The best camping near Maquoketa Caves State Park

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

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

Take a hike, go spelunking, and learn about bats.  

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Community favorites near Maquoketa Caves State Park

Top-rated campgrounds reviewed by the Hipcamp community.

Top-rated campgrounds near Maquoketa Caves State Park

100%
(27)

#JTRidge Sites/Clothing Optional

11 sites · Tents15 acres · IA
3/8/24 The site is having some booking issues, if you can’t book a spot drop us a message and we will work with you. Are you looking for the opportunity to be free and connect with nature naturally? A place to reconnect with your soul or reconnect with your significant other(s). Do you need to escape life for even just a little bit? A place to safely be your true self or selves. Our spaces are all about privacy and relaxing in nature peacefully. Perfect for first time clothing optional experiences. To test out your camping skills and or for those who just prefer a quiet natural low key space to relax. Are you a regular camper who is tired of the busy big campgrounds? Need a overnight camping spot that is more nature and less people? Looking for a place to relax in the sun naturally and just take some time for yourself or time with the special people in your life? Along with offering overnight camping sites, we offer day passes for those who just want some chill time within the day. A day pass gives you access to the property, relaxing chairs for that perfect moment in the sun and the woods to wander as you connect with nature. Perfect for a lunch break or just a step away from life for a few hours. Sneak away and take some moments to recharge yourself naturally. We hope you will find that this is a place for everything listed above and so much more. A space to enjoy some downtime, quiet at peace with nature, and a place for restorative just-for-me time. Perfect for yoga in the woods or a natural spot to meditate. Not a commercial campground, just a piece of personal property that we are looking to share with others who enjoy time in nature. We enjoy our natural privacy and welcome you to experience the same. We are stewards of the property and are charged with taking care of all that Mother Nature has given us. If you need space to think, read a book, or just be you, this could be the right fit. Very private and peaceful, perfect for those looking for some alone time or time with family/friends. Forget the news, forget work, forget city life, and just take in the moments; while listening to the birds sing, (Pull out your Merlin app) to see who's singing! Your hosts are here if you need us, but we leave you to enjoy this beautiful place at your own pace. We give you privacy to enjoy your stay fully. We have 15 acres of woods with a natural rock bluff, so many different spaces which allow you to fully bond with nature. Trails to wander and wildlife to see. Clothing is optional through out all the property; overnight camping and sunbathing/day pass spots are available. Day passes are the same as booking a sunbathing spot. Located on the Wapsipinicon River. Camp sites are very private and tucked away from life's stresses. Relax in the woods. Watch the cows and calves moo in the nearby pasture. Walk nature trails with native wildlife and flora. Great photo opportunities abound. Cast a line to catch dinner. Escape to nature is the key to this property; find yourself tucked away from city sounds and light pollution. Come out to see the sunset/sunrise, check out the stars, read a good book, lay out in your favorite hammock, find yourself, and be at peace. Great place for a nice camping fire; treat yourself to some smores. Peaceful sounds at night of the river flowing as you drift off to sleep in your tent. Perfect little spot for peaceful relaxation and just taking some time. Walk the trails in your natural skin, shoot photos of all the different plants, listen to the birds and animals scurry, enjoy the sunshine, and feel the warmth on all of your body. Perfect little spot to float down the river to your camping spot. There are lots of state parks within a short drive; visit the only Presidential library in Iowa; and tour some amazing caves in nearby parks. So much to do, and then come back to a space without crowds and just chill. Welcoming to all, we love to meet new people and let them share in the joy of bonding with nature freely.
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$20
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96%
(91)

1860's Botanical Paradise

2 sites · Lodging, Tents2 acres · Bellevue, IA
Happy to announce we’ve won 2nd best property to visit in Iowa! We hope to keep striving and adding more amenities as we go! Thank you to our wonderful guests and hello to future guests! 👋🏽 Built in 1860 by its first caretaker botanist, this homestead was propagated over its many years of life and is busting at the seams with medicinal and edible herbs. We now run a flower farm and vegetable gardens on our homestead. If you’d like to learn about herbs or gardening/ homesteading, we love sharing our knowledge. If you’d just like some farm fresh eggs for breakfast and enjoy your time alone amongst the songbirds, that's just fine too :) The property is built into the stone hillside allowing for breathtaking views but also stairs to get to the campsites. Please wear comfortable shoes (not flip flops 😉). If you have mobility issues property access will be difficult. !CLASSES! We run our small school/business: HOMESTEAD and HAMMER from the property and are bringing classes to YOU in the 2022 Season! Look in the "EXTRAS" for classes you can partake in on your visit OR for more information on what's included on class weekends check out our website below! Classes include, forAging wild edibles, mushroom identification, homesteading skills, soap making, forging metals and many more! Website: www.homesteadandhammer.com *For guest and host safety property managed 24-7 by video and security services*
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$30
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(131)

