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Find the Best Tent Camping Sites in Iowa

There are a lot of different kinds of camping, including tents, RVs, and off-grid homes. In the past, tent camping has been a popular form of camping because it is cheap, easy, and often around water, which is great for those who enjoy being outdoors. However, tent camping has become a rare thing due to the rise in popularity of multi-day hiking and backpacking trips.

Though most people think of camping as a relaxing wilderness experience, not many do it, and tent camping is a growing trend. People go camping for a variety of reasons, from family reunions and campouts to hunting and fishing expeditions. To explore the world, people have been going tent camping for decades.

Where is the best state to go on tent camping?

If you are thinking about tent camping, then how about doing it in the state of Iowa? Tent camping in Iowa is an awesome way to experience the amazing outdoors. It allows you to escape to nature when you want, be close to nature when you want, and still have all the comforts of home. There are many reasons to tent camp here.

Tent camping in Iowa is a wonderful way to experience all that the beautiful state of Iowa has to offer, but it requires planning and preparation. An Iowa tent-camping trip may be difficult to pull off if you don’t know what to expect. That is why it is best to get to know the area while still being able to enjoy the comforts of modern living. You can have all the modern conveniences of home without having to deal with the hassles of staying in a hotel room.

The Top Places to Camp in Iowa

  1. 1

    Campground

    Cherry Glen Campground

    What People Are Saying

    We stayed over the weekend on site 58 the beaver point primitive site.

    Overall Rating: 
    4.6/5 stars

    Reviews on Google

    344

    Location

    Ankeny, IA

    Latitude / Longitude

    41.7302039, -93.6806209
  2. 2

    Campground

    Ledges State Park Campgrounds

    What People Are Saying

    "We did the hike-in only tent camping and had a great experience!"

    Overall Rating: 
    4.4/5 stars

    Reviews on Google

    31

    Location

    Madrid, IA

    Latitude / Longitude

    41.9940785, -93.8743207
  3. 3

    Campground

    Wallashuck Campground Lake Red Rock

    What People Are Saying

    "Best campground at lake redrock."

    Overall Rating: 
    4.5/5 stars

    Reviews on Google

    124

    Location

    Pella, IA

    Latitude / Longitude

    41.4, -92.9943667
  4. 4

    Campground

    Acorn Valley Campground

    What People Are Saying

    "Well maintained tent camping sites."

    Overall Rating: 
    4.4/5 stars

    Reviews on Google

    89

    Location

    Johnston, IA

    Latitude / Longitude

    41.7377439, -93.723267
  5. 5

    Campground

    Sugar Bottom Campground

    What People Are Saying

    "Good sites for whatever your camping needs"

    Overall Rating: 
    4.5/5 stars

    Reviews on Google

    270

    Location

    Solon, IA · In Sugar Bottom Recreational Area

    Latitude / Longitude

    41.7755537, -91.5586384
  6. 6

    Campground

    Prairie Flower Campground

    What People Are Saying

    "The loop camping places are just awesome."

    Overall Rating: 
    4.6/5 stars

    Reviews on Google

    150

    Location

    Polk City, IA

    Latitude / Longitude

    41.7484758, -93.6877831
  7. 7

    Campground

    Iowa State Fair Campgrounds

    What People Are Saying

    "Good for tents but 20+ waiting list for campers!"

    Overall Rating: 
    4.4/5 stars

    Reviews on Google

    249

    Location

    Des Moines, IA

    Latitude / Longitude

    41.5947115, -93.5416041
  8. 8

    Campground

    Adventureland Campground

    What People Are Saying

    "Campground was excellent 😊"

    Overall Rating: 
    4.1/5 stars

    Reviews on Google

    444

    Location

    Altoona, IA

    Latitude / Longitude

    41.6544354, -93.4954632
  9. 9

    Campground

    Bob Shetler Campground

    What People Are Saying

    "Camp Ground Hostess was very pleasant!"

    Overall Rating: 
    4.4/5 stars

    Reviews on Google

    367

    Location

    Johnston, IA

    Latitude / Longitude

    41.702012, -93.686299
  10. 10

    Campground

    Timberline Campground

    What People Are Saying

    "Beautiful little tent camping / RV spot."

    Overall Rating: 
    4.2/5 stars

    Reviews on Google

    350

    Location

    Waukee, IA

    Latitude / Longitude

    41.5790277, -93.8734803
  11. 11

    Campground

    Prairie Flower Recreation Area

    What People Are Saying

    "Great place for group camping"

    Overall Rating: 
    4.6/5 stars

    Reviews on Google

    58

    Location

    Johnston, IA

    Latitude / Longitude

    41.7464049, -93.6891727
  12. 12

    Park

    Jester Park

    What People Are Saying

    "Excellent hiking and a great campground for tent camping."

    Overall Rating: 
    4.7/5 stars

    Reviews on Google

    823

    Location

    Granger, IA

    Latitude / Longitude

    41.7803284, -93.7707716
  13. 13

    Campground

    Walnut Woods State Park Campground

    What People Are Saying

    "We enjoy camping at Walnut Woods State Park."

