Information provided here has not been updated within the last 12 months. Please contact the business prior to making travel plans.

Yellow River State Forest

Show Contact Information +
Yellow River State Forest consists of several units. The most developed is the Paint Creek Unit where campers can enjoy spending the night under the stars in one of four campgrounds. Reservable campsites are available in all four campgrounds. The Big Paint and Little Paint campgrounds are non-modern and have non-electric campsites and vault toilets. The Little Paint campground also has two sites which are for use only by chaperoned organized youth groups. The Creekside and Frontier equestrian campgrounds are non-modern and have non-electric sites with hitching rails and vault toilets. Paint Creek Unit is also where Iowa's Only Fire Tower was originally built so fire spotters could keep an eye out for forest fires across Yellow River State Forest. The tower was made obsolete by shifts in technology and forest management but can still be visited at the top of Fire Tower Road. A quick stop at the forest headquarters, located just east of Fire Tower Road, is worth it to find maps and information that will help you make the most of some of the most scenic views, stunning fall color, remote campgrounds and some of the best trout fishing in the entire state. There is no drinking water located in the campgrounds at Yellow River State Forest, but it is available at the A-frame information center located on State Forest Road near Big Paint Campground approximately four miles off Highway 76. One rustic camping cabin is available to rent from April 1 through October 31 of each year. There is a minimum stay requirement of two nights for this cabin. This rustic cabin has electricity, microwave, two full size futons, one queen size bed, coffee maker, a full sized refrigerator and two porches, one of which is screened in. Visitors must provide their own bedding, towels, cooking utensils and other essential items. The cabin is located near the back pack registration parking lot and the forestry office.
Show More +

This listing is part of the Scenic Byway Passport.

This listing is part of the State Park Passport.

Located in Driftless Area


In Iowa, sunny days mean endless possibilities. Whether it's a family getaway, an outdoor adventure, or anything in between, we know a place.