How To Find Camping Spots On Blm Land
Finding campsites on BLM land can be confusing. How do you know who owns the land youre considering, or whether camping is allowed in an area? Fortunately, there are apps and resources to help you find an amazing BLM campsite.
Bureau of Land Management Website
The best information comes from the BLM itself. Search for camping areas on the BLMs website and maps.
Bureau of Land Management Field Offices
Ask managers at your local field offices about nearby camping areas. Managers can provide advice personalized to your experience and RV, as well as advise on current conditions. Field offices are great resources if youre not sure if the area youre considering is accessible to RVs. You can find an areas local field office on the BLM website.
This campground review website includes developed and dispersed BLM campsite listings that are popular among RVers. Each listing includes management information for the campgroundlook for BLM below the listing name. Members can overlay the BLM map in a search to easily identify which public camping is BLM-managed. Reviews provide information from fellow RVers about accessibility, cell phone signal, and other characteristics.
This review website lists free campsites and who manages them. Many of the listings are not accessible to RVs or vehicles. Read the reviews to determine if a site is reachable by RV.
Priest Hole Recreation Site
Location: Near Painted Hills
Free camping near the Painted Hills just doesnt get much better than Priest Hole Recreation Site.
Dispersed camping is the name of the game here. Theres plenty of room to spread out and youre even allowed to camp right down on the river bar.
In fact, the river itself is the best part about camping here. Priest Hole is located right alongside the middle of the Wild and Scenic John Day River. This makes for excellent fishing, swimming, and rafting.
Although amenities are sparse, you can expect a handful of rock fire rings as well as one surprisingly clean vault toilet. Natural shade is in short supply, although the scraggly vegetation does provide a little bit of privacy for those camping near the river.
Plan to drive about three miles down a relatively smooth gravel road before turning onto the much rougher access road. The road is bumpy , but you dont need 4WD, although high-clearance is helpful.
Ive seen plenty of RVs and trailers camped here , but I personally wouldnt take anything longer than about 30 feet maximum here. Dont be afraid to scout ahead on foot if youre in a big rig.
What I Like:
What I Dont Like:
Despite the isolated location, dont come here if youre looking for privacy. The camping area is quite open, so youll almost certainly see and hear your neighbors, especially on busy summer weekends. Natural shade is limited. Dont forget to look out for rattlesnakes!
Other Free Campsites Nearby:
For More Info:
Dispersed Camping In Oregon: The Rules Where You Can & Cannot Camp
In our opinion, theres nothing better than camping. Its a chance to get back to basics, enjoy nature, and separate yourself from the hustle and bustle of 21st century life. It also allows you to experience some of natures best views for free.
The fantastic thing about Oregon is that dispersed camping is allowed and legal, as long as you are camping on state ground and adhere to a few simple guidelines. We outline those further down.
Just remember that public land should be treated with respect just as you would like your own land to be treated. We have tips on how to camp respectfully further down this article.
Land looked after by the Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, Oregon Department of Forestry and other state institutions will be publicly owned. Typically any areas that are green on Google Maps are also publicly owned. A great state map, such as this one could help in finding camping spots too.
Keep an eye on contours as the more spaced out they are on a map, the flatter the ground will be. Maps can also help pinpoint potential water sources to camp nearby.
Just be aware that there are a few areas where dispersed camping in Oregon is forbidden:
- You are not allowed to camp in or near paid campsites , trailheads, recreation areas, boat ramps, picnic areas and similar.
- You are not allowed to camp within 200 feet of a water source .
You can also find cheap campsites in Oregons state forests by .
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History Of The Bureau Of Land Management
The Bureau of Land Management was founded by President Harry Truman in 1946, through a merger of the General Land Office and the U.S. Grazing Service. The agency history goes back to the creation of the GLO in 1812. In addition to the development of the GLO, the Homestead Act of 1862 gave individuals the opportunity to freely claim rights to government land.
A government entity that’s overseen by the Department of the Interior, the BLM monitors hundreds of millions of acres of public lands and minerals in each of the 50 states in the U.S. It also manages wildlife and offer plenty of recreational opportunities to campers and outdoors enthusiasts on public land.
Tips For Dispersed Camping On Blm Land
If youve never tried dispersed camping, it can feel intimidating to start. RVing on dispersed BLM land requires boondocking, meaning camping without hookups and amenities. Its also important to know that some BLM campsites are difficult to access, and require traversing dirt, rocky, steep, washboard, or deeply rutted roads.
Boondocking does not require a specific kind of RV or special equipment. But your RV setup may limit where and how long you can camp.
Once youve chosen your BLM dispersed camping area, here are some things you need to know before you arrive:
Do your homework. Read reviews of the BLM area in advance. Keep an eye out for reviews from campers with similar RVs or needs to your own. This will clue you into whether your RV can access the camping area, cell phone signal strength, current closures and conditions, and tips for local amenities.
Scout ahead. This is critical if you have a larger or low clearance RV. Park your RV or trailer nearby, then investigate in your tow vehicle, on bicycle, or by foot. Make sure the road into the campsites are safe for your RV and identify a place to park.
