If you are looking for a campground that’s open year round, then you must visit Rock Creek State Park. A short drive east of Des Moines at exit 173 in Kellogg will get you there. In the back 40, as I call it from Kellogg, with the address being 5627 Rock Creek East, you will find this 1,697-acre gem.
When it comes to camping, Rock Creek is one of the best for water edge spots, and overall view of the lake from any site. The park has electrical hookups and modern showers in two locations. Advance campsite reservations can be made through the park reservation system. There are 196 camping spots total in the park. Ninety five are non electric sites. Seventy five sites are available to reserve with electricity, with others as walk in only.
Want to for a picnic, or hold a small family function?
Rock Creek is a popular picnic spot with two shelters. The open picnic shelter may be reserved on-line through the park reservation system. A beautiful shelter sits next to the lake by the beach. Hiking, horseback riding, cross country skiing and snowmobiling are enjoyed on a system of multi-use trails around the park.
There are plenty of activities to keep you busy. You can swim at the clean beach, you can go boating with your boat, or if you do not own a boat you can rent one. But remember that you can only go 5m.p.h. The fishing is good with 15 miles of shore line bringing you opportunities to catch bass, crappie, bluegill, catfish, walleye and bullhead. You can buy bait and supplies on site. I have to say, this is probably my favorite part of camping here. I enjoy the view and I like watching the birds while I sit fishing.
The park concession store offers boat rentals for pontoons, fishing boats, canoes, kayaks, and pedal boats, They also have live bait, tackle, ice, firewood, fishing licenses, camping accessories, convenience store items, and snacks. The number for the concession is 641-236-3876 or 641-485-2445.
If you feel like wondering into town, you can find Kellogg just 3 miles away, or Newton is four miles south and ten miles west on Highway 6 and is the county seat. Grinnell is seven miles east of Rock Creek and is the home of Grinnell College. In those towns you can find ; ATM/Cash Machine, Church, Fuel, Golf, Grocery Store, Hospital, and a farm store with limited RV supplies.
Upgrades and Changes
Recent construction was finished to convert sites 1-10 to be 50 amp. Next they will be putting in new gravel pads on those sites. This will be great for the big rigs. At this point, in my opinion there is only a couple of changes I would like to see in the park. I would like to see some additional lighting at the playground. It is next to the bath house but gets very dark. The park does have horseshoe pits, but they are missing the rods. So I would like to see those put in.
Review by Deann B.
DNR Website and Brochure Links
For more information or to reserve your site visit
Rock Creek State Park–5727 Rock Creek East Kellogg, IA 50135
ph. 641-236-3722 Rock_Creek@dnr.iowa.gov