Learn about the DNR's COVID-19 response and how the current health emergency is impacting DNR facilities, services and events.
Dear Iowa State Parks Visitors,

UPDATED 5/20/2020.

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 5/20/2020):

  • Campgrounds:
    • Campgrounds are open for self-contained camping units only until May 22, 2020. Starting at 8:00 a.m. on May 22, 2020, campgrounds will be open for all types of camping units, including RVs, pop-up campers and tents with or without bathroom facilities or portable toilets. Some campgrounds may be closed due to construction or maintenance issues, so please check the specific closure information below for each park before planning a camping trip. 
    • Some campsites may be closed to ensure social distancing.
    • Campers only in the campground; no guests allowed.
  • All modern restrooms and shower buildings will be available starting at 8:00 a.m. on Friday, May 22, 2020. Drinking fountains remain closed.
  • Cabins and yurts will be open starting Friday, May 22, 2020 and beyond. Reservations can be made on-line through the reservation system. Please note there is a four-day reservation window. For those interested in renting cabins for the rental period starting Friday, May 22, contact the park office or the Backbone concessionaire for cabins at Backbone State Park. All kitchenware has been removed from cabins, including dishes, pots and pans; please bring your own from home. Additionally, check-in time is now 5:00 p.m. and check-out time is now 9:00 a.m. (changed from 4:00 p.m. and 11:00 a.m, respectively) to allow for extra time to clean between rentals. 
  • Shelters,  lodges, youth campsites, group camps and playgrounds remain closed
  • If you feel cancelling your stay is the safest choice, we will waive cancellation fees for visits (cabins, campsites, lodges, shelters) with arrival dates through May 31, 2020. The $4.00 non-refundable  reservation fee ($6.00 if the reservation was originally made by phone) will still be charged. To cancel, contact the Customer Service Call Center at (877) 427-2757. 
  • Programs and events at all state parks are currently cancelled. Visitor centers, museums and nature centers managed by state parks remain closed.
  • 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.
  • Other areas of state parks and forests that remain open for day use include: trails, roads, lake and river access points, boat ramps, shorelines, and open spaces such as grassy areas.  

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.
  • Avoid popular areas where people may congregate such as scenic overlooks, buildings, beaches, etc.
  • 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 will not be easily available at state parks due to limited supplies. Be sure and bring your own and wash your hands frequently.
  • 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.

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 Parks: Regulations, Rates and Reservation Information
List of Iowa State Parks

2020 Camping and Cabin Rates
2020 Lodge and Shelter Rates
2020 Wet and Dry Storage Rates

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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: iowa.stateparks@dnr.iowa.gov

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