The best camping near Mark Twain National Forest

Discover the most magical spots to pitch your tent or park your rig on your next Mark Twain National Forest adventure.

89% (19 reviews)
89% (19 reviews)

Missouri’s only national forest has 1.5 million acres of wilderness to explore.  

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Community favorites near Mark Twain National Forest

Top-rated campgrounds reviewed by the Hipcamp community.

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Public campgrounds in the park
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Stay at a public campground in Mark Twain National Forest

Top-rated campgrounds near Mark Twain National Forest

93%
(1625)

Spring Lake Ranch

43 sites · Lodging, RVs, Tents101 acres · Potosi, MO
Spring Lake Ranch boasts countless trails and lake activities. Formerly known as Sayersbrook Bison ranch, at one time it was one of the largest Bison ranches in the world. This property is filled with amazing things to see and explore. Nothing like it in Missouri. Lake is 60+ acres and is spring fed. Amazing fishing, swimming and kayaking. We are pet friendly. You will have amazing lake views and will be close to hiking trails, horseback riding, and wine tasting at Edge Cliff Wineries which is next door to us. The beautiful shower house is super clean, has restrooms and hot showers and it is within walking distance. Firewood and ice are available to purchase; kayaks and fishing poles are available for rent. If you forget something at home stop by our little country store, we might have it! :) The sites are about 20 ft from each other - if you are looking for more privacy please check out the secluded site or the peninsula.
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$24.99
 / night
98%
(550)

Arcadia Valley Outdoors Land

27 sites · Lodging, RVs, Tents150 acres · Ironton, MO
A wooded, more private camping experience with unique site designs and natural elements. Wood-burning sauna and hot tub available for guest use. Primitive Camping Van/vehicle Camping Small Trailers Glamping Bike Trails, Hiking, creek sit-in' on site! Best of the midwest biking, hiking, Ozark Trail, rock climbing Elephant Rocks Park, Johnson Shut-ins and more swimming holes nearby! Wood for sale on site, $5 per bundle, Fire starters also available. Ask us about our "Really Good At Camping" merchandise. We have shirts, mugs & wine tumblers! *Cash Only* at this time. We Have free stickers! *For camp site locations please refer to our map in the campsite listing photos. We are located just west of the Ironton Water Works Plant and the Shepherd Mountain Lake dam. Turn right after the dam, drive through Shepherd Mountain Lake Park. If our "campground guests only" gate if it is closed, and please close gate behind you. Thank you! No Hook Ups No swimming in the lake and no outside boats, but we have boats for campers to use free of charge! General Store and restroom facilities/showers coming soon!
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$25
 / night
97%
(335)

Four Creeks Campground

19 sites · RVs, Tents90 acres · Ellington, MO
Three crystal clear creeks to swim, wade, hunt rocks, or just relax. We have several tent sites right on the creeks and RV sites close for just a short walk for swimming fun. Right on miles of ATV, OHV, SxSs or hiking trails. Close to the Black River and the Current for floating, Kayaking or fishing. Clearwater Lake for boat rentals or Jet skies. Sites to see, Blue Springs, Big Springs Johnson Shut Inns, Elephant Rock, Rocky Falls, and many state parks to explore. We are also only three miles from the town of Ellington, MO for your shopping needs, several restaurants and antiquing.
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$20
 / night
100%
(21)

Ozarks Piney Bend Riverfront

7 sites · Lodging, Tents7 acres · Dixon, MO
Experience the Missouri Ozarks in all it's glory! Our property sits on 7 acres running on both sides of the beautiful, crystal clear Big Piney River. We sit right at the bottom of a beautiful bluff right along the banks of the river! We have a dry cabin, with outdoor water, bathroom and cedar shower house. We have a fully stocked new camper with everything you'll need for up to 6 people, including ice cold A/C! We also own a large beautiful sand bar on the Big Piney River perfect for setting up your tent or hammock camping (only accessible by swimming or kayak, which we can provide for a fee)
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$40
 / night
97%
(46)

