Rules & Regulations

Camping Rules & Regulations

Rules and Regulations (PDF)

Welcome to Camping at Smithville Lake!

We hope you will enjoy your visit to Smithville Lake. To protect your family, and our facilities and to ensure your enjoyment, please review the information provided.

ID is required for entry into the campgrounds.

We will only allow camping in the campground. We have other areas of the park available for day use and group events. Please inquire at the office.

Purchasing a Campsite

You must be at least 18 years of age to purchase a campsite with a valid driver's license. You may purchase a campsite at the camp host booth located at the entrance of each campground. Upon payment or arrival, the camp host will issue a campsite pass, please attach this to your campsite post. You will also be issued one vehicle pass, to be displayed inside your vehicle on the front left side of the windshield. additional passes may be purchased at the camp host booth. please be advised; your camping fees do not include boat passes.

For those of you who would like to enjoy the camping experience of either the early or late season, honor envelopes are provided at the entrance of each campground at the camp host booths. During this time we do not have a camp host on duty. We ask that you simply fill out the information requested on the front of the honor envelope. Please retain the top half as your receipt, place payment into the payment portion of the honor envelope, and insert this portion into the front slot of the honor box.

Customers who arrive after hours without a reservation are advised to contact clay county parks in the morning to minimize the possibility of a conflict with a reservation that may have occurred in the meantime. If scheduling conflicts do occur, reasonable efforts will be made to ensure the best outcome for both parties. If this is not possible for any reason, the customer without a reservation may have to be relocated. In order to avoid this possibility altogether, please use the online reservation system.

Check-in/out times

Monday through Saturday
Check-in 1 pm
Check-out 11 am

Check-in 5 pm / Check-out 3 pm
(except when there is a holiday on Monday, then Sunday's check-out time becomes 11 am and Monday's check-out time becomes 3 pm)

Campsite Capacity

6 people per site; up to two tents or one tent plus one camper. No more than 3 axled units per site are permitted.

Entry or Re-entry While Camping

All vehicles must either have a vehicle camping pass (included with your camping fee), a Season Vehicle Pass, a Season Combo Pass, or a daily vehicle pass. Motorcycles are considered a vehicle and will be required to purchase a vehicle pass.

Handicap Sites

Handicap sites are to be used only by parties who will have a handicapped member camping with a State recognized handicap placard.

Site changes, Transfers or Pre-Pays

Same-day site transfers can be made in the campground based on availability with camp host approval.  Placing equipment on site or moving tags will not be allowed to hold a site.


No parking on the grass or in the loop islands. We offer additional parking in the parking lot located in Crows Creek Campground in Loop E, in the gravel lots across from Loop C, or at the shower houses in both campgrounds. You may also purchase additional campsites to accommodate your needs.

Towed Vehicles

Towed vehicles only will be included with the camping unit when attached with a tow bar. Vehicles driving separately from the motorhome, RV, trailer, etc. will be asked to purchase a vehicle pass or purchase a campsite.


All boats must possess either a Season Boat Pass, or a Season Combo Pass or purchase a daily boat pass upon entering the parks. Your camping fee does not include your boat.

Visitors to Campsites

Inform Camp Hosts of any guests you will be having. Visitors will not be admitted after 10 p.m. without a valid camping pass unless prior arrangements have been made. Vehicles may not exceed camping unit limits at each site.  Additional vehicles will have to park in the lot provided at Loop E or at the shower building parking lots. Large family gatherings or other groups may be required to use the picnic shelter area as space is limited in the campground area.

Length of Stay.

The maximum length of stay is 30 days in any 60-day period in a campground for any camper, regardless of the person(s) paying or staying and the camper must be removed from the campground at the expiration of the 30-day limit. Campers may stay at Crows Creek for 30 days and then switch to Camp Branch for 30 days.

  • A minimum stay of two nights will be required for weekend reservations; must contain Friday/Saturday or Saturday/Sunday. Partial cancellations will not be allowed.
  • The minimum stay for a recognized Holiday is five nights. Stays during a recognized Holiday can only be canceled as a whole, not in parts. Recognized Holidays are Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day.

