Camping In Missouri | Ultimate Guide to the Best Campgrounds in Missouri

Camping In Missouri

The most challenging part of camping in Missouri is deciding what part of the state you want to visit first! Branson, Missouri is a very popular tourist destination with hundreds of popular hotels, but for those who are traveling by RV, or who just prefer to camp, there are several excellent campgrounds and more places to see, stay, and visit than any one person can visit in one summer. With 40 State Parks, 6 State Forests, 7 State Historic Sites, 1 State Natural Area, 10 State  Wildlife Areas, 6 State Wildlife Management Areas, 1 State Wildlife Refuge, 1 National Forest, 1 National Historic Site, and 4 National Wildlife Refuges and 2 Metro and City Parks, you won’t tire of new places to find your next   Camping Adventure.

roof top tents

John Spalding Recreation Area – Camping in Missouri

Camping In Missouri
Credit to

Learn More

John Spalding Recreation Area is a day-use only facility, and the only facility within reach/walking distance of the sandy public beach on Mark Twain Lake. It’s also directly connected to the Joanna Trail, a 32-mile multi-purpose trail for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding. Mark Twain Lake is the regions largest body of water, spanning 18,000 acres. The Salt River of north-central Missouri feeds the lake, making it excellent for fishing, boating, and a variety of recreational pursuits on or in the water. Swim and enjoy the beach all day, or take a boat out for water skiing and fishing. Just because you can’t camp here doesn’t mean there are no facilities. The day-use area is equipped with a swimming beach, showers, pay phone and picnic shelters. The shelters have electric hookups.

There are also several other recreational areas surrounding the lake, including the Mark Twain State Park.

Once you’re finished hiking, swimming, biking or exploring for the day, tour the birthplace of world-famous humorist and writer, Mark Twain and explore the region that inspired his most beloved stories, such as The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.

Table Rock Lake – Camping in Missouri

Camping In Missouri
Credit to

Table Rock Lake is as much of a tourist destination site to campers as Branson is a destination spot for anyone visiting Missouri. Nestled near one of the hottest tourist towns in the United States, As Branson’s natural attraction and an outdoor recreation base camp for those wanting to take in the area’s abundant attractions, they deliver outdoor adventure as well as excellent camping in Missouri.

Are you into boating? The  State Park Marina rents everything from ski boats to paddle boards. They also sell all the supplies you will need for a day on the water, whether you’re fishing, skiing, scuba diving, or pleasure boating. If being on the water isn’t exciting enough, you can also fly above the water on a parasail ride. If you’ve always wanted to try scuba diving, you can do that too by signing up for a scuba diving adventure. Not a big water fan? Don’t worry. There are plenty of hiking, and biking trails, both on paved and unpaved trails.

If you’re new to camping, or just don’t want to set up a tent, or bring your RV, there is a premium yurt for rent too.

Don’t worry. You don’t have to spend the night at all to enjoy the lake and all it has to offer. There are numerous picnic sites around the lakeshore, and if you want to bring a lot of friends or family, there’s an open picnic shelter, perfect for family reunions and get-togethers. You do have to reserve the shelter, but that’s easy enough. Just contact the park office. There can be reserved by contacting the park office. Although there’s not a designated beach, you can swim in several areas of the park.

Big Bay Recreation Area – Camping in Missouri

Camping In Missouri
Credit to Ozarks Walkabout

Learn More

Unfortunately, one of the more popular areas, Big Bay Recreation Area, has been permanently closed. The 35 campsite area was on the shore of 53,000-acre Table Rock Lake, a premier vacation spot in the Ozarks. Mark Twain National Forest announced this year it was permanently closing the Big Bay Campground on Table Rock Lake, near Shell Knob, Missouri.

However, the near-by Big Bay boat launch and picnic area remains open. This was one of the primitive Camping in Missouri areas that many tent campers loved. The trails, lake and other areas remain open.

