Petit Jean State Park RV & Campground Guide

Arkansas

Petit Jean State Park

is a sprawling and stunning park located in Arkansas River Valley in central Arkansas. The park is named after Petit Jean, a young 18th century French woman whose resting place is within the park. Covering 3,471-acres, it sits atop Petit Jean Mountain adjacent to the Arkansas River in the area between the Ouachita Mountains and Ozark Plateaus. Here, you’ll find impressive canyons and bluffs, as well as a 95-foot waterfall and the 100-acre Lake Bailey.

The park is home to several geological and archaeological features such as Bear Cave, Rock House Cave, the Grotto, Turtle Rocks, Carpet Rocks, and Natural Bridge. Petit Jean State Park has a fairly moderate climate, with temperatures reaching highs of 91°F in summer and lows of 26°F in the heart of winter. Visitors are advised to pack extra layers of clothing to prepare for any type of weather that might come their way.

If you’re planning a trip to the state park, you’ll want to keep reading to find out everything about camping, on-site and off-site activities, how to get here, and more. 

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Weather
Spring 38°F - 79°F
Summer 64°F - 91°F
Fall 37°F - 84°F
Winter 26°F - 54°F
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Nearby Cities
Russellville, AR
Conway, AR
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RV Resorts & Campsites in Petit Jean State Park

If you’re thinking about staying in or near Petit Jean State Park, why not do so in an RV? Unlike tents, RVs provide you with a soft, comfortable bed, as well as your own private bathroom and fully-stocked kitchen. If you don’t own an RV, you can rent an RV from RVshare.com to suit your budget or needs. All rentals come with nationwide insurance, 24/7 roadside assistance, and a world-class team dedicated to helping you succeed.

The good news is Petit Jean State Park has its own campground on-site, featuring 125 sites that are perfect for both tent or RV camping. Each one has full hookups, while there are also modern bathhouses with hot showers and flush toilets within the grounds. These sites are reservable, however they usually fill-up quickly. To prevent disappointment, we’ve also listed some other RV-friendly campgrounds within close proximity to the park.

Toad Suck Park

Located along the Arkansas River is Toad Suck Park, just over 30 miles from the state park. It boasts river views, as well as 48 sites with electric and water hookups. The fishing here is excellent year-round, as you’ll find an abundance of bream, crappie, white bass, largemouth bass and several species of catfish. Rates start at $18 per night. 

  • Water hookup: yes
  • Electrical hookup: yes
  • Sewer hookup: yes
  • Wifi: N/A
  • Pet-friendly: yes
  • Other amenities: picnic shelters, hot showers, playground, boat ramp, sports courts, dump station, fire pits.

Lake Dardanelle State Park Campground

Lake Dardanelle is another state park located just over 25 miles from Petit Jean. There are also plenty of RV-accessible camp sites here, including 74 sites with hookups and other useful amenities. Lake Dardanelle is a sprawling 34,300-acre reservoir on the Arkansas River. It’s surrounded by plenty of natural beauty, making it a rewarding stay at any time of the year. Rates range from $19 - $33 per night.

  • Water hookup: yes
  • Electrical hookup: yes
  • Sewer hookup: yes
  • Wifi: N/A
  • Pet-friendly: yes
  • Other amenities: visitor center, picnic area, boat ramp, bath house, pier, playground, dump station, fire rings, laundry, gift shop.

Ivy's Cove RV Retreat

Ivy's Cove RV Retreat is a family-owned and operated RV park just 29 miles from the Petit Jean State Park and is conveniently located in Russellville, Arkansas. It’s open year-round and features plenty of sites with full hookups and free WiFi. Rates are $42 per night.

  • Water hookup: yes
  • Electrical hookup: yes
  • Sewer hookup: yes
  • Wifi: yes
  • Pet-friendly: yes
  • Other amenities: cable TV, on-site RV repair, laundry, general store, showers, restrooms.

RV Rentals Near Petit Jean State Park

Nearby RV Rentals

Restaurants

What to Do at
Petit Jean State Park

Inside Petit Jean State Park

Petit Jean State Park might be very popular for camping, but people also flock here because of the wide range of fun outdoor activities on offer. Whether you’re hoping to enjoy hiking the park’s scenic trails, swimming, boating, or more – there’s something for every type of traveler at Petit Jean State Park.

