Best Camping in Minnesota

Camping in Minnesota

By Alex Murphy

Minnesota, appropriately nicknamed The Land of a 10,000 Lakes, is an outdoor adventurer's dream spot, with plenty of places to explore and a few great cities to visit as well.

While the majority of the state lives in the Minneapolis area, to the north, visitors will find access to Lake Superior and miles of canoe trails in a National Park, while the more rural western half of the state shares a border with the Dakotas.

Visitors will want to grab a jacket as they check out what makes Minnesota known as "the Star of the North."

See a map of all camping in Minnesota.

Minnesota State Parks

There are 67 Minnesota State Parks, and many of them have access for those looking to tent camp or park their RV.

For visitors looking to stay close to Minneapolis, they can check out popular destinations with Great River Bluffs State Park, which sits on the Mississippi River, or Whitewater State Park, a summertime swimming spot with plenty of private campsites.

A little off the beaten path, campers will find Itasca State Park, which protects the headwaters of the Mississippi, or enjoy a waterfront campground near Lake Superior at Jay Cooke State Park.

National Parks in Minnesota

When it comes to land managed by the National Parks Service, Minnesota has a park, monuments, and protected river areas.

Voyageurs National Park covers the northern border of the state and is great for canoeing and kayaking with miles of waterways and protected islands to explore. Campers looking for campsites with easy water access can check out Wooden Frog Campground or Ash River Campground.

History buffs can check out Grand Portage National Monument, where fur trading took place on Lake Superior. RV camping is available nearby at the Grand Portage Casino RV Park.

Heading south, Pipestone National Monument features unique pipestone rocks often considered sacred to those who have called the area home for generations.

In St. Paul, visitors of the Mississippi National River & Recreation Area can camp nearby at Lake Elmo County Park Preserve.

Finally, the St. Croix National Riverway is an area protected by the Federal Government, compromising hundreds of miles of riverways on the Minnesota and Wisconsin border.

National Forests in Minnesota

Minnesota has two National Forest, Chippewa National Forest, and Superior National Forest, and both are found in the northern part of the state.

Superior National Forest is known for its Boundary Waters Canoe Area, which covers more than one million acres and has 1,200 miles worth of canoe routes. The area also has plenty of camping for paddlers at Crescent Lake Campground, with easy access to the Lake.

In Chippewa National Forest, visitors will find more than 1,300 different lakes. Many campgrounds offer sites with lake-views, including Cass Lake Loop.

Minnesota RV Parks

With most of the state outside the Twin Cities being fairly rural, the state has hundreds of Minnesota RV Parks to choose from.

Campers can stay outside popular spots like Voyageurs National Park at Pines of the Kabetogama Resort or near Lake Superior and have access to a marina at Lakehead Boat Basin.

If you're staying closer to Minneapolis and the southern part of the state, you can stay just outside city limits at Minneapolis Northwest KOA.

Free Camping in Minnesota

Finally, the Land of 10,000 Lakes' camping experience almost guarantees water nearby, and finding free camping in Minnesota to enjoy all the water is easy.

Visitors looking to save money and be closer to the wilderness can stay at Cedar Bay Campground for easy lake access or Harriet Lake Rustic Campground in Superior National Forest.

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Recent Minnesota Campground Reviews

Silver Bay, MN

Lax Lake Resort

Nov 06, 2023

"Friendly Staff, Great Access To Tettegouche"

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After checking three area campsites on a late Friday afternoon and non having anything available, Lax Lake was our fourth stop and they were able to accommodate, thank goodness. Staff was very friendly and knowledgeable and include a friendly feline named Tomorrow that we all took a shine to. Not all sites are created equal and our site #6 could...
Read More

Oct 26, 2023

"Free Dump Station Open 24/7"

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Nice, clean facility with water that is accessible 24/7 and it’s free!!!

1 review
Oct 25, 2023

"Convenient Dump station"

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Easy access from 169. Nice slope to the hole. No rinse water. Clean restrooms at the same site.

2 reviews
Oct 24, 2023

"did not use just happen to see the dump sign on pole "

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it on the left side of station back a does have water which i guess is potable .. Its a free dump and easy to get in and get out.. the station is just before the hwy 120 left heading to Crookston area..

84 reviews
Oct 22, 2023

"Open And Free"

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It is raised off of the pavement. Too high for our small camper. Confirmed that there is no rinse water.

2 reviews