Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro, Arkansas is unique among state parks in America. In fact, the primary feature of this park is a rarity on our planet – a place that allows visitors to search for all manner of minerals, rocks, and gemstones and keep what they find.
The search area is the surface of a volcanic crater that has eroded over time, creating a 37-acre prospecting field just waiting for people to explore. Park goers can even bring their own equipment to help them mine (although no motorized or battery-operated tools can be used), or rent some from the park.
Nearly 35,000 diamonds have been found at the Arkansas State Park since its opening in 1972, including white, brown, and yellow diamonds. 35 of those diamonds were larger than five carats, including a monster that tipped the scales at over 16 carats!
But digging for diamonds isn’t the only activity at the park – by a long shot. It also features walking trails, picnic sites, a gift shop, and Diamond Springs Water Park which is a favorite attraction of kids and adults alike.
Crater of Diamonds State Park is located at:
209 State Park Rd
Murfreesboro, AR 71958
Map of Crater of Diamonds State Park
Exploring The Park
There is a lot to do at Crater of Diamonds beyond prospecting. Here are some of the main features:
Hiking At Crater of Diamonds State Park
If leisurely exploring nature on foot is your thing, then this park has you covered. There are several trails at Crater of Diamonds you can explore:
Little Missouri River Trail – This 1.2 mile trail is an easy hike that takes about an hour. Half of the trail is paved and offers barrier-free access making it wheelchair accessible. The unpaved half of the trail is an easy walk. It runs from the campground to the picturesque Little Missouri River, then looping back going through the forest.
Prospector Trail – This is another easy 1.2 mile trail, taking visitors on a tour of the park’s primary geological features, including some unusual outcroppings of rock on the trail’s west side. Note: since this runs by the diamond search area hikers are required to pay the entry fee.
Wildlife Observation Blind Trail – This short easy hike is only .2 miles long. It consists of a graveled trail that takes hikers to an observation blind where they can see wildlife. Frequently seen critters include armadillos, gray squirrels, whitetail deer, and a variety of different species of birds.
Fishing At Crater of Diamonds
Anglers can enjoy fishing from the bank of the Little Missouri river. Frequently taken are bream, catfish, and largemouth bass. The best fishing happens in late summer due to cool water coming out from under the Lake Greeson Dam. Terrell Access is a public boat launch across from the park that also gives access to the river. Trout fishing can be superb below the dam, as it is regularly stocked by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission from late fall through early spring. Fishing licenses are required.
Swimming At Crater of Diamonds
After a hot day of mining for gems you and the kids can cool off at Diamond Springs Water Park. This aquatic playground follows the park’s mining theme, and features a 4,166-square-foot wading pool with water jets, spraying geysers, water slides, cascades, and even animated waterspouts. For those who’d prefer to relax next to the pool while the kids play there is a nice deck with furniture surrounding the pool.
Planning a visit and wondering where to stay near Crater of Diamonds State Park? You are in luck – there are a variety of lodging options that will accommodate your needs. Read on to see your options.
Camping On Crater of Diamonds State Park
If you want to be close, you can’t get closer than staying right at the park. Crater of Diamonds features 47 Class AAA campsites with 50 Amp and 30 Amp electrical hookups, plus water and sewer connections). The park also has 5 walk-in tent sites if you’d prefer to rough it. You can check availability and book a campsite here.
Camping And RV Parks Near Crater of Diamonds State Park
If you are looking for a campgrounds near Crater of Diamonds State Park you are in luck – there are a number of places offering camping nearby. Many are RV parks, in case you are looking to drive or tow a recreational vehicle to stay in while visiting. Here are some of the best:
Murfreesboro RV Park – 10 hookup sites available, plus additional tenting sites. Amenities like free WiFi and ice, plus they offer daily classes on diamond mining at the state park. Located at 1410 S Washington Ave #8902, Murfreesboro, AR 71958
Castle Keepers R V Resort – Just 5 miles from the park, this RV park has great fishing opportunities and has a bait shop on site. Located at 1902 AR-19 Murfreesboro, AR 71958
Miners’ Camping – Pet and child friendly, with a large tent camping area with a catch and release pond. Located at 2235 AR-301, Murfreesboro, AR 71958.