Camping in Iowa

Explore lakes, rivers, wide-open expanses, and hilly countryside in the heart of the American Midwest.

99% (2572 reviews)
99% (2572 reviews)

Popular camping styles for Iowa

Star Hosts in Iowa

Dog-friendly getaways

12 top campgrounds in Iowa

99%
(469)

Windy Goat Acres

7 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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98%
(695)

Horse Creek Adventures

26 sites · Lodging, RVs, Tents170 acres · Sidney, IA
Horse Creek Adventures is a 170 acre ranch that provides an opportunity for visitors to stay one night or several days to enjoy the land and area sights. You have your choice as to how you want to stay. Our "off the grid" cabins offer a special opportunity to camp with a roof. The cabins are extremely popular! Check out the information about them and then check the photos posted by quests and read their reviews to give you lots of ideas of how you could enjoy these one of a kind sites. Tenting is available all over the 170 acres. You can tent by the pond; on top of the hill, or in a valley. These sites allow you to "get away from it all" and let the stress melt away. We have tenting sites close to a road to give you flexibility to see local attractions while enjoying the whole 170 acres. Lastly, we have RV hook-ups with 119, 30 amps and 50 amps The land is part of the famous Loess Hills. There are hilltops to take in the breath taking views and valleys surrounded by trees. A pond full of trophy sized bass , catch and release, no license required. Wildlife abounds including a wide variety of birds. We have been described by avid birders as a rich place for birding. The area is rich with history-Lewis and Clark; French Canadian trappers and their Lakota wives established French Villages; Mormons came through here on the way to Utah; Jesse James played cards. Waubonsie State Park is close with hiking trails and seven miles of Horse trails. At night you can use a portable corral to have your horse close. End the day around a campfire, look at the stars and the lightening bugs and be serenaded to sleep by the coyotes and whip-poor-wills Enjoy !!
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$30
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97%
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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
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98%
(607)

Draco Hill Nature Farm

4 sites · RVs, Tents75 acres · West Branch, IA
A convenient 7 miles north of Interstate 80 but feels like an oasis away from it all. Summer has begun! The prairie is starting to flower, the mulberries are just finishing up and black raspberries are coming on in the woods for you to forage. Please take a taste and leave the rest for others to enjoy. There have also been black bear sightings in Cedar County! If one decides to visit, please steer clear of it. They are NOT as cute as they look, especially if you get between them and their food or cubs! This year, Draco Hill Nature Farm is hosting free events you can join in on when you camp. Coming up is a night time bug show and talk July 12 and prairie walks in August and September. See Dracohill.org/events for details. Make it part of your camping experience or sign up for your own private sustainable agriculture tour under "Extras." 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 4 miles of trails on 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. NOTE: It's raining more this summer than it has in 4 year so bring insect repellant. Poison ivy is also very prevalent. We spray chemicals as little as possible for your safety and the benefit of the environment so wear long pants in the woods and be vigilant around your campsite. We use TecNu - a product we scrub on and wash off if we get into poison ivy by mistake and it has kept us from any major outbreaks.
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$34
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n*Everland Barnyard Camping

24 sites · RVs, Tents20 acres · Anamosa, IA
We are hearing from potential campers that they are not able to book dates. We have never been at full occupancy. In order to resolve this issue, we would love to know if you have troubles. Reach out to us directly, or contact Hipcamp support to report the issue. Thank you and sorry for any inconvenience! We are working to solve the problem! 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 July 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/Never... 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/Never... to stay updated on our events!
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$55
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100%
(103)

Bend River Farms

5 sites · Lodging, RVs, Tents50 acres · Runnells, IA
Bend River Farms is just a short drive from Interstate 80/35. The farm is nestled in the gently rolling hills of central Iowa. Little Camp Creek flows through the property and continues on towards the mighty Des Moines river. Cool woodland meadows provide a comforting back drop to your tent site or glamping experience. All our sites come with complimentary firewood, we offer reduced prices during the summer and a 15% discount on weekday bookings. Our property offers private restrooms, showers, complimentary towels and firewood, 24/7 laundry room, Wi-Fi, a dish washing station, play area with jungle gym, hiking trails, hands on farm animal activities, a communal outdoor dinning area and a saltwater hot tub await your arrival! Bend River Farms was a former junk yard that has now been transformed into a cottage core dream. The farm is operated much like family farms of the 1920's. The focus is on small scale, multi system agriculture, we have fresh eggs, produce and honey for sale. Bend River Farms is not a resort or public camp ground. It is a place to enjoy wild spaces and recharge. Agri-tourism at it's best. Learn about native prairie restoration, regenerative agriculture and sustainable ranching from owners, Amy Buckendahl and Dave Breese. Please understand that our property is a working farm, and our staff are often busy working on projects and have full careers, outside of farming. We do not have the same amenities as a public campground or "all inclusive" camp resort. Instead, we offer your wandering heart a place to rest. 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 local farmer's market on Tuesday evenings during the summer. Don't worry if you forget something! We have a nearby gas station and a general store. Don't forget, we have smores kits, farm fresh honey and eggs available for purchase, check out 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. Learn about carpentry and welding from a master fabricator, or book an adventure to learn about gardening, poultry care, horsemanship, beekeeping and even falconry! These are also available in the EXTRAS option 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 well 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, and works to minimize reliance on external inputs, and avoid the use of synthetic chemicals whenever possible.”
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$32
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96%
(446)

