Clay County Campgrounds Frequently Answered Questions

Q.  How to purchase a campsite?

A.  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, by making a reservation at or by calling the Park Office during business hours at (816) 407-3400.

Upon payment or arrival, the Camp Host will issue a campsite pass, please attach this to your campsite post. You will also be issued a vehicle pass, to be display inside your vehicle on the front left side of the windshield.

For those of you who would like to enjoy the camping experience of either 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 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.

Important Notice for drive-in customers: 

  • Any non-reserved camp sites will continue to be sold 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 reservation may have to be relocated. In order to avoid this possibility altogether, please use the online reservation system.

Q. How can we pay for our campsite?

A. The Clay County Parks Department accepts the following as forms of payment:

  • Cash
  • Check (Checks must include Driver’s License number, valid phone number & address if different than on check)
  • MasterCard
  • Visa
  • Discover

Q. Are there any additional fees for vehicles or boats?

A. One vehicle pass is included with your camping fee. However, if you have other vehicles or boat/trailer accompanying you, there is an additional pass required.  Please refer to the “related information” on the Clay County Parks website.

Q. May we bring firewood/ice or do we have to purchase at the campgrounds?

A. You may bring your own firewood if you would like however, it must be burned during your stay with us. Yu maynot take firewood out of the park due to the Emerald Ash Borer. Please do not leave any unburned firewood at the campsite. Please do NOT leave campfires unattended.

For your convenience, you may purchase firewood and/or ice while our camp hosts are on duty at the Camp Host Booth located at the entrance to each campground.  

Q. How many people are permitted per site?

A. Campsite capacity requirements of 6 people and one to two tents or one tent plus one camper. Campers are allowed three (3) axled units per site.

Q. Do you have check in/out times?

A. Yes, they are as follows:


CHECK IN 1:00 pm

CHECK OUT 11:00 am


CHECK IN 5:00 pm

CHECK OUT 3:00 pm

(*:  Except when there is a holiday on Monday; then Sunday's checkout time becomes 11:00 am, and Monday's checkout time becomes 3:00 pm.


Q. Are there any law enforcement on site?

A. Yes, the Park Rangers patrol the campgrounds, trails system, marinas, swim beaches and other park property regularly.  If you have an emergency, call 911; emergency personnel will be dispatched along with the Park Rangers. After hours, for NON-life threatening issues, call (816) 407-3400, press Park Ranger Extention and Park Ranger will be paged and will contact you as quickly as possible.  

Q. What are your quiet hours?

A. Quiet hours are 10:00 pm to 6:00 am. Generators will be allowed UNLESS they are bothersome to your neighbors; if so, you will be asked to shut the generator off.

Q.  What is the minimum stay requirement?

A. A minimum stay of two nights will be required for weekend reservations; must consist of Friday/Saturday or Saturday/Sunday.  The cancellation of one night of a two night minimum stay will not be allowed.

Minimum night stay for a recognized holiday is 5 nights. The cancellation of one night of the five nights minimum stay will not be allowed. Recognized holidays are: Memorial Day, July 4th, and Labor Day.

Q. What is the maximum stay requirement?

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

Q. Are we allowed to bring our pet?

A. 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 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 dogs or not cleaning up after your dog(s) will also be subject to citations.
  • No animal(s) allowed at beaches.

Q.  Do you allow campfires?

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

Q.  May we bring our golf carts or ATV's to use while camping at Smithville Lake?

A.  No, golf carts & ATV's will not be allowed to be used in the parks other than those operated by Park Staff.

Q.  Can we purchase a fishing license at Smithville Lake?

A.  Yes, for your convenience Camp Branch Marina have a designated computer and printer for you to obtain your permits. Please refer to the Missouri Department of Conservation for details.

Q. Do you have a swim beach and/or picnic areas?

A. Clay County Parks Department operates and maintains two public swim beaches at Smithville Lake. The beaches are located within Camp Branch and Little Platte Parks.  Both beaches are open to the public daily from May 1st through September 15th from  8:30 a.m. to sunset                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                . Facilities include showers, changing rooms, rest rooms, and drinking fountain. There is no life guard on duty. Pets, glass containers, and alcoholic beverages are not permitted.

Q.  Are firearms allowed?

A.   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 gun powder, spring or air are considered a weapon or firearm. (Section 90.24)

Q.  Are fireworks permitted?

A.  There are no fireworks permitted in the parks.

Q. Are you on any Social Media sites?

A. Yes, please “like” us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

Q.  What is the street address/phone number/web site for the Park Office?


Clay County Parks Dept.
17201 Paradesian
Smithville, MO  64089
phone: (816) 407-3400

Q. I/we need driving directions.

A. See directions on Bing Maps here.

Q.  What are some nearby attractions?

A. We have several attractions nearby. Please refer to a partial list below and I would also encourage you to visit the Clay County website ( for further information.

  • Paradise Pointe Golf Complex; offers two challenging, 18 hole courses and a four hole Academy course.
  • 3 18 hole Disc Golf Courses at Little Platte Park
  • Beginner Course Disc Golf at Camp Branch Campground
  • Camp Branch Swim Beach
  • Little Platte Swim Beach
  • Kansas City Trap Shooting Range
  • Jesse James Bank Museum
  • Jesse James Farm & Museum
  • Pharis Farm
  • Mt. Gilead Historical School & Church
  • Tryst Falls Park and shelter areas
  • US Army Corps of Engineers
  • 30 minutes from downtown Kansas City
  • 15 minutes from the City of Smithville and the City of Kearney
  • 45 minutes to Worlds of Fun and Oceans of Fun

contact us

Clay County 

Parks Department

Park Office
17201 Paradesian
Smithville, MO 64089

Hours: Monday- Friday
 8:00am - 5:00pm

Saturday & Sunday

8:00am - 4:00pm


phone: (816) 407-3400
fax: (816) 407-3411