For RV travelers, it’s hard to find a more convenient state to visit than Iowa. There’s no shortage of destinations to visit and camp at for a night or longer, and they’re all road trip-friendly. And, Elk Rock State Park, located about 42 miles southeast of Des Moines, is one such Iowa destination you have to visit.
With hundreds of species of fish, trees, and mammals to see and enjoy around the lake, Elk Rock State Park’s riches speak for themselves. To see why, with an RV rental, Elk Rock State Park should be on your list of upcoming vacation spots, read on!
Elk Rock State Park Facts
While Iowans may be intimately familiar with Elk Rock State Park, intrepid travelers from afar may need more of an introduction. Let these Elk Rock State Park facts serve as your gateway to knowledge about your next RV destination!
- Elk Rock State Park was established in 1978.
- The 15,000-acre Red Rock Reservoir, otherwise known as Lake Red Rock, is one of the main features of Elk Rock State Park and is Iowa’s largest body of water.
- Lake Red Rock was created as a result of the building of the Red Rock Dam by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
- The Elk Rock State Park area has a history of Native American habitation going back more than 5,000 years.
- More than 200 species of birds, 43 species of fish, and 54 kinds of trees can be found at Elk Rock State Park.
Best Elk Rock State Park RV Parks and Campgrounds
Elk Rock State Park is a popular destination for campers of all kinds. Whether you’re interested in going RV camping in Elk Rock State Park or prefer parking at one of the RV parks near Elk Rock State Park, you have plenty of choices either way.
Marion County Park
Amenities: Far more than just a camping ground, Marion County Park has much to offer those who want to call it their RV’s temporary overnight home. There are the expected amenities for a big park, like basketball courts and baseball and softball fields, but also a 7-acre lake for fishing, a historical village maintained by the Marion County Historical Society, and showers and restrooms.
Capacity: 99 RV sites
More Information: Marion County Park
The Crow’s Nest RV Resort
Amenities: The Crow’s Nest’s amenities include full hookups, private showers, Wi-Fi, fire rings, and picnic tables. There’s a stream and small hills running through the grounds, making this one of the more unique Elk Rock State Park RV sites to stay at. For those visiting any time of year, there are various events held for the enjoyment of guests.
Capacity: 49 RV sites
More Information: The Crow’s Nest RV Resort
Elk Rock State Park Equestrian Campground
Amenities: If you want to go RV camping in Elk Rock State Park itself, then the Equestrian Campground is your best bet. If you’re staying here for Elk Rock State Park camping, you don’t have to leave when everyone else does. There are electric and non-electric sites, and in wintertime, the modern bathrooms are closed until spring; portable bathrooms are available instead, and electricity is available throughout the winter.
Capacity: 83 RV sites
More Information: Elk Rock State Park Equestrian Campground
Griff’s Valley View RV Park and Campground
Amenities: Griff’s Valley View RV Park is good for Elk Rock State Park camping for the whole family. There are recreation rooms and coin games, play and exercise equipment, restrooms and private showers, and a recreational pond. You can make use of the laundry facilities while you’re there, too. Keep in mind that in the winter months, they charge electricity usage fees.
Capacity: 142 RV sites
More Information: Griff’s Valley View RV Park and Campground
Webb’s RV Park
Amenities: Located southeast from the hustle and the bustle of Des Moines, wide-open spaces characterize this Elk Rock State Park camping area. Full hookups are available, and boating enthusiasts can make use of their boat ramp into a stocked pond that will provide fishing opportunities for eager anglers.
Capacity: 50 RV sites
More Information: Webb’s RV Park
Best Time To Visit Elk Rock State Park for RV Camping
The best time to visit Elk Rock State Park for you will depend on your tolerance for rain and cold temperatures, or your love for warmer temps and outdoorsy activities. Every season has its charms, so have a look at the seasonal breakdown to choose the right time for you to go Elk Rock State Park camping.