Hawks Bluff Campground

56 sites · Lodging, RVs, Tents460 acres · Tiff, MO
Escape the city! We have a very special property that nourishes the soul and provides space to roam and breathe fresh air. We have 460 acres to explore. A beautiful creek running through our property. We have cows, mules, goats, dogs and cats. We are on a bluff so if you are rock hunters you have come to the right place. We offer rock hunting. and we have extra buckets. We have the best Drusy (lots of colors), Crazy Lace Agate, Calcite, Chalcedony, Quartz, Chert, Barite, Bladed Barite, Iron Ores and more. Check us out on Facebook Hawks Bluff Farm Rocks and Drusy. We have firewood, ice, eggs, ground beef, propane exchange and new propane tanks available. Ask us about our kayaking options!
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$25
 / night
99%
(49)

Crooked Creek Ranch

1 site · RV, Tent35 acres · Salem, MO
Once a portion of a hunting preserve, Crooked Creek Ranch is located deep in the Missouri Ozarks, within walking distance of Mark Twain National Forest. We've owned and managed Crooked Creek Ranch for many years now, building and maintaining trails, planting trees and working to make the place as beautiful as it can be for all who visit. We hope that you will be as refreshed and revitalized as we are when you set foot into this wonderful forest. It is a lot of very hard work, and totally worth it. If you enjoy it, it will make it that much more worth it! Thanks for reading! Learn more about this land: 100% PRIVACY. 35 private wooded acres all to yourself with a totally private one-mile intermediate level mountain biking-hiking loop trail! Hike peaceful trails, exploring the wooded hills until you find the perfect spot for your tent. If you select a spot near the clearing, you will have access to the picnic table and fire circle. Spend your days mountain biking, hiking, fishing and watching wildlife on a private ranch in the Ozark Mountains, less than a quarter mile from the Mark Twain National Forest. Less than five miles from Indian Trail State Forest (Indian Trail Conservation Area) with beautiful Blackwell Lake. Canoeing and kayaking are less than an hour away (Meramec River, Current River and Jacks Fork River), as well as trout fishing at scenic Meramec Spring Park or Montauk State Park. Peaceful wilderness will inspire artists, writers, musicians. Quiet, secluded, beautiful, and rugged. If you do not want to see anyone, you don't have to. You will have 35 private acres. You will be 100% secluded. If you want amenities, this is not the place. If you want complete privacy, this is the place! Bear and mountain lion have been seen in the area, so please keep this in mind.
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$25
 / night
98%
(167)

Cinco de Mayo Campground

16 sites · Lodging, RVs, Tents2 acres · MO
Every morning that I wake up at Cinco I think how fortunate I am to have a place on this earth where I am excited to be. Whether it is sweaty-hot summertime or deep-freeze, snow-covered wintertime I treasure the moments sipping a cup of tea on the riverbank listening to the birds competing over food and mates...or to the ice breaking up with the morning heat. Starting the day this way can sure alleviate a lot of stress!   The tenants and guests that have stayed here make my favorite place on earth truly precious.  Sharing with others magnifies the experience.  Please give yourself the gift of staying here for a weekend.Learn more about this land:Sleep right on the banks of the river or in the clean level yard just a few feet away. Kayak or fish all day then enjoy a nice warm shower in our bathhouse. You can freshen your gear in our new mini-laundromat. Bring quarters or download an Iphone app to start the laundry machines.  
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$5
 / night
98%
(88)

Big River Outdoors Campground

80 sites · RVs, Tents87 acres · Frankclay, MO
80+ acres with over a mile of river frontage. Also a unique custom off road park on the property. Swimming, fishing, kayaking, and live music on weekends. Tent camping or RV/camper . Campers who need electric are allowed to bring a generator. We have limited electric as of now. We are located just 2-3 miles from 3 different gas stations but are also very secluded.
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$50
 / night
97%
(51)

Eminence Cottages and Camp

45 sites · Lodging, RVs, Tents28 acres · Eminence, MO
Welcome to Eminence Cottages & Camp Our Resort is perfectly located to enjoy the natural wonders that abound in this area. Eminence Cottages and Camp is in the center of Missouri's largest national park; The Ozark National Scenic Riverways. We invite you to enjoy river fishing and canoeing, hiking and biking the famous Ozark Trail, abundant wildlife viewing, spring hopping and auto tours. Relax in our well-appointed cottages or get close to nature in the campground. Once settled you'll be ready to float the Current or Jacks Fork River. Call to make your reservation!
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$20
 / night
99%
(78)

