The 5 Best Places to Camp in Missouri this Summer

Written by Cindy Rasmussen
Updated: November 24, 2022
© Kbh3rd / Creative Commons – License / Original
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Whether you want to camp near the attractions in Branson or get away from it all for some solitude in nature, there are many options for camping in Missouri. Most campgrounds are set up for RV’s and tents with some having resort-like accommodations. Others are more primitive camping, private in the middle of the forest so you can enjoy some peace and quiet. Here are the 5 best places to camp in Missouri this summer!

1. Branson: America’s Best Campground

Just south of Branson lies Table Rock Lake, one of the places to visit while visiting the Branson area. America’s Best Campground is a great home base for the places to see near Branson.

©iStock.com/Eifel Kreutz

Branson is known for its variety of entertaining music shows but also for Silver Dollar City (amusement park), Aquarium at the Boardwalk (where you can see stingrays, sharks and a giant Pacific octopus) and Shepherd of the Hills Adventure Park for some zip lining fun! There are great restaurants and fun shops to check out but at the end of the day, settling into your campsite at America’s Best Campground may be the best part.

The campground is only 5 miles north of downtown Branson and has 158 RV sites and 9 cabins. There is a nice swimming pool and spa on site for guests as well as a camp store for convenience. The facilities really are first class with modern restrooms, showers and laundry. You can see why it is one of the best places to camp in Missouri this summer!

America’s Best Campground
Location5 miles NE of downtown Branson
Nearest CityBranson
RV sites158 sites, some with full hookup, others just electric,
room for extra large RV’s
Tent sites0, no tent camping
Cabins9 cabins for rent,
Picnic Tables at each siteYes
BBQ grills at each siteYes
AmenitiesRestrooms, showers, laundry, swimming pool, spa
Pet FriendlyYes, dog park onsite
ReservationsYes
What makes it one of the bestSo close to all the sites in Branson!

2. Mark Twain National Forest: Loggers Lake Campground

Mark Twain Lake Missouri
One of the best places to camp in Missouri this summer is Mark Twain National Forest. The Logger Lake Campground is a relaxing, peaceful place to enjoy the summer.

©iStock.com/Christine Robbins

Located in the southern half of Missouri, NE of Branson is some of the most lush forest land in the state. The Mark Twain National Forest has 750 miles of trails for everything from hiking to horseback riding to mountain biking. There are many streams throughout the park and certain areas are great for kayaking, canoeing or even taking an inner tube downstream.

There are 14 campgrounds scattered throughout the park but one of the best is the Loggers Lake Campground which is right on Logger Lake. All 14 campsites have views of the 22-acre spring fed lake. Doesn’t that sound relaxing? There are only non-motorized boats allowed on the lake so you can take your boat out for a peaceful fishing trip. Fish for sunfish, largemouth bass and channel catfish, maybe you can catch your dinner to fry up at your campfire!

Loggers Lake Campground
LocationSouthern Missouri
Nearest CityBunker
RV sitesNo, just tent camping
Tent sitesYes, 14 non-electric
Picnic Tables at each siteYes
Fire Pit at each siteYes
AmenitiesVault toilets, drinking water
Pet FriendlyYes
ReservationsYes
What makes it one of the bestPeaceful camping at its best!

3. Ozark National River

The Historic Alley Springs Mill in the Ozark National Scenic Riverways is one of the sites to see along the rivers.

©iStock.com/StevenSchremp

The Ozark National Scenic Riverways is a series of rivers and streams that are a kayakers dream! The two main rivers, Current River and Jack Fork River, offer some of the best floating in the Midwest. Look for some of the common birds, like the belted kingfisher, great blue heron or the smaller little blue heron. Plan a day trip down one of the riverways or make it an overnight trip with camping along the shores on one of the designated gravel bars. You can stay in one of the developed campgrounds like the Big Springs Campground which has 123 campsites, 23 of which have electric hookups. All of the campsites have picnic tables and fire rings. There is a canoe access to the river right from the park as well as a larger boat ramp. A great pit stop for an epic summer kayak trip in Missouri!

