Please note new changes to parks operations during the COVID-19 health emergency.

In accordance with state recommendations pertaining to COVID-19, we want to share with you important information about Iowa state parks.

State Parks, Forests and Preserves visitors are reminded to strictly abide to the social distancing rules and not gather in groups. Remember to stay home if you feel sick, wash your hands regularly, avoid touching your face, and bring supplies from home including disinfecting wipes, hand sanitizer and other hygiene products.

Park Facility Changes (Updated 4/27/2021):

  • Campgrounds are open. Campers and visitors should follow gathering size, social distancing and increased hygiene requirements and recommendations.
  • Cabins and yurts are open. Modern cabins are equipped with pots and pans. Dishes and utensils are not available at this time. The check-in time is 4:00 pm and the check-out time is 11:00 am.
  • Lodges and Shelters are open. Check-in time is 10:00 a.m. If you need access to the facility prior to 10:00 am, contact park staff and they will try and accommodate an earlier check-in time.
  • Customers with lodge reservations will be allowed to cancel up to 7 days prior to the arrival date without penalty and receive a full refund of the rental fees and taxes paid. The original non-refundable reservation fee ($4.00 for online reservations and $6.00 for reservations made through the call center) will not be refunded along with the cancellation fee of $5 online or $7 through the call center. Lodge cancellations less than 7 days prior to the arrival date will be subject to the regular reservation cancellation policy. To cancel, contact the customer service call center at (877) 427-2757.
  • Playgrounds are open. Equipment is not sanitized, user discretion is advised.
  • Programs and events. Visitors attending programs and events in state parks should follow any guidance provided by the Iowa Department of Public Health and CDC.
  • Visitor centers, museums and nature centers are closed except at Cedar Rock and the Lewis & Clark visitor center. See the individual park webpages for details on hours of operation and restrictions.
  • We are monitoring the situation. We promise to remain diligent and intentional in protecting you and making your visit a great experience. As conditions change, so may our policies on park visitation and overnight stays. We will keep you informed of any changes moving forward.

Here's How You Can Help:

  • According to state of Iowa recommendations, limit your group size and stay at least 6 feet away from other park visitors.
  • If you have been sick in the last two weeks, please stay at home for your health and the safety of others.
  • Please maintain distance between you and other park visitors according to guidelines and recommendations by health officials. Please take into consideration the health of others when spending time outdoors.
  • Pack extra soap or hand sanitizer. Soap or sanitizer may not be available at state parks during the winter. Be sure and bring your own and wash your hands frequently.
  • Wearing a cloth face mask in public around others when social distancing may not be possible.
  • Additional information on best practices for keeping you and your family safe can be found online at the CDC website.

Thank you for your patience and flexibility. We appreciate your support of Iowa state parks as we all work together to keep each other safe.

park passport

Ready for a state park road trip? Sign up for the 2021 Iowa State Park Passport, your ticket to earning prizes and exploring the outdoors! Make it a family-friendly challenge to visit parks across the state and track your progress with this personalized passport. It's free to sign up.

In 2021, AARP Iowa is sponsoring several new prizes, including t-shirts, fit bits, camping gear and more!

Iowa State Park Passport - Sign Up Now!

Please Note: If you participated in 2020, you'll want to sign up again to start new in 2021.

Iowa State Parks

Experience Iowa's natural beauty and all the fun our state parks offer as you make memories with family and friends. With an array of activities for outdoor enthusiasts of all ages, there's something for everyone whether you're visiting for an afternoon or a week!

A Guide to Iowa State Parks
Iowa State Park and Recreation Areas -- Regulations and Reservation Information

List of Iowa State Parks

Iowa State Parks Trails
A web based application has been developed to identify and map trails maintained in Iowa state parks. Utilizing this application on a mobile device will allow for navigation. By selecting each section of trail users can identify trail name, acceptable trail use and distance. The application utilizes the device's gps system and mobile data. Data service can be a limiting factor for this application.

New 2021 Camping & Cabin Rates
Starting February 1, 2021, Iowa state parks have a new pricing structure for campsites and cabins. Rates for each campground fall into a four-tier system depending on park visitation levels and amenities. The new system will encourage camping at lower-use parks, provide additional operations funding at higher-use parks, and create opportunities for specials and promotional savings to visitors throughout the year.

To assist electric vehicle drivers in planning their visit to Iowa state parks, this interactive map illustrates the location of existing public EV charging stations compared to Iowa state parks, recreation areas, and forests. Additionally, the map shows the concentration of registered electric vehicles (EV) throughout Iowa. Data for the map is from the Iowa DOT bureau of Vehicle & Motor Carrier Services, the Alternative Fuels Data Center, and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

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Make your online reservation for state park cabins, campsites, shelters and lodges:

Make a Reservation

Park Related Questions?

State Parks Bureau
Iowa DNR
Wallace State Office Building
Des Moines, Iowa

Can't find the answer about state parks on the web pages or are experiencing problems with website links? 

Please send your question(s) to:

Upcoming Park Events

Swimming Registration at State Parks

People wishing to swim outside the designated swimming beach areas at Iowa state parks, for example to train for a triathlon, must obtain special permission by completing a registration form and communicating with local park staff.

For information and guidelines:
Swimming Registration Form