Best Camping in Kansas

Camping in Kansas

By Alex Murphy

Kansas, known for the Wizard of Oz, long stretches of flat prairie fields, and as the center of the contiguous United States, is also home to several rivers and even forests. And even more of a surprise, it's not as flat as many believe, as you slowly gain elevation traveling from east to west, ending at about 4,000 feet before hitting Colorado.

Tourists in the Sunflower State can also learn a lot about history, particularly about settlers heading west with some forts and other areas preserved.

See a map of all camping in Kansas.

Kansas State Parks

In total, there are 28 Kansas State Parks, and officials say they offer everything from biking and horseback riding to hunting and fishing with some unique spots for visitors to check out.

Starting with El Dorado State Park, the park is the state's largest and is a big draw for anyone interested in fishing with campsites near El Dorado Lake. This park has multiple campgrounds along the lake with Walnut River Area and Bluestem Point Area on opposite shores.

For a great mix of RV sites and tent camping, there is also Cedar Bluff State Park, where visitors can see the tall limestone bluffs that makeup parts of the park.

National Parks in Kansas

A lot of Kansas history is focused on the late 1800s with its formation and reconstruction following the Civil War.

National Historic Sites in Kansas include Fort Scott which was a military base for the U.S. Army during the Civil War, and Fort Larned, another military base, this one focused on protecting travelers along the Santa Fe Trail, which led west.

Visitors can also visit Nicodemus, a town originally established by newly freed slaves following the Civil War.

Free Camping in Kansas

When it comes to Free Camping in Kansas, some campsites have great views and include a chance to go fishing. The state has multiple State Lakes that often allow free camping. This includes Leavenworth State Fishing Lake, not far Topeka and Lawrence, and Pottawatomie State Fishing Lake, a little further west.

For those traveling through the state and requiring a location close to highways like I-70, the best bet is businesses like Walmart that allow people to stay overnight in their parking lot. Be sure to get permission from management before settling in for the night.

RV Parks in Kansas

A great way to see the state is by overnighting at some of the RV Parks in Kansas.

Anyone looking to be near Kansas City for barbecue ribs or a Royals or Chiefs game can stay on the Kansas side of the Missouri state line at Walnut Grove RV Park. For those visiting the University of Kansas, a similar option can be found at Kansas City West-Lawrence KOA, just down the road in Lawrence, KS.

On the opposite side of the state, just before the Colorado border and off of I-70, is High Plains Campground and RV Resort.

Kansas National Forests

In the southwest corner of the state, just north of the Oklahoma panhandle, sits Cimarron National Grassland. The area is the largest piece of public land in Kansas and surprisingly has a fairly high elevation as it sits closer to the Rocky Mountains. Those at the park can check out fishing ponds and miles of the Santa Fe Trail where wagons once traveled through bringing western settlers.

The National Grassland offers some of the best camping in Kansas, including free dispersed camping and established campgrounds like Cimarron Campground that sits along a creek.

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Recent Kansas Campground Reviews

Jan 26, 2022

"First-come, first-served..."

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Great spot for an overnight stop as long as you can get there before it fills up. We camped here one night in August 2021. There were only three sites left when we arrived around 4:30p, they were all filled shortly after arriving. It was convenient to have electricity (especially with the 90+ degree Kansas summer weather) and water and dump...
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Gimme Shelter
18 reviews
Lawrence, KS

Clinton State Park

Jan 22, 2022

"Winter stay"

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Stayed here passing thru KS on a pretty cold night. Plug in and water were available at the site. It was an open grassland type site. Woke, opened the blind by the bed and saw a fox catch a mouse right outside the window. Also saw a rough legged hawk hunting. Saw deer and rabbits and many small birds, dark eyed junco I believe. I’d...
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CO Wanderers
12 reviews
Linn Valley, KS

Linn Valley Lakes

Jan 19, 2022

"Great Spot to Camp"

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Stopped here on our journey south, great find. It’s just off US 69, with easy access. Our site had 30 amp service and water. We met Sheri Loveland, the Park Manager, at the Marina during check in, very friendly and helpful. We would definitely stop here again.

George
1 review
Dodge City, KS

Watersports Campground

Jan 13, 2022

"Good place to stay not fancy "

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Quiet, friendly helpful staff, occasional traffic in the park, big rig friendly, pull thru sites, ATT cell coverage ok

Allen
1 review
Jan 12, 2022

"It worked for the night "

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Easy to find and not busy. I was the only camper. No facilities. Gravel sites. Most not level. Some local traffic going to the back of the park (not sure why).

Brinx
13 reviews