In Des Moines, near and far from Des Moines, Saylorville Lake ranks first among all favorite camping sites. You can go hiking, fishing, and even camping within a 6-acre area of the Lake.

These campgrounds are well maintained, aligned with modern facilities, beautiful scenes, and easy to access. It offers various outdoor recreations with a diversity of lands like wetlands, woodland, and prairies.

Campgrounds of the Saylorville Lake:

Within the 6-acre area of the Lake, you are offered four campgrounds with 500+ campsites. These campgrounds are aligned with world-class camping facilities like dumping stations, showers, reserve booths, and restrooms. Let us discuss the campsites and facilities of these four most popular grounds:

  • Prairie flower campground
  • Cherry glen campground
  • Bob shelter campground
  • Acorn valley campground

Prairie flower campground:

Prairie flower campground

It is the vastest camping ground of Saylorville Lake which ends on the marina and the oak grove beach. It spreads across an area of 60 acres with prairie and woodlands.

The most loving things that make it more attractive for tourists are the concrete pad trail, wide campground, and beautiful scenes. It also has 25 miles long Neal Smith trail that goes through the campground along with the beautiful natural scenes.

In this campground, there are five loops for the individual's campsite and ten loops for the group's sites with relative variance. Now we will describe the individual loop facilities:

  • Stylish restrooms and showers
  • Dumping stations with two stalls
  • Four playground
  • Portable water
  • 152 electric areas  that can be reserved
  • Ten groups of sites with electricity
  • 60+ sites with the best green scenes circle around
  • Most sites have the concrete pads
  • Located near the beach (marina)
  • Each loop with single restroom and shower
  • Up to 6 vehicles per site
  • Up to 6 guests per site
  • Campfire and pets allowed

Cherry Glen Campground:

Cherry Glen Campground

This ground includes the most accessible access to the fun area like Lake, beach, and boat ramp. This campground covers 13 acres east of Saylorville Lake. The Neal Smith Trail is on the campground opening, extending to the nearby visitor and prairie areas.

This area has a linear series of the attached loops. Now we will discuss the accessories by which this area is designed:

  • 125 reserving sites with electricity
  • The trail is mostly gravel
  • Two playground
  • Dumping station
  • Portable water
  • Stylish restrooms and showers
  • Boat ramp
  • Up to 6 vehicles per site
  • Up to 6 guests per site
  • Pet and campfire allowed

Bob Shetler Campground

Bob Shetler Campground

This campground is designed so that there is a small camping loop on the east side and the other small camping loop on the west side. This campground is not too large, mostly grassy, and good for the picnic because of its beach location.

It is along the Des Moines River, so it's good for fishing at the river point. You will find fewer lake views in this area due to the river site.

The campground has two well-furnished restrooms and showers in the central area. It is also fast-way access to the Neal Smith Trail. The main area of the campground is a single loop with six campsites, each with eight short lanes.

You can also find the dam and the visitor center of the south center of the Saylor vile lake. Now we will discuss the campground facilities:

  • Fish clean point
  • Two playground
  • Portable water
  • Dumping point
  • Stylish restrooms and showers
  • 67 reserving sites with electricity
  • The most trail is made of gravel and concrete
  • Up to 6 guests per site
  • Up to 6 vehicles on each site
  • Pets and campfire allowed

Acorn Valley Campground

Acorn Valley Campground

This campground is enthusiastic for the tourist tent because of the grassiest land. Acorn valley campground spreads across an area of 26 acres. Mostly the area is covered with the shady trees of the Bur Oaks. This campground is attractive for the visitor due to the tress green beauty and the silent nature of the area.

You can enjoy camping in one loop along the roadside south of the campground while the facilities like electricity, showers, restrooms, and playground are designed in another loop. Now we will discuss the facilitated loop qualities:

  • Stylish showers and restrooms
  • Dumping point
  • Two playgrounds
  • Portable water
  • Most trail area is paved
  • 95 electric sites that can reserve
  • Primarily it has 54 tent sites
  • Two group tent sites, one is specific for the youth only
  • Alcohol is not allowed on this campground
  • Pets and campfire is allowed
  • Up to 6 guests per site
  • Up to 6 vehicles per site
Campgrounds Near Des Moines, Iowa: Best Sites For Camping
Des Moines, Iowa’s capital, has many beautiful lakes, caravan parks, rural plains, and campgrounds. As central Iowa gets too cold in winter, Des Moines, with a long summer spell, is a good site for camping, boating, and many recreational activities.

Regulations of the Saylorville Lake Camping Site

The regulations of the reservation, facilities and in-depth information about the site are here:

  • Non-reserved camping areas are always reserved on the first come and first serve base.
  • All campers must stop and register themselves before entering the campground.
  • Campers who have not registered within 24 hours of check-in will release their reservation on the first come and first serve base.
  • Feel free to contact the reservation booth for about any alternation in the plan or query.
  • Twenty-four hours reservation websites are available with the check-in time of 4 pm. So you can reserve the site for upcoming days.
  • You can call any query at the toll-free number 877-444-6777 of the national recreation reservation service (NRRS) all 24 hours.
  • Reservations are always available for the prairie flower campground, Cherry Glen campground, and Bob shelter.

Important Note:

  • Saylorville Lake campgrounds are usually open from April/ May till September/ October every year.
  • Youth group campgrounds are specific for the youth organizations, with 24 campsites well aligned with all electricity, dining, and water supply facilities.

You can also watch “Saylor Ville Lake” in this video:


What is the depth of Saylorville Lake?

Saylorville Lake has a depth of 11 m.

Is Taylorville Lake have blue-green algae?

Des Moines River is one of the most vital water sources among 500,000 people in central Lowa, where the Saylorville Lake discharges. So the Des Moines water workers take extra care of water conditions in Saylorville, where the toxic blue-green algae.

Is Saylorville Lake good for swimming?

Saylorville has two swimming beaches. One is the sandpiper beach located on the north of the Lake, and the second is the oak grove beach towards the east of the Lake.

Which species are found in Saylorville Lake?


Brown Trout

Smallmouth Bass

Largemouth Bass

Green sunfish

Wrap up:

Saylorville Lake is one of the most visited tourist sites in Des Moines. This Lake is famous for its four camping grounds where you can enjoy all outdoor recreational activities. You will facilitate all modern accessories like electricity, water supply, dumping stations, playground, etc.

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