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Jester Park


Do my visitors need to leave the park at 10:30 p.m. even if they are visiting us at our campsite?

Section 12 of our Park Rules and Regulations states: all visitors are required to leave the park prior to closing time, which is 10:30 p.m. during the summer hours and by sunset during off season.

We don't have a tent, can we sleep under the stars, if we register a campsite?

No. Under our Park Rules and Regulations, you need to have a designated "Camping unit" in order to camp in a county park, a "camping unit" is a tent, trailer or motor vehicle specifically designated for such use as a temporary residence at a camp area. Section 13 (E).

What is the latest I can set up a camping spot?

Section 14 (K) of our Park Rules and Regulations stipulates: There will be no taking down or putting up of camping units after 10:00 p.m.

Do you lock the park gates at 10:30 pm?

At parks with campgrounds we do not lock the gates. Areas without campgrounds are locked after hours. If you return to the park after hours  you may be stopped by the ranger, in which case let them know you are returning to your camp site. You will be asked to provide the name on the reservation and campsite number.

Summer park hours are 6:30 am to 10:30 pm. Winter hours are sunrise to sunset. Fort Des Moines closes at sunset throughout the year. 

Can both a trailer and fold down occupy one site?

No, as stated in our regulations, Section 13 E. “Camping unit or camp”: a tent, trailer or motor vehicle specifically designed for such use as a temporary residence at a camp area. You are able to have two tents on the same site, however,  two trailers, are not permitted.   A camper (trailer, RV, etc.) with an additional tent or a tent with a second tent will be charged an additional tent fee. 

General Questions

How do we contact a ranger?

In an emergency, dial 911.  The emergency services will notify the ranger on duty. 

For general questions during normal business hours, contact our main office at (515) 323-5300 Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Fax (515) 323-5354; E-Mail pccb_info@polkcountyiowa.gov. If you need a park ranger during off hours, please contact the area's Park Ranger. 

After hours please contact the park ranger's cell number:
Fort Des Moines Park or Easter Lake Park (515) 249-1543 
Jester Park  (515) 249-3229 
Thomas Mitchell Park or Mally's Weh Weh Neh Kee Park (515) 249-1753 
Yellow Banks Park (515) 250-1031

How do I learn more about being a park ranger; working for the conservation?

Please contact our main office at 515.323.5300 and our staff will provide you with information related to your interests.


Can I ride my ATV in Polk County Parks? Where can I find the park rules and regulations?

Section 20. The use of ATV's or similar vehicles is prohibited in county parks, this includes trails as well. Click here for further information: Rules and Regulations