Camping at the Lake of the Ozarks - Things You Need to Know

Camping at the Lake of the Ozarks can be a way to have a very nice vacation at a famous Midwestern resort area, and save quite a bit of money. However, unlike some other lakes that are owned by the Army Corps of Engineers, there is not nearly as much publicly owned land around this lake as some other lakes. If the main activity you wish to enjoy is swimming or other water related activities, finding a campground with access to the lake is paramount. The purpose of this article is not to put in a plug for any private campgrounds, but to give general information on where to look, what general price structure you will be find, and what the general atmosphere is in these areas.


Public Campgrounds:

The Missouri State Park System operates a very nice campground at Lake of the Ozarks State Park. There are sites designed for tent campers as well as the RV crowd. The associated services are also provided such as a dump station, showers and laundry. These services are operated during the visitor season between April and October. There is also a Camper Store located near the campground entrance. Campsites run between $10 per night and $26 per night (as of March 2010), depending on the site you will be using. The Missouri State Parks also allows reservations to be made for some of the sites, and on busy weekends the sites can go fast. A reservation is a good idea. Reservations can be made by calling 877-422-6766, or by visiting the Missouri State Parks Website.


One very nice aspect of this park is that there is a multitude of recreational opportunities right in the park. One very interesting attraction in the park is Ozark Caverns. There is a variety of different tours that are available. The cave is closed mid-October until mid-April. For more information, call 573-346-2500.

In addition to this attraction, at the park there are hiking trails, boat launches, fishing access, and much more. It really can serve as a complete destination, but it is close enough to the other Lake of the Ozarks attractions.

Private Campgrounds:

There is a multitude of private campgrounds at or near Lake of the Ozarks. Most of these are very reasonably priced - as a matter of fact, no more expensive than in the state park. Many of these campgrounds offer sites right on the water. Some offer a variety of services like boat rentals, fishing guide services, wifi, fishing tackle and bait, groceries and more. Some of these campgrounds are located centrally to shopping and the many Lake of the Ozarks attractions. Some are located at more remote parts of Lake of the Ozarks, if that is what you are after. Check with each one to see what discounts they offer. Do a Google search for private campgrounds at the lake. 



Fishing Guides:

If you are looking for you own fishing guide, as opposed to the one offered at the facility where you might be staying, there are quite a few from which to choose. Some will come an pick you up at your site (if near the lake). Most will have you come to the marina from which they operate. There are a lot of good reasons to hire a fishing guide on this lake. It is a very large body of water, and finding the great spots can take some time. Hiring a guide will smooth this process considerably. Once you have hired a guide once, you will often be able to go out on your own afterwards.

The Lake of the Ozarks can be an outstanding vacation destination. However, because of its limited public access, advanced research is the key to an enjoyable stay. Hopefully, this information will get you pointed in the right direction.


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