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Blm Dispersed Camping California Map

What Is Blm Camping

Ogilby Road BLM California – *Update* New Camping Restrictions

The Bureau protects undeveloped public lands. Some BLM areas offer dispersed BLM camping in California at little to no cost. Youre typically allowed to stay up to 14 nights on BLM land, and some locations require a permit. Signs will be posted if a permit is required.

Also, its always a good idea to thoroughly read any signage in case of special rules and regulations for the area. In addition, there may be BLM lands that offer some amenities for campers, but mostly, youll find boondocking options only.

Alder Creek Dispersed Campingsequoia National Forest

Image from The Dyrt camper Raul P.

If you want to stay in Sequoia National Forest and arent interested in the OHV area, check out Alder Creek Dispersed Camping, a heavily-wooded campground with vault toilets and a creek nearby.

Campground usage is also light and operates on a first come, first served basis but bewareduring summer days when the heat rises, the area becomes dry and heavy fire restrictions are enforced. Check the USFS website before you go to assess your likelihood of marshmallow roasting.

Camp For Free: Dispersed Camping And Boondocking Book

My book Camp for Free: Dispersed Camping & Boondocking on Americas Public Lands tells you everything you need to know to find secluded and beautiful campsites on the over 400 million acres of government-owned lands in the United States, primarily national forest and Bureau of Land Management lands, but also national monuments and state lands.

Read Also: Land Between The Lakes Camping Reservations

Where Can You Camp Off The Grid In California

Just about anywhere you can disperse camp you will be off-grid. Disperse camping gives you a little cleared spot, possibly a fire ring, and nothing else. There are no electrical hook-ups, no internet services and there are usually no toilets.

Some of these disperse camping areas can be driven to in your rig but you have to check the individual camping areas to find them. Most are off in the wilderness where it is only your tent between you and nature.

The good thing about off-grid camping is that there are generally no fees to be paid. You just follow the rules set out by the federal agency or the California state park board and you should be fine.

The only fee you may have to pay will be for your fire permit if there is a fire ring and if the dire warnings are low enough. Other than that you should check with the agency operating and managing the campsites to see what is allowed fire-wise and if you have to pay.

One thing is for sure, if you are camping on California state land, you will have to pack your own firewood in.

Also, off-grid camping can be done in every legal boondocking spot. That is the definition of boondocking. You are running your RV off your batteries and not the power grid. There are just too many locations to mention here.

The Roadpass Pro Member Benefit: Blm Map Overlays

Your Guide To Blm Camping And Recreation

Where do you find these BLM camping areas? Start by searching for the state or region youd like to camp and then click More Filters > Categories > BLM. This will limit your search to developed campgrounds and dispersed camping areas on BLM land.

Roadpass Pro Members can take this one step further by turning on the BLM Map Overlay. Do this by clicking the Map Overlays button on the right side of the map and ticking on BLM. The resulting yellow overlay shows the exact location of all the United States BLM-managed public lands. Zoom in to get a more detailed map view, and turn on other overlays, like Reported Cell Coverage, to fine-tune even further. The overlay works on both the website and the app, making navigation a breeze when youre on the road.

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Is Blm Camping Free

Almost all BLM camping in California is free and requires no reservations or permits. However, you still need to abide by all rules posted, especially the Leave No Trace policy.

If BLM land is consistently damaged, the government will close it to the public. We want to keep these free camping options open.

Therefore, making sure you leave no trash and cause no damage to the land is extremely important. While camping is free, the rules keep the land beautiful and accessible for others.

Pro Tip:Never break these BLM boondocking rules!

How And Where To Find Free Camping In California

If youve never looked for free camping before, be patient and do your research ahead of time. The chances are high youll take a wrong turn or go a mile in the wrong directionwhen that happens, take a deep breath and enjoy the drive. Free camping exists in wild and wonderful places and the better equipped you are to enjoy the journey the more youll enjoy the destination.

Free camping in California can generally be found on BLM and USFS property, and some of the best sites are found by taking a random turn down a dirt road with a cattle guard and driving until you find a pull-out. If youre in a pinch you can use the offline maps and campgrounds of The Dyrt PRO to find the free public lands near you.

Benchmark maps make some of the best recreation-based atlases for exploring your state and region, with shaded regions denoting private and public property. They also cordon off national parks from national forests and differentiate between 4WD and paved roads. By cross-referencing your Benchmark map with Google Maps its easier than ever to identify areas with a high likelihood of free camping.

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Common Questions About Camping On Blm Land

What is BLM camping?

BLM camping is camping on public lands or in developed campgrounds managed by the Bureau of Land Management. You can BLM camp in an RV or tent.

Is BLM camping free?

Most dispersed BLM camping is free, but some areas or developed BLM campgrounds charge a nightly fee.

Can you boondock on BLM land?

You can boondock on most BLM public lands, however, some public lands restrict camping, so check with your local BLM field office to ensure recreation is welcome.

How long can you camp on BLM land?

