Iowa State Parks, Reservations, and Forests offer over 4,400 overnight campsites. 

Campsites can be hike-in primitive or offer full-service hook-ups (sewer, water, and electricity). Reservations are usually made 3 months in advance. Walk-in campsites are also available on a first come, first serve basis, with few exceptions.  Find a full listing of state parks here: Iowa's State Parks | Iowa DNR

Use this website to make your reservation: Campgrounds and Camping Reservations - Iowa State Parks (  Search by the campground or park name if you know exactly where you want to go. See others in the same area too. Or you can enter a city, street name, or zip code for recommendations near your destination. Make your reservation and use a credit card to pay for your spot. 

Camping Rates and Reservation Windows

Campsites, Cabin, Lodge, and Shelter Rates

Find Camp and Cabin Rates here: rates-camping-cabin.pdf (

Find Lodge and Shelter Rates here: rates-lodge-shelter.pdf (

Camping Reservation Windows

For arrivals beginning on May 29, 30, and 31, the opening window for reservations is March 1.

For arrivals beginning on July 31, the opening window is May 1. 

You may make reservations up to 3 months in advance of your arrival date. 

From November 1 – March 31 all campsites are walk-in only. Advance reservations are not available due to unpredictable winter weather * 

*Exception: Maquoketa Caves State Park accepts reservations in November and March. Walnut Woods State Park accepts reservations year-round. 

The last day to make a camping reservation, if paying by credit/debit card, is 2 days before you arrive**

**Exception: Lake Manawa, Maquoketa Caves Park, and Walnut Woods State Park have a same- day window cut-off time of 9 pm.

Check-In and Check-Out Times

Check-in time for a reservable campsite is 4:00 pm. Check-out time is 3:00 pm. 

Walk-in campers must register within 30 minutes of entering the campground. They must check-out or re-register by 3:00 p.m. on their last day.

Occupancy and Required or Longest Stays

Campsite Occupancy

No more than six persons can occupy a campsite unless a family exceeds six people. 

Required Stays 

From May 1 to October 31, campers must stay at least two nights (Friday and Saturday) for a weekend stay. 

From November 1 to April 30, there is no required stay.

Memorial Day and Labor Day holiday weekends need a 3-night stay. If the Fourth of July holiday falls on a Monday, it also needs a 3-night stay.

Longest Stays Campers may stay up to 14 consecutive nights in a state park or recreation area. After 14 days, campers must leave the park and remove their camping unit for at least 3 nights. They can then return to camp in that park again. Campers at Lake Manawa and Walnut Woods State Park may not camp more than 14 nights in any 30-day period.

Walk-in Camping and Camping on Unrented, Reservable Campsites

All state parks, recreation areas, and forest campgrounds incorporate a self-registration process. Find instructions at campground entrances. 

Walk-in campers must register within one-half hour of entering the campground. They may occupy an unrented, reservable campsite as early as 10:00 am. They may only register on a night-to-night basis. Walk-in campers should check for campsite availability daily. Find this information at the campground entrance or check-in station.

Campsites at A.A. Call, Fort Defiance, and Preparation Canyon State Parks are only available as walk-in sites year-round.​ 

Related Agency - Natural Resources

Address: Wallace State Office Building, 502 E. 9th St., Des Moines, IA 50319

Phone: (515) 725-8200