Ozark National River
LocationJust south of Van Buren
Nearest CityBig Spring
RV/Tent SitesYes, 123 sites including 23 with electric
Picnic Tables at each siteYes
Fire Pit at each siteYes
AmenitiesRestrooms, showers
Pet FriendlyYes
ReservationsYes and No, some sites are first come first serve
What makes it one of the bestBest adventure kayaking trip for the summer!

4. St. Louis West Historic Route 66 KOA Holiday

Gateway Park National Park
When you come to visit the Gateway Arch plan on a longer camping trip so you can also visit the Botanical Gardens, City Museum and Six Flags!

©amolson7/Shutterstock.com

If you are visiting the sites in St. Louis like the Gateway Arch, Botanical Gardens or the unique City Museum, you can camp just outside of St. Louis at the West Historic Route 66 KOA. The campground is also only 5 minutes from the Six Flags so definitely centrally located for all the fun in the St. Louis area.

The KOA has resort-like accommodations with deluxe cabins, a swimming pool, jumping pillow and activities for the kids. There are also RV sites with a variety of hookups and spacious tent camping too. After a day of sightseeing head back to your campsite to grill up some dogs on the campfire, then go for a refreshing swim.

West Historic Route 66 KOA Holiday
LocationSE of downtown St. Louis, right off Route 66
Nearest CityEureka, MO
RV/Tent SitesYes, with a variety of hookup options
CabinsYes, Deluxe hotel-like cabins
Picnic Tables at each siteYes
Fire Pit at each siteYes
AmenitiesRestrooms, showers, laundry, swimming pool,
jumping pillow, playground
Pet FriendlyYes, Kamp K9 dog park too
ReservationsYes
What makes it one of the bestSo close to St. Louis and Six Flags!

5. Roaring River State Park

Fish with open gills
Some of the best trout fishing in Missouri is at Roaring Rivers State Park. The record to break? An 18lb. 1oz rainbow caught in the summer of 2004.

©pfluegler-photo/Shutterstock.com

One of the most popular state parks in Missouri is Roaring Rivers State Park located in the SW Ozark Hills. With seven different hiking trails you are sure to see something different on each hike like white-tail deer, grey squirrels and hawks. Anglers especially like the park because it is stocked with rainbow trout. The record rainbow trout to beat in Missouri is an 18lb. 1oz rainbow caught by Jason Harper from the Roaring River back in the summer of 2004!

The campground is split into three areas with a total of 187 campsites. Each site has a picnic table, fire ring, grate and there are restrooms and hot showers nearby. Take a dip in the campground swimming pool or let the kids check out the playground before dinner. This is one of the best places to camp in Missouri this summer because of the classic camping experience it offers.

Roaring River State Park
LocationSW Ozark Hills
Nearest CityCassville, MO
RV/Tent  Sites187 campsites at 3 separate areas
Picnic Tables at each siteYes
Fire Pit at each siteYes
AmenitiesRestrooms, showers
Pet FriendlyYes
ReservationsYes
What makes it one of the bestClassic camping experience!

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© Kbh3rd / Creative Commons – License / Original

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About the Author

I'm a Wildlife Conservation Author and Journalist, raising awareness about conservation by teaching others about the amazing animals we share the planet with. I graduated from the University of Minnesota-Morris with a degree in Elementary Education and I am a former teacher. When I am not writing I love going to my kids' soccer games, watching movies, taking on DIY projects and running with our giant Labradoodle "Tango".

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Sources
  1. , Available here: https://americasbestcampground.com/home
  2. , Available here: https://www.recreation.gov/camping/campgrounds/251547?tab=info
  3. , Available here: https://www.nps.gov/ozar/planyourvisit/big-spring-campground-map11.htm
  4. , Available here: https://koa.com/campgrounds/st-louis-west/