Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park is nestled in the St. Francois Mountains of eastern Missouri and nearby to the Taum Sauk Mountain which is the highest point in Missouri – a whopping 1,772 feet above sea level! The Shut-Ins is a type of rock formation found in streams where they carve through a mountain range, creating rivulets, rapids and plunge pools. These rock formations resist erosion and are confined to a narrow valley or canyon, with the river valley widening out both above and below. The Johnson’s Shut-In has clear, cool water, deep pools throughout with many waterfalls as the water works its way thru the rocks and a large deep pool area at the end. The river is unnavigable, even by canoe, due to the rapids and narrow channels. It was another rainy day as we walked the trail around the shut-in and watched brave people jumping into the deep pools of water from the high rocks surrounding the river. Even though the water was so clear they were a lot braver than us! The Ozarks are simply beautiful and we were anxious to see more. The trail continued straight up the side of the mountain but because of the very slippery mud we turned around and decided to play it safe stay on the lower trail along the river.…
We stayed here for two weeks in June of 2019 while visiting Anna’s uncle John. This is a good alternative to the KOA where we have stayed before as it is lower cost and much closer to John’s house. The park has been here since the 1940’s and is primarily designed for mobile homes but they have included sites for short term stays in RV’s and for longer term stays (over a month) you would be placed on a mobile home site. Mobile homes in the park range from very well kept to some being in need of some TLC but overall the park has aged well unlike most mobile home parks.…
Site Quality: Concrete roads and pads. Most sites are pull through although perimeter sites were back in. These sites seemed to be occupied by more long term visitors although they were kept clean and in good order.
Access: Easy access from Interstate 40 in southwest Oklahoma City. Easy access to the Kilpatrick Turnpike to go north to visit relatives.
Staff: We had minimal interaction but everyone was cordial and helpful.
Amenities: 50A power with full hookups. Picnic table at each site. There were 3 storm shelters within the park which could be helpful since this area of the country frequently gets bad weather. In fact, we were under tornado watches and warnings the first night we were here. There are restroom/shower facilities as well as a laundry in the clubhouse although we didn’t use any of them. The office area was clean and well maintained so the other facilities likely were as well. There is a playground, dog run and a swimming pool.
Cellular/WiFi: Verizon and AT&T were decent (2-3 bars) without amplification. Data speeds were somewhat slow at times and usually below 10 Mbps.
What we liked: Newer park surrounded by retail options for shopping and eating. The park was well maintained. Trash pickup daily at your site.
What we didn’t like: Some highway noise from Interstate 40 but not enough at night to keep us awake.
Verdict: Although a bit far from our relatives, this is one of only a few decent parks in the OKC area. This is not a destination stop but is a good, safe place for short stays when travelling through the area or visiting relatives. We would stay here again.
We stayed at Inks Lake State Park for 5 days in April 2019 on our way back towards the Round Rock area for our bi-annual visit. This was a great time of year for our visit as the wildflowers were beautiful and an evening campfire was great for the cool evenings. Inks Lake has always been a favorite park in this area although we never came here much when we lived close by. During the peak season this park stays very busy and closes entry to additional people during the day when the park reaches capacity.…