Itasca State Park36750 Main Park Drive
Park Rapids, MN 56470
21 miles North of Park Rapids on US Hwy 71. From Bemidji the park is 30 miles south on U.S. Highway 71.Get Directions
Established in 1891, Itasca is Minnesota's oldest State Park. In this 32,000 acre sanctuary, the mighty Mississippi River begins its 2,552 mile journey to the Gulf of Mexico. Points of interest include old growth pine at Preacher's Grove, Peace Pipe Vista, bison kill site and over 100 lakes. The historic Douglas Lodge includes rental rooms, cabins & the Itasca Suites. Great birding site for Common Loon, Black-backed woodpecker, Alder Flycatcher, Winter Wren and more. Cross-country ski trails.
In addition to Itasca State Park's more than 200 campsites, the park is home to "Minnesota’s Own Resort," the historic Douglas Lodge, located near the Mississippi Headwaters. It contains guest rooms, meeting rooms, a dining room, lobby & office. A variety of other lodging facilities are available, from log cabins to the Clubhouse, a ten-room log building ideal for family gatherings.
Nestled within you will find the Itasca Wilderness Sanctuary. Established in 1939 within Itasca State Park at the suggestion of the Minnesota Academy of Science, to preserve a part of the wilderness character of the state that existed prior to logging and settlement. In 1965, it became Minnesota's first National Natural Landmark. Most of the Sanctuary (1601 acres) was designated a state Scientific and Natural Area in 1989, as the finest example of Great Lakes Pine Forest in north-central Minnesota.
The SNA is located along the western side of Lake Itasca and protects roughly two miles of undeveloped shoreline along the lake. A mosaic of eighteen native plant occupies the site, dominated by fire-dependent red pine–white pine forest communities.
More than 280 native plant species have been documented here, including several varieties of lady's-slipper orchids. State-listed plant species include but are not limited to Oakes' pondweed (endangered in Minnesota), cuckoo flower and goblin fern (both threatened in Minnesota).
Hours & DatesPark permits: $35 annual, $26 second vehicle, $12 handicapped, or $7 daily. Camping fees are separate.
Book an online reservation 24 hours a day.
Phone reservations can be made by calling 866-857-2757 (TTY: 952-936-4008)
- Open in fall
- Open in winter
- Open in summer
On-Site Facilities & Services
- Children's programs (scheduled, supervised)
- Evening entertainment (regularly scheduled)
- High-speed Internet available
- Located on a lake or river
- Bicycle rental
- Bike trail
- Canoes or kayaks available
- Cross-country ski trail (groomed)
- Fishing boat motors available
- Fishing boats available
- Hiking trail
- Lake/river access (boat ramp)
- Pontoon boat(s) available
- Snowmobile trail (groomed)
- Snowshoes available
- Swimming beach
Indoor Lodging Amenities
- Accessible to people with disabilities
- Air conditioned units available
- Fireplace in room(s)
- Accommodations for tour groups of 40 or more
- Unit(s) that accommodate groups of 10+ people
- Housekeeping (self catering)
- Energy efficiency/conservation
- Waste reduction/reuse/recycling
- Number of cabins: 13
- Number of rooms in lodge building: 7
- Number of units in condominium arrangement: 16
- Total indoor lodging units available in winter: 12
- Total number of indoor lodging units: 38
- Can accommodate groups of 45 or more
Number/Type of Campsites
- Number of tent-only sites: 22
- Total number of campsites: 237
- Total number of campsites available in winter: 12
- Camping accessible to people with disabilities
- Flush toilets in campground
- Group camp facilities
- Hookups available in winter
- Hot showers in campground
- Lodge/central building
- Pets allowed in campsite
- Sanitary dump station
- Secluded campsites
- State Parks Campgrounds
- Wheelchair accessible entrance
- Wheelchair accessible parking
- Wheelchair accessible restrooms
- Wheelchair-friendly inside walkways
Length of Stay
- Daily rental available
- Daily site rental
- Weekend rental available
- Weekly rental available
Meetings & Conferences
- Banquet facilities maximum capacity: 100
- Facility accommodates meetings for 30 or more
- Meeting/convention facilities maximum capacity: 100
Based on 541 reviews
Seeing the headwaters was a neat experience. The parks has many lovely views. The welcome center is very nice.
— Winricktravels, June 2, 2023
Minnesota’s first state park. Very scenic place featuring the Headwaters of the Mississippi River. Pretty cool to see how it begins as a small stream that flows out of Lake Itasca. Very popular spot...
— TravelingSoccerLoon, April 3, 2023
Great trip! We arrived at approximately 11:30 am and made our way towards the entrance of the park. After paying for our parking passes, we proceeded to take the scenic drive around the park. The...
— PartyTheNightAway, February 2, 2023
We knew it was not going to be a wow moment so we didn't set high expectations. It was a peace of history so know how everything was laid out.
— Vanna P, December 2, 2022
This was a late fall trip to the park and headwaters, so wasn't expecting much. It was pretty crowded for a weekday, with kids running all over the place. Was still worth the little time to explore...
— S M, October 23, 2022