n*Everland Barnyard Camping

24 sites · RVs, Tents20 acres · Anamosa, IA
New for 2024: We have expanded the flat land available for camping while maintaining the privacy of all our campsites. We have added sites, but don't worry, you will still experience the same solitude and peace as if you were our only guests. The promised bathhouse/storm shelter is also nearing completion, and we should be able to offer showers (and safe haven during storms) to guests during the 2024 season! Do you want to hike into a site? We have a few sites in the woods that are not easily accessible by car, if you want that kind of experience just mention it when booking. Follow us on Facebook to stay abreast of our current events! Summer Solstice, Full Moon Sound Baths, and Music planned Summer 2024. AND News coming soon about a 2024 Fall retreat too! We are not very active on FB though, so we may miss your message if you reach out to us that way. https://www.facebook.com/NeverlandBarnyard FAMILIES WITH CHILDREN: Please reach out to us in messaging to determine if this is the right fit for your family vacation as we feel there are better options in the area for kids, but we do make exceptions for the well-behaved and respectful older children. Thank you for your understanding. ABOUT THE BARNYARD: n*Everland Barnyard is an eccentric art installation space created from found, recycled, and repurposed building materials in the heart of Grant Wood Country in Jones County, Iowa. We are not a commercial campground. We focus on Zen, mindfulness, peace, and tranquility. Firmly in the realm of Outsider Art, Gothic and rustic, Bob Kellogg has created a place unlike anywhere else in the world that represents freedom and inspires endless creativity. The land provides multiple camp sites for easy access to bike and walking trails taking visitors into town or through the Wapsipinicon State Park across the river from the property. Anamosa offers several restaurants, grocery stores and other businesses all within walking distance and less than a mile from our land. Kayak the Wapsipinicon River, we recommend a put in at Matsell Bridge, and end only a mile away from your campsite at the Barnyard in Anamosa at the dam takeout. Visit the State Penitentiary Museum, hang out with the Barnyard chickens, hike our wooded trails, or simply unwind. This place is a magical retreat unlike anywhere else in the world. If you are seeking to disconnect from the world, find presence and live in the Now, this is the place for you.  We also offer #ProjectCreatePeace, an initiative to create more peace in the world through art as an art project. Check out the extras listings to get your art on while you are here! There is a beautiful spring-fed water hole ideal for swimming in the state park, as well as access to the river from our property (although we do not recommend swimming in the river due to pollutants.)  Watching the sunset at the river is one of our absolutely favorite ways to end the day.  n*Everland Barnyard and the events we host are the perfect place to meet cool like-minded people, so even if you are single traveler, know that you will find an inviting, safe, and welcome site here for your getaway! We make some of the best pizza you have ever eaten (or so we keep being told) and we have a few special weekends a summer that highlight events such as sound baths that feature garden-fresh, oven-baked foods and pizza. Find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NeverlandBarnyard to stay updated on our events!
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$55
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98%
(563)

Draco Hill Nature Farm

4 sites · RVs, Tents75 acres · West Branch, IA
Early Bird Special! Book an April camping trip and get another 20% off. A convenient 7 miles north of Interstate 80 but feels like an oasis away from it all. Enjoy nature in a private, wooded river valley setting. Go to sleep under the stars to the sound of frogs, cicadas, coyotes, deer and the rustling wind through the tallgrass prairie. Wake to an amazing sunrise over the river. Enjoy a hike through our 75 acres of rolling woodlands and prairie, picking berries, finding mushrooms, scaring up a turkey or pheasant in the brush or listening to the birds. (Pull out your Merlin app to see who's singing!) Play in the river or upland pond, cut cattails and prairie grasses for souvenirs and enjoy being unplugged for a while. Your hosts are here if you need us, but we leave you to enjoy this beautiful place at your own pace.
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$34
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98%
(60)

Vintage Spring Lake Campground

6 sites · RVs, Tents10 acres · Savanna, IL
Spring Lake Campground was est. in 1943. The lake is fed by the Mississippi River and there is access to the lake and directly to the river for kayaking/boating and fishing, which is a popular reason people come to the campground. Another popular draw is that the Great River Bike Trail runs right through! It’s a beautiful ride from the campground to nearby Savanna, IL. There is so much to do in the surrounding area: hiking and climbing at Palisades State Park, restaurants, bars and shopping in Savanna, museums and more. But enjoying a peaceful time at the campground, having a bonfire, watching the sunset on the lake and seeing the stars at night is really what it’s about. True old school camping-enjoying the wildlife sanctuary. Get outside and relax. *We ask that our campers please arrive before dark to find their site and set up to avoid disrupting other campers. It gets really dark! We do not have street lights so people can see the stars. Learn more about this land: A Vintage campground est. 1943. Known for kayaking and fishing, this is a true campground. Instead of pavement, we have grass and trees but our best "amenity" is the peaceful outdoors! The Great River Bike Trail runs right through our campground. Rent a canoe or kayak (through October 1st) Historical Savanna, IL is close by. Enjoy Illinois!
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$30
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100%
(19)

