Top 10 Campgrounds and RV Parks Ames, Iowa

Ames, Iowa is often rated as one of the best places to live in the U.S., and it has plenty to offer visiting RVers, too. This friendly city is home to the University of Iowa, and it serves as a hub for all the wonderful things to do in Central Iowa. In the spring, the Reiman Gardens beckons campers to relax while they view the beautiful flowers and butterflies there. The Brunnier Art Museum hosts the only decorative art collection in the state, and there are many local craft breweries to explore. The Ames, Iowa, area has plenty of RV parks and campgrounds where you can stay overnight and longer.

Whispering Oaks Campground

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Reconnecting with ture is easy when you stay at the Whispering Oaks Campground. Hike on the grassy trails running along the swimmable Skunk River, or enjoy the beautiful scenery of the sun setting over an Iowa cornfield.

Why You’ll Love Whispering Oaks Campground

People looking for an Ames, Iowa, campground often make their way 13.5 miles farther north to Whispering Oaks Campground because of its great amenities. This property is very secluded as it sits at the back of a farm under shade trees. There is lots of room between camping sites so that everyone can have their own space, and a fire ring accompanies most campsites. The owners live on the property and are very friendly. A modern restroom and shower facility makes it easy to clean up. There is no need to take home dirty clothes as a washer and dryer are provided at this campground.

What People Are Saying About Whispering Oaks Campground

“The owners are awesome people and the campground is clean and well maintained. One of the best and friendliest places I’ve ever stayed.” – Greg, Google Review

“The full hook ups are in the front & the sites are in the wide-open, but each has a picnic table & Fire ring.” – Momma Bear 07, RV Park Review

Ledges State Park

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Splash your way through the low-water crossings near the Ledges State Park campground. Bring your rock climbing and rappelling gear along so that you can explore the cliffs from a different vantage point. This campground often books up months in advance, so make your reservations early.

Why You’ll Love Ledges State Park

If you’re looking for campgrounds near Ames, Iowa, this state park located about 20 miles away near Madrid, Iowa will serve as a great home base. You will love the large pull-through sites under well-established shade trees when you choose to bring a rental RV to this park near Ames. Walking through the creek at the end of a long day is a super way to beat the summer heat. There are many paths to hike, and the solitude can be great for those looking to reconnect with ture. In the fall, the leaves turn beautiful shades of orange and red here. There is a spacious restroom with shower facilities.

What People Are Saying About Ledges State Park

“never knew there was such beautiful scenery and elevation in Iowa. My daughter has been going to Iowa State for a few years now and she took me here to show me where she goes for peace and relaxation. What a beautiful hike!” – Duane, Google Review

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Hickory Grove Breezy Bay

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The sandy beach at Hickory Grove Breezy Bay is a great place to beat the summer’s heat as you play in the cool water. This family-friendly campground also offers a good swimming pool, and lots of family activities are available nearby. When you camp here, you will build memories that last a lifetime.

Why You’ll Love Hickory Grove Breezy Bay

The short drive to Colo, Iowa, is worth the trip when you want to stay in an RV park near Ames. This park offers a sandy beach with easy access to the water. Hunters often choose this park near Ames, Iowa, because its southern boundary consists of two public hunting grounds. Others love to camp here because they can go fishing in the pond that is stocked with catfish, largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie and grass carp. Pedal boats and canoes are available for rent on weekends and major holidays. Several spacious playgrounds make this the perfect place to spend a family camping trip.

What People Are Saying About Hickory Grove Breezy Bay

“A highlight of the park is its great beach area. We visit a few times early in the season and the kids love coming and playing with their friends in the sand. It is our local beach. There are numerous picnic tables and grills in this area and on a summer evening is a very busy place. There have a been a few times I haven’t been able to find a parking spot.” – Amy, Good Times and Sunshine

“Nice park. Campground great. Shower house needs remodeling but clean. Sites gravel and level. Holiday weekend and it’s still nice and quiet here. Highly recommend.” – OBX_Conquistador, TripAdvisor Review

Twin Anchors Campground

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There are many reasons that you will love Twin Anchors Campground, starting with their level sites that offer plenty of room. The kids will adore the petting zoo that houses a pony, bunnies and other animals. Everyone will want some more of the great homemade ice cream for sale there, too.

Why You’ll Love Twin Anchors Campground

This is one of the best family-oriented RV parks in the Ames, Iowa, area. While there is plenty to do without leaving the campground, if you are looking for additional ideas, be sure to check out these top Iowa RV trips. Make sure to leave time to visit the well-stocked gift shop to pick up souvenirs for everyone who could not come camping with you.

What People Are Saying About Twin Anchors Campground

“People were very friendly, they helped me several times. We used full hookups and did not use the shower facilities. But they had a great little store. With soft serve ice cream. They are next to what appears to be a popular restaurant. And the campground is next to a public golf course.” – Radi0dude, TripAdvisor Review

“Twin anchors is family friendly with a playground, beach, kids games and is next door to a golf course. There is a restaurant next door if you don’t want to cook. Very relaxing and clean. There is a bar in the clubhouse next door. Relax by a campfire. Tents or full hook ups.” – Sandra, TripAdvisor Review

Swede Point Park

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This small campground is a great place to relax away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Yet, it is close to all that Ames and the Central Iowa region has to offer. Most campers staying here act like they are part of one big happy family, so pull your RV in and join them.

Why You’ll Love Swede Point Park

This small Ames campground was created when Saylorville Lake was first built. It offers a fabulous playground for the kids along with great picnic facilities. Two short trails lead within 1 mile of the tresses that can be easily followed to get to the High Trestle Trail. It is also easy to hike to scenic views overlooking the Des Moines River.