Camping in Branson Missouri

Indian Point Campground – Camping in Missouri

Camping In Missouri
Credit to

Learn More

3125 Indian Point Road

Branson,  MO  65616-9615

Phone Number: (417) 338-2121

Indian Point, sometimes referred to as Indian Creek, is a campground located on the White River Arm of Table Rock Lake in the mountainous Missouri countryside. This is a large, generously shaded campground with access to Table Rock Lake, one of the most popular recreation spots in Missouri. Nature lovers will enjoy it, but so will those who want to visit Branson’s theme parks, live music, and shopping opportunities.

Table Rock Lake is a beautiful body of water surrounded by a forest of oak and hickory trees. This isn’t a small lake—more than five million visitors per year take advantage of this recreational oasis. Originally built for flood control, the Table Rock Dam has created a lake that boasts 779 miles of shoreline for the public to enjoy. The lake boasts an abundance of crappie, catfish, and bluegill. However, Table Rock is most famous for bass and is acclaimed as one of the best bass fishing lakes in the state. Indian Point Campground offers visitors countless recreational activities. Picnicking, swimming, scuba diving, boating, fishing, hunting, hiking and wildlife viewing are all popular pastimes at the park.

With 74 reservable campsites, along with one group picnic shelter and one large group camping area, there’s a lot of room for campers, whether in an RV or tent camping in Missouri. Amenities include hot showers, drinking water, a dump station and electric hookups create a comfortable camping experience. There’s also a beach, boat ramp, visitor center, and a playground, and Table Rock Lakeshore Trail, a comfortable 2-mile trail that runs from the Dewey Short Visitor Center to the Table Rock State Park Marina.

Indian Point Campground is about 8 miles from Branson, Missouri, which offers grocery stores, gas, and additional tourist attractions.

Indian Creek Campground – Camping in Missouri 

Camping In Missouri
Credit to

Learn More

20642 Highway J

Monroe City, MO  63456-9359

Phone: (573)735-4097

Don’t confuse Indian Creek Campground with Indian Point. They sound alike to those outside the area, but Indian Creek lies on the northern banks of Mark Twain Lake, and Indian Point is on the White River and Table Rock Lake.

Indian Creek is the largest campground on Mark Twain Lake with 215 standard campsites, plus additional non-electric and tent-only sites. The campground offers 190 campsites, 20 primitive hike-in campsites, showers, restrooms, playgrounds, a fish cleaning station, boat ramp, beach, hiking trails. Almost all sites have a lakeside view, or are within walking distance of the lake. The group camp provides 25 electric campsites, group shelter, restroom, shower and playground. The Day-Use Area provides group shelter, picnic sites and playground. Pets are welcome!

Boating of all kinds is convenient with Indian Creek’s public boat ramp. Bass fishing and hunting are also popular lake activities. Indian Creek provides four recreation areas: a public boat ramp, group campground, day-use area and the standard campground.

Table Rock Lake State Park Campgrounds – Camping in Missouri

Camping In Missouri
Credit to Explore Branson

Learn More

5272 State Highway 165, Branson, MO 65616

Phone: (417) 334-4704

Table Rock Lake State Park has two campgrounds, one with electric, sewer/electric/water, family-style camping, and the second with basic, electric, sewer/electric/water, platform tent sites. There are first-come, first-served sites available and reservable sites may be available on a day-by-day basis if the site is not reserved. Before occupying a site, check with the park staff or follow the directions on the posted card.

  • For weekend reservations, there is a required two-night minimum stay of Friday/Saturday or Saturday/Sunday.
  • During the park’s off-season (December through February), individual campsite water spigots are shut off. One shower house stays open in Campground 1. In Campground 2, the shower house is closed during the off-season but the modern restrooms on the east side of the campground (near site 231) remain open.
  • Potable water is available year-round at the dump station located in Campground 1 and Campground 2.
  • Campers planning to carry in firewood must comply with current firewood advisories.
  • Parking of watercraft or all-terrain vehicle (ATV) trailers off of the campsite pad (usually in the grass) is permitted at this facility.

There are 16 public campgrounds outside Table Rock, along with a huge assortment of hotels, lodges, and resorts, restaurants, and attractions. For more information on those visit the Visit Table Rock Lake tourism site.?

