winters are long and cold. The parks in and around Des Moines are perfect for ice fishing, cross country skiing and snowshoeing. Most campgrounds will close during the winter however and campers should have a heat system and winter gear. Summer is the prime visiting season with June, July and August being ideal for water based activities. Temperatures are often comfortable but can become hot and humid at times. September is a quieter month and is an excellent time to enjoy cooling weather and changing colors. The city itself has great dining and indoor experiences to enjoy year-round.

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