Arkansas boasts a plethora of natural wonders and fun campsites to explore! From the majestic mountains of the Ozark National Forest to the serene beauty of Greers Ferry Lake, Arkansas campsites offer an abundance of outdoor adventures for families. In this guide, we’ll explore some of the best destinations for Arkansas camping that cater to families, highlighting their unique features, amenities, and nearby attractions. Let’s find your next relaxation station!

Types of Arkansas Campsites

gray and yellow dome tent at forest at Arkansas campsites

Arkansas offers a diverse range of campgrounds to suit every family’s preferences and needs. Whether you prefer rustic tent camping or the convenience of RV hookups, there’s something for everyone. Here are some of the types of campsites you can expect to find in Arkansas:

  1. Tent Campgrounds: These campsites typically offer designated areas for pitching tents, along with shared amenities such as restrooms, picnic tables, and fire pits. With options ranging from secluded forest sites to lakeside retreats, tent campgrounds allow families to immerse themselves in nature while still enjoying basic comforts. Campgrounds range from primitive forest sites to luxury group camps!
  2. RV Parks: Arkansas’s RV parks offer amenities such as electric hookups, water, and sewage disposal. Many RV parks also include modern restrooms and other amenities like laundry facilities, playgrounds, and Wi-Fi access, ensuring a comfortable stay for families on the road.
  3. Cabins and Yurts: For those seeking a blend of comfort and adventure, many Arkansas campsites offer cabin rentals or yurts. These cozy accommodations provide families with modern conveniences such as real beds, kitchen facilities, and sometimes even hot tubs, allowing for a more relaxed camping experience without sacrificing the beauty of the outdoors.
  4. Backcountry Camping: Families looking for a more rugged experience can explore the backcountry campsites scattered throughout Arkansas’s wilderness areas. These hike-in tent sites require a bit of bushwhacking, but they offer unparalleled solitude.

Family-Friendly Arkansas Campsites

Waterfall at Devil's Den State Park

Now that you know what’s out there, let’s delve into some of the best family-friendly campgrounds in Arkansas. With two national parks, 52 state parks, and approximately 56% of the land covered in forest, Arkansas has no shortage of great spots!

Arkansas parks feature excellent hiking, educational guided tours, and plenty of water activities alongside the beautiful campsites. We’ve included a link to each park so you can easily check out reservation details and pricing for any campground that catches your eye!

1. Devil’s Den State Park:

Located in the scenic Ozark Mountains near West Fork, Devil’s Den State Park is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts of all ages. The park features spacious campsites nestled among towering hardwoods, with tent and RV camping. Families can enjoy amenities such as hot showers, picnic areas, and a visitor center with interpretive exhibits.

Devil’s Den has 17 full-service cabins and six camper rental options. It offers 135 campsites, eight hike-in tent sites, and 42 sites with hookups in the horse camp. The horse camp also includes access to the bathhouse and riding trails.

Outdoor activities include hiking trails ranging from easy strolls to challenging treks. The Yellow Rock Trail is the most famous and includes two epic viewpoints over the Ozark National Forest. Devil’s Den also boasts swimming holes, fishing, and waterfall hikes. The park service hosts regular family-friendly events and programs including a kid’s fishing derby and interpretive walks focused on the bats, bugs, or birds of the park. Devil’s Den also features a pool and seasonal cafe.

Park Info: The main cave at Devil’s Den has been closed for many years due to a bat fungal infection. However, there are still some slot canyons and minor caves to explore.

2. Lake Ouachita State Park

Situated on the shores of Arkansas’s largest man-made lake, Lake Ouachita State Park offers endless opportunities for water-based recreation. It’s even big enough, clear enough, and deep enough for scuba diving! Families can choose from a variety of camping options, including tent sites, RV hookups, and cozy cabins overlooking the lake.

The park boasts 93 campsites and 12 walk-in tent sites. Eight fully-equipped cabins and four camper cabins are available for those who like a real roof. Camper cabins sleep four and include a screened-in porch, picnic table, grill, and heat/air. You will need to bring your own cooking supplies, ice chest, and linens.

The park’s marina provides boat rentals, kayaks, fishing supplies, and guided tours including eagle cruises and kayaking. On land, visitors can hike the scenic trails, relax on sandy beaches, or join ranger-led activities such as wildlife spotting and stargazing. You can also take advantage of hikes in the nearby Queen Wilhemina State Park. It boasts a stunning lodge on the second-highest and most scenic mountain in the state— Rich Mountain.

Lake Ouachita is close to Hot Springs and Hot Springs Village if you want to take a city break and explore with our Downtown Hot Springs guide!

