The best camping near Rock Creek State Park

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

Discover the natural allure of Rock Creek State Park.  

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Community favorites near Rock Creek State Park

Top-rated campgrounds reviewed by the Hipcamp community.

Top-rated campgrounds near Rock Creek State Park

99%
(419)

Windy Goat Acres

6 sites · Lodging15 acres · Chelsea, IA
We love animals, plants, art, and outdoor recreation and love sharing these things with people! We found the perfect little plot for all of these things we love. Nature, art, animals, and lots of space! The hilly, lush land is also known as the Bohemie Alps and it's quite a beautiful area tucked away in Iowa.Visit with the llamas, goats, peacocks, potbelly pigs and the horses and hike around the property or stay in for a quiet stay with a good book and enjoy all the sights and sounds. Lots of extra 'add ons' to enhance the experience!Semi wooded property with hiking trails, hammocks, aerial silks, campfire pit. 5 mi away is Otter Creek Lake, a recreational park for fishing, kayaking, swimming, etc. We have 2 kayaks available. So much to do! Also perfect to just relax, meditate, yoga, sleep...
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$65
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97%
(204)

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%
(68)

Greenhouse Camping

2 sites · RVs5 acres · Ankeny, IA
We love this beautiful land that has been in our family since 1917, and think you will too!   We are located 1/2 mile off I-35 at the north border of the City of Ankeny.  Here you'll find the best of both worlds just fifteen minutes away from your quiet campsite - Boating, skiing, jet-skiing, fishing at Saylorville Lake.   Canoe,  kayak and paddleboat rental at Big Creek State Park.  Swimming & waterplay for all ages at the Ankeny Aquatic Center.  Upscale shopping and dining at the District.  Or venture out a bit further to concert venues in Ames & Des Moines, local farmers markets, Des Moines' beautiful riverwalk and exciting nightlife, or the Iowa State Fair.  It's the best of country and suburban living!  End your day with a quiet stroll along the mowed walking path that overlooks one of the most beautiful areas of Four Mile Creek in Iowa, which circles right back to your cozy campfire.   Learn more about this land:You'll love this relaxing space to camp and enjoy the Iowa outdoors!  Very easy access,  we are just 1/2 mile off of Interstate-35.  Our farm is bordered by nature on three sides and the city of Ankeny on the south.  This is a single campsite, private and quiet. Your campsite has an adjoining mowed private walking trail overlooking Four Mile Creek, and is also within walking distance of Ankeny sidewalks for biking, walking, jogging.  It’s the best of both worlds - town and country! We're a 15 minute drive from Big Creek and Ledges State Parks, Jester Park and Saylorville Lake where you can enjoy fishing, skiing, boating, horseback riding, hiking, biking, and the beach life.  You'll find unique shopping experiences, delicious dining, a good movie, a thriving live music scene just 15 minutes away in downtown Des Moines, downtown and campus town Ames, and  at The District in Ankeny.  Upon your arrival you'll find the greenhouse mini-fridge is stocked with 4 complimentary bottles of water and everything you'll need for making S'mores.  One free bundle of wood is included with each booking.  
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$35
 / night
99%
(63)

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%
(1)

Sunset Hills Bison Ranch & Lodging

7 sites · Lodging15 acres · Malcom, IA
*NEW 2023*Prairie-Schooner Wagon*You are invited to stay where the buffalo roam in a beautiful Conestoga Wagon! These unique wagons have heat & a/c, a king bed, twin/twin bunk beds and locking front door. Enjoy the beauty of the sunset along the rolling hills. Stargaze while cuddled around your private fire pit. Wake up to our bison herd grazing near by. Private luxury shower house w/ heat & a/c. The wagons do NOT have a kitchen. They do have a coffee maker, refrigerator, microwave, toaster and grill & more.
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$179
 / night
100%
(33)

Sleep in an Iowa Barn @ TLC

2 sites · Lodging, Tents28 acres · Zearing, IA
Threshold Learning Center is 28 acres of prairie, creek, woods, and our barn dormitory.  Threshold is first, an outdoor learning center for schools during the school year, and a summer camp offering several day camps, family camps, and trips.  As a non-profit, however, we are constantly trying to find a way to  offer our programs to everyone regardless of whether they are able to pay our fees while still making enough money to stay open.  We started renting TLC to the public 5 years ago for weddings, reunions, or just families who are looking to connect to the world around them.  Our motto is "No Child Left Inside" and we want every inner child to enjoy what we have at TLC.  We have 7 bedrooms in our dormitory, 5 camp sites, a large camp fire ring, a mini-golf course, and we are always willing to lead your group in an educational experience or take you on a hayrack ride.
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$15
 / night
100%
(4)

