Yurt camping at DeGray Lake Resort State Park / Courtesy Arkansas State Parks
Ah, the fall. The weather is getting cooler, the leaves are starting to show off with their brilliant annual autumn display, and jack-o-lanterns and decorative gourds adorn many of the front steps and porches around town.
For me, and probably a lot of you, this time of year always makes me want to pack up my tent and a sleeping bag, and head into the woods for a weekend around the campfire with family and friends.
There are a ton of places here in Arkansas to do just that, and thanks to some of these unique accommodation options offered at Arkansas State Parks, you don’t even have to expend much effort to head out and enjoy the outdoors for a weekend or overnight stay and enjoy a little bit of nature in The Natural State.
Here’s a roundup of some of the other options for camping at Arkansas state parks.
In addition to all of these, there are countless places for tent camping, including hike-in, or car-camping options at state parks all over Arkansas.
For more information, or to book a stay, visit arkansasstateparks.com.
Stay in a yurt
A yurt at Petit Jean State Park / Courtesy photo
Did you know there are several places you can rent a yurt in Arkansas?
Yurts are portable round tents that have been used by nomadic peoples of Central Asia for more than 3,000 years.
In Arkansas, you can rent a more modern version of the yurt, complete with electricity, wood floors, a lantern, a stove, and an ice chest, at several state parks.
They are available at DeGray Lake Resort State Park (about a 40-minute drive south of Hot Springs), at Lake Catherine State Park (also near Hot Springs, about 20 minutes to the southeast), Lake Charles State Park (about 40 minutes northwest of Jonesboro), and Petit Jean State Park (about a half hour southeast of Russellville.
The yurts rent for around $50-$60 per night. For a bit more info, take a tour at this site.
Rent an RV
Ever wanted to live that RV-life, but don’t want to fork over the money or figure out where to park it when you aren’t using it?
There are also a handful of state parks in Arkansas that offer RV rentals.
The RVs have heat and air conditioning, private bathrooms and showers, refrigerators, microwaves, and working kitchen areas, decks, and gas grills. Some even offer televisions. The RVs are already set up, and ready to use (so you don’t have to figure out how to park them).
RV rentals cost around $85 per night.
Love the idea of tent camping, but hate the idea of buying all the necessary gear? Arkansas has you covered there as well.
Two Arkansas State Parks – Bull Shoals-White River State Park, and Lake Catherine State Park – offer pre-set-up tent sites so you can enjoy the outdoors without all the packing up that comes with traditional camping.
Rent-a-camp sites offer a 9×12 tent with a wooden floor, and include two cots, two lockable storage boxes, a lantern, a propane stove, and an ice chest. All you’ll need are linens for the two beds.
Rent-a-camp sites run around $40 per night.
Camper cabins at Devil’s Den State Park / Courtesy photo
Camper cabins are another alternative to regular tent camping, but are generally less expensive than full-service cabins.
Camper cabins still offer heat and air conditioning, beds, a dining table, along with a screened in porch and an outdoor picnic area with a dining table. Camper cabin users must supply their own bed linens, and need to use a nearby bathhouse for restrooms.
Camper cabins are available at Devil’s Den State Park (near West Fork in northwest Arkansas), Lake Ouachita State Park (near Hot Springs), and Crowley’s Ridge State Park (in east Arkansas north of Paragould).
Camper cabins cost around $65 per night.
Remember the wild west days, when cowboys would ride the range on their horses, and stop alongside a stream to make camp and cook a pot of beans?
Well, you can do some of that in Arkansas, too. There are horse camp facilities at two state parks – Devil’s Den State Park (near West Fork), and Village Creek (in east Arkansas near Wynn).
Devil’s Den offers complete campgrounds for equestrians to camp with their horses, featuring electrical hookups, a bathhouse, and wash bays for horses.
Village Creek State Park offers 30 campsites with water and electrical hookups, with a picnic tables, grills, a bathhouse, horse wash bays, and two on-site horse stables complete with water, electricity, and ceiling fans.