3. Mount Magazine State Park

Located in the River Valley, near the cute town of Paris, Mount Magazine is the highest point in Arkansas. Mount Magazine State Park is a bucket list adventure for Arkansans. Admittedly, the view from the top of Arkansas’s highest peak is somewhat disappointing. It’s just one of those things you have to do! Families can choose from campsites nestled within the forested slopes of Mount Magazine or opt for cozy cabins with vista views of the surrounding valleys.

The park features a lodge with 60 guest rooms, a conference center, a game room, a heated pool, and the Skycrest Restaurant. It also offers beautiful views over the River Valley and Blue Mountain Lake. There are also 13 cabins (1,2,& 3-bedroom options) and 18 tent-only campsites.

Mount Magazine boasts an extensive trail system catering to hikers of all skill levels, with opportunities for birdwatching, rock climbing, and even hang gliding available through the visitor center.

Mount Magazine offers access to nearby local favorite—Cove Lake. The Cove Lake Recreation Area is a beautiful little lake with paddle boats, kayaks, and shaded picnic tables. There’s a well-stocked concession with showers and a volleyball court. It features its own campground with several non-electric standard tent sites.

4. Petit Jean State Park

Steeped in history and natural beauty, Petit Jean State Park is home to one of the most famous waterfalls in Arkansas—Cedar Falls. Campsites are available in scenic settings ranging from wooded valleys to lakeside vistas, with options for both tents and RVs.

The Historic Mather Lodge offers 24 rooms, a restaurant, and a gift shop overlooking the incredible Cedar Creek Canyon. It’s one of the biggest Arkansas campgrounds with 33 cabins lining the bluff. The campsite near Lake Bailey offers 125 tent and RV sites. There’s also a group camp, a rally-style campsite, and four yurts!

Families can spend their days hiking the park’s extensive trail network, which leads to breathtaking overlooks, picturesque waterfalls, and ancient Native American rock art. Petit Jean State Park also offers guided nature programs, campfire storytelling, and children’s workshops. The park features two swimming pools, boat ramps, playgrounds, several terrific spots for picnics, and tennis/basketball courts.

5. Buffalo National River

cano and paddle in front of bluff on the Buffalo Naitonal River in Arkansas

Winding its way through Northern Arkansas, this beauty was designated as America’s first national river. The Buffalo National River offers families a unique camping experience in some of the most awe-inspiring nature in Arkansas. Campsites are available along the river’s banks, providing access to swimming, fishing, and canoeing opportunities. This area is loaded with campgrounds, so we’ll just hit a few along the river.

  • Steel Creek Campground: Steel Creek Campground offers a variety of campsites, including riverside spots with stunning views and easy river access, as well as wooded sites for a more secluded experience. Amenities include picnic tables, fire rings, and access to restroom facilities. Hiking trails leading to iconic destinations like Hemmed-In Hollow Falls and Roark Bluff are conveniently located nearby.
  • Kyle’s Landing Campground: Kyle’s Landing Campground features spacious riverside sites with scenic views and direct access to the water, perfect for swimming, fishing, and canoeing. Campsites are equipped with picnic tables, fire pits, and restroom facilities.
  • Pruitt Landing: Offering a mix of riverside and wooded campsites, Pruitt Landing provides ample space for tent and RV camping. Riverside sites offer stunning views of the Buffalo River and easy access to the water, while wooded sites offer privacy and shade. Amenities include picnic tables, fire rings, and restroom facilities. The campground’s proximity to the Goat Trail hiking route makes it an excellent choice for hikers.
  • Erbie Campground: Nestled in a secluded area near historic homesteads dating back to the 19th century, Erbie Campground offers a tranquil experience away from the crowds. The campground features primitive campsites with picnic tables and fire rings, perfect for tent camping and small campervans. Restroom facilities are available nearby.
  • Lost Valley Campground: Situated close to popular hiking trails leading to Eden Falls and Cobb Cave, Lost Valley Campground offers tent camping sites surrounded by lush foliage and towering bluffs. Campsites are primitive and provide picnic tables and fire rings. Restroom facilities are available nearby.

Families can explore the river’s pristine waters by kayak or tube, with rental facilities conveniently located all along the river. Popular spots include Buffalo River Outfitters near Tyler Bend, Wild Bill Outfitters in Yellville, and the Lost Valley Canoe and Campground near Ponca.

Land-based activities include hiking trails that wind through towering limestone bluffs, dense forests, and scenic overlooks. Wildlife viewing is also popular, with opportunities to spot deer, elk, and a variety of bird species. Whether you’re seeking adventure on the water or tranquility on land, the Buffalo National River is an Arkansas favorite!

