National Parks in Missouri.
History, culture, and stunning landscapes come to life in Missouri national parks.
Missouri might not be the first destination that comes to mind when you think of national parks, but the state is home to some true gems. From the iconic Gateway Arch that frames the skyline of St. Louis toRead more...
Missouri might not be the first destination that comes to mind when you think of national parks, but the state is home to some true gems. From the iconic Gateway Arch that frames the skyline of St. Louis to the epic waterways of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways, Missouri has vibrant cities, lush landscapes, and rolling farmlands. Long before interstates crossed the Show-Me State, trails marking the pathways of explorers and pioneers did. The Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail crosses mid-Missouri, while the Oregon Trail National Historic Trail marks the pioneers’ jumping-off point near Independence. Later, Route 66 crossed the state, and relics from this era can be found today.
St. Louis Region
Once the epicenter of Missouri, St. Louis is still a prime travel destination. The iconic Gateway Arch rises over the slow rolling waters of the muddy Mississippi River. There’s more to explore at Gateway Arch National Park than the bird’s eye view from the top. Head below to find a museum exploring Westward Expansion or visit the Old Courthouse to learn about the pivotal Dred Scott case. St. Louis is also home to the Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site, which preserves White Haven, where the 18th president and his wife lived. Campers will find some RV parks near downtown St. Louis, with many more found in the surrounding suburbs. Or head outside of the hustle and bustle to visit Babler Memorial State Park, which offers partial hookups in a wooded landscape.
Kansas City Region
Downtown Kansas City pulses with a rich history, entertainment hotspots, and cultural attractions. Whether you bring your RV to town to grab some of the famous barbecue or to take in a Chiefs game, KC is a camping-friendly destination, with a number of state parks across the extended area. Watkins Mill State Park and Weston Bend State Park provide a dose of nature and history, with partial hookup RV campsites. Venture out to Independence to find the Harry S. Truman National Historic Site, once a family home to the 33rd president of the United States. A number of county parks provide waterfront camping on nearby Lake Jacomo. Private parks with RV campsites are widely found across the region.
In Jefferson City, Missouri’s capitol building stands grandly on the banks of the Missouri River, marking the heart of the Show-Me State. A grand lake is close by, with Lake of the Ozarks State Park providing a comfortable spot for a classic camping trip. The lake is a hotspot for summertime water sports, including boating and fishing.
As you reach Southwest Missouri, wide-open farmlands give way to rolling Ozarks hills. The state’s third-largest city, Springfield, is found here, home to Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield, where the first major Civil War battle west of the Mississippi River was fought. Near Diamond, the George Washington Carver National Monument marks the birthplace of Carver, a renowned plant scientist. Table Rock Lake tempts travelers with clear waters surrounded by green hills. A number of Corps of Engineers parks and Table Rock Lake State Park line the lake shores, providing waterfront campsites.
The tumbling waters of the Current and Jacks Fork Rivers are so beautiful, the region was the first National Park Service unit designated to protect a river system. To this day, the Ozark National Scenic Riverways region maintains its scenic landscapes, which provide a natural playground for canoeing, fishing, and kayaking. The national park lands and surrounding national forests are prime spots for hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding, as well. The NPS operates several campgrounds here, with some offering electric hookups and RV campsites. This region is dominated by the dense woodlands of the Mark Twain National Forest. RVers will find designated national forest campgrounds, with most offering dry camping.