Camp Hosting in Iowa State Parks

Camp hosting at Iowa State Parks gives you a ton of opportunities, like attending the well known state fair, experiencing their states record holding produce – pork and corn, or taking a trip on the only navigable rivers in the United States – the Missouri and Mississippi. 

Are you interested in Camp Hosting in Iowa State Parks for a season or two? Maybe you just getting started looking into volunteering while RVing or you’re really interested in the ability to live and work in one of Iowa’s beautiful state parks.

And if you’re just starting to look into camp hosting we’ve got a great guide that offers the basic information you need to understand how it all works and how to get started. You can check it out by clicking here.

This post is all about camp host jobs inside the state park system! So if you’re ready to get started let’s dive into the specific of camping hosting in Iowa State Parks with details on basic duties, seasonal information, living accommodations, and a list of job opportunities.

Camp Hosting in Iowa State Parks

And regardless of which State Park you choose to work in, a camp hosting job in Iowa State Parks has much to offer. From watching wildlife and stunning views to winding trails where you can easily explore wooded valleys and bluffs, Iowa offers something for the outdoor enthusiast in all of us. 

Whether you enjoy  waterfalls, birdwatching or breathtaking stargazing- Camp Hosting in Iowa State Parks can be a great opportunity to live where you work. 

Camp Hosting at Iowa State Parks Overview

This is a volunteer only position.

Hosts are expected to be the on site camp overseers, being the middle ground between campers and the Department of Natural Resources. Being a campground host in the Iowa State Parks means being the on-site resource for campers during their stay. 

Camp hosts will not be paid for their service. 

Camp Host Duties Include:

  • Greeting visitors, guests and campers
  • Checking in and checking out guests for their reservations
  • Informative services for guests including providing park information, directions, answering questions, and providing information about the local area
  • Working hand in hand with the Department of Natural Resources to ensure that each guests’ stays at the campground is spectacular
  • Light general maintenance duties around the campground
  • General administrative tasks when needed
  • General housekeeping throughout the campground
  • Providing quality customer service to all guests
  • Acting as a role model in your own stay to set an example for the campers

Iowa State Parks Season Info

Iowa has a good lengthy camping season lasting about seven full months. Their camping season begins in the month of April and ends in the month of October every year. 

Camp hosts are not required to work the entire season.

The state parks do request at least one month and up to four months for camp host commitments. As a host, you are expected to work 20-40 hours per week at each state park camp hosting assignment. These hours can be completed by one individual or split by a couple. 

Iowa’s weather ranges from 15 degrees to 85 degrees, getting extremely cold and windy in the winter, but usually never over 94 degrees in the summer. 

The summer is the longest season. Temperatures begin to rise in April and drop in October, hence the start and end of the camping season. It is generally cloudy year-round and pretty humid especially through the summer season. 

Living Accommodations

Campground Hosts must have their own camper, RV, or trailer. You will be provided a free campsite while camp hosting in Iowa State Parks- regardless of how long you stay. The amenities that are provided at that campsite are specific to the park and this is something you’ll want to discuss prior to accepting any position. 

While campsite amenities vary by park, campground hosts are of course granted access to all of the campground amenities.

How to Apply

In order to apply to become a campground host in Iowa, you must fill out the host application (link below), submit to a state background check, federal background check, national sex offender check and abuse registries. You must also provide fingerprints (you’ll have to pay the costs for fingerprinting), and provide your driving record if your position requires any driving of facility motor vehicles.

Once this has been completed, you provide which parks you would like your application sent to and return the application to the address below. The park staff reviews your application and performs interviews and selection as fit. 

Camp Hosting Contact Information:

Return applications to:
Iowa DNR Parks
502 E 9th Street
Des Moines, IA 50319-0034

Or via Fax 515-725-8201



Application Link:

State Parks with Camp Hosting Jobs

Brushy Creek State Recreation Area

The Brushy Creek State Recreation Area has the biggest amount of recreation land, at 6,500 acres, and also the biggest artificially made pool lake in Iowa. It is a unique park because it has equestrian camping available. These campsites include a newly updated restroom, electric sites, an area specifically for washing your horses, hitch rails, and some have picnic tables, grills, and a community playground. 

The non-equestrian campsites have electric and non-electric options as well as full hook up for water and sewer. The activities at this park are endless – hunting, a shooting range, fishing, swimming at the beach, mountain biking, canoeing, boating, bird and wildlife viewing, trails, and even more.

Brushy Creek State Recreation Area
2802 Brushy Creek Rd.
Lehigh  IA  50557

Phone Number: (515)543-8298

Clear Lake State Park

The Clear Lake State Park is located right on the bottom, east corner of Clear Lake. The campsites offer current restrooms and shower facilities as well as trailer dump stations. It is a 55 acre recreational park that has an enormous wildlife capacity within it, including Scenic Woodford Island which is a 3 acre island that is primarily for the wildlife habitat. There is a small beach that is great for swimming. The lake is perfect for boating and fishing, as there is a good variety of fish offered for fishermen through the season. 10 acres of the land hold picnic areas with shade that are perfect for time with the family. Also outside of the campground there are tons of nearby attractions like historic towns, tons of city shopping, the Surf Ballroom, and more. 

Clear Lake State Park
2730 S Lakeview Dr
Clear Lake  IA  50428

Phone Number: (641)357-4212

Geode State Park

The Geode State Park is named after Iowa’s state rock, which is a frequent find at this state park (however it is illegal to remove any geodes or natural elements from the park). The campsites here offer electrical and non-electrical options. There are two shower buildings and a sewage dump for campers. Also, two camp pads are offered for handicap campers. This park is most popular for the lake.

Shoreline fishing is offered at many, if not majority of the picnic areas. There is also a 24-hour designated area for fishing, and two boat docks for you to get onto the lake. The biggest catches are largemouth bass and catfish. Nearby attractions include many fairs and festivals offered throughout the year (check around the time you plan to visit). 

Geode State Park
3333 Racine Ave
Danville IA 52623

Phone: (319) 392-4601

Gull Point State Park

Gull Point State Park features not just one, but many lakes to use which offers an array of beaches, fishing, pleasure boating, and more. The campsites are among the most-liked in the state and offer electric and non-electric options.

There are tons of picnic and shelter locations, as well as a lodge that has kitchens, grills, restrooms, and fireplaces. Besides water activities, this is also a great park for hikers. There is a self-guided interpretive trail that is 1.5 miles long that holds an assortment of wildlife along the way.

Nearby attractions are big for nightlife people. There are tons of concerts, cruises, and more. There is also a nearby amusement park, perfect for families.

Gull Point State Park
1500 Harpen Street
Milford  IA  51351

Phone Number: (712) 337-3211

Lacey Keosauqua State Park

This state park was Iowa’s second named state park and features bluffs and valleys all throughout. The campsites offer electrical and non-electrical options as well as restrooms and showers. One forth of the campsites are on a first come first serve basis, and the rest are through reservation.

This camp also offers six family cabins. There are two lodges available for large events or family cookouts. The park has thirteen miles of trails for hiking, biking, and more. There is also a 30-acre lake for swimming and electric motor only boating. A big nearby attraction is Van Buren County which is an on old antique village that tourists love. 

Lacey-Keosauqua State Park
22895 Lacey Trail
Keosauqua  IA  52565

Phone Number: (319)293-3502

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