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The best camping near Cross Ranch State Park

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

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Discover Cross Ranch State Park's pristine trails and year-round camping delights.  

Popular ways to camp

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Public campgrounds in the park
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Stay at a public campground in Cross Ranch State Park

The best camping near Cross Ranch State Park guide



Located largely on undeveloped stretches of the Missouri River, Cross Ranch State Park is purposely left primitive to preserve the land’s natural beauty. There is, however, one boat launch available to explore the scenic river, and anglers will find walleye, pike, and bass in the waters. The trails here open up to a mammoth 5,000-acre nature preserve of mixed grass prairie and river bottom forest. In the winter, many visitors traverse the area by cross-country ski or snowshoe. A backcountry area allows adventurers to hike out and set up camp where they please. For more information, make a stop at the River Peoples Visitor Center.

Notable campgrounds

  • Modern Campsites: Equipped with electricity, these sites offer a comfortable camping experience amid the park's natural beauty.
  • Group Modern Campsites: Perfect for larger gatherings, these sites allow multiple units and come with electric hookups.
  • Primitive Campsites: For a more rustic adventure, these sites provide a serene setting to truly disconnect and enjoy the wilderness.

Tips for snagging a campsite

  • Book early, as campsites can be reserved 95 days in advance from your intended stay date.
  • Consider staying during weekdays for better availability and a quieter experience.
  • Keep an eye on cancellations, especially close to your desired date, as plans can change last minute.
  • Explore nearby camping options if your preferred site is unavailable.

When to go

The best time to visit Cross Ranch State Park is during the spring and fall when the weather is mild and the natural beauty is at its peak. Summer offers warm days perfect for water activities, while winter presents a snowy wonderland ideal for cross-country skiing. Avoid peak holiday weekends for a more tranquil visit.

Know before you go

  • Check weather conditions and park alerts before your visit to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.
  • Pets are welcome but must remain on a leash; designated off-leash areas are available for their enjoyment.
  • Remember that cabins and yurts do not provide bedding or towels, so come prepared.
  • Smoking and game or fish cleaning are not permitted in the lodging facilities.
  • Visitor Center hours are typically from 8:30am to 5pm, offering additional information and amenities.

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