Washington State Park

13041 State Hwy. 104
De Soto, MO 63020


Petroglyphs, quaint hiking shelters and incredible Ozark overlooks define the Washington State Park experience. Easy access to the Big River makes the park great for swimming or fishing and the park’s three hiking trails address every type of hike, from easy strolls to power hikes. Buildings constructed by African-American Civilian Conservation Corps stonemasons complement the park and add to its sense of history.


Watercraft rentals are available. You can rent canoes, rafts, kayaks and tubes. Rentals include personal flotation devices (PFD), paddles and transportation. Children 12 and under are free for canoe and raft rentals but do count as occupants. You must be 18 years of age or older to rent watercrafts. Short and long floats are available.

The cabins, store, swimming pool and watercraft rentals are operated by your concession hosts, Doyle and Dawn Kennon. Let the Kennons or a member of their staff make your visit to Washington State Park more enjoyable. For reservations or more information about the concession facilities, please call 636-586-2995


Washington State Park offers basic and electric campsites and a special-use camping area. For a little extra space, try the park's family campsite. Two playgrounds and an amphitheater with accessible seating are also located in the campground area.

During the on-season, bundled firewood, bagged ice and other convenience and suvenir items are available for purchase at the park store.

To make a reservation or view campsite details, photos and availability, go to the reservation website by clicking the “Make a Reservation Now” link below. Reservations may also be made by calling toll free 877-ICampMO (877-422-6766).


Cool off in the park's swimming pool! The public pool is open Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. There is a fee for use.

The concession stand at the pool features its signature catfish sandwich, hamburgers, cheeseburgers and fries. It is not necessary to purchase a pass for the pool in order to visit the concession stand. The concession stand is open during pool hours.


Big River offers you opportunities to catch a wide variety of fish, from catfish and crappie to large and smallmouth bass. The portion of the Big River that extends from the Hwy. 21 bridge to the Meramec River has been designated by the Missouri Department of Conservation as a Smallmouth Bass Special Management Area. Special regulations of length and possession limits apply to smallmouth bass in this area. Regulations are posted at the boat launch and gravel bar in the Big River Day-Use Area.

Picnic Areas

You will have the choice of several picnic areas to enjoy lunch. Picnic tables and grills can be found at the Veteran's Memorial picnic area on the northern end of the park; in a large picnic area on the southern end of the park; near the swimming pool; in Big River Day-Use Area; and near Thunderbird Lodge.

For larger groups, there are two open shelters available for use. Shelter 2/Big River Day-Use Area Shetler, with a capacity of 96 people, is located in the Big River Day-Use Area and is accessible to people with disabilities. Shelter 1/CCC RIdge Shelter, with capacity of 84 people, is located across from the petroglyph site. They may be reserved for $40 each per day.  A small gazebo overlooking the Big River can be reserved for $75 per day for weddings only.

If not reserved, the shelters are available at no charge on a first-come, first-served basis. Restrooms and potable water are available near the two open shelters from April through October. No electricity is available. Parking at the shelters is limited to the designated spaces. Please do not park on the grass. Alcohol consumption and/or possession is not allowed in the Big River Day-Use Area (including the shelter and undesignated swimming area) or at the scenic overlook (including the gazebo).

Three playgrounds are within the park and near some picnic areas - at the swimming pool, in the campground and near the shelter at the Big River Day-Use Area.

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