Featuring an abundance of recreational activities and plenty of opportunities for RV friendly fun, Bull Shoals Lake is a fantastic lakeside getaway destination. Located in the Ozark Mountains within northern Arkansas and southern Missouri, Bull Shoals Lake was developed during the the 1940s and upon completion it was known as the fourth largest dam in the world.
The main reason for building the lake was for flood control, but thanks to a buffer zone there are also a gigantic 56,413 acres of pristine undeveloped public land around Bull Shoals Lake (along with the 48,195 surface acres of water) for visitors to enjoy. Since Bull Shoals Lake is so large, the vast lands feature many different types of terrain, including lush green hardwoods, rocky bluffs, open fields and cedar glades.
Included within the land around the lake are twelve developed parks that have all the amenities that you would need to enjoy your visit to the park, including picnic areas, visitor centers, rental equipment and so much more. The hundreds of miles of lake arms and coves makes Bull Shoals Lake a water park paradise with common activities include boating, water sports, swimming, and fishing. Other activities include hiking, birding, wildlife viewing and biking. Due to the size of Bull Shoals Lake we recommend that you plan in advance as to what area you would like to explore.
Bull Shoals Lake has a wide variety of RV camping options thanks to the multitude of private RV parks that are near or on the banks of the lake. Our choice would be at Bull Shoals-White River State Park where you can find full RV hookups campsites, electric and water hookup campsites, as well as the ability toRent an RV nearby. Back your bag, download these essential apps and go check out Bull Shoals Lake!
Getting to and from Bull Shoals Lake is really easy thanks to multiple roads that lead you to the area. Since the lake is so large you will have many different options as to where you choose to visit and call home for your trip.
One of the more popular areas to visit is Bull Shoals-White River State Park, which is around ten miles north of Flippin along State Highway 178 or nine miles northwest of Mountain Home. There will also be plenty of chances for you to stock up on any supplies or amenities you may need to enjoy your trip thanks to the many towns that are near the lake. On the Arkansas side these include Bull Shoals, Lakeview and Diamond City, while on the Missouri side there is Pontiac and Sundown.
All of the roads in and around Bull Shoals Lake are paved and well maintained so you’ll have no problem accessing the park in your RV, trailer, or other motorized vehicles. During the winter time the area is known to get some snow so make sure you check the forecast before you begin your journey.
There are many different parking options for RVs around Bull Shoals Lake. If you are planning to visit Bull Shoals-White River State Park there are four major parking lots in the park at the campgrounds and along the main road.
There are no public transport options that will take you to Bull Shoals Lake.
Located at the southern end of the lake near White River, Bull Shoals-White River State Park has four different loops that are suitable for RV camping.
Loop A contains 28 standard campsites that are equipped with full hookup options (electric, water, and sewer hookups) for RVs.
Loop B has 16 standard campsites that feature electric and water hookups for RVs.
Loop C has 17 standard campsites, including six with full hookup options (electric, water, sewer hookups), eight campsites equipped with electric and water RV hookups, and three Rent-an-RV campsites.
Loop D features 31 standard campsites, 29 campsites with full hookup options (electric, water, sewer hookups) for RVs, and two campsites equipped for just electric and water RV hookups.
The amenities within the campground are also fantastic and include water collection points, showers, bathrooms, fire rings, picnic tables and the option to bring your pets. We recommend that you book a reservation prior to arrival to guarantee your site. Camping at Bull Shoals-White River State Park is available all year round.
Operated and maintained as a COE campground, Lakeview Park Campground is another choice you have when visiting Bull Shoals Lake. The campground is known for being popular with those who love to fish and is also great if you want to be close to a town.
In total there are 78 campsites that are known for mostly being shady and spacious with all of them also coming equipped with electric hookups. Other great amenities include hot showers, flush toilets, a dump station, boat ramp, swimming area, playground and a marina close by (which is great for boat rentals). Pets are also allowed and you should get cell phone reception here on all of the major networks.
One RV is permitted at each site and check-in time is 4PM, whilst check-out time is 3PM. We recommend that you book a reservation online before your arrival as the campground is very popular.
Located at departure point for the only free ferry left in Arkansas, Highway 125 Campground is another great choice for those looking for RV camping in the Arkansas side of the lake.
The campground features 39 RV friendly sites and is known to be a very quiet place to stay that is mostly frequented by those wanting to go fishing. All campsites have a few of the lake and are equipped with electric hookups for you to enjoy, as well as having drinking water collection points and showers. The site also has a designated swimming area and marina and there is a massive picnic shelter that groups of up to 50 people can use and reserve.
Reservations for Highway 125 Campground are available online and the campground is open from April until the end of October.
Located on the Missouri side of the lake, Theodosia Park offers beautiful views of Bull Shoals Lake and also features campground sites suitable for RVs. The campground is in a very handy location adjacent to a marina and has a total of 39-site campsites, including some with electric hookups.
