If you’re planning a trip in Iowa, there is no shortage of outdoor adventures to embark on. From calm scenic trails to breathtaking views of the country, the Hawkeye State has everything you need for a relaxing and rejuvenating outdoor vacation. If you are looking for your next camping destination, look no further than Fort Defiance State Park.
Situated at the point where the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers meet, Fort Defiance State Park is a natural wonder with historical importance dating back to the mid-19th century. Read on to discover important facts about Fort Defiance State Park, things to do, the best time of year to visit, the best RV parks in Fort Defiance State Park, and more!
Fort Defiance State Park Facts
Before you pack your suitcase and head out to one of Fort Defiance State Park’s RV campgrounds, it will be helpful to know a few facts about the park and its facilities.
- On this land in 1803, Lewis and Clark spent time training their team how to use their navigational equipment before their journey began.
- Fort Defiance was built by Captain William Ingham and the Northern Border Brigade in response to the Sioux Uprising that started around the Iowa Lakes and resulted in the Spirit Lake Massacre.
- The park is home to 221 acres of rugged woodland.
- Like all state parks in Iowa, entrance into Fort Defiance State Park is free, making it a great destination for families and couples traveling on a budget.
- Fort Defiance State Park is one of the largest confluences in the world
- Fort Defiance State Park does not offer campsites inside of the park. There is only a day-use lodge and shelters on-site.
Now that you are more familiar with the park, its history, and what it has to offer, it is time to learn more about RV campgrounds near Fort Defiance State Park.
Fort Defiance State Park RV Parks and Campgrounds
With an RV, you can explore all that Fort Defiance State Park has to offer. Read on for some of the options for RV campgrounds near Fort Defiance State Park.
Fieldstone RV Park
If you are looking for a RV park with comfort, try Fieldstone RV Park. Here you will find 200 deluxe RV sites including full hookups complete with water, sewer, and individual electric meters. Other amenities include on-site laundry for longer stays. Located close to Fort Defiance and the Iowa Great Lakes, you will have easy access to all that the area has to offer.
Capacity: 200 RV sites
More Information: Fieldstone RV Park
Ranch RV Park
Planning a longer trip to Fort Defiance State Park? Park your RV in one of Ranch RV Park’s seasonal or yearly spaces. Ranch RV Park has 52 sites approximately 30 feet wide by 70 to 80 feet deep that include full hookups and free Wi-Fi. Surrounded by trees and situated right at the edge of a bike trail, your stay at Ranch RV Park will be comfortable and serene. Please note that this park does not offer overnight, or weekly stays.
Capacity: 52 RV sites
More Information: Ranch RV Park
Camp Boji Seasonal RV Park
Located conveniently next to restaurants and grocery stores in the heart of Okoboji, Camp Boji has 53 seasonal RV sites awaiting you and your travel companions. Enjoy full hookups and spacious sites only 20 minutes away from Fort Defiance State Park. Camp Boji offers monthly and seasonal reservations.
Capacity: 53 RV sites
More Information: Camp Boji Seasonal RV Park
Best Time To Visit Fort Defiance State Park for RV Camping
No matter what time of year you are planning to visit the park, there is always something to do. Read on for what activities are available each season, so you and your travel buddies can determine the best times to visit Fort Defiance State Park.
While temperatures during the day can reach highs of 65 degrees Fahrenheit during winter, it is important to take into consideration the possibility of freezing temperatures –– especially into the night. In the winter months, expect temperatures anywhere from -5 to 50 degrees. Luckily, most of the RV campsites near Fort Defiance State Park provide electrical hookups, so you can stay cozy and warm in your RV.
When the snow melts, Fort Defiance State Park becomes alive with new blooms and active wildlife. While the temperatures do warm up to the 60s or even low 70s into March, be prepared for overcast weather and temperatures that drop into the 30s at night. For visitors who love bird watching, this may be the best season to visit. The many scenic overlooks provide perfect places to appreciate native wildlife.
In the summertime, visitors can enjoy all that Fort Defiance State Park has to offer with temperatures climbing into the mid 80s. On days that reach temperatures of above 90 degrees, complemented by high humidity levels, you can cool off by participating in water recreation at one of the rivers at the head of the park. The summer is prime time for renting an RV and camping near Fort Defiance State Park.
As the summer heat burns off, the trees of Fort Defiance State Park turn shades of fall –– from burnt amber to deep mahogany and all the golden tones between. The fall is a great time for RV camping near Fort Defiance State Park; the temperatures are comfortable, ranging from the 40s at night to 80s during the day and the sun shines more days than not. If you are planning an event at Fort Defiance State Park, the fall would be a perfect time. A day-use lodge, constructed in the style of an old army outpost, is an excellent place for group gatherings such as reunions and wedding receptions.
Things To Do in Fort Defiance State Park
Now that you have an idea of the climate in Fort Defiance State Park, let’s dive into some of the activities visitors can enjoy all year round.
There are six miles of multi-purpose trails in Fort Defiance State Park. These trails lead through woods, hilltops, and prairies offering beautiful views of wildlife and vegetation during the summer and spring months.
In the winter, lace up your boots, strap on your traction cleats, and hit the hiking trails which are perfect for winter hikes and snowshoeing. When snow has fallen, two miles of these same trails are groomed for cross-country skiing.
If you love to bike, Fort Defiance State Park is a wonderful place to take a scenic tour. During the warmer months, when the ground is clear of snow, bikers are invited to adventure on all six miles of trails in the park. Need a break? The park offers plenty of resting spots along the trails, including several rustic swings for your lunch break.
For equestrian visitors, the park also has trails suitable for horses. Day visitors and RV campers in Fort Defiance State Park can horse ride on five miles of the park’s six miles of trails, including Prairie Loop, Flume, Ridge and South Prairie Loop, and the West Prairie Loop and Spring Creek.
Picnicking is a popular pastime in Fort Defiance State Park, especially during the sunny summer months. Both day visitors and RV campers can make use of the scenic picnic areas and shelters available within the park on a first-come, first-served basis. Pack a picnic to enjoy in the park’s picnic areas and enjoy the winter views from the scenic overlooks.
One of the favorite activities of visitors to Fort Defiance State Park is bird watching in the prairies. Bring your binoculars and hike to one of the many scenic lookouts to spot birds of varying color and species.
Tips for Visiting Fort Defiance State Park
Before heading out on your adventure to the park, keep in mind the following tips:
- The entrance to Fort Defiance State Park can be found on 360th Avenue, off Highway 9 in Estherville, Iowa.
- Upon entering, keep an eye out for any low-hanging branches when traveling in an RV.
- Parking is available for day visitors inside the park but if you’re staying overnight, you must park in an outside campground.
- There are no showers or flush toilets available in the Fort Defiance State Park, so make sure your RV is fully equipped.
- The campgrounds are pet-friendly, so fur babies are welcome!
RV Rentals for Fort Defiance State Park
Your bags are packed, your hiking boots are on, and it’s time to hit the road and have a vacation to remember at Fort Defiance State Park. All that is left is getting an RV rental for your Fort Defiance State Park RV camping trip. With a Cruise America RV rental, you will have everything you need to have a comfortable, safe, and adventurous experience.
Contact Cruise America and choose from our wide selection of RV rental vehicles that will make your trip to Fort Defiance State Park one for the books.