Camping Reservations
Lodge Reservations
Shelter Reservations
Cabin Reservations
Know Before You Go

For general regulations and guidelines for Iowa State Parks, check our State Park FAQs page.

Weather Conditions

State park camping is available year-round in most places depending upon weather conditions. It is recommended that campers may want to call ahead and check the weather and road conditions before heading out to camp. Be sure to check for any posted Alerts and Closures.

Water and Shower/Restroom Availability: Park staff generally try to have the water on and shower buildings and dump stations open by mid April. Park staff generally start closing down shower buildings and turning off water and dump stations around mid-October depending upon the weather. If you are interested in camping in early April or later in October, there is no guarantee modern facilities will be available.

Modern conveniences such as water, flush toilets and shower buildings are closed during the winter months.

DISCLAIMER: Terms, Privacy Information Details of the State's Disclaimer: Terms, Privacy, & Warranty Information for this Web site are viewable on the State of Iowa home page and are incorporated herein by reference. For more, click on "Policy" information within the footer of any web page.

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Reservation Cancellation Policies A nonrefundable cancellation fee will be charged for each reservation cancelled, $5.00 for each reservation cancelled online and $7.00 for each reservation cancelled through the call center (1-877-427-2757) or online.

Camping Cancellations

  • Cancellations 2 or more days prior to arrival date: A cancellation fee will apply and no forfeiture of camping fees. The cancellation fee will be deducted from the camping fees paid and any remaining camping fees will be refunded.
  • Cancellations 1 day prior to arrival date: A cancellation fee will apply and customer will forfeit one night's camping fee. Any remaining camping fees will be refunded.
  • Cancellations day of arrival: A cancellation fee will apply and customer will forfeit two nights' camping fees. Any remaining camping fees will be refunded.
  • No Shows: If no attempt is made to cancel a reservation and a camper fails to arrive, no refund will be given unless extenuating circumstances are documented and approved by the DNR.
  • Note: If the original reservation payment of camping fees is less than the amount due to the DNR for the cancellation (cancellation fee and forfeiture fees), the DNR will keep the original reservation payment of camping fees, the customer will not receive a refund, and no additional payment is required.

Cabin, Lodge, Shelter Cancellations

  • Cancellations 30 or more days prior to arrival date: A cancellation fee will apply and no forfeiture of rental fees. The cancellation fee will be deducted from the rental fees paid and any remaining rental fees and tax will be refunded.
  • Cancellations 15-29 days prior to arrival date: A cancellation fee will apply and customer will forfeit one day/night's rental fee and tax. Any remaining rental fees and tax will be refunded.
  • Cancellations less than 15 days prior to arrival up to arrival date: A cancellation fee will apply and customer will forfeit two days/nights' rental fees and tax. Any remaining rental fees will be refunded. If the reservation was a one-day rental, the customer will have no refund of rental fees.
  • No Shows: If no attempt is made to cancel a reservation and a renter fails to arrive, no refund will be given unless extenuating circumstances are documented and approved by the DNR.
  • Note: If the original reservation payment of rental fees is less than the amount due to the DNR for the cancellation (cancellation fee and forfeiture fees), the DNR will keep the original reservation payment of rental fees, the customer will not receive a refund, and no additional payment is required.

Change Policy A nonrefundable change fee of $5 applies to each reservation item which is changed. All reservation changes must go through the call center (1-877-427-2757) or online.

The last day to change a camping reservation is 4 days prior to arrival if paying by credit card and 21 days prior to arrival if paying by check/money order. The last day to change a cabin, lodge or shelter reservation is 15 days prior to the arrival date.

The arrival date cannot be changed to a later date without losing the entire reservation when the departure date remains the same. However, the arrival date can be changed to an earlier date if the arrival and departure dates of the entire reservation change, that is allowed.

Rates subject to change; If you make changes to your reservation, the new rates may apply.

A reservation window is a rolling period of time a person can make a reservation for a campsite, cabin, day-use lodge or a shelter.

The window for reserving campsites is 3 months in advance and up to 2 days prior to the arrival date if paying by credit card, or 21 days if paying by check or money order. *Exception: Maquoketa Caves and Walnut Woods have a same day window, cut-off time of 9pm.

The window for reserving cabins, day-use lodges and shelters is 12 months in advance. reservations can be made up to 4 days prior to arrival during peak season (May 1 to October 15) and 7 days prior to arrival during the off season (October 16 to April 30).

Important 2022 dates: Memorial day weekend 3-day minimum (Fri-Sat-Sun), 3-month reservation window begins February 27th. 4th of July - since the 4th of July is on a Monday, the 3-day minimum (Fri-Sat-Sun) does apply, 3-month reservation window begins April 1st.  Labor day weekend 3-day minimum (Fri-Sat-Sun), 3-month reservation window begins June 2nd.

All ADA campsites are available for reservations. A reservable ADA campsite is marked with the international symbol of accessibility and is intended to be used by persons with a disability. If no one in your party needs an accessible site, please select another site unless this is the only site of your desired type available at the time of your request.

7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. (CST) M-F. 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (CST) Sat. Closed on Sundays, New Year's Day, Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas. The Call Center can be reached at 1-877-427-2757.

A customer will receive a confirmation letter for each campsite/cabin/shelter/lodge that is reserved. The letter will have information about the reservee, name of park where the reservation is, the facility reserved, the number of nights and the dates of the reservation and the amount due or the amount paid. The letter contains the change and cancellation policy and basic information about camping/cabin/shelter/lodge rentals.

If a customer provides an e-mail address, the confirmation letter will be automatically sent via e-mail. If no e-mail address is provided, the letter will be mailed.

Any camper may camp in an equestrian campground, but must pay the equestrian fee of $3/night.

Reservations can be made online or through the Call Center. A reservation fee is charged for each campsite or rental facility reserved per trip, regardless of the length of stay. Reservations made online are $4 per transaction.

Reservations made through the Call Center are $6 per transaction.

For camping stays during the peak season of May 1 through October 15, a customer is limited to reserving 5 campsites for a weekend stay at a particular campground. There is no limit on the number of campsites a person could reserve for a stay during the week (weekdays).

For camping stays during the off season, there is no limit to the number of campsites a person can reserve as long as the stays occur within the reservation window.

During the peak season of May 1 through October 31, there is a two-night minimum stay requirement (Friday/Saturday) for the weekends.

During the holidays, a three-night minimum stay is required. The three-night stay requirement for the 4th of July is required only when July 4th is on a Monday.

Picnic shelters and lodges may be reserved online at http://iowastateparks.reserveamerica.com or by calling the call center at 1-877-427-2757 during the hours of 7:00 am to 7:00 pm (CST) Monday through Friday or 8:00 a.m .to 4:00 p.m. (CST) Saturday.  The call center is closed on Sunday.

All youth group campsites are reservable and for use by chaperoned organized youth groups only. a chaperoned organized youth group is defined as a group of persons 17 years of age and under which is sponsored by and accompanied by adult representatives of a formal organization including, but not limited to, boy scouts and girl scouts of america, churches, young men's and women's christian association. chaperoned organized youth group does not include families of members of a formal organization.

Campers may camp up to 14 consecutive nights in a state park/recreation area. Campers must then vacate the park (including removing the camping unit) for a minimum of 3 nights before camping in that park again. Campers at Lake Manawa and Walnut Woods State Park may not camp more than 14 nights in any 30-day period.