Other amenities at Theodosia Park Campground include bathrooms, showers, a swimming area, drinking water, a playground, a boat ramp and dump station. If you have a boat you can park it at the shore during your stay and you should have a view of the lake at all of the sites available.
Reservations at Theodosia Park Campground are encouraged and peak season runs from the beginning of May until the end of September.
Another campground that is on the Peel Ferry route is Buck Creek Campground. Located on the Arkansas side of Bull Shoals Lake, Buck Creek Campground contains 38 RV friendly campsites, 36 of which are equipped with the option for an electrical hookup. The sites are known to be level and you can choose between sites that are either partially shaded or completely shaded.
The campground is known for being very kid friendly and has a playground, swimming area, and boat ramp. Other amenities include water collection points, flush toilets, showers and a dump station. Reservations can be made up to a year in advance and the camping season runs from the beginning of May until the end of September.
If you are looking for a campground with a little more room then Lead Hill Campground might be the campground for you. Here you will find a sizable campground containing 75 sites suitable for RVs, all of which come with electrical hookups and a picnic table. Other amenities include a designated swimming area, marina and a playground.
While most of the sites at the Lead Hill Campground are lakefront there are some that are set back that will give you a little more privacy. The campground is popular with families and those who are looking to go fishing in the waters of Bull Shoals Lake.
Reservations for Lead Hill Campground are available online and the campground is open from the beginning of April until the end of October.
Tucker Hollow has a small RV friendly campground available to visitors of Bull Shoals Lake who are looking for a more quiet camping experience. The campground has a total of 28 sites available for you to enjoy and all of the sites here come equipped with 50 amp electric hookups. There are also two picnic shelters, toilets and showers for you to enjoy and there is easy access to the lake for swimming and boating.
Cell phone reception within the campground is known to be not great, so if this is an issue we recommend that you choose one of the many other campgrounds that can be found on the banks of the lake.
Reservations for Tucker Hollow Campground are recommended since it is a small campground and they can be made online. Camping season runs from the beginning of May until the end of September.
Located along the Beaver Creek arm of Bull Shoals Lake, Beaver Creek Campground is a great choice for RV campers looking for a small, quiet campground. There are 33 campsites to be found here that are all RV friendly.
All campsites come equipped with electrical hookups and there is also a group shelter within the campground. Other amenities include water collection points, toilets, showers, a playground, marina and dump station. You will also have great access to Bull Shoals Lake for swimming and fishing if you choose to stay at Beaver Creek Campground.
Reservations for Beaver Creek are available online and can be made up to 12 months in advance. The campground is open from the beginning of April until the end of September.
As you could imagine there are plenty of swimming areas available for you to enjoy during your visit to Bull Shoals Lake thanks to over 48,000 acres of water. Many of parks that are found along the shore of the lake feature designated swimming areas, however there will most likely be no lifeguards on duty at any of the beaches that you choose. If you are on the Arkansas side of the lake we recommend swimming at Bull Shoals-White River State Park or over at Theodosia on the Missouri side.
If you love to get out on the water we have the place for you! There is so much for you to explore at Bull Shoals Lake that you will never be bored. Many RV campers go onto the lake during their stay, and thanks to the numerous marinas and stores there are plenty of different options for boat rentals. Paddling is also extremely popular and the calm waters found near the banks of the lake will be a great place for those of all experience levels.
With all of the public land available on the banks of the lake to explore we think its a great idea to make the most of it and go and have a picnic during your visit. All of the parks along the shoreline (including Buck Creek, Highway 125, Lakeview, Lead Hill, Oakland and Theodosia) will have amenities available, or you can have a classic picnic away from it all. If you are looking for some picnic location ideas, check out Point Return or Ozark Isle Park.
Bull Shoals Lake is widely regarded as a top fishing destination and it is easy to see why. The crystal clear water combined with the different terrain found on the edges of the lake gives you plenty of variety with your choice of fishing and the huge size of the lake means that you can visit many different locations. Popular species caught in the waters include lunker bass, catfish, crappie, and bream and in the past there have also been world record hybrid bass and 68 pounds striper bass. For more information on fishing at the lake check out the COA website.
While there is only one official hiking trail on COA land (being the three mile round trip Dogwood Trail) there are plenty of other areas to explore if you are interested in seeing more of the area. There are six great trails in Bull Shoals-White River State park, including the Big Bluff Trail (around one and three quarter miles), Bluebird Trail (two miles), Gaston Wildflower Garden Trail (around three quarters of a mile), Heritage and Habitat Trail (half a mile) and the Lakeside Trail (one mile). If you wanting go mountain biking you can also do so on the Oakridge Mountain Bike Trail (which is around three miles in length).
The glorious environment in and around Bull Shoals Lake provides the perfect backdrop to do some birding. There are many different excellent birding habitats on offer and depending where in and around the lake you visit you will have the chance to see one of the hundred or so bald eagles that spend winter months in the Bull Shoals area. Along with the eagles other common species include eastern wild turkey, ducks, geese, doves and many other spring and fall migrants.