Rolling wheat fields may dominate the landscape these days, but camping in the same wild Kansas that the pioneers would recognize is still possible.
Kansas may be a farming state, but where else can you find a piece of the Great Plains that hearkens back to the Pioneer era? Beyond the wheat fields, you find cool reservoirs, pocket forests, and preserved prairies—many just a short drive from Kansas City.
Whether you're itching for hiking, horseback riding, or kayaking, Kansas' 28 state parks are a great starting point for any trip. Most parks offer cabins as well as tent and RV camping spots, but private RV parks with full hookups are always available nearby. Luckily, this slow-paced heartland state is wildly underrated, meaning you never have to worry about crowds.
Eastern Kansas charms travelers with its rolling terrain, sprawling reservoirs, and urban hubs. Clinton Lake, an hour's drive from Kansas City, is a fishing and boating hot spot with one of the state's largest marinas.
The Flint Hills, a rolling prairie ridge stretching from northeast to southeast Kansas, are a sight to behold. In this region, you find Tuttle Creek, a park perched on the state's second largest reservoir where kayaking is always in style. El Dorado State Park is another favorite camping spot in the Flint Hills, featuring 98 miles of shoreline on El Dorado Lake.
Western Kansas is mostly farmland, so camping here is harder to find. One hidden gem worth visiting in Lake Scott State Park. Settlers' cabins and a Native American battleground stand amid rocky bluffs, lush natural springs, and lakeside campgrounds. In the southwestern corner lies Cimarron National Grassland, hosting more than 100,000 acres of prairies and sunflower fields.
Like other Midwestern states, Kansas is known for its extreme temperatures. Most travelers avoid Kansas during the harsh winter months, but June through early September has camping weather. Just keep in mind summer is also the tornado season—bring a radio, and camp responsibly.
Yes, Kansas offers a variety of camping options for outdoor enthusiasts. The state has numerous state parks, wildlife areas, and private campgrounds that cater to both tent and RV campers. Kansas features beautiful landscapes, including the Flint Hills, wetlands, and prairies, providing campers with a diverse range of settings to explore. Whether you prefer primitive camping, glamping, or RV parks, Kansas offers a variety of options to suit your camping preferences.
The best time of year to camp in Kansas is during the spring (April to June) and fall (September to October) seasons. These months offer milder temperatures and more comfortable camping conditions compared to the hot and humid summer months or the cold winter months. Additionally, spring and fall provide beautiful scenery with blooming wildflowers or colorful foliage, respectively.
For more information on camping in Kansas, check out these resources:
Yes, boondocking is legal in Kansas, particularly in the national grasslands and some state wildlife areas. Boondocking, or dispersed camping without facilities, is allowed in the Cimarron National Grassland in southwest Kansas. Additionally, some state wildlife areas permit boondocking. It is essential to check the rules and regulations of the specific location you plan to visit. For more RV camping options in Kansas, you can explore Hipcamp.
In Kansas, you cannot camp just anywhere. However, there are numerous designated campgrounds and state parks where you can camp legally. These include public campgrounds managed by the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, as well as private campgrounds and RV parks. To find the best camping options in Kansas, you can explore Hipcamp.