Come Enjoy the Beauty

61 sites · Lodging, RVs, Tents30 acres · Earlham, IA
This property has a year round running creek called Bear Creek. They also mined the stone off the property for the State Capital in Des Moines, Iowa. Abundant wildlife and mature beautiful trees.
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$29
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#JTRidge Sites/Clothing Optional

11 sites · Tents15 acres · Oxford Junction, IA
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. Maybe you 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. Day passes can be a bit tricky to book, reach out if you need help with the site. 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 of the property; overnight camping and sunbathing/day pass spots are available. 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. Put in your canoe or kayak at Olin for a 3-4 hour float to our camping area. 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. Enjoy the Great Jones County Fair only 30 mins away.. 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. **Property Owner is certified in Massage, offering sessions at the property.
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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. Please no children under 5. !CLASSES! We run our small school/business: HOMESTEAD and HAMMER from the property and are bringing classes to YOU! 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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98%
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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
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Rock N Ranch Events & Campground

13 sites · Lodging40 acres · Menlo, IA
Our retirement dream is to share our beautiful property with people who love the outdoors.  We started with our rustic tent sites and slowly added cabins.  We go from primitive to sites with heat and air conditioning.  We are not far from the Interstate but sure seems like we are as you travel the 4.6 miles of gravel road to step back in time.
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$15
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Folk School Farm Stay

7 sites · Lodging, RVs, Tents120 acres · Oxford, IA
Come enjoy the natural beauty of a working farm! In our transition to agroforestry, wetland restoration and perennial ag, you'll find some great spaces to walk your dog, let your children run and learn about ecological conservation. The farm is also home to a flower cutting garden, a food forest garden, and a folk school. Guests are welcome to cut flowers for a donation, and enjoy the sheep, chickens and resident cat. The setting is also great for taking in sunrises, sunsets and star gazing. Come explore the landscape, book a farm tour or enjoy some studio space at Land Alliance Folk School.
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$40
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Camping in Iowa guide

Overview

Sandwiched between the Mississippi, Missouri, and Big Sioux Rivers, Iowa is characterized by a mix of plains and hilly countryside, farmlands,  lakes, and rivers. This Midwestern state is full of spots to get out and adventure, with about 83 state parks and nearly 6,000 campsites spread among them. The state also has an extensive river system—with numerous lakes and reservoirs—and boating and angling are among the most popular summer activities here. Like elsewhere in the Midwest, the winter months often bring with them plenty of snow, ideal for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.

Where to go

Northwest Iowa

Northwest Iowa has lots of parks and camping opportunities along the Des Moines River, including the massive Brushy Creek State Recreation Area and Dolliver Memorial State Park. The Lakes Region—home to West and East Okoboji Lakes and Big Spirit Lake—is particularly popular among boaters, anglers, and birders, with a number of state parks and wildlife preserves across the region. Camping is available at Gull Point State Park.

Southwest Iowa

Southwest Iowa is characterized by wide-open farmland and pretty woodlands. Cyclists can take a tour of this region on the Wabash Trace Nature Trail, which stretches for 63 miles from the Missouri border up to Council Bluffs near the Nebraska border. The region's Loess Hills State Forest is one of the more popular areas for outdoor recreation, offering a fishing lake and more than 60 miles of trails.

Northeast Iowa

Iowa's Northeast is ideal for getting outside, with miles of recreation opportunities, from trout fishing to canoeing, on the Mississippi River and its Upper Iowa River tributary. Popular spots in the region include Backbone State Park, which offers camping, fishing, and cycling and hiking trails. The Effigy Mounds National Monument, which preserves hundreds of ancient effigy mounds built by Indigenous people during the first millennium, is also worth a visit.

Southeast Iowa

There's no shortage of lakes in Iowa's southeastern region, including Lake Keomah, Indian Lake, and Lake Bonnefield,  in the charming town of Fairfield. This region is home to Lake Red Rock—the largest lake in the state—and the lakefront Elk Rock State Park offers camping, boat ramps, and 13 miles of trails. Other lake areas worth checking out include Geode State Park on the banks of Lake Geode and Lacey-Keosauqua State Park, which has camping, cabin rentals, and easy access to Lake Seguma.

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