Most BLM camping areas are limited to 14-night stays within a 28-day period. Stay maximums can vary, so check with your local BLM field office to confirm.

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Joshua Tree Dispersed Camping

How to Find Free (dispersed) Campsites in National Forests & BLM Land My Recent Boondocking Spots!

Joshua Tree is an incredibly popular destination for dispersed camping in California. The dry, desert climate makes this an ideal winter getaway to check out the National Park and enjoy all of the surrounding wilderness. There is great dispersed camping just outside of Joshua Tree National Park.

The best dispersed campsites are located south of the parks, just off of Cottonwood Springs Road. This location couldnt be better if youre looking to explore the southern section of the park, as youre mere minutes from the Cottonwood entrance station. The campsites are located just north of I-10, giving you easy access to Indio for supplies.

To get here, take I-10 to Cottonwood Springs Road and head north towards Joshua Tree National Park. After approximately 1 mile of driving along Cottonwood Springs Road youll begin to see campsites located to the west. If youre looking for more Joshua Tree camping, check out our complete guide.

The Alabama Hills are famous for their iconic views of the Sierra, excellent climbing, as well as some of Californias best dispersed camping. Located on BLM land, dispersed camping here is very popular. Given that, it is incredibly important to practice Leave No Trace principles and always leave your campsite in better shape than you found it.

If youre looking for more great dispersed camping near Yosemite, check out our complete guide!

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What Is The Bureau Of Land Management

There are three major federal public land managers in the United Statesthe United States Forest Service , the National Park Service , and the Bureau of Land Management . Of the three, the BLM arguably manages the most diverse landscapes in the country, from red-rock deserts to high plains to forests. They also oversee the most public land245 million acres or approximately one out of every ten acres in the United States.

The BLM has a strong multi-use mandate, which states that they are tasked with managing public lands for a variety of uses such as energy development, livestock grazing, recreation, and timber harvesting while ensuring natural, cultural, and historic resources are maintained for present and future use.

Of the three land agencies, the BLM is known for being the most hands-off when it comes to recreational management. On the surface, this may seem like a detriment to campers, but thats not necessarily the case. Why, you ask? Well, lets talk about dispersed camping.

Is There An App For Blm Land

As mentioned previously, there are many apps to find places to camp, but to know for sure if you are on BLM land, there are a couple of specific apps available to help you do so.

Other than Free Roam, another app is BLM Public Lands Map Guide USA. Available for $2.99, this app allows you to seek out BLM camping, recreational activities, mineral lands, and much more.

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Turn On The Layers You Want

Here is a step by step guide to turning on Map Layers:

  • Go to the map on The Dyrt app or website
  • Tap the Map Layers icon in the corner of the map
  • Select the Map Layers you want to see
  • Free camping is available almost everywhere on Bureau of Land Management land and U.S. Forest Service land.

    Permit camping only is available on National Park Service land. Obtain permits at the website for each National Park.

    Here is a visual of these steps:

    Find areas where you can camp for free. Apply Map Layers in The Dyrt app to see USFS, BLM, and NPS areas. Note that restrictions may apply, and you should always check local restrictions. As always, camp responsibly and leave no trace.

    What This Book Is And What It Is Not

    Blm Dispersed Camping California Map

    There are hundreds of thousands of places where you can legally boondock and do dispersed camping in the United States, so this is not a guidebook to specific places. Rather, its how-to manual that makes sure you know how to find the best dispersed camping and boondocking sites in the United States, and that you maximize your enjoyment and safety.

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    Leave No Trace& Tread Lightly

    Before we go, we’ve got to mention this one more time! Be a steward for the places you visit. Love them like they were your own, because they are. Don’t just practice ‘leave no trace‘ principles whenever you go outside, but help clean up after others as well.

    Not only do food scraps, spat-out tooth paste, and trash leave marks, vehicles do too. Make sure that in your search for the perfect site you don’t trample vegetation and damage the land. Adhere to all ‘tread lightly‘ principles.

    Explore Your Public Lands In California

    Our map features recreation sites on public lands throughout the state across public land management agencies. Find your next hike or camping destination, decide where to fish, climb, hunt, make the most of the snow, enjoy the water, or plan a roadside picnic along a scenic drive out west.

    Even after Don Cabrillo explored the California coast, in the middle of the 16th century, it took a while for the word to get out that there was a very special land at the western end of the New World. For the next 300 years, the Spanish settlements and missions expanded slowly through southern California, co-existing more or less peacefully with the indigenous peoples.

    Then the Americans blazed a trail overland, and discovering the richness of the mines, the agricultural land, and the forests, eventually annexed the land from Mexico. Since then, California has been synonymous with clement weather, sublime natural beauty, and richly varied ecosystems. From sandy beaches on the Pacific Coast to the glaciers of the Sierra Nevadas, California’s public lands encompass forests of giant redwoods, sequoias, and Joshua trees, vast expanses of exotic desert, fertile valley wetlands, and all sorts of fascinating transition zones.