Saylor Creek Hideaway

1 site · Lodging7 acres · Des Moines, IA
We are in between Des Moines and Ankeny. We are surrounded by fields to the East and West. We have neighbors to the North and South but they are separated by space and trees. It feels like you are in the country but you are close to all that the Des Moines metro has to offer. Learn more about this land: Be in nature and have all the comforts. Surprise your friends or family with a unique experience. Our place is perfect for celebrating anniversaries, creating fun family memories or just taking a weekend to get away. Come and relax in the trees. Wake up to nature all around you and enjoy a slow morning as you sip on a cup of espresso while hanging out on the deck. During the day you can go explore all that the Des Moines area has to offer as we are located just minutes from downtown Des Moines. At night share stories around the fire. You won't have to give up comfort while "camping". Get a good night's rest in the king size bed. Stay comfortable in the various Iowa seasons by adjusting the heat or air conditioning. Running water at the nearby sink and shower means you don't have to give up cleanliness while camping. Sticky hands from roasting s'mores, no problem! Inside the Tent: - King size bed. All bedding is provided. - Couch folds into twin size bed. Bedding provided. - Air conditioning & heat - Small refrigerator - Nespresso machine with pods - Dining table with two chairs - TV with Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, Prime - WiFi - Board games Outside the Tent: - Two deck chairs - Solo Stove smokeless fire pit - Two adirondack chairs - Two large foldable camping chairs - Charcoal grill with charcoal - One large bundle of firewood - Firestarter and lighter - Outhouse with sink & composting toilet - Outdoor shower with rainfall shower head Other things to note: We do not provide bath towels, so if you would like to enjoy the outdoor shower you will need to bring your own. Wifi and TV are amenities in the tent. If you want to unplug, let us know before check in and we can turn off the wifi and remove the TV. This tent is tucked into the trees on the 7 acre property where we live. Our house is out of sight when you're on the campsite. A short walk down a path and you will reach the tent where you will be immersed in the trees. Since you are in the trees there will always be bugs. Bringing bug spray is a good idea.
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$200
 / 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
Booked 1 time

Black Oak Tiny Cabin

1 site · Lodging100 acres · Montour, IA
Unique tiny cabin experience! Black Oak Cabin has been recently updated and sleeps up to four people. Relax, unwind, and take a break from technology, our cabins are TV and WiFi free to help you truly connect with nature. It features a stunning view of our lake and private deck for sipping your cup of coffe in the morning. Commune with nature on our private trails, beach and more! Black Oak Cabin features a mini fridge, mircowave, and coffee maker. Hot water, A/C and heater.
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$115
 / night

The best camping near Rock Creek State Park guide

Overview

About

An instant crush is what you’ll experience when you pull into Rock Creek State Park! One of Iowa’s most popular, the park centers around a gorgeous blue lake that offers a flurry of activity both in and out of the water. Those wanting to cool off can spend the day swimming or boating. Even the campgrounds are located on the shore, so you’re only a few steps away from your morning cast for record bluegill! Hike the trails or enjoy spotting deer, foxes, and more via the horse trails. In the winter snowmobiling keeps the fun as warm as the sun. Picnic spots, ranger led archery, and youth programs mean the whole family can enjoy Rock Creek. Riding solo or arrive with your entire family, this little slice of heaven is made to enjoy!

When to go

The best time to visit Rock Creek State Park is during the spring and fall when the weather is mild and the natural scenery is at its peak. Summer brings warm days perfect for water activities, though it can be crowded. Winters are quiet but can be cold, making it less ideal for outdoor adventures.

Know before you go

  • Check the weather forecast and pack accordingly to ensure a comfortable visit.
  • Be aware of park hours, typically from 6am to 10:30pm, and plan your activities within this timeframe.
  • Remember to bring water and snacks, as options for purchasing food may be limited.
  • Stay informed about any trail closures or area restrictions by checking the park's official website before your trip.
  • For safety, always wear appropriate gear, especially when hiking or engaging in water sports.

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