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Camping at Mississippi River - Pools 11-22

Mississippi River - Pools 11-22
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The upper Mississippi River is divided into a series of lock and dam systems, creating pools that are often numbered. Pools 11-22 are part of this stretch and extend through parts of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Illinois. These pools offer a variety of outdoor activities, including camping, fishing, boating, and wildlife watching.

Camping Information

Camping along the Mississippi River in Pools 11-22 can range from developed campgrounds to more primitive and secluded sites. Here's some general information to keep in mind when planning a camping trip in this region:

Campgrounds Availability

  • Public Campgrounds: Many of the public campgrounds are managed by federal agencies like the Army Corps of Engineers or state departments.
  • Private Campgrounds: There are also private campgrounds and RV parks that provide additional amenities.

Types of Camping

  • RV Camping: Many of the campgrounds are RV-friendly with hookups and dump stations.
  • Tent Camping: For those who prefer traditional tent camping, several sites are available with basic amenities like picnic tables and fire rings.
  • Backcountry Camping: In some areas, backcountry camping might be allowed, but it is essential to check local regulations.

Facilities and Amenities

  • The facilities will vary from site to site, with some offering showers, toilets, and potable water, while others might be more rustic without these amenities.


  • Camping in these pools is not just about sitting around a campfire. You can enjoy fishing for species like bass, walleye, and catfish, or take a boat out for a day on the water.
  • Hiking trails, birdwatching, and visiting historical sites along the Great River Road National Scenic Byway are other popular activities.

Regulations and Safety

  • Always check the rules and regulations for the specific pool or campground you're visiting.
  • Be prepared for the specific weather conditions and wildlife you may encounter, and always practice Leave No Trace principles to preserve these natural areas.
  • Water levels can fluctuate due to dam operations, so be aware of current conditions if camping near the riverbank.

Reservations and Fees

  • Some campgrounds require reservations, which can be made through recreation.gov or state reservation systems, while others operate on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • There are often fees associated with camping, which vary by location and type of site (e.g., RV site, tent site, group site).

Access and Transportation

  • Access to these pools is often easy with well-marked roads. However, some more secluded or primitive sites may require a boat or a hike to reach.

Local Points of Interest

  • The Mississippi River offers rich history and culture, so consider visiting local towns, museums, and historic sites to learn more about the area.


Camping along the Mississippi River in Pools 11-22 offers a blend of natural beauty, outdoor recreation, and cultural experiences. Whether you’re pulling up in an RV, pitching a tent, or seeking a secluded spot to connect with nature, planning ahead regarding your preferred activities, campsite amenities and location, and local rules will ensure a memorable and safe experience. Always check current conditions and guidelines before heading out on your adventure.

Map of Campgrounds in Mississippi River - Pools 11-22
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