State Park campgrounds in Missouri.
Hike, camp, and laze by the lakeside in Missouri’s 38 state parks.
Bridging the gap between the midwest and the south, campers come to Missouri to road-trip along historic Route 66 or visit the hometown of local legend and world traveler Mark Twain. From Kansas City to St Louis, you’re never far from a state park, and there are 38 to choose from, bringing you forest hiking trails, sandy lakeside beaches, natural caves, and trout-filledRead more...
Bridging the gap between the midwest and the south, campers come to Missouri to road-trip along historic Route 66 or visit the hometown of local legend and world traveler Mark Twain. From Kansas City to St Louis, you’re never far from a state park, and there are 38 to choose from, bringing you forest hiking trails, sandy lakeside beaches, natural caves, and trout-filled rivers. All Missouri state parks have campgrounds, totaling more than 3,500 state campsites, many with electric or full hookups, along with cabins and yurts. May through October provides the best weather for camping; expect snow from December through March.
Where to Go
Most visitors to North Missouri find themselves in Kansas City, but once you’ve had your fill of jazz and BBQ, there are several state parks within a short drive of the city. Camp along the Missouri River at Weston Bend State Park, get on the water at Big Lake State Park, or head to Crowder State Park to hike, bike, and horseback ride. Further east, popular spots include the Mark Twain State Park in the Salt River Hills, and Wakonda State Park, with its six lakes.
While central Missouri's urban hub (and capital) is Jefferson City, the region's most popular summer spot is the Lake of the Ozarks. State campgrounds by the lake offer an affordable alternative to the busy resorts (be warned: they book up fast!), providing easy access to the region’s sandy beaches, golf courses, and water sports outlets. Other state parks in the area include Bennett Spring—aka trout fishing heaven—and Rock Bridge Memorial State Park, where you can hike through natural caves and woodlands.
St. Louis and Southeast Missouri
History buffs and foodies congregate in St. Louis, Missouri’s second-largest city, but for campers, this urban pitstop is the gateway to several state parks. Head to Sam A. Baker State Park for scenic hikes and horseback rides through the Saint Francois Mountains, Castlewood State Park to tackle the challenging mountain biking trails, or Taum Sauk Mountain State Park to hike Missouri’s highest peak.
Missouri’s less-visited southwestern corner rewards campers who venture from the beaten track. St Joe State Park is one of the only parks in the state with designated OHV off-road trails, while Roaring River State Park is stocked with rainbow trout year-round. On the Arkansas border, Table Rock State Park is a tranquil spot for lakeside camping, where you can rent a paddleboard or sleep in a yurt.