6. Lake Catherine State Park

Nestled in the Ouachita Mountains near Magnet Cove, Lake Catherine State Park offers a peaceful retreat for families seeking relaxation and outdoor recreation. The park’s namesake lake provides opportunities for swimming, boating, and fishing, while nearby hiking trails offer scenic views of cascading Falls Creek Falls and lush forests.

The park boasts 20 equipped cabins, overlooking the water. Cabins have private lake access and fishing piers. There are 70 campsites on the lake, six primitive tent sites, and a yurt rental. The marina offers pontoon boats, fishing boats, SUP, paddle boats, and canoe and kayak rentals. The park also offers seasonal guided horseback rides by reservation. Call +1501-262-0777 to book rides.

Families can also explore the park’s historic CCC-built stone bridge, picnic areas, and playgrounds. With its tranquil atmosphere, Lake Catherine State Park is the perfect destination for a family camping getaway.

7. Cossatot River State Park-Natural Area

Known as the “Cossatot,” this rugged stretch of river offers thrilling whitewater adventures for all. Campsites are available along the river’s banks, providing access to Class III to V rapids for experienced paddlers. The sites are primitive campsites with no electric hook-up. Brushy Creek Recreation Area features picnic tables, restrooms, and easy river access.

  • Cossatot Fall Area: Six tent sites
  • Sandbar Area: 15 tent sites
  • Ed Banks Area: Two sites
  • River Ridge Group Camp: Primitive group camp area with tent sites, a pavilion, a fire pit, and restrooms.

Families can also enjoy fishing, hiking, and picnicking along the river’s scenic shores. The park’s visitor center offers educational exhibits on the area’s geology, ecology, and cultural history, providing insight into the unique natural features of the Cossatot River. With its challenging rapids and stunning scenery, Cossatot River State Park-Natural Area offers an unforgettable camping experience for adventurous families.

8. DeGray Lake Resort State Park

Situated on the shores of picturesque DeGray Lake near Little Rock and Hot Springs, this state park offers a wide range of recreational activities and accommodation options.

DeGray Lake Resort features a stunning lodge with a whopping 90 guest rooms on an island in the lake. There are 113 campsites on the lake ranging from walk-ins to Class AAA with full amenities for RVs. There are also three yurts available.

Degray feels a bit more luxurious than the others mentioned so far. It features an 18-hole golf course with a pro shop, driving range, and practice greens for dad. Teens will love the disc golf course, and the littles will have plenty to choose from with basketball and tennis courts, playgrounds, and two swimming beaches.

The marina is full-service selling fishing bait and tackle and a wide array of watercraft rentals. Degray also offers five hiking trails, highly rated mountain biking runs, and guided horseback riding.

9. Crowley’s Ridge State Park

Situated atop the unique geological formation known as Crowley’s Ridge, this state park is our first Northeast Arkansas campsite. Crowley’s Ridge State Park, near Paragould, offers stunning views and a peaceful retreat for families.

Campsites include both tent and RV options as well as cabins. There are five bunk cabins, four duplexes with kitchens, and 25 campsites (17 Class C and eight tent). The campground includes picnic areas, a pavilion, and basic amenities.

The park’s visitor center provides interpretive exhibits on the area’s culture and wildlife. Families can explore the park’s extensive trail network, which includes hiking trails, birdwatching areas, and scenic overlooks. Other highlights include the park’s fishing lake, playgrounds, and picnic areas.

10. Bull Shoals-White River State Park

Bull Shoals-White River State Park is renowned for its stunning natural beauty, world-class trout fishing, pristine lakes, scenic rivers, and forested hikes. The park also offers camping facilities, including waterfront sites along the White River and Bull Shoals Lake.

The park features 113 campsites (63 C-AAA and 30 Class B) with 20 tent sites. It also has RV rentals with sites. It features a fun exhibition center with a theater and a riverside marina offering all the boating and fishing essentials. Families love the interpretive programs that include campfire-cooking classes, nature walks, and guide trout fishing excursions.

11. Millwood State Park

Now we head to the southwest corner of the state to Millwood Lake, a haven for bass anglers. With timbered marshes and oxbow cutoffs, Millwood serves up some seriously good fishing for crappie, catfish, and largemouth bass. Families can also enjoy excellent birding at Millwood.

Millwood offers 45 campsites (Class AAA-27, Class A-2, Class B-13, and 3 primitives), and the campground is simple with a few picnic sites and walking trails. The marina is the center of this park and offers fishing boat rentals, canoes/kayaks, groceries, and fishing bait. If you want a laid-back excursion full of wildlife and fishing, then this is your spot!