Moonshine Beach Recreation Area – Camping in Missouri

Camping In Missouri
Credit to

Learn More

(Mailing address)

3778 South Hwy 165

Branson,  MO  65616

Reservations Phone: (877) 444-6777

Phone: (501) 340-1950/1951

You’ll forget you’re on a lake, and think you’re at the ocean if you spend any time at the Moonshine Beach Recreation Area beach. The Moonshine Beach area is a very popular, sandy swimming beach along the shores of Table Rock Lake and the only area on Table Rock with a sand beach. Unlike the smaller swimming areas at the campgrounds surrounding Table Rock Lake, Moonshine beach is huge. Plenty of room to spread out and have both your privacy and access to the lake. The campground here has accessible flush toilets, accessible group shelters, the beach, a boat ramp, boating, drinking water, grills, hiking, playground, a ranger station, scuba diving, swimming, trails, volleyball, biking, a fish hatchery, and a restaurant.

If you’re considering holding a small wedding, a family reunion, or a scouting or other organized group event Moonshine Beach Recreation Area also offers a large group picnic shelter. The group shelter can accommodate up to 75 guests. No pets allowed at the beach or campgrounds.

Branson Koa – Camping in Missouri

Camping In Missouri
Credit to

Learn More

397 Animal Safari Road

Branson, MO 65616

Phone: (800) 562-4177

One of the great perks of the Branson KOA is Free pancakes and free delivery of food to your RV or tent! Order the hot delivery pizza and hot wings of your choice and they bring it right to your RV, tent or cabin, and all the food is made fresh to order. If that doesn’t sound like camping, don’t worry. There’s plenty of outdoor activities here to ensure you spend lots of time outside.

If you’re with a group, planning your next rally, group or family reunion, their convention center has seating for up to 600 and features a stage and sound system. Bring your pets. Kamp K9, the off-leash dog park means your pets can enjoy the great outdoors and run to their heart’s content in the safety of the park.

Motorcyclists, ask at the front desk about motorcycle ride maps. A series of rides will take you around the Table Rock Lake Circle, on the Scenic Route to Eureka Springs, on the Peel Ferry Ride, the Pig Trail and the Arkansas Scenic Byway, and the Chadwick-Mark Twain National Forest Ride.

Boaters, KOA has a 24′ pontoon boat for rent. Enjoy two world-class lakes within a short drive from the Branson KOA without having to pull and put-in your own boat: Table Rock Lake for great boating, swimming or fishing and Lake Taneycomo for world-class fishing. Ask about their rates for a 1/2 day, full day or all week boat rental.

KOA has luxury, premium, standard, back-in, electric and water only sites, and tent sites. Branson KOA Campground has more than 140 RV sites, 10 KOA cabins, 4 cottages, and 13 Lodges. Tent sites are all water & electric sites and are located around a beautiful covered pavilion. The woods surround the back-to-nature tent sites.

Branson Shenanigans RV Park – Camping in Missouri

Camping In Missouri
Credit to

Learn More

3675 Keeter St

Branson, MO 65616

Phone Reservations: (800) 338-7275

Phone: (417) 334-1920

If you’re looking for a campground that’s more private and secluded, with less noise and activity, check out the Branson Shenanigans RV Park. They’re pretty much perfectionists about cleanliness, beauty, and cheerful hosts, so if you enjoy being spoiled a bit, this is a good campground to check out. They offer full RV Hook-Ups (water, electric, sewer), 30 and 50 amp service, handicap access, pull-through spaces, picnic tables at each site, high-speed Wifi, and more:

Other Amenities:

  • Cable available for a charge
  • Discount Show Coupons
  • Theater Reservation Assistance
  • Escorted assistance to your site
  • Private, sparkling-clean bathrooms
  • Clubhouse with fireplace and deck overlooking a beautiful wet weather stream and surrounded by peaceful woods yet just two blocks to the Branson excitement

Lakeview Campground – Camping in Missouri

Camping In Missouri
Credit to

Learn More

2820 Indian Point Rd
Branson, MO 65616
Phone: (417) 338-5211

Many campers report this campground is something of a tight squeeze for larger RVs, but there are both private and secluded sites in the wooded areas, as well as less private sites. The best part about this campground is it’s only two miles from Silver Dollar  City on Indian Point Road, and less than ½ mile to Branson’s marinas, boat docks, swimming areas and boat rentals. Because Indian Point Road ends at Table Rock Lake, the campground is on what is considered the “quiet and peaceful side” of Table Rock Lake, yet they’re still close to all of Branson’s popular attractions.

