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Review:  Lewis and Clark State Park

Review: Lewis and Clark State Park

avatar   Stacy
Trip Date 04/17/2018
Posted On 11/01/2018 16:57:16

Camping | Missouri | Rushville | Camping near Kansas City | RVing near Kansas City | Lewis and Clark State Park Review | Missouri State Parks | Camping in Missouri

A couple of months before our visit, we reserved a campsite for five evenings in Rushville, Missouri. We hoped that, upon our arrival, we would be able to add one additional night (April 13) that was not reservable as it was prior to the opening date for reservations. As the park was virtually empty during our entire stay, we were in luck!

If you'll be visiting the Kansas City area, take a look at this review of Lewis and Clark State Park. Although our visit was during the off-season, after six nights at the park, we got a good feel for the campsite amenities as well as what there is to do both inside the park and nearby.

Entrance to Lewis and Clark State Park

Entrance to Lewis and Clark State Park

Campground Amenities at Lewis and Clark State Park

With 70 campsites, Lewis and Clark State Park is open year round, however reservations (as well as showers and water) are only available between April 15 and October 31. We arrived on the day prior to opening for the season and the park was clean and well-maintained, and as we expected, it was also virtually empty. Although we never entered the facilities, there were on site restrooms, showers and laundry machines available. For those spending time at the park during the off season, there is one frost free water spigot available at the park maintenance building.

With Scott's family living a short distance away in Kansas City, Missouri, the majority of our time was spent away from the park. In addition to some time each morning and evening, we also devoted one entire evening to exploring the park in an effort to see all that it had to offer.

Located just across the road from the campground is a hiking trail which leads to an interpretive trail / center. A short walk from the campground to the shoreline takes you past the two playgrounds in the park plus a large reservable picnic shelter with a fireplace and large grill. In addition to watching the sun set as we neared Lewis and Clark Lake, we saw several people fishing near the many shore side picnic tables and grills.

Sunset Over Lewis and Clark Lake

Sunset Over Lewis and Clark Lake

The total cost (including fees) for our six night stay was $140.50. In addition to nightly camping fees, an $8.50 non- refundable fee is charged for advance reservations. The off-season rate for our site (through April 14) was $21.00 per night. With the unpredictably cool (or should I say cold) weather during our stay, we woke up to snow on Sunday, April 15 just as the on-season nightly rate of $23.00 took effect!

Campsite Amenities at Lewis and Clark State Park

Advance reservations can be made online for in-season dates (April 15 - October 31) with a minimum stay of two nights required for weekend stays. All 70 campsites at Lewis and Clark State Park were well maintained and clean with relatively flat gravel parking areas. Sites are shaded by large canopy trees and have both a table (some even have covered tables) and fire pit. The sites are a combination of pull-through and back-in from the narrow roads throughout the park. While many sites do have on-site electric (30- or 50-amp), water and sewer are only available at a central location near the entrance/exit.

We were greeted promptly upon our arrival by the Volunteer Park Host, likely since he was not expecting us until the following day. As he could only accept cash payments, we waited until the morning following our arrival to pay for our additional night of camping. Our site (# 55) was a pull-through premium site with 50-amp electric. As was typical in the park, the site was ready for campers when we arrived. Site 55 is relatively flat and has an uncovered table and fire pit with a grate. Although the site is well shaded by very tall trees, none of the trees will accommodate hammocks due to the distance between them.

Site 55 with a Dusting of Snow

Site 55 with a Dusting of Snow

Our phone and data service service through our two providers (Verizon and T-Mobile) was good, as was the broadcast television available in the area.

Favorite Campsites at Lewis and Clark State Park

With the entire campground being well shaded by a large number of canopy trees, in our opinion the sites in the campground are all quite similar. If we were to return, our choice of sites would solely depend on the amenities that we wanted at the time of our visit - premium vs. regular utilities and a pull-through vs. back-in site.

Hiking at Lewis and Clark State Park

The park has one hiking trail which leads to the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center. We walked the entire length of the paved walkway which is lined with some informational displays about Lewis and Clark and ends at a scenic overlook. In addition to the view of the lake, a large compass is surrounded by a series of stone benches engraved with the names of all of the members of the Lewis and Clark expedition.

Scenic Overlook at Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center

Scenic Overlook at Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center

Our Abrupt Departure

Our six nights turned into five nights after we passed a large forest fire just a couple of miles down the road during our return to "RV There Yet?" on our final evening. Just before calling it a night, we decided to take one final look at the fire. The wind was gusting and rather than decreasing in size, the fire had grown ... and appeared closer to the campground. We decided not to take any chances, so we quickly packed up, dumped our grey and black tanks and headed to the Walmart in Atchison, Kansas where they happily allowed us to park for the evening to get a good nights sleep. With a last minute decision to make our early departure, there was no opportunity for getting a refund, but fortunately our new amenity-free spot was complimentary!

Smoke anrd Flames Causing our Abrupt Departure

Smoke anrd Flames Causing our Abrupt Departure

Camping in Missouri

In our limited amount of time as RV owners, we have not been successful at finding campgrounds that offer on-site water in the state of Missouri (most likely due to the frequent freezing winter weather). Even after our rather abrupt departure, we did enjoy our stay at Lewis and Clark State Park. We will, however, continue our search for a park in the outskirts of Kansas City with both electric and on-site water (or at least water nearer to the campsites) and, depending on the additional charge, on-site sewer as well.

Local Attractions Near Lewis and Clark State Park

Lewis and Clark State Park is located about 45 minutes from Kansas City and only about 15 miles away from the city of Weston, Missouri. Check out our post titled Review: Weston Bend State Park for a review of our two night stay in July 2017 just down the road from Lewis and Clark State Park.

Campgrounds in Missouri

What is your favorite campground in Missouri, and why is it at the top of your list?

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Review:  Lewis and Clark State Park


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