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The best camping near Rathbun Lake

Discover the most magical spots to pitch your tent or park your rig on your next Rathbun adventure.

100% (1 reviews)
100% (1 reviews)

Discover Rathbun Lake: A Haven for Outdoor Enthusiasts and Nature Lovers.

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Public campgrounds in the park
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Stay at a public campground in Rathbun Lake

Top-rated campgrounds near Rathbun Lake

97%
(198)

Nature Heaven

8 sites 路 Lodging, RVs, Tents40 acres 路 Knoxville, IA
This seclude, beautiful pet friendly 40 acres of fenced camping site is on top of hilly land 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. The camping sites has good distances to keep privacy for each sites 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 White breast beach is very close, a lot of water and hunting activities in the lake red rock year round. 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. Our campers will have a fantastic sunset view of ponds and lake view while enjoy the great nature, and have a comfortable stay . And cell phone signals are good to use your hotspot remote working 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 Masters 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

Nunnikhoven Farm

1 site 路 RV, Tent10 acres 路 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
96%
(27)

Papa's Alpacas Camping Paradise

4 sites 路 RVs, Tents520 acres 路 Green Castle, MO
Learn more about this land: Papa's Alpacas Camping offers 20 acres of rolling open hills, wooded areas, and a creek for great hiking. Full hookups are available. Stocked ponds are available as well as Papa's Alpacas Petting Zoo which includes alpacas, sheep, goats, and mini donkeys on a donation basis. Very secluded location with breathtaking views away from any traffic or distracting noise. Star gazing at its best!
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$25
/ night
100%
(5)

The Point at Lake Red Rock

1 site 路 Lodging32 acres 路 Knoxville, IA
Our 32 acres is a unique property on Iowa鈥檚 largest lake, Lake Red Rock. It features 17 acres of woods and 15 acres of native pollinator flowers and plants. Enjoy fishing, kayaking, hiking, bird watching and much more! Gorgeous sunsets and quiet surroundings will give you a memorable get away!
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$99
/ night
100%
(3)

Trail-Side Rural Retreat

6 sites 路 RVs, Tents3 acres 路 Oskaloosa, IA
Our 3-acre pasture borders a 13-mile recreational trail that encompasses our entire town. Super easy access to the trail via bike, golf cart, or on foot to the middle school, high school, community auditorium, William Penn University or Lacey Recreational Complex. We live approximately 150 yards from the city limits, but are on a gravel road. It is an easy 7-minute drive to the grocery store, 2 minutes to the local hospital, and the trail is accessible to walkers, golf carts and bicyclists. Our property does not have any hookups, but if needed, there is a 50-amp connection up close to our home that we could have discussions about using. Please note on the three acres, we do have 15 laying hens who free-range during the day, but are confined at night. They typically do not have any desire to interact with humans unless you are feeding them and should not present any problems. IF you bring a pet, please insure it is kept controlled and not allowed to interact with our hens or the folks using the recreational trail. As a bonus, for $5 per person we would be happy to whip up a farm-fresh egg breakfast each morning you stay with us. During summer months, guests are welcome to use our above-ground fully-enclosed pool complete with outdoor shower (heated by the power of the sun shining on a garden hose!). There is a tiki bar, small deck and lawn furniture inside the pool enclosure.
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$20
/ night
95%
(38)

Comfortable Camping near Des Moines

2 sites 路 RVs3 acres 路 Carlisle, IA
Once a piece of farmland, now this is home to a historic church rectory and a whole lot of chickens (real and fake ones to be clear.) Learn more about this land: BEFORE BOOKING - if you are traveling with a dog be sure to message us BEFORE booking to make sure that we can accommodate you. IMMEDIATELY AFTER BOOKING please send a message introducing yourself and confirming how many are in your group and how large your camping set up is. We live on just over 3 acres of land. Some of it is a flat grass area, some is hilly, and some has taller brush. From any of these camping areas you can see our home but not much else besides fields, brush, and grass - and the sky! A train goes by a few times a day/night. We are located on a paved rural road, so while you will hear cars go by, there is no flow of constant traffic. We are located an easy two miles from a gas station and an easy 17-30 minute drive to Des Moines if you're looking to go into the city. The land is former farm land but the house is a historical church rectory that was moved to this location several years ago.
from
$25
/ night

The best camping near Rathbun Lake guide

Overview

About

A lengthy 142.4 river miles away from its confluence with the Missouri River, you鈥檒l find Rathbun Lake and it鈥檚 handy dandy dam. The lake has ten recreation spots designed for camping, boating, swimming, fishing, and other shenanigans. Worried about getting your boat in the water? There鈥檚 a marina for that, too (well, there are actually two marinas). There鈥檚 even an OHV park, with 125 acres of riding fun, and something for every level of experience. Staffers have even been hard at work planting trees, giving some of the less-shady campsites the opportunity to bask in the shadows when the temperatures rise. That鈥檚 pretty impressive, considering the lake has hundreds of campsites to maintain!

Notable campgrounds

  • Honey Creek State Park: Offers a serene camping experience with modern amenities and access to water activities.
  • Buck Creek Marina: Ideal for those looking to combine camping with boating, complete with rental options.
  • Prairie Ridge Campground: A family-friendly spot with playgrounds and easy access to fishing areas.

Tips for snagging a campsite

  • Book early, especially for peak season, to secure your ideal campsite.
  • Consider mid-week stays for better availability and a quieter experience.
  • Keep an eye on cancellations for last-minute opportunities.
  • Explore nearby camping options to increase your chances of finding a spot.

When to go

The best time to visit Rathbun Lake is during the spring and fall when the weather is mild and the natural beauty is at its peak. Summer offers warm temperatures perfect for water activities, though it's also the busiest season. Winters can be harsh, with some facilities closed, making it less ideal for a visit.

Know before you go

  • Check the weather forecast and pack accordingly for a comfortable visit.
  • Review the Title 36 CFR 327 for rules and regulations before your trip.
  • Remember to practice Leave No Trace principles to preserve the park's natural beauty.
  • Accessibility varies across different areas, so plan ahead if you require specific accommodations.
  • For safety, familiarize yourself with water safety guidelines, especially when participating in water-based activities.

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