Stunning View at Galena River Ranch

1 site · RV, Tent600 acres · Galena, IL
Learn more about this land:A peaceful respite with a breathtaking view of the Galena and Mississippi River valleys. The secluded campsite is situated on a high point on Pilot Knob that overlooks the entire valley with 180 degree views to the South, West and North. The tent site is a flat 20'x20' spot next to a Birch tree, fire ring and table; plenty of room for two tents and a car or two. In the foreground is a natural field with small Cedar trees, Scrub Oak, Sumac and prairie grasses where deer often eat and bed. The site is situated on about 25 acres - plenty of space to take a walk through the fields. Further out are natural woods, and in the distance is the entire Mississippi River valley South to Bellevue, IA and North of Dubuque, IA. Sunsets are absolutely breathtaking from this vantage point.
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$50
 / night
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(6)

New Hope Farm

1 site · Lodging35 acres · La Motte, IA
This farm is ancestral land of the Sac and Fox peoples and has been our home since 2001. It offers diverse natural beauty including fresh springs and the Tetes des Morts Creek, quiet woods on sloping bluffs, various songbirds and other wildlife. We tend a few sheep and a flock of 30 laying hens, a small orchard and large vegetable gardens. Our two retrievers wander around here freely. The tiny house will be cleaned and sanitized per COVID protocols prior to your arrival. Hand sanitizer and cleaning supplies are provided for guest use during your stay.
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$75
 / night
97%
(597)

Linden Camprground

9 sites · Lodging, RVs, Tents12 acres · Apple River, IL
We bought the farmette with much work outside and home interior remodel to complete. We slowly turned the property into our family oasis. We neighbor a pasture with cows. There are free range chickens running around during the day. Geese greet us every evening and morning at the pond...as do the many bullfrogs. Occasionally you'll hear the coyotes, but then keep their distance. The stars shine peacefully and the sunsets are picturesque (most afternoons). The pond is a great place to swim and fish. The hillside is a nice walk for exercise or take the easier route and sit under the great oak tree in the other pasture. Campsites are off the road, behind our main home. You won't find a sign...we keep it simple.
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$35
 / night
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(16)

Miss Effie's Country

2 sites · Tents2 acres · Donahue, IA
Ms. Effie’s Flower Farm is a gated you pick flower farm located in beautiful rural countryside. Peace and tranquillity is what you will find when you are surrounded by amazing flowers and rolling farm fields. The cornzebo is a unique gathering spot with romantic lighting and comfortable seating. It’s a great place to watch the sun come up! The fire pit is also available for use.
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$40
 / night
Booked 1 time

Deer Camp Cabin

1 site · Lodging8 acres · Center Junction, IA
Our property is a family owned property that we love to relax at, hunt on, farm, pick apples, have friends and family gatherings at and just make memories! We hope you enjoy it as much as we do!!Learn more about this land:Our 'Deer Camp Cabin' is truly the perfect all-season getaway for you and your family and/or friends! No matter the season we have you covered at our Deer Cabin! During the winter you can cozy up by the fire with a cup of hot chocolate and a warm blanket while listening to the crackle of the the wood burning in the large stone fireplace. In the spring you will see all the woodland critters frolicking from the deck or covered porch while having your morning cup of coffee. In the summer you can pick apples from our apple trees or even watch the deer come right out of the woods to eat the apples that have fallen on the ground. In the fall you can just enjoy the autumn views of the leaves changing colors and the peaceful tranquility of being completely secluded in the woods while sitting on the porch swing or in one of the rocking chairs on the covered porch. Our Deer Cabin is nestled back on a dead end road in the thick of the timber, so you are sure to be able to relax and rejuvenate while getting away from the hustle and bustle and every day stresses of life. While at the Deer Cabin you can enjoy the walking trails we are putting in and very soon to come a second fully stocked pond and beach that you can fish and kayak at. Unfortunately, you are not able to access our finished pond at this time due to the corn and lack of trails to get to it. However, in the meantime there is a wonderful park just 10 minutes away from our cabin that has the best fishing and kayaking called Central Park, which I highly recommend going and visiting during your stay with us. Bedroom 1: Queen Bed | Bedroom 2: 2 Twin Beds | Additional Sleeping: Pull Out Sofa Sleeper Mattress, and Blow-UP Mattress OUTDOOR LIVING: Covered front porch, wood deck off the kitchen, patio table and chairs, porch swing, 2 rocking chairs, fire pit (10 pieces of firewood are provided) if you would like additional wood that is not a problem there is just an additional fee that would need to be paid via another payment source, charcoal grill, Traeger smoker, and a basketball hoop. INDOOR LIVING: Wood burning fireplace, dining table, 2 Smart TVs, X-Box, 3 bar stools, couch, 2 recliners, KITCHEN: Fully equipped, dishwasher, island, cooking basic, spices, garbage can, cleaning supplies. GENERAL: Free WiFi, complimentary toiletries, bath towels, sheets, washer & dryer, blow dryer, extra blankets and pillows FAQ: Stairs required, exterior security camera, Lockly keyless entry. PARKING: large driveway & clearing * NOTE: Well behaved dogs are welcome and at no additional cost at this point (but that could be subject to change) Feel free to bring your dogs along for the fun, but kindly limit it to 2 pets per booking. We do NOT allow pets on beds, any other furniture, or the bear rug. Please ensure their paws are clean before they enter the house and be considerate of our other rugs. Please clean up after your pet to prevent everyone from stepping on any fur baby landmines! Please do NOT leave you pet unattended if you run into town or something (if your pet does not go with you it must be kenneled, as it can not be left to run You will be responsible for any damages caused by your pet at the cost of replacement or repair.
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$225
 / night
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(11)