Walk-In camping

  • Any non-reserved camp sites will continue to be sold on a first-come-first-serve basis.
  • Same-day walk-ins may stay one night during weekends regardless of the type of site. Same-day walk-in is on a first-come, first-serve basis.
  • Customers who arrive after hours are advised to contact Clay County Parks in the morning to minimize the possibility of a conflict with a reservation that may have occurred in the meantime. If scheduling conflicts do occur, reasonable efforts will be made to ensure the best outcome for both parties. If this is not possible for any reason, the customer without a reservation may have to be relocated. In order to avoid this possibility altogether, please use the online reservation system.


Campers may gather wood on the ground, but may NOT cut trees or limbs. Campfires are allowed only in the fire grills provided. Firewood and ice will be sold by the Camp Host unless otherwise posted at the main camp host booths. Campfires are not allowed after Midnight.


Animals must be kept on walking leashes of no longer than 6 feet or tie-outs no longer than 10 feet.

  • No more than 2 dogs per site.
  • No animal(s) will be allowed to be tied to trees.
  • No dog runs, perimeter, or invisible fences are allowed.
  • No animal(s) will be allowed to be left unattended.
  • Owners will be subject to citations for any damage done to trees or the campsite. Loose dog(s) or not cleaning up after your dog(s) will also be subject to citations.
  • No animal(s) allowed at beaches.


One large trash bag will be provided. deposit all trash in the dumpster provided at each restroom. Additional trash bags are available upon request. Please do not litter and please recycle at the appropriate stations.


Alcohol may be consumed by individuals at least 21 years of age. no kegs are allowed in the campground. no alcohol is allowed in the beach areas.

Dumping of Grey Water

Dumping of grey water will not be allowed in the parks. Please use the dump station at the entrance to the campgrounds.


Lines may not be attached to trees.

Metal Detectors

Metal detecting is not allowed in the park.


There are no fireworks allowed in the parks.

Golf carts & ATVs

Will not be allowed to be used in the parks other than those operated by Park Staff.

Picnicking, Fishing & Sightseeing

Occupation of a campsite requires a camping fee. Fishermen or hikers may park at the restrooms after paying the required entry fees. Sightseers or those wishing to "look around" must also pay entry fees.

Horseback Riders

We have equestrian camping in Crow's Creek Campground; Loop A. Crow’s Nest (subject to a daily entrance fee) or Jack Rabbit Bend (no entry fee) is available for day use. Camping fees will be required if she is occupied by horse trailers, corrals, or other equipment. Padded tree tie-outs for your horses are allowable however, owners will be responsible for any damage to trees or campsites and must clean up after their animals.

Weapons & Firearms

It is unlawful to bring into or have in your possession in any park or recreation area any loaded or uncased pistol, revolver, or any object upon which loaded or blank cartridges may be used.

*Rifle, shotgun, BB gun, air gun, spring gun, slingshot or bow, or other weapon, in which a propelling force is gunpowder, spring, or air are considered a weapon or firearm.


Due to camping being an outdoor activity and weather is unpredictable. We will not issue any refunds for bad and/or rainy weather. Weather advisories, please tune in to our local news channels listed under severe weather. please refer to the reservation guidelines via our online reservation system for details regarding modifications or cancellations.

Severe Weather

In the event of severe weather warnings please take shelter in the brick restrooms and shower buildings.

Tornado shelters are located next to the office at Camp Branch Marina and next to the parking lot at Paradise Pointe Marina.

Tune in to local TV news channels

  • CBS, KCTV - channel 5
  • ABC, KMBC - channel 9
  • NBC, KSHB - Channel 41
  • NOAA Weather Radio, Kansas City KID77 - 162.55

In case of an emergency or if you need an ambulance,
call: 911.

Clay County Sheriffs: 816-407-3702
Park Office: 816-407-3400