    Overall Rating: 
    4.6/5 stars

    Reviews on Google

    29

    Location

    West Des Moines, IA · In the Walnut Woods State Park

    Latitude / Longitude

    41.542024, -93.7403874
  14. 14

    Campground

    Shady Brook Camping & RV Adventures, LLC

    What People Are Saying

    "If your into primitive camping the tent sites look great also."

    Overall Rating: 
    4.6/5 stars

    Reviews on Google

    120

    Location

    Earlham, IA

    Latitude / Longitude

    41.5158102, -94.0920469
  15. 15

    Campground

    Des Moines West KOA Holiday

    What People Are Saying

    "I tent camped with my dog- and the sites are perfect."

    Overall Rating: 
    4.4/5 stars

    Reviews on Google

    486

    Location

    Adel, IA

    Latitude / Longitude

    41.5419417, -94.0787634

Things to Know About Tent Camping in Iowa

Tent camping has grown immensely in popularity in the last few years, and in my opinion, it’s also the best way to enjoy the great outdoors and live like a real outdoorsman. But to ensure that you will have a great time during your tent camping in any state of your choice, there are important things that you must consider.

When you get to a campsite, you might find that you aren’t the only one there. You may find that you’re in a “tent city.” As a result, you may find that you and the other campers are experiencing a lot of things because of their size and proximity to each other. For example, you may not be able to sleep close to your tent, or you may need to take up more space in your tent.

If you are Tent Camping in Iowa, better consider this…

Iowa, the Hawkeye State, where cornfields are joined by rolling hills, mountains, lakes, rivers, and streams, is a great place to camp, but you have to be careful. The state is home to several national parks, state parks, local parks, and campgrounds, each with its own rules and regulations, so sometimes it’s hard to know what you can do and what you can’t. There are many great reasons to tent camp. Awesome scenery, great rivers, and plenty of trees to climb are only a few of them. But there are also things to know about tent camping in Iowa.

One of the main rules to tent camping in Iowa is the proper size of the tent. You cannot put a tent in a spot where you are not able to fit your tent properly. The area you want to put your tent in must be at least eight feet by ten feet, and you can only put up to four people in the tent.

Tent camping in Iowa can be a fun and rewarding experience. With a few simple precautions and a day’s worth of equipment, you can enjoy a camping trip experience in a wide range and settings and enjoy all the fun of camping without the hassle.

Important Camping Gear for Iowa

If you’re a heavy backpacker or you plan on going camping for a longer period of time, tent camping is the way to go.

While the reality is that tent camping is getting more popular, most people still end up in the same old flash tents that are always available at the local camping store. While cheap, these tents don’t offer much in terms of protection. If you use them over and over again, you will soon realize that the cheap tent is not durable enough, and it will become your worst nightmare when an unexpected rainstorm comes along. Tents are not designed for long periods of time. How do you get away with sleeping in a tent for more than a night or two? The answer is simple: choose a tent that can handle long-term use.

Here are the essential camping gear and items that you should bring: Sleeping bag and Sleeping pad, Tent stakes,Camping chairs, Camping stove, Camping lantern, Camping headlamp, Camping mat, Camping kit bag, Camping first aid kit.

It’s hard to avoid the urge to sleep under the stars when you camp. And while you can easily buy a tent and a sleeping bag, you’ll probably only want to take a few things with you on your travels.

Best 2 Burner Stove for Camping

Planning Your Camping Trip

Best Time of Year to Tent Camp in Iowa

As summer winds down and fall approaches, sports teams are gearing up for the next season, and camping season is starting to gear up, too. Camping in Iowa is an experience unlike any other, and you can do it year-round. The first tent camping season of the year usually begins sometime in March, but it can vary based on the weather. The best time of year for tent camping in Iowa is typically either early spring or late fall. Even so, from March to September is generally the best time to camp in Iowa. In the off-season, temperatures tend to be cooler and more comfortable, the weather is more predictable, and the crowds are less.

Tent camping for free in Iowa!

Over the last few decades, camping has become a more and more popular pastime among Americans. Camping provides people with an opportunity to get away from the hustle and bustle and spend time with family and friends. While camping in the past meant having to spend a lot of money on a good tent and other necessary camping gear, budget-conscious campers can now enjoy camping for free.

The Hawkeye State or the State of Iowa is well known for its rock formations, rivers, lakes, and swamps, but don’t forget about its plentiful free camping opportunities. The state has no national forests or Bureau of Land Management preserves. Instead, its camping is managed by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Two of the most popular destinations are Eldon Wildlife Management Area and Eagle Lake State Game Management Area, but many free camping opportunities are to be found.

Average Temperatures By Month in Iowa

Month Avg Low °F Avg High °F
January 10.9°F 29.5°F
February 15.4°F 34.2°F
March 26.3°F 47°F
April 37.9°F 61.4°F
May 49.3°F 72.2°F
June 59.5°F 81.5°F
July 63.7°F 84.9°F
August 61.5°F 82.9°F
September 52.1°F 75.7°F
October 40°F 63°F
November 27.8°F 46.9°F
December 15°F 32.3°F

Learn More Camping Tips for Beginners

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