The best camping near Lake Red Rock

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

100% (4 reviews)
100% (4 reviews)

Discover Lake Red Rock, Iowa's largest lake with endless recreation and scenic beauty.  

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Community favorites near Lake Red Rock

Top-rated campgrounds reviewed by the Hipcamp community.

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Stay at a public campground in Lake Red Rock

Top-rated campgrounds near Lake Red Rock

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
99%
(61)

Bend River Farms

5 sites · Lodging, RVs, Tents50 acres · Runnells, IA
Bend River Farms is just a short drive from Interstate 80. The farm is nestled in the gently rolling hills of central Iowa. Camp Creek flows through the property and continues on towards the mighty Des Moines river. Native prairie restoration, regenerative agriculture and sustainable ranching are the focus of owners, Amy Buckendahl and Dave Breese. Bend River Farms is a place to enjoy wild spaces and recharge. Bend River Farms was a former junk yard that has now been transformed into a cottage core dream. Cool woodland meadows provide a comforting back drop to your tent site or glamping experience. Private showers, complimentary firewood, a jungle gym, a communal outdoor dinning area and a saltwater hot tub await your arrival! Please understand that our property is a working farm, and our staff are often busy working on projects. We are not anything like a state park campground or "all inclusive" resort. Instead, we offer your wandering heart a place to rest. Our farm is located just 13 miles off I-80. All travel to the farm is on paved roads, with no confusing dirt roads to navigate. The property is located near the small community of Runnells, Iowa in rural Camp Township. Enjoy a cold beer or hot food at one of the two local taverns, or check out the local ice cream shop or our Tuesday night farmer's market during the summer. Don't worry if you forget something! We have a nearby gas station and a general store. We have farm fresh honey and eggs available for purchase, check the EXTRAS option during checkout! Amy, our own resident biologist, will give you an opportunity to learn about livestock husbandry and the local wildlife. The farms orchard boasts several wild bird feeding stations, with edible landscaping! A stay on our farm will provide you with an opportunity to learn about Land Management in an agricultural setting. Or learn about carpentry and welding from a master fabricator. Come learn about gardening, poultry care, horsemanship, beekeeping and even falconry! These are also available in the EXTRAS options during checkout. Fancy a fireside meal or homestyle dinner? Dave is a trained chef and loves to cook for our guests. Select a meal during checkout. Off-site, but nearby opportunities: miles of scenic hiking and biking trails, kayaking and fishing. The Iowa State Fair Grounds and Adventureland Waterpark is only 20 minutes away, along with big city fine dining, music and art museums are all less than a thirty miles drive; when you need a break from camping and nature. Fee based transportation is available for guests flying in or needing a break from driving, or whenever you need a quick trip into town. Our philosophy: "Here at Bend River Farms we are passionate about regenerative agriculture. We strive to push ourselves and our partners to think of the future and the longevity of our agricultural practices. " Regenerative Agriculture is an agricultural philosophy that both acknowledges the degenerative impact of poor land stewardship, and the positive use of agricultural practices that foster restoration and productivity." Local conditions determine which practices are most appropriate. A regeneratively managed food system should improve the long-term health and function of the agricultural system and the communities that depend upon them, physically, culturally, spiritually, and economically. Regeneratively managed businesses protect and improve the natural function of our water, nutrient, and carbon cycles by taking steps to increase biodiversity in the agricultural system, works to minimize reliance on external inputs, and avoid the use of synthetic chemicals whenever possible.”
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$18
 / night
100%
(5)

The Point at Lake Red Rock

1 site · Lodging32 acres · Knoxville, IA
Our 32 acres is a unique property on Iowa’s 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
95%
(38)

Comfortable Camping near Des Moines

2 sites · RVs3 acres · 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.
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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%
(4)

Trail-Side Rural Retreat

6 sites · RVs, Tents3 acres · 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

The best camping near Lake Red Rock guide

Overview

About

Bigger doesn’t always mean better… except when it does! Lake Red Rock is the largest lake in all of Iowa, boasting an impressive 15,000 acres of water and 35,000 acres of land. Lucky for us, Lake Red Rock has outdoor recreation covered! From camping to hunting, you can do it all over here. Of course, we can’t forget about all of the water activities. There’s a beach for swimming and lounging, and plenty of boat ramps to get your watercraft where it belongs. And, this massive lake and recreation area is a mere 45 miles southeast and downriver from Des Moines, so getting to this lovely spot won’t have to take up the better part of your weekend.

Notable campgrounds

  • The North Overlook Campground boasts a new family-style restroom, playground, and access to the 17-mile Volksweg paved bike trail.
  • Whitebreast Campground invites campers to enjoy its proximity to the lake, offering a perfect blend of convenience and natural beauty.

Tips for snagging a campsite

  • Book early through www.recreation.gov or call toll-free at 1-877-444-6777 to secure your preferred campsite.
  • Consider visiting during off-peak seasons for better availability and a quieter camping experience.
  • Keep an eye on cancellations, as last-minute openings can provide unexpected opportunities.
  • Explore nearby camping options to increase your chances of finding a spot during busy times.

When to go

The best time to visit Lake Red Rock is during the spring and fall when the weather is mild and the migrating white pelicans grace the skies. Summer offers full recreational activities but can be busy. Winters are quiet but cold, with limited services.

Know before you go

  • Always wear a life jacket when on the water, as safety is a top priority at Lake Red Rock.
  • Check the latest road closure updates to ensure accessibility to different parts of the park.
  • Be mindful of the wildlife; observe from a distance and do not feed the animals.
  • Visitor Center hours are from 7:30am to 4pm on weekdays, and 12pm to 4pm on weekends.
  • Stay informed about the water quality advisories, especially if you plan to swim in the lake.

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