Storm Lake Camping: A Guide to the Best Campsites and Activities

Nestled in the heart of the Midwest, Storm Lake is a hidden gem for camping enthusiasts. With its pristine waters and picturesque surroundings, this destination offers a unique experience for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. Whether you’re a seasoned camper or a first-timer, Storm Lake has something to offer for everyone.

Camping at Storm Lake is a great way to reconnect with nature. With a variety of campsites to choose from, visitors can tailor their experience to their liking. From primitive sites to RV hookups, there’s an option for every type of camper. The lake’s calm waters also make it a great spot for fishing and water activities. With so much to do, it’s no wonder that Storm Lake is a popular destination for families and outdoor enthusiasts alike.

Key Takeaways

  • Storm Lake offers a unique camping experience for all types of campers.
  • There are a variety of campsites to choose from, including primitive and RV sites.
  • The lake’s calm waters make it a great spot for fishing and water activities.

Storm Lake Overview

Storm Lake is a popular camping destination located in the heart of Iowa. The lake is surrounded by beautiful scenery and offers a variety of recreational activities for visitors to enjoy. The lake is approximately 3,200 acres in size and is known for its crystal clear waters, making it a popular spot for swimming, boating, and fishing.

Camping at Storm Lake is a great way to experience the beauty of the area. There are several campgrounds located around the lake, offering a variety of camping options from tent camping to RV camping. Many of the campgrounds offer amenities such as showers, restrooms, and picnic areas.

In addition to camping, there are plenty of other activities to enjoy at Storm Lake. Visitors can take a hike on one of the many trails around the lake, go bird watching, or even take a hot air balloon ride. Fishing is also a popular activity, with the lake being home to a variety of fish species including walleye, bass, and catfish.

Overall, Storm Lake is a great destination for anyone looking to experience the beauty of Iowa’s outdoors. With its crystal clear waters, beautiful scenery, and variety of recreational activities, it’s no wonder why so many people choose to visit this popular camping destination.

Camping Essentials

When planning a camping trip, it’s important to make sure you have all the essential items to ensure a comfortable and safe experience. Here are some items that should be on every camper’s packing list:

  • Tent: A good quality tent is essential for a comfortable camping experience. Make sure to choose a tent that is appropriate for the number of people who will be sleeping in it, and the weather conditions you may encounter.
  • Sleeping bag: A warm and comfortable sleeping bag is crucial for a good night’s sleep. Choose a sleeping bag that is appropriate for the temperature of your camping destination.
  • Camp stove: A camp stove is necessary for cooking meals while camping. Choose a stove that is easy to use and fuel-efficient.
  • Cooler: A cooler is essential for keeping food and drinks cold while camping. Choose a cooler that is large enough to hold all your perishable items, and consider investing in a high-quality cooler that will keep your food cold for longer.
  • Headlamp or flashlight: A headlamp or flashlight is necessary for navigating around the campsite at night. Make sure to bring extra batteries or a portable charger.
  • First aid kit: A well-stocked first aid kit is essential for any camping trip. Make sure to include items such as bandages, antiseptic, pain relievers, and insect repellent.
  • Water filter or purification tablets: Access to clean drinking water is essential while camping. Bring a water filter or purification tablets to ensure you have safe drinking water.

By packing these essential items, you can ensure a comfortable and safe camping experience.

Best Time to Camp

Storm Lake Camping is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and experience nature. However, it is important to choose the right time to go camping to ensure the best experience possible.

The best time to camp at Storm Lake is during the summer months, from June to August. During this time, the weather is warm and sunny, with average temperatures ranging from 70°F to 80°F. This makes it perfect for outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, and swimming.

It is important to note that the summer months are also the busiest time of the year for camping at Storm Lake. Therefore, it is recommended to make reservations in advance to secure a campsite.

Fall is another great time to camp at Storm Lake. The weather is cooler, and the fall foliage provides a beautiful backdrop for camping. The crowds are also thinner during this time, making it a more peaceful and quiet camping experience.

Winter camping at Storm Lake is not recommended due to the cold and snowy weather conditions. However, if you are an experienced winter camper, you can still enjoy camping during this time with the proper gear and preparation.

Overall, the best time to camp at Storm Lake is during the summer months, followed by the fall season. By choosing the right time to camp, you can ensure an enjoyable and memorable camping experience.

Campsite Options

Tent Camping

Storm Lake offers a variety of tent camping options for visitors. There are several campgrounds in the area that offer tent sites, including the Storm Lake Marina & Campground, which has 10 tent sites available. Other options include the Buena Vista County Park and the Little Storm Lake Wildlife Area.