The campground has asphalt roads, white rock sites with water, sewer and electric, both 30 and 50 amp service, and some sites with a lake view. There’s an on premise restaurant with both indoor and outdoor seating, and take-out.

There’s an air-conditioned laundry, clean private and heated/air conditioned individual restrooms, and clean hot showers. Ask about their coupons and discounts to area attractions.

Camping Near Monroe City, Missouri

Frank Russell – Camping in Missouri

Camping In Missouri
Credit to trailmeister.com5

Learn More

Frank Russell Campground, is near the picturesque Mark Twain Lake, and the Clarence Cannon Dam is on the eastern edge of the lake. This means boaters and campers have easy access to the lake, the damn, the river, and a variety of surrounding attractions. Whether you’re a Mark Twain fan, or just like historical trivia, the lake’s namesake and legendary author and humorist, Mark Twain, was born in a town beside the lake. If you’re staying here, consider touring Twain’s birthplace in Hannibal, Missouri. The David C. Berti Shooting Range is below the dam and the M.W. Boudreaux Visitor Center is located on the south end of the Dam.

For those who enjoy evening and late afternoon activities in their campground, the campground also features an amphitheater with weekly events in the summer. Campfire programs are provided every Saturday from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

The ever popular 32-mile long Joanna Trail is also accessible from the campground. Horseback riders (bring your own horse), mountain bikers and hikers can enjoy the rough and varied terrain that meanders along the northern banks of the lake, across bluffs and over hills, or campers can enjoy a leisurely stroll down the first few miles of the trail.

Equestrian campers can make use of the shaded horse stalls. Campsites are equipped with electric hookups, paved parking, grills and picnic tables. Other amenities include showers, playgrounds and vault toilets. There’s a dump station at the facility, as well.

Ray Behrens – Camping in Missouri

Camping In Missouri
Credit to Angela Cooney
via Facebook

Learn More

20642 Highway J

Monroe City,  MO  63456-9359

Phone: (573) 735-4097

Ray Behrens is both a scenic campground and a recreation area. The 165 standard electric site campground is conveniently located on the southeastern shores of Mark Twain Lake. The 18,000 acre lake was formed when the Salt River was dammed. A variety of recreation areas surround the lake, including the Mark Twain State Park, and the campground.

The Ray Behrens Campground has three loops: Deer Run, Little Bluestem and Cedar Ridge. All the campsites come with electric hookups. Showers and accessible flush toilets are in close proximity of every site. The park also features a marina and playgrounds, and Mark Twain Lake provides countless opportunities for outdoor recreation – boating, swimming, fishing, picnicking, camping, hiking and hunting to name a few.

Other amenities:

  • Marina
  • Group shelter with electric
  • Picknic areas
  • Boat ramp
  • Accessible areas (handicap)
  • Dump Station
  • Fish cleaning stations

Primitive Camping in Southern Missouri

The southwestern area of Missouri is known as “the Lakes Region of the state,” mainly because of  several state parks that maintain swimming beaches there. Weekly monitoring of E. coli and other potentially harmful bacteria ensures the beaches are safe for swimming. At Stockton State Park near Springfield, those who enjoy a rustic camping experience can camp at primitive walk-in sites along a peninsula on the lake’s southern shore. There are five sites nestled among mature trees there, each with a picnic table and fire ring. Showers, parking and flush toilets are 400 to 650 feet from the campsites, so you’re not totally roughing it.

The Ozark National Scenic Riverways National Park envelops more than 80,000 acres surrounding the Jacks Fork and Current rivers. About 300 springs and a similar amount of caves dot the park, with 10 primitive backcountry campsites scattered along the river for the spleunkers, hikers, and campers who enjoy canoe camping, and backpacking.

State Parks and Historic Sites While Camping in Missouri

For a complete list of parks and sites in Missouri, visit the state’s official website for links to each area. Here are some of the most popular parks and historic sites across the state: