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Where is best free camping in Iowa?

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You can see a map of all free camping.

Most of the free RV camping you can find in the state comes from public lands. The Eagle Lake State Game Management Area is located near Mason City, Iowa and is one of the most popular destinations. It's one of the most visited free camping areas in Iowa because it comes with no price tag, is easy to access and has good cell service.

On the polar opposite end of the state, Eldon Wildlife Management Area is little more than a few wide spots on the road with pull-offs that can accommodate medium-sized RVs but serves as another prime example of what free camping in Iowa is all about. –a spot to call home with decent views and, in Eldon WMA's case, access to a river.

While most of the camping in Iowa's state forests are either via paid, designated campgrounds or open to hikers only, there is some free camping available in the newest state forest.

If you're camping in a tent or car in Iowa's state forests, there are even more options.

RV camping is available at three parks in Warren County, all within an hour of Des Moines. There will be a picnic table, a fire ring, and a vault toilet, but not much else. The most well-known of these is the David Bates Memorial Park.

Madhulekha Garde
Ballistics Expert