Petit Jean State Park Campground (Morrilton, AR)
Initially, we’d planned to spend only a couple nights in Arkansas, but if there’s one thing about traveling, it’s that plans change. After a day hike at Petit Jean State Park, we decided to spend 6 nights camping at the campground so we could spend some more time in the area.
Petit Jean State Park is located about 1 hour northwest of Little Rock, AR. Once you get into the State Park, you’ll drive right by the Visitor’s Center and campground. Compared to the National Parks we’ve visited, this State Park is rather small at only 3,471 acres.
There’s a lot of beauty packed into those acres though, with sweeping views from atop Petit Jean Mountain of the entire northwestern area around Little Rock. Unlike our western travels, there’s plenty of water around, including the Arkansas River running right by the scenic overlook. The entire park is a rocky area with huge old growth trees all around, making for a great forest camping experience.
Other than Little Rock, there’s not a whole lot around Petit Jean in terms of cities or towns. Plan to get your groceries in Little Rock and try not to have to drive in very often or you’ll end up burning quite a bit of gas.
Like most campgrounds, there are water and electric hookups. The water tastes good too, so you don’t need to bring your own. There is no wi-fi, but your cell phone will work here. There are also no laundry facilities.
As usual, we positioned ourselves near the bathrooms so that we had a short walk when nature called. The showers had good hot water with great water pressure. The only real peeve here was that the bathrooms have no soap or hand sanitizer, along with having no hand driers or paper towels. So you can take a shower and do your business, but you’ll need to provide your own way to clean your hands afterwards.
While these aren’t incredibly secluded sites like at Edisto Beach, campgrounds B & C offer at least as much privacy as most campgrounds. (Campground A seemed very wide open). The sites are really large with enough trees to offer plenty of shade.
At only $18 per night with full water and electric hookups, Petit Jean is priced perfectly. It’s hard to find good campgrounds with clean bathrooms (even if there is no soap) and hookups for under $20, though we’re finding that State Parks are often the best bet for good amenities and prices.