When you're on the hunt for a one-of-a-kind adventure, you'll want to turn toward Arkansas' Crater of Diamonds State Park. It is a unique setting where guests can join in on the thrilling recreation of hunting for real diamonds. But the fun doesn't stop there. This place offers all sorts of other activities, including walking trails, interpretive programs, and a water park.
The campground is a welcoming destination for RVs and trailers of varying lengths, with spaces that are able to accommodate up to 60 feet. You can expect to stay quite comfortably, with full hookups provided, along with a dump station on site. Guests will also find two bath houses, a gift store, Discovery Center, on-site cafe, and much more. While many come for the gems, they soon find that once you dig on into Crater of Diamonds, you'll uncover so much more.
It's a rock hound's paradise and one of the few places that still features a noticeable volcanic past. Beauty lies beneath the ground as well as above it, and few destinations share such a good example of this. Crater of Diamonds State Park is the ideal stop, a picture perfect reminder of Arkansas rough beauty.
RV Rentals in Crater of Diamonds State Park
Transportation in Crater of Diamonds State Park
It's usually quite a drive to get here, no matter from what direction. Guests come from far and wide to experience the unique qualities of this park--especially the diamond digging field. Driving through certainly doesn't get complicated. The roads are clean, level, and well-paved. Signage is easily read and visitors typically have no trouble navigating to main parts of the park.
Parking seems to be as effortless as driving through the park lands. Visitors planning to stay overnight can head right over to the main campground to park rigs, detach trailers, and set up camp. From here, it doesn't take much to find well-traveled trails and the ways to Crater of Diamond's most popular points of interest.
Campgrounds and parking in Crater of Diamonds State Park
Campsites in Crater of Diamonds State Park
Crater of Diamonds Campground
During peak seasons, reservations are a must. This place is quite popular, not only with Arkansas residents, but outside visitors as well. The campground is tree-shaded, spacious, and quite comfortable. The grounds are mid-sized in capacity, with 47 class AAA campsites that offer full hookups. Most sites include tent pads and all have a picnic table and fire ring. Crater of Diamonds State Park's campground also includes two modern bathhouses that feature hot showers. One of these shower facilities also includes an area for laundry. RVers will find a dump station on site and all guests can enjoy free WiFi within the campground.
Crater of Diamonds is a wonderful, family-friendly atmosphere that welcomes furry friends, as well. Staying in the grounds are a sure way to dig deeper into this state park's unique surroundings. Not only is the landscape something worth talking about, but the thrilling experience of excavating through the ground for gems or getting to spend a day at the water park are also reasons to have this park at the top of your list.
Tent Sites & Same-Day
The main campground at Crater of Diamonds State Park generally will require reservations in order to secure a stay in your RV or camper. The only sites that remain "walk-in" are those for tent camping only (5 sites). The remaining sites are all designed to take on RVs and trailers, with full hookups provided.
If you're visiting the park outside of peak seasons, you may be able to squeak in a same-day reservation, but don't count on that if you're just winging it.
No matter what your reasons for the need to stay outside of the park's campground, you'll be covered. Luckily, you don't have to worry about wasting time with a long back-and-forth trip. The nearby town of Murfreesboro has all sorts of places to stay, including areas places to park your RV or trailer - and all within minutes of the park.
Seasonal activities in Crater of Diamonds State Park
Diamond Discovery Center
On your way to get dirty in the diamond crater, you'll pass through the park's own Diamond Discovery Center. Guests may engage in this interpretive center, as it is a phenomenal gateway into the unique discovery of diamonds. There are many exhibits to tour and visitors can meet with the park interpretive staff. While you're here, view the Hall of Fame, watch an on-demand instructional diamond mining video, or view a searching demonstration. Here, you can also rent your digging equipment.
Dig for Diamonds
Guests come from far and wide to dig up diamonds in a 37.5-acre plowed field. Here, you have the opportunity to dig your way through the eroded surface of an ancient crater of volcanic decent. It is the eighth largest (in surface area) diamond-bearing deposit in the world, and these gems are just a start. Many other rocks and minerals can be unearthed, and any find is yours to keep. Avid rock hounds may already have their own equipment, but, if you are without, tools can be rented from the Discovery Center. Staggeringly, over 33,000 diamonds have been found here by park visitors since Crater of Diamonds became a state park in 1972.
The park's professional interpreters present guests with all sorts of programs throughout the year. Programs running between Memorial Day and through Labor Day tend to be the most highly attended, and include activities such as: diamond mining demonstrations, history walks, rock hound hikes, and, at times, evening programs. Even the kids can get involved, with a Summer program series for guests ages 6-12.
Diamond Springs Water Park
Another unique feature of the state park, the Diamond Springs Water Park is a place the whole family can enjoy. Even if you're without the kids, feel free to cool off after searching for diamonds on a hot summer day. This mining-themed water park is open from Memorial Day Weekend through until Labor Day. It features all sorts of fun sprayers, geysers, water jets, and animated waterspouts, as well as two water slides. The setting is complete with a spacious deck and pool furniture.
You don't have to worry about bringing all sorts of food, as this state park spoils with an on-site restaurant. The Kimberlite Cafe is open from Memorial Day through until Labor Day weekend, all seven days of the week. During the last three weeks of peak season, the cafe is open, but only on weekends. The cafe offers a casual, home-style menu that includes all sorts of sandwiches, burgers, and desserts.
During your stay, be sure to take the time to stretch your legs along two of the park's beloved walking trails. Both are easy and just a tad over a mile in length; that means you'll want to anticipate setting aside about an hour's time for either trail.The Little Missouri River Trail winds through the wooded landscape, with an entrance right from the park's campground. The level terrain is mostly paved and is the longest wheelchair accessible trail available in Southwest Arkansas. The other trail, Prospectors Trail, is another easily traveled trek that provides an intimate view of the park's unique, and stunning, geological features. An entry fee is required for this one, as it leads to the diamond search area.
The lure of the Little Missouri River may just snag you a few bites. Bank fishing is quite a popular sport here for locals and visitors alike, so long as a fishing license is acquired. Late summer, when the crowds are dwindling out, you may just get in some of your best fishing yet. Large-mouth bass, bream, and catfish are usual catches in these waters, as well as trout. Directions for getting to the river in the most efficient way possible will be found at the Visitor Center and there is a public boat ramp that sits right across from the park.
Visitor Information Center & Gift Shop
All year long, both the park's Visitor Center and Gift Shop remain open alongside the campgrounds. While peak seasons may come along with summer months, the park never really slows. The Visitor Center has fantastic interactive exhibits and enables guests to learn about the diamonds, as well as other minerals, within the park's diamond site. Next, the Gift Shop is another stop visitors will want to dig into while at Crater of Diamonds. A wide selection of items can be found here, as well as some drinks, light snacks, bagged ice, and firewood bundles.
When the grounds aren't as busy and bustling, visitors have even more opportunity to see the area's true locals. A parking lot rests just inside the park's entrance for day-use visitation, and this lot is adjacent to the park's observation blind walkway. The gravel walkway is set among a secluded woodland and it leads its guests through to a wildlife observation blind. It's the perfect vantage point to get a good shot of some of Arkansas' wildlife in their natural setting. Amateur and professional photographers alike are welcome to use the observation blind to get up close and personal to their wild subjects.
While the trail loops may not be very long here, with an average of only a mile (one way), they make for a nice, leisurely bike ride. The off seasons are easiest to get around on two wheels, as less foot traffic will be on the paved Little Missouri River Trail and the gravel of Prospectors Trail. These trails are also perfect for kids to get around and burn off some energy