Rainbow's End Farm

3 sites · Tents55 acres · Lisbon, IA
Rainbows End Farm is a 55 acre property with a mix of pasture, field, forest, and creek bottom. Mown paths are maintained for exploring the landscape. The creek is spring-fed and has several spots for access and recreation. Campsites are located south of the house/barn. Each includes a fire ring, with wood provided.
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$25
 / night

Honey Bee & Bee Homestead

1 site · RV, Tent40 acres · Hanover, IL
Escape from the ordinary as you immerse yourself in the enchanting ambiance of our hidden sanctuary. Tucked away on a sprawling 40-acre haven of natural beauty just outside Galena, Illinois, our retreat unfolds in the heart of the stunning Driftless Area. Embrace tranquility by the serene pond, explore the meandering trails through 26 acres of protected forestry, and encounter the delightful presence of our charming residents - from chickens and guinea fowl to the gentle hum of honey bees. Meet Oxford, our friendly Great Pyrenees, who adds an extra touch of warmth to our idyllic setting. The Driftless Area beckons with its renowned geological wonders, presenting a captivating landscape of rolling hills, picturesque bluffs, and unparalleled scenic beauty. Delight your senses with the award-winning flavors of local Galena wines at nearby vineyards, where each sip is a celebration of the region's rich terroir.
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from 
$100
 / night

The best camping near Maquoketa Caves State Park guide

Overview

About

Known for its caves, Maquoketa Caves State Park has been attracting picnickers and hikers since the Victorian Era. The 13 caves range in size from compact grottos best visited by experienced spelunkers to the massive, 1,100-square-foot Dancehall Cave. Other prominent features include a six-mile-long trail system that links the caves to other attractions, a natural bridge formation, a couple of picnic areas, and a seasonal interpretive center where visitors can check out educational exhibits. The small, seasonal campground offers showers, potable water, a playground, and a dump station.

Tips for snagging a campsite

  1. Campsite reservations can be made up to three months in advance through the Iowa State Parks website or by calling the reservation call center.
  2. Same-day sites may be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Arrive early to increase your chances of securing a spot.
  3. Be aware that while the park is open year-round, the campground is closed from December through February.
  4. As the campground only has 29 available sites, reservations fill up fast. If you can't snag a spot but still want to explore, consider booking a spot at one of many private Hipcamps in the area.

When to go

The best time to visit Maquoketa Caves is in summer, when the interpretive center and caves are open, although this is also the busiest time. This is also when rangers operate special educational programs, including a white-nose syndrome awareness program that's required of all visitors entering the caves. The caves close during winter for bat hibernation, but other parts of the park stay open.

Know before you go

  • The closest place to pick up groceries and supplies is the town of Maquoketa, about a 10-minute drive from the park. You'll find larger stores and more extensive facilities in Dubuque, about a 35-minute drive away.
  • To reduce the spread of emerald ash borer, a parasitic beetle, campers are not allowed to transport firewood across county or state lines and are instead advised to purchase firewood locally.
  • Sites 25-30 (the only ones without electric hookups) are walk-in sites requiring a hike anywhere between 25 to 90 yards.
  • Site 16 is the campground’s only wheelchair-accessible site.

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