December, January, and February are Elk Rock State Park’s snowiest months. There isn’t usually too much accumulation, but when it melts it can make trails a bit mushy. In any case, average highs in winter range from the low 30s Fahrenheit in December to the high 20s and low 30s in January and February. So, it’s important to bundle up if you’re planning on spending a lot of time outside of your RV. Many RV parks near Elk Rock State Park can be closed during winter, so check while planning to ensure your ideal campground is available.
As temperatures warm from March’s average highs in the upper 40s to May’s upper 60s, the amount of rainfall increases accordingly. More than half of March, April, and May see measurable precipitation, with May tending to be the rainiest month (with an average of just over 5 inches of rain). If a little (or a lot of) rain doesn’t get you down, then spring is a great time to get out and enjoy Elk Rock State Park’s 13 miles of trails. Spring is when many of the Elk Rock State Park RV campgrounds open up and start to fill up –– so book early!
With summer highs averaging in the upper 70s to lower 80s, it’s no surprise how popular Elk Rock State Park can be in warmer months. The humidity that stays around 80% makes for ideal weather to get out on the water and enjoy it in all the ways you can. The wildlife will be teeming in summer, so summer is maybe the best time to visit Elk Rock State Park for nature watching, particularly for birding enthusiasts. Keep in mind, though, that summertime at Elk Rock State Park can be just as rainy as the springtime, so bring an umbrella!
Keep an eye out for white pelicans and bald eagles this time of year, as dozens of species of migratory birds pass through on their way to warmer climates. The sheer variety of tree and plant life in Elk Rock State Park make it a wonderful place to see fall colors, so bring your camera along and go on a hike. The temperatures will be on a significant downward trend, with September highs in the upper 70s, October highs in the lower 60s, and November highs hovering in the upper 40s.
Keep in mind that many Elk Rock State Park RV camping areas begin winding down operations and closing up for the winter this time of year.
Things To Do in Elk Rock State Park
Elk Rock State Park is a popular destination in the Hawkeye State, and no matter the season you choose to go RV camping near Elk Rock State Park, you’re in luck. There are many things to do in Elk Rock State Park, so have a look at what’s in store for you!
- Fishing. Bass, catfish, crappie, and walleye call Lake Red Rock home, and anglers from near and far visit to catch them at Elk Rock State Park.
- Kayaking and Canoeing. There’s plenty of room on Lake Red Rock’s 15,000 acres for those who want to get on the water in a variety of ways.
- Hiking and Biking. There are 13 miles of trails awaiting eager hikers and mountain bikers, and you can use them any time of year.
- Horseback Riding. Equestrians can also make use of the 13 miles of trails shared with mountain bikers and hikers.
- Birdwatching. Hundreds of birds either call Elk Rock State Park home or visit while migrating each year, making birding one of the easiest things to do in Elk Rock State Park.
Tips for Visiting Elk Rock State Park
There are a few more things you should know before you visit Elk Rock State Park. To make the most of your visit, have a look at the following extra Elk Rock State Park facts and tips to remember before you arrive.
- If you’re going fishing at Elk Rock State Park and you’re 16 years or older, you will need an Iowa fishing license.
- Since the 13 miles of trails are multi-use, mountain bikers, hikers, and equestrians should follow right-of-way etiquette when encountering others.
- There is one main picnic area with a reservable shelter at Elk Rock State Park.
- If you’re not staying at one of the RV campgrounds in Elk Rock State Park, you need to leave the park by 10:30 pm.
- Quiet hours at RV campgrounds in Elk Rock State Park are from 10:30 pm. to 6 am.
RV Rental for Elk Rock State Park
When visiting with an RV rental, Elk Rock State Park provides many opportunities to get out on the water or explore trails in many different ways. As for those who haven’t yet booked an RV, Cruise America is available to help get you on the road to Iowa.
With a huge selection of RVs equipped with modern amenities, you can trust Cruise America to rent you the best vehicle for your needs. Get in touch with Cruise America today to book an RV rental for your next great road trip adventure!