RV Camping

For those who prefer to camp in an RV, Storm Lake also has several options available. The Storm Lake Marina & Campground has 30 RV sites with electric and water hookups, as well as a dump station. The Buena Vista County Park also has RV sites available, with electric hookups.

Backcountry Camping

For those who prefer a more rugged camping experience, Storm Lake offers backcountry camping opportunities. The Little Storm Lake Wildlife Area has several primitive camping sites available for those who want to get away from it all and enjoy the natural beauty of the area.

Note: It is important to check with the individual campgrounds for availability and any specific rules or regulations before planning your trip.

Activities at Storm Lake

Hiking Trails

Storm Lake offers a variety of hiking trails for visitors to explore. With over 10 miles of trails, hikers can choose from easy, moderate, and difficult trails that offer scenic views of the lake and surrounding landscape. The trails are well-marked and maintained, making them accessible to hikers of all skill levels.

Fishing Opportunities

Storm Lake is known for its excellent fishing opportunities. The lake is home to a variety of fish species, including walleye, northern pike, crappie, and bluegill. Anglers can fish from the shore or rent a boat to explore the lake’s many coves and channels. The lake is also stocked regularly, ensuring that there are always plenty of fish to catch.

Wildlife Viewing

Storm Lake is a great place for wildlife viewing. Visitors can spot a variety of birds, including bald eagles, osprey, and great blue herons. The lake is also home to a variety of mammals, including deer, foxes, and coyotes. Visitors are encouraged to bring binoculars and a camera to capture the wildlife in action.

Note: Camping, swimming, and boating are also popular activities at Storm Lake. However, they are not included in this section as they are not the main focus.

Safety Guidelines

When camping at Storm Lake, it is important to follow certain safety guidelines to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. Here are some important safety tips to keep in mind:

  • Always check the weather forecast before heading out and be prepared for changing weather conditions.
  • Always let someone know where you are going and when you plan to return.
  • Make sure to bring enough food, water, and supplies for your entire trip.
  • Keep a safe distance from wildlife and do not feed them.
  • Do not leave food or garbage out as it can attract wildlife and create a dangerous situation.
  • Always keep a first aid kit with you and know how to use it.
  • Use caution when starting a fire and always make sure it is completely out before leaving it unattended.
  • Be aware of any potential hazards in the area, such as steep cliffs or unstable terrain.
  • Respect other campers and keep noise levels down during quiet hours.
  • Follow all posted rules and regulations for the campground and surrounding area.

By following these safety guidelines, campers can have a safe and enjoyable experience at Storm Lake.

Booking and Fees

When booking a camping spot at Storm Lake, visitors have two options: making a reservation online or calling the park office. The online booking system is available 24/7 and allows visitors to browse available sites, select a preferred site, and pay for their reservation using a credit card. Those who prefer to book over the phone can call the park office during business hours and speak with a staff member to make a reservation.

The fees for camping at Storm Lake vary depending on the type of site and the time of year. The park offers both electric and non-electric sites, with prices ranging from $12 to $20 per night. There is also a $5 reservation fee for all bookings made online or over the phone. Visitors should note that there is a maximum stay limit of 14 nights per site.

In addition to camping fees, visitors may need to purchase a park pass to enter Storm Lake State Park. Daily passes are $5 per vehicle, while annual passes are available for $30. Visitors can purchase passes at the park entrance or online through the Iowa Department of Natural Resources website.

Getting There

Storm Lake Camping is located in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains in Upstate New York. The campground is easily accessible by car and is located just off Route 28.

If you are coming from the south, take Exit 19 off the New York State Thruway and follow signs for Route 28. If you are coming from the north, take Exit 30 off the Northway and follow signs for Route 9N.

Once you arrive at the campground, there is ample parking available for all guests. The check-in process is quick and easy, and the friendly staff will be happy to answer any questions you may have about the area or the campground itself.


Storm Lake Camping offers a great outdoor experience for those who want to enjoy nature and the beauty of the lake. With various camping options, visitors can choose from tent camping to RV camping. The campsites are well-maintained and offer basic amenities such as picnic tables, fire pits, and access to clean restrooms.

The lake itself is a great place for fishing, boating, and swimming. Visitors can also explore the surrounding area by hiking on the trails or biking on the paths. The scenery is breathtaking, and visitors can enjoy the natural beauty of the lake and the wildlife that surrounds it.

Overall, Storm Lake Camping is a great place to visit for those who want to enjoy the outdoors and disconnect from the hustle and bustle of daily life. With its serene surroundings and various activities, visitors are sure to have a memorable experience.