camping in arkansas

BEST Camping in Arkansas That Is Unforgettable!

Arkansas has a campground and location to fit any type of camping style or recreation preference. Here, you will find the BEST camping in Arkansas.

Not only do us Arkansans love to go camping but people travel from all over the United States to visit the Natural State and enjoy our campgrounds and outdoor activities.

“Arkansas is home to more than 600,000 acres of lakes and 9,700 miles of streams, so many campgrounds and RV parks located on or near the water are perfectly positioned for fun marine activities like fishing, boating, kayaking, swimming and more.” -source

Best State Parks in Arkansas for Camping

Arkansas has 52 state parks and almost 40 of those offer camping. Honestly, you can’t do wrong camping at any of the state parks but we chose 5 of them and called them the BEST State Parks for camping because of the amenities they offer.

At these campgrounds, you will find activities like scuba diving, horseback riding, hiking, the best fishing in Arkansas, mountain biking and swimming (just to name a few).

Read: BEST State Parks in Arkansas for Camping

Arkansas Campgrounds with Waterfalls

There are six Arkansas campgrounds with waterfalls that are our favorites. Some of these offer full hookups and others are for primitive camping. There are even has several Arkansas waterfalls that are handicap accessible or just easy, short walks.

best camping in arkansas
You will find Collins Creek Trail and Cascade near JFK Campground in Heber Springs.

Staying at one of these campgrounds means that you spend your afternoon at a beautiful waterfall and still make it back to camp in time to build a fire and roast hotdogs.

One of the best campgrounds in Arkansas is the John F. Kennedy Campground in Heber Springs, AR. It sits right on the Little Red River and there is great hiking with a waterfall!

Read: BEAUTIFUL Arkansas Campgrounds with Waterfalls

Camping Near Hot Springs, Arkansas

There’s no denying that we love to vacation in Hot Springs, Arkansas.

There are endless things to do whether you like being in town, out on the lake, or enjoying all the great hiking trails.

Hot Springs has something for everyone.

One of the best things about visiting Hot Springs are the nearby camping options!

Hot Springs offers:

  • FREE camping
  • Yurt Camping
  • State Parks
  • Ouachita National Forest
  • Island Camping on Lake Ouachita
  • Army Corp of Engineers Campgrounds

Read all about it here: BEST Camping in Hot Springs, Arkansas

Island Camping on Lake Ouachita

Arkansas is full of great places to camp but nothing compares to the adventures of island camping on Lake Ouachita.

Many people enjoy loading up all of their camping supplies on their kayak or boat and floating over to the island of their choice. Some of the islands are wooded while others are more of a large sandbar. That means there is an island for everyone and every adventure!

Read all about it here: 17 PRO TIPS for EXCELLENT Island Camping on Lake Ouachita in Arkansas

Camping in Northwest Arkansas

Northwest Arkansas is a special part of our state because of the Ozark Mountains, plenty of outdoor recreation and the large cities with endless activities. There are so many campgrounds in Northwest Arkansas but 11 of them stand out as “the best” to us.

You will love camping in Northwest Arkansas.

Northwest Arkansas is also where you will find some of the best places to camp and ride ORV in Arkansas.

Best Campgrounds Near Harrison Arkansas

There are over 10 campgrounds near Harrison Arkansas that are near the Buffalo River, Table Rock Lake, or Bull Shoals Lake.

If you’re near Harrison, Arkansas and looking for a nearby place to camp on the water, you’re going to love these options.

Most of these campgrounds are just 30-40 minutes from Harrison.

Read all about it here: Best Places to Camp Near Harrison Arkansas

Best Campgrounds near Central Arkansas

Being an Arkansas native, I have spent a great deal of time in Central Arkansas. As far as camping goes, the campgrounds in this area of the state aren’t as plentiful but there are still some gems out there!

If you are in Central Arkansas or planning a trip, there are eight campgrounds near Central Arkansas that are the best and within a reasonable driving distance from Little Rock.

You’ll find it all here: BEST Campgrounds near Central Arkansas

If you’re bring along your furry friend, there are also several great dog parks in Central Arkansas where Fido can stretch his legs and make friends.

Best Hike-In Camping in Arkansas

There are campers and then there are campers. Some of us prefer amenities like a soft bed, water hook-ups, and an indoor dinette to eat at when the weather turns less than ideal. The other side of that spectrum has folks that like to hike into their campsite.