Swimming: There are two swimming pools in the park, each open during the summer months from Memorial Day weekend through to Labor Day weekend. The pool located near the picnic area is open for the public, while the one located on the bluff behind Mather Lodge is for cabin and lodge guests only. It costs $1.50 - $4 per person to swim.

Hiking: There are more than 20 miles of hiking trails in Arkansas that will lead you through Petit Jean's natural and historic resources. The park is also home to the Cedar Falls Overlook, giving you stunning views of one of the most photographed waterfalls in Arkansas.

Events: The state park offers multiple events each year, including everything from guided hikes and lake tours, to living history demonstrations, historic site tours, outdoor skills workshops, and so much more. See the events calendar here.

Boating: From the on-site boathouse, you can rent pedal boats, water bikes, or flat-bottom boats with and without a motor to explore the vast Lake Bailey. Rates start from $5 per hour.

Fishing: The 100-acre Lake Bailey provides guests with excellent fishing opportunities. You can fish from rentable boats, canoes, or kayaks, or bring your own vessel. You can also enjoy fishing from the shore or from the barrier-free fishing pier that provides easy access to the lake.

Outside Petit Jean State Park

If you thought Petit Jean State Park has lots on offer, then you’re going to be delighted by just how many experiences are available to you outside of the park in the surrounding area, including stunning sightseeing opportunities, award-winning restaurants, and amazing shopping experiences.

Restaurants

Old South Restaurant

If you head just 40 minutes’ drive out of the state park, you’ll find Old South Restaurant, a steakhouse with excellent reviews. Whether you’re after burgers, sandwiches, salad, or a wide range of cooked meat, seafood, and chicken – you’ll find it all here.

Type: Steakhouse

Location: Russellville, AR

Linh's Vietnamese Cuisine

For some of the best Vietnamese food within the local area, check out Linh's Vietnamese Cuisine. It’s just over half an hour’s drive from the state park and offers traditional Vietnamese dishes such as spring rolls, Banh Mi, pho, and so much more.

Type: Vietnamese restaurant

Location: Russellville, AR

Stoby's Restaurant

For Southern-style American food that doesn’t disappoint, look no further than Stoby’s Restaurant. It’s not too far out of town and is housed in an old train depot and dining car for something a little more fun. Expect family favorites such as pasta, burgers, steaks, soups, quesadillas, and more.

Type: Southern-style American diner

Location: Russellville

Shopping

Petit Jean Junktion Flea Market

You know what they say: one person’s trash is another person’s treasure. The Petit Jean Junktion Flea Market is just down the road from the state park and offers a fun morning or afternoon of shopping, particularly for those who love second-hand and antique goods. 

Location: Morrilton, AR

Sightseeing

Museum of Automobiles

Just a 5-minute drive down the road from the state park is the Museum of Automobiles, which is home to the only Climber automobiles known to exist. There are more than 50 vehicles on display, with some dating as far back as 1904. Entry costs $5 - $10 per person.

Location: Morrilton, AR

Blanchard Springs Caverns

If you fancy an intriguing day trip that the whole family will enjoy, then you’ll want to visit the Blanchard Springs Caverns. This celebrated "living" cave system has 3 levels of lighted, paved trails, plus there’s guided tours running regularly. 

Location: Fifty-Six, AR

Hot Springs National Park

The Hot Springs National Park is located just over 72 miles from Petit Jean, making it an excellent day trip to factor into your holiday. The urban park features a historic row of early 20th-century bathhouses built atop natural hot springs. Come and touch the 143-degree thermal water for yourself!

Location: Hot Springs, AR

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How to Get to
Petit Jean State Park

From Morrilton, travel 9 miles south on Ark. Hwy 9, then go 12 miles west on Ark. Hwy 154. From Russellville, travel 10 miles south on Ark. Scenic Hwy 7 to Centerville, then go 16 miles east on Ark. Hwy 154.

Entering Petit Jean State Park

There are no fees to enter Petit Jean State Park or explore the area. Fees only apply to additional activities such as camping and hiring water vessels.

We’re very excited that you’re planning a trip to Petit Jean State Park. Once you’ve finished exploring all that the park has to offer, there are also some incredible opportunities waiting for you outside of its gates! During or after your stay, we encourage you to tag us in any of your social media posts, or why not share your photos and experience with us at [email protected]? We may even feature your story on our blog or social media channels. Happy camping!