Iowa June 08, 2017
10 Glorious Campgrounds In Iowa Where No Reservation Is Required
When your plans aren’t set in stone, but the urge to get out into nature is strong, you need a no-reservations-required campground. Here are 10 popular choices for Iowa outdoors enthusiasts who don’t plan ahead, but still want a wonderful place to camp.
1. Acorn Valley Campground, 5600 NW 78th Ave, Johnston
One of the best tent campgrounds in Iowa, Acorn Valley is on the 26,000-acre Saylorville Lake Project that leads to the Des Moines River Valley. With 79 walk-in tent camping areas, there's more than enough room here for everyone.
2. Ambrose A. Call State Park, Call Park Rd, Algona
This heavily wooded area is full of virgin timber and rolling farmland. It's managed by Pilot Knob State Park and spans 138 acres. Frisbee golf, hiking, a winding creek, and hiking trails make this a great camping spot.
3. Preparation Canyon State Park, Preparation Canyon Road, Moorhead
To get to the parking for hike-in camp sites, drive to the back of the park. Each site has a picnic table and fire pit. This is a great place to stretch out and enjoy some privacy; the campsites are pretty far apart.
4. Fort Defiance State Park, 3642 174th Street, Estherville
This primitive camp site has 16 places to pitch your tent. You'll enjoy a peaceful 191 acres of rugged woodland, scenic overlooks, and lots of wildlife viewing.
5. Yellow Banks Park, 6801 SE 32nd Avenue, Pleasant Hill
This is a great place to settle in and view migrating raptors during the fall and spring. 140-foot-tall bluffs offer amazing views of the Des Moines River.
6. Scott County Park, 18850 270th St, Eldridge
This is the largest park in Scott County, with 1280 acres. Enjoy playground equipment, a radio-controlled airplane site, five unique camping areas, and many nature trails.
7. West Lake Park14910-110th AvenueDavenport
This 620-acre facility has four lakes for swimming and fishing. There's a beach area, boat dock, and paddle boat rentals. Modern restrooms and two campgrounds with water, sewer, and electrical are available, as well.
8. Buffalo Shores, 1433 Front St, Buffalo
You'll have 25 acres to roam at this Mississippi River recreation area. Enjoy the free beach, double boat ramp, picnicking facilities, and 65-site campground with water, a dump station, showers, and electricity.
9. Morgan Creek Park, 7515 Worcester Road, Palo
The Morgan Creek campground is available on a walk-in basis and has 36 50-amp sites with a fire ring, grill, picnic table, dump station, shower house, and water hookups.
10. Jester Park, 11407 NW Jester Park Drive, Granger
There's a wildlife preserve with bison and elk at this camping area that have lived here in an animal enclosure for nearly 40 years. There's an observation deck, spotting scopes, and a lovely picnic area. Over 168 campsites along the shoreline of Saylorville Lake await.
Where do you camp when you have a last-minute need to get out into nature?