12. Greers Ferry Lake

Greers Ferry Lake, near Heber Springs, spans over 40,000 acres and more than 340 miles of shoreline. The lake offers ample space for outdoor adventures, including boating, fishing, swimming, and camping. The lake’s crystal-clear waters are popular with anglers seeking bass, crappie, and catfish, while its surrounding forests provide ample hiking trails and wildlife viewing opportunities.

Greers Ferry Campsites

  • Dam Site Park Campground:
    • Types of Campsites: Tent camping, RV sites with hookups
    • Number of Sites: Approximately 90 sites
    • Amenities: Restrooms, showers, picnic areas, boat ramp, swimming area
  • Heber Springs Campground:
    • Types of Campsites: Tent camping, RV sites with hookups, group camping
    • Number of Sites: Over 100 sites
    • Amenities: Restrooms, showers, picnic tables, playground, boat ramp, swimming area, hiking trails
  • Devil’s Fork Campground:
    • Types of Campsites: Tent camping, RV sites with hookups
    • Number of Sites: Around 60 sites
    • Amenities: Restrooms, showers, picnic areas, boat ramp, swimming beach, fishing pier
  • Old Highway 25 Campground:
    • Types of Campsites: Tent camping, RV sites with hookups
    • Number of Sites: Approximately 50 sites
    • Amenities: Restrooms, picnic tables, boat ramp, fishing pier
  • Shiloh Park Campground:
    • Types of Campsites: Tent camping, RV sites with hookups, group camping
    • Number of Sites: Over 70 sites
    • Amenities: Restrooms, showers, picnic areas, playground, boat ramp, swimming beach
  • Cove Creek Campground:
    • Types of Campsites: Tent camping, RV sites with hookups
    • Number of Sites: Around 30 sites
    • Amenities: Restrooms, picnic tables, boat ramp, fishing pier
  • Sugar Loaf Campground:
    • Types of Campsites: Tent camping, RV sites with hookups, group camping
    • Number of Sites: Approximately 50 sites
    • Amenities: Restrooms, showers, picnic areas, playground, boat ramp, swimming beach, hiking trails

On the other side of the ferry, lies the town of Fairfield Bay. Fairfield is a popular retirement spot for senior citizens, but it also boasts lakefront access, a large number of vacation rentals, cute restaurants, and several great hiking trails!

13. Mount Nebo State Park

Located in Central Arkansas near the college town of Russellville, Mount Nebo is a popular spot due to its epic views over Lake Dardanelle and the surrounding hills from the Rim Trail. The park offers easy accessibility from town, but it feels a world away. Mount Nebo is admittedly more popular for day trips, but if you want to stay around awhile, you’ll find no shortage of great options.

The park’s 15 cabins are located along the bluff and boast excellent views. Mount Nebo campsites are bluffside as well. The park features 34 campsites (Class B-24, hike-in-tent-10). It includes a swimming pool, picnic areas, several pavilions, and a visitor center with a gift shop. There is no dump station available.

Fun Fact: Cabin 1 at Mount Nebo was the first cabin rental in state park history.

Mount Nebo is also a great educational spot if you want to learn about Arkansas history. Not only is it an important CCC site, but it’s also part of the Trail of Tears. You’ll also have easy access to Lake Dardanelle State Park just a few miles away.

14. Hot Springs National Park

Arkansas’s most famous national park, and the oldest federal reserve in the country, is Hot Springs National Park in the town of the same name. While the more popular attractions in the park are urban, there are some beautiful camping spots as well. Hot Springs is one of the most educational destinations on the list with a long history of Native American, industrial, and even gangster stories to uncover!

The primary campground is Gulpha Gorge. It features 40 campsites that accommodate both tents and RV’s. All sites have electric hookups, water, and sewer. Each site has a picnic table and grill as well. There are modern bathrooms with flush toilets but no showers. It’s fairly primitive camping, but the location is lovely and offers an excellent alternative to high-priced Airbnb’s or hotels in the urban park.

Arkansas Campsites-Final Thoughts

man and woman seating on gray hammock beside trees during daytime

We hope you enjoyed this list of the best places to camp in Arkansas. It’s truly a beautiful state with more amazing campgrounds than we could ever list. Arkansas’s campsites offer families the perfect opportunity to unplug and reconnect with nature while getting in some epic adventures too. Whether you prefer pitching a tent beneath the stars or cozying up in a cabin overlooking a tranquil lake, there’s a camping experience to suit every taste! Get out there and explore Arkansas this summer and find your favorite spot!

For more excellent summer adventures in The Natural State, take a look at our “Ultimate Guide to Arkansas Amusement Parks and Water Parks.”

Stay tuned for more Arkansas excursions coming your way soon!

Get Our Monthly Educational Activity Guides to Traveling Arkansas
Get our Monthly Educational Activity Guides to Traveling Arkansas