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 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

94%
(1559)

Spring Lake Ranch

38 sites · 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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$15.99
 / night
100%
(44)

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
99%
(481)

Arcadia Valley Outdoors Land

23 sites · Lodging, RVs, Tents150 acres · Ironton, MO
A wooded, more private camping experience with unique site designs and natural elements. 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, open the "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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$20
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96%
(27)

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
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98%
(306)

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 horse 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
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100%
(5)

Creekside Farm on Sinkin' Creek

1 site · Tent40 acres · Salem, MO
Creekside Farm is a 40 acre farm on a spring fed stream in the Missouri Ozarks. Beautiful wooded property with cattle pasture and plentiful wildlife. Creekside Farms on Sinkin’ Creek, near Echo Bluff State Park, is nestled in the beautiful foothills of the Ozark Mountains. Stay at our secluded campsite by the spring fed, crystal clear waters of Sinkin’ Creek. Creekside Farms is a working farm with cows, chickens, and produce gardens. Janet’s family settled here in 1908. The property is surrounded by the Mark Twain National Forest and near the Roger Pryor Pioneer Backcountry and the Sunklands. See nature at its best by visiting Round Springs, Pulltite Spring, Alley Spring and Mill, Blue Spring, Welch Spring, Devils Well and Rocky Falls. Do not forget the beautiful wild horses and stunning float trips! The most popular activity for visitors is taking a float trip down the Current River or Jack Fork's River in the National Scenic Riverways. These float trips can be taken by using canoes, kayaks, and/or rafts. Running River Canoe Rental is only a short tripaway.
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$35
 / night
Booked 23 times

The Eclipse Field

23 sites · Tents25 acres · Ellington, MO
View the eclipse in a wide open field. set up a blanket or chairs and relax or climb a hill to be up higher. Go rock hunting at the creek or swimming in the big creek if its warm enough. Easy access off of K highway. Tent sites or self contained vehicles. Their will be a porta-potty on site. Some sites will be next to a creek. For creek sites it will be first come fist pick. The town Of Ellington is planning on having bands and viewing sites with a telescopes. We are just 3 miles from town.
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$25
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100%
(41)

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
Booked 2 times

The Wild lands

10 sites · RVs23 acres · Bunker, MO
The property is 23 acres of forest we border two massive forest the mark Twain and the pioneer.Learn more about this land:Pitch your tent, yurt, any other structure you have with you at wild-lands cove. Our property is a short drive away from Mark Twain national Forest and pioneer forest conservation. Our land is deep in the woods with some clearings here and there. At the wild-lands deer and turkey are common sights.
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$25
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87%
(15)

Flying W Store & Camping LLC

44 sites · RVs, Tents98 acres · Jadwin, MO
Learn more about this land:Located between two Canoe Rentals on Upper Current River. Campground is 2 miles from River. We are also 4.5miles from Flat Nasty Off Road Park. Check out our fb or flyingwstoreandcamping.com
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$30
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100%
(42)

1855 Campground

7 sites · Tents45 acres · Black, MO
LATEST NEWS. On April 8th my region will experience a total solar eclipse . This is a very rare lunar event I would not want anybody not to experience this. So check the calendar to see if there is a campsite available. Thank you. We open the 2024 season March 1st with the same wilderness adventure. Campsite 6, Bills Hill, has been improved to give you more choices to pitch you tent. This is a wilderness site, just a fire pit, sits on a ridge top in the forest, check it out. Pictures forthcoming. Hope to see ya here. TIRED OF NOISEY OVER CROWDED CAMP GROUNDS, we’ll give us a try! 1855 Campground is a private natural preserve, dedicated to fostering the natural Ozark experience.   We border the National Forest!! Come enjoy the outdoors at its bests!  This nature space offers seven large campsites generously spaced to provide privacy and the ability to become one with nature. I offer 4 campsites that provides the experience in camping in the woods. Site 1, Little Brushy Creek. Site 3, Bills Hill. Site 6, Hidden Hollow, and site 7, Roberts Mountain. Shuttle service of your camping gear to your campsite is available for free upon request. This land borders the Mark Twain National Forest, so hiking is abundant and encouraged and being far away from the city this area is ideal for star gazing and planet photography. There is on-site fresh spring water flowing all year round.  Enjoy fishing, swimming, or just hanging out at the pond or in the babbling brook that runs alongside the prosperity. There is also an off grid home where I live an I am willing to share my experience with you. Just opened campsite 7! Yes a new wilderness campsite located on top of the highest hill on the prosperity. It’s borders the National Forest an like all other sites it’s very private.Only a fire pit is available. It’s a must see and experience. Those of you who like site 3, the other wilderness site, will like this. This will be a popular site!  1855 Campground is in close proximity to:      Floating activities along the Black River      Johnson Shuts State Park      Bell Mountain Hiking Trails       Elephant Rocks      Counsel Bluffs Lake      Tip Top Park      Taum Sauk State Park      Historic town of Caledonia       Clearwater Lake      Shepard Mountain bike trial  The details:       Campsites are large enough for multiple tents      All sites have fire pits and the first bundle of wood provided is included       All have BBQ grills and tables (except site 3 and 7).  Bring charcoal      Outhouses and outside shower is available      Parking space provided, once check in assistance to campsite is provided       For your peace an quite no vehicles, guns or loud music allowed back in campground      1855 Campground lives by “Leave no trace Principles” take out what you bring  in.      2023 season runs to Oct 2nd      Additional firewood and charcoal can be purchased at office. Campsite fees:  Weekend rate ( Friday and Saturday nights) $30/ per night per site ( 4 campers per site) children under 5 stay free. Weekday special ( Sunday- Thursday night): 40% off! $20/ per night per site.   Note: some campsite can hold more than 4 people, message Bill for more details. Get away from the vibrations of city life and enjoy existence within the arms. Special note to interested campers: The office /house is open 9 to 9 daily through the season. It’s worth noting that the office/ house is “ off grid” that is it is not connected to the National electrical grid for its power. It’s been off grid for over 25 yrs. Bill, the manager, of the campground has been living full time off grid for over 8 yrs and would be willing to field question on the subject during normal business hours.
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$30
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97%
(16)

Delightful 1 bedroom peaceful tiny house

1 site · Lodging20 acres · Salem, MO
We bought this property to enjoy our horses and cattle as well as the small animals including our rabbits , chickens , ducks , and more . We turned one of our barns into a place to have music and line dancing, however over time it turned into a perfect place for weddings and gathering events. We enjoy meeting the people who visit our farm . The sunsets behind the barn are therapeutic and soothing to the soul! Our small animals are the heart of the farm. We enjoy them and our guests are welcome to enjoy them as well. Learn more about this land:You won’t forget the peaceful surroundings of this rustic destination. Your stay with us is sure to bring you back to simplicity of life while comfortably cozy and relaxed . While TV and WiFi are available , you will find yourself content with viewing the activities of the surroundings and serene atmosphere. Just minutes away you’ll find exciting selections of activities , excellent dining , and friendly small businesses with a wide selection of interest .Guests are welcome to our venue and we encourage meeting with us to enjoy farm animals and surroundings .This is a working farm. This includes small and large farm animals .
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$89
 / 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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