What People Are Saying About Swede Point Park

“Unusual regulations that worked for us. No reservations accepted and no time limits for staying…Some nice fellow campers, regulars for the most part, with a few seasonal campers. Electric only at site with water taps for filling bottles. Mostly oak trees and a long steep trail down to the Des Moines River.” – Johnny, Campendium Review

“A quiet little county park only 1/4 mile from the Des Moines river. Lots of hiking trails. A nice play area for kids and clean bathrooms with showers.” – Andrea, Facebook Review

Cherry Glen Campground

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If you are an angler, then you will love the easy access to Saylorville Lake from the Cherry Glen Campground. Several playgrounds make this a great place to relax with your children. Bring along the bikes for a fun family ride.

Why You’ll Love Cherry Glen Campground

Located on a wooded ridge, this is the oldest campground at Saylorville Lake. A boat ramp provides easy access to the lake where water skiing is a popular activity. Many families enjoy biking or running along the Neal Smith Trail connecting to the east side of the campground. Large shade trees make this a perfect spot to have a picnic or cook a meal outdoors.

What People Are Saying About Cherry Glen Campground

“This park was a dream for us. We had wonderful campground hosts, gorgeous tree shaded lots, 50 Amp electrical service (needed for a/c during heat of day), fire pits, quiet, proximity to fishing, wading Sayorville lake and, best of all, miles and miles of bike trails…There were lots of places to walk. Only 5 miles to the grocery store (with Starbucks) and, a bike trail to town…” – Azcrazy, Campendium Review

“We love camping at this family-friendly campground right on Saylorville Lake. The people are friendly, the facilities are clean, and the camp sites are large. It’s a peaceful retreat right out of the city, and has access to hiking and bike trails and boat access nearby.” – Lindsay, Yelp Review

Don Williams Campground

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Originally constructed when Saylorville Lake was built, Don Williams Campground is the oldest campground in the Ames area. Challenge your friends to a round of golf on its 9-hole golf course before cooling off in the water that is reachable from this campground’s sandy beach

Why You’ll Love Don Williams Campground

While no Ames campsites are located within the city limits of Ames, this park is only about 13 miles away. The local wildlife is abundant, and the lake offers many scenic viewing opportunities. This campground also offers a special youth camping area.

What People Are Saying About Don Williams Campground

“Don Williams is an excellent camp ground. There are playgrounds at both the upper and lower sites. Each also has modern bathrooms that have always been clean. Recommend to anyone wanting to have a nice quiet get away for the weekend.” – Seth, Google Review

Bob Shetler Campground

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When you just need a break, check out Bob Shetler Campground. The scenic views of the Des Moines River will have you relaxing in no time. This campground offers some of the best fishing in the Ames region.

Why You’ll Love Bob Shetler Campground

This park is a great place for RV camping near Ames. Easy access to the Des Moines River makes it the perfect place to go fishing. Each campsite comes with its own fire ring, so it’s easy to cook a meal outside or cozy up to the fire on a chilly night.

What People Are Saying About Bob Shetler Campground

“It’s a nice place to go and to camp or fish or ride your bike it’s also nice need to see the spillway the water is really high right now so you might even get wet from it” – Rhonda, Google Review

“Good service. Love the campground. Great price for what you get.” – Kim, Google Review

Dakins Lake Campground

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You may not need to pack food into your RV when you head to Dakins Lake Campground as you will want to clean and eat the fish that you catch in their well-stocked lake. Children enjoy riding their bikes here, and you can challenge your family to a game of sand volleyball.

Why You’ll Love Dakins Lake Campground

This small campground is very friendly to families. The park is known for being well-maintained with clean restrooms and shower facilities. Dakins Lake Campground is located about 30 miles from Ames.

What People Are Saying About Dakins Lake Campground

“Great little county park and campgrounds. The fish are biting and the catfish and bluegill are keepers for sure! 1 1/2 to 3 lbs on the catfish. Bass are not yet quite keepers but will give you a tussle for sure! The grass is kept mowed and the baths and showers are kept nice and tidy.” – Rod, Facebook Review

“New campground. No mature trees for shade. Clean facilities and plenty of good fishing. Not a lot to do if you’re content with just relaxing.” – John, Facebook Review

Jester Park Campground

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A nature center that opened in 2018 is a great way to introduce your children to the wonders of nature, and they will be amazed by the herds of bison that still roam here. Anglers adore the fishing, and long-term campers are warmly welcomed.

Why You’ll Love Jester Park Campground

The RV camping sites at Jester Park Campground are large, and most provide breathtaking views of the Iowa landscape. This long-term RV park near Ames, Iowa, also offers great fishing. Enjoy the large pull-through sites and the many places to picnic.

What People Are Saying About Jester Park Campground

“Our family camps a lot. Jester is where it all started. There are ample amounts of campsites and a mix of walk-up and reservable sites. Most of the sites are very large, and there are many tent sites near the water. Beautiful views and walking trails. If you have an RV, however, beware that the gravel here is very small and it can be messy.” – Heather, Google Review

In Summary

As you can see, there are many wonderful opportunities for RV camping near Ames. Most Ames RV park rates are only about $20 a night, so if you do not currently have an RV or a camper, then you need to rent one soon so that you can enjoy this exciting lifestyle.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to camp in Ames, Iowa?

The top 10 campgrounds we selected all show daily, weekly and monthly rates for you. Pricing will vary.

How much does it cost to RV park in Ames, Iowa?

Pricing will vary. The top 10 RV Parks we selected all display daily, weekly and monthly rates for you.

How long can you stay at an RV Park in Ames, Iowa?

Staying at an RV Park for a long period of time will vary on the campground & RV Park you choose. View our post for more information.

Are there pet friendly RV Parks & Campgrounds in Ames, Iowa?

Yes. The majority of campgrounds we selected in this blog allow pets.