Hagood Farms and Trails

8 sites · Tents164 acres · Sullivan, MO
We have 172 acres of trails with scenic waterfalls and trees. A pond for fishing and conveniently located with in 8 miles from sevetal state parks and 2 miles from 300 acers of off road trails. We have owned and lived on tje property since 1999 .Learn more about this land:We are a fully functioning farm with Longhorn cattle, horses, mini donkeys and goats that are very friendly. We have 164 acres that have trails for horseback riding and ATVs. We are located 8 miles from Mermac River and Washington State park where you can rent canoe's and go hiking. We are an hour from St. Louis and Elephant Rock State park as well as Johnston shut ins. We are also with in 8 miles of ROMP dirt bike trail and 1 mile from Moonlight trails and racing that is 400 plus acers of ATV and jeep trails. We have a few waterfalls on the property and lots of areas to hike as well. Several areas of camping to choose from, you can be in the woods or out in the open. Spring and Summer months we offer farm fresh eggs and there is always plenty of firewood. We recently added a pond area as well. We now have Electric and water as well.
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$30
 / night
95%
(38)

BEAUTIFUL SECLUDED CAMPSITE

5 sites · RVs, Tents30 acres · Potosi, MO
Easy access to hundreds of miles of trails and gravel roads in Mark Twain National Forest for hiking, biking, ATV / SXS. Multiple fishing ponds less than a mile away. Come and explore Missouri's best kept secret! The campground has 8 campsites, great for RV or tent campers, nestled under old-growth oak trees for shade & protection during the hot months.
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$26
 / night
100%
(6)

Mountains, feilds, and wooded areas

18 sites · RVs, Tents163 acres · Sullivan, MO
We have owned the property since the early eighties. We have been a working farm for the last 6 years. We have hosted rrail rides and atv rides for several years and are planning on adding Historically correct Old log cabins as well as a wedding venue in the near furture.Learn more about this land:We are locted between two state parks Mermac and Washington state park. There is ATV and off road trails 2 miles down the road. We have trails throught thw property where you can hike, ride horses or take ATVs. There is lots of wildlife as well as farm animals. We have a waterfalls and streams you can walk in or just sit by and enjoy.
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$30
 / night

The best camping near Mark Twain National Forest guide

Overview

About

Encompassing seven wilderness areas across 27 counties, Mark Twain National Forest has it all. Rambling oak forests, volcanic peaks, and rocky glades where you can hike, mountain bike, horseback ride, or ride an ATV along 750 miles of trails. Natural springs, rivers, and streams where you can swim, paddle, float, or fish for wild bass, crappie, and rainbow trout. Plus, vast prairie lands peppered with wildflowers and wildlife-watching opportunities. Camping is equally diverse, with more than 35 campgrounds to choose from, including RV sites, equestrian camps, and dispersed camping.

Notable campgrounds

  • Best for getting on the water: Red Bluff Campground has 44 sites, six with electric hookups, and all within a short walk of Huzzah Creek.
  • Best for hikers and horseback riders: Dry Fork Recreation Area Campground has eight RV sites with hitching posts for equestrians at the Cedar Creek trailhead.
  • Best for backcountry campers: The Taum Sauk Section offers bare-bones, dispersed camping along this scenic stretch of the Ozark Trail.

Tips for snagging a campsite

  1. You can reserve a campsite in advance online.
  2. Campsite reservations open six months in advance or 12 months in advance for group sites.
  3. Campsites can book up as fast, especially on summer and holiday weekends. Book a minimum of three months in advance to avoid disappointment.

When to go

The most popular time to visit Mark Twain National Forest is from spring through fall, when weather is ideal for hiking, biking, and water activities. Camping is possible year-round, although some campgrounds close for the winter season. The forest is at its most enchanting in late spring, when wildflowers bloom along the prairies, and from mid-October through early November, when fall foliage is at its most vibrant. 

Know before you go

  • Mark Twain National Forest is about a 90-minute drive southwest of St. Louis.
  • No admission fees apply, but permits are required for developed recreation areas and access to motorized trails. Most campgrounds charge a fee while dispersed campsites do not.
  • Park facilities include picnic benches, restrooms, and running water at day-use and camping areas. Bring everything else you need when hiking and camping. Cell phone service is patchy throughout the forest.
  • Accessible campsites, restrooms, and day-use areas are available at Mark Twain National Forest.

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