They pack everything they need into their backpacks or bags (depending on the length of the hike) and they take off. Their campsite is more primitive but, then again, maybe they’re having more fun than I do.

I hope I never find out. I like my AC at night.

But, if you’re the hike-in type, here are six of the BEST hike-in camp areas in Arkansas. Several of these are located on INCREDIBLE hiking trails in Arkansas.

Best Tent Camping in Arkansas

When it comes to tent camping, there is no better place to do it than Arkansas! We have beautiful places where you can pitch your tent and enjoy a wonderful camping trip.

Tent camping in Arkansas takes you back to a simpler time. You don’t have to worry about dragging an RV behind you or wonder if you can make it up that next Ozark Mountain, or consider what to do when your awning decides it doesn’t want to extend anymore.

best camping in arkansas
There’s nothing like a tent by the lake!

The best part about tent camping in Arkansas is that there are no limits on where you can go. You can adventure to any beach on the Buffalo River that piques your interest or get one of the best campsites in the campground that are right on the lake.

No matter where you choose to go, tent camping in Arkansas is always an adventure.

You will also like: Can you swim in Arkansas lakes?

Free Camping in Arkansas

Did someone say free? That happens to be one of my favorite words! Arkansas offers many great places where you can camp for free.

You’ll find it all here: [AMAZING] FREE Camping in Arkansas

This may also leave you wondering, “Is there BLM land in Arkansas?”

Arkansas Campgrounds for First-Time Campers

Hey newbies! I see you! I noticed you trying to back your RV up into that perfect campsite for the first time. It took you an hour but you finally got it!

Honestly though, I read about this couple who spent two hours trying to back up their 5th wheel camper the first time. Hey, it can happen to the best of us.

If you’re new to camping, Arkansas has you covered. Many first-time campers are looking for a campground with hook-ups and places to play. Any campground you choose will be wonderful but I have 9 in mind that are great places to start.

You’ll find them here: BEST Arkansas Campgrounds for First-Time Campers

arkansas camping guide

Car Camping in Arkansas

Yes, car camping. Not everyone wants to camp in a tent or an RV. Some folks prefer to roll out a sleeping bag in their backseat. I say, go for it!

Arkansas is a very “camping friendly” state. With 52 state parks, National Forest campgrounds, private campgrounds, and countless primitive camping areas, there is something for everyone in Arkansas.

My husband and I just finished a “van life” documentary that left us wanting to move into a van and travel full time. But, then again, we have three kids so maybe we need something bigger than a van.

However, if you camp in a van, car or cargo trailer or if you just want to cowboy camp under the stars, you can do that in Arkansas.

Read all about it here: Car Camping in Arkansas

Yurt Camping in Arkansas

If you are looking for beautiful yurts in Arkansas, we have you covered. There are over nine locations where you can stay in a yurt in The Natural State.

To me, a yurt is a wonderful compromise between roughing it and hotel stay. Some even call it “glamping.”

Each one of these yurts has different amenities. Some of them come with air conditioning and soft beds while others are more of a primitive stay.

Rest assured that there is a yurt in Arkansas that you will love.

Read all about it here: 9 Yurts in Arkansas That Make “Camping” Relaxing

Winter Camping in Arkansas

Winter camping in Arkansas is beautiful. It’s the perfect time to sit around a campfire and enjoy the outdoors.

To me, the best part about living in Arkansas is that we don’t ever know what the weather is going to be like week to week. Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean it’s always going to be cold outside.

So, don’t be afraid to book a camping trip during the winter in Arkansas! The weather may be cold or warm but the views are always great.

Most folks choose to camp in the southern part of Arkansas because there are less chances of icy roads down there in case the weather gets crazy.

Which may leave you wondering, “Does Arkansas get snow?”

I give away all my secrets here: BEST Winter Camping in Arkansas.

Best Camping in Arkansas Tips

One of my favorite lakes in Arkansas is Dardanelle Lake. You won’t want to miss this spot. There are beautiful campgrounds around Dardanelle Lake in Arkansas!

Also, a hidden gem in Arkansas is Blue Mountain Lake. “Blue Mountain Lake is located in the shadow of Mt. Magazine, Arkansas’s highest mountain. Blue Mountain Lake has offered many recreational opportunities since its completion in 1947.” -source

Read: 9 INCREDIBLE Reasons to Visit Blue Mountain Lake in Arkansas

Related articles