    Take some time to explore the wonders of California here. You will discover a wealth of detailed information about where to go and what to do while touring the public lands of this state.

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    What Is Blm Land

    Those who are unfamiliar with dispersed camping may be wondering, what is BLM land? First, we need to look at the acronym BLM to find out more about the organization that oversees BLM land.

    These lands are managed by the Bureau of Land Management, which is part of the U.S. Department of the Interior. The Bureau of Land Management is tasked with responsibly managing land and resources for the use and enjoyment of the public.

    The BLM is accountable for managing public lands for an array of uses such as energy and mineral development, grazing of livestock, recreation, along with timber harvesting, while ensuring cultural, natural, and historic resources are maintained for this and future generations.

    Currently, the BLM oversees 245 million surface acres of public lands for the American people. The agency manages 1 in 10 acres in the U.S., or about 12 percent of the landmass of the U.S. Thats a little bit less than the size of Texas. The land is primarily located in the western states, including Alaska, California, New Mexico, and Wyoming.

    Its More Than Ok To Follow The Rules

    Dispersed Camping on Public Lands Explained! (Finding Free & Cheap Campsites)

    For BLM, every field office has similar and different rules and its a necessity for you and the longevity of our public lands to familiarize yourself with them before you camp. For example, on lands managed by the BLMs Vernal Field Office, you can drive 300 feet off of a main road for dispersed camping. Managed lands in other areas have different rules.

    Heres a few rules/best practices that are universal and should be applied in addition to each field offices individual rules.

    Practice Leave No Trace and Tread Lightly!â Wildlife is more present and ecosystems are often more delicate in the backcountry, so its particularly important to practice Leave No Trace and Tread Lightly! principles. These principles include planning ahead, packing out your trash, being careful with fire, traveling or camping on durable surfaces, respecting cultural sites, wildlife, and other visitors and more.

    Bathroomsâ Some areas may have toilets nearby, if not, its not okay to just pop a squat anywhere. There are repercussions to our waste. Watch this video to be prepared for when nature calls. And now that youre super-duper excited for your next outdoor pooper-tunity, here are some additional bathroom tips.

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    The Best Dispersed Camping In California

    If youve read the sections above you should have a good overview of the rules and regulations surrounding dispersed camping in California and youre probably ready to start planning your next trip. To help give you some inspiration, weve included our Top 9 dispersed camping areas in California below.

    In addition, the California Dispersed camping map below shows all of the campsite locations, with detailed descriptions following.

    Restrooms: Vault toilets often available seasonally.Water: NoMap

    The Kern River cuts through Californias Sierra Nevada mountains and makes a wonderful dispersed camping destination. Located in Sequoia National Forest, the river has nine designated dispersed campsites that offer the opportunity to camp right on the river and enjoy some of the incredible recreation in the region.

    Of these nine dispersed sites, our favorites include Brush Creek, Ant Canyon, and Chico Flat. However, you really cant go wrong with any of the dispersed sites available, and we recommend reading our complete guide to dispersed camping on the Kern River here to pick the site that works best for you.

    These sites represent some of Californias best dispersed camping as they are easily accessed, provide some basic facilities , and let you enjoy a wild and scenic river for free. Given this, it is important to do your part when camping here and always leave your campsite in better condition than when you found it.

    Zoom In And Look For Roads

    Once you have your map layers selected, make sure you look for roads. Because USFS and BLM land areas allow camping almost anywhere , just looking at the map pins does not give you the whole picture.

    Sometimes you will find map pins within the map area. These can be a helpful indicator that others have found good camping in this area. Exploring the roads around existing map pins is a good place to start if you are new to camping in USFS and BLM land.

    Many campers use Map Layers by finding a road they want to explore, packing up, and hitting the road. If the road is inside a National Forest or BLM land, you are likely to find free camping. And if you dont find something, as long as you have The Dyrt app you have all campgrounds at your fingertips.

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    How To Find Dispersed Camping In Oregon

    Generally speaking, it is a straightforward endeavor to find dispersed camping in Oregon if you know where to look.

    With a little experience utilizing some of the great public mapping resources, navigating forest services roads, and understanding camping rules, youll unlock tons of great Oregon dispersed campsites! When searching for campsites ourselves, we like to use a combination of online apps/websites and USFS/BLM maps to find dispersed campsites. Our favorite resources our outlined below:

  • Our go to resource for finding free camping.
  • The Dyrt An app that lets you filter for free and dispersed campsites.
  • Check out our Dispersed Camping App guide here.

    While these apps and websites are a good starting place for finding dispersed camping in Oregon, we always encourage would be campers to research and confirm camping availability on public agencies maps and information. This guide includes contact information for all of the National Forests, BLM offices, and State Forests in Oregon, and your best bet for finding a good dispersed campsite is to reach out to them directly.

    Looking to find more dispersed campsites? Check out The Dyrt PRO to get campsite reviews, offline maps, and the best map layers for finding public dispersed camping!

    Our Top Camping App The Dyrt PRO

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