Arrive early. All dispersed camping is first come, first served, and sites at popular areas are usually claimed during peak seasons. Try to arrive on weekdays or during the off-season to nab the perfect campsite.
Have a backup plan. For all the reasons above, sometimes BLM camping plans dont work out. Have a backup camping area in mind just in case.
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Best Blm Camping Oregon Reviews
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#1 Best Overall blm camping oregon:
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Developed Campsites Vs Dispersed Campsites
There are two types of BLM-managed camping destinations: developed campgrounds and land for dispersed and dry camping. Developed campgrounds offer a similar experience to traditional camping in national and state parks, with some even containing partial hookups for RVs. Dispersed BLM campsites do not offer utilities, bathhouses, or assigned sites, and are often in remote areas. Some may be inaccessible for RVs. Developed campgrounds often charge fees ranging from $10 to $30, while all dispersed campsites are free.
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Winema National Forest Dispesrsed Camping
AddressNF Rd off Dead Indian Rd, Lake of the Woods, OregonKlamath Falls, OregonElevation: 5017
Management: Public Forest Service
The road in is Gravel. Winema National Forest Dispesrsed Camping is open Closed in Winter. There are 30 or more Oregon free camping sites at this location and the maximum RV length is 45 feet. You may stay any at Winema National Forest Dispesrsed
Blue Heron French Cheese Company
GPS Coordinates: 45.4666, -123.8427
Blue Heron French Cheese Company is not a campground. But isnt that what makes it so fun? Blue Heron is a farm-based company that has been around for over 40 years. They specialize in cheese and other gourmet foods, carry Oregon wines, have an on-site gift shop, a deli, and a petting farm for kids.
They also allow RVs to stay overnight for up to two nights. Just go inside and check in to receive a parking pass. It is dry-camping with no services, but the field is relatively level. It is also a great launching pad to visit the town of Tillamook.
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Mount Ashland Campgroundklamath National Forest
Image from The Dyrt camper Jenny R.
Situated within Klamath National Forest in Southern Oregon, the Mount Ashland campground offers remote mountain camping along the Siskiyou Crest. It offers access to the PCT, awesome views and excellent wildflowers, bird and butterfly watching.
Lovely place, lovely drive in. Spots are scattered and hard to find at night. Had deer running around while I was setting up the tent. Pit toilets, hiking close by, accessible in any vehicle. The Dyrt camper Noie V.
Can You Camp On The Side Of The Road In Oregon
Camping along the side of any state highway in Oregon is illegal. It is illegal to camp on the side of most roads, primarily because it can be unsafe. There are a few exceptions where a pull-out alongside a road can be safe, and camping allowed.
That said, there are often dispersed campsites not far off of a road, particularly when you are traveling national or state forest roads. Just be sure not to camp any closer than 200 feet to a water source . In Oregon, you cannot camp near a paid campground, trailhead, boat ramp, picnic area, or recreation area.
Pro Tip: First time camping in Oregon? Before your trip, check out this article to avoid the top 10 mistakes people make while camping in Oregon.
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Oregon Dispersed Camping Rules And Regulations
I cant repeat it enough always follow the Leave No Trace principles when dispersed camping .
Most importantly, pack out all of your trash. Our public lands are experiencing a huge trash problem, both from unprepared campers and plain old a-holes.
So, come prepared to pack out your own trash, including food waste. I try to leave each campsite even cleaner than it was before I got there by picking up any garbage other campers left behind.
In addition to packing out your trash, its vital to properly dispose of human waste, especially in environmentally-sensitive areas.
Burying human waste in a cat hole is allowed on much of Oregons public lands as long as its 200 feet from any campsite, trail, or water source. But, I personally prefer to pack all of my waste out, either in a WAG bag or, better yet, a cheap portable camping toilet like the Luggable Loo.
Make sure to also follow all summertime campfire restrictions , stay out of any closed areas, and respect all stay limits .
Where To Find Blm Campgrounds
BLM public lands are primarily located in 12 western states. This map from the Bureau of Land Management shows areas managed by the agency. States with designated land include Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.
There are two types of BLM camping: developed and dispersed.
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Forest Service Road 21 Umatilla National Forest
Located in north-central Oregon near the town of La Grande youll find the Forest Service Road 21 dispersed camping area. Dispersed campsites here are located just off Highway 84 and will have you conveniently located near both Umatilla National Forest as well as Wallowa-Whitman National Forest.
Although you can expect to hear some highway noise from your campsite, you will enjoy some good shade as well as easy access to many of the areas attractions. If you continue down the road youll reach the Spring Creek Campground, which is free, and features just four campsites. This is a great place to use the restroom if you opt to dispersed camp instead.
To reach the dispersed camping area head north on I-84 from La Grande to exit 248. Head south along FR 21 here and soon campsites will begin to appear on the side of the road. Easy access for all vehicle types!
Is Boondocking Legal In Oregon
Boondocking is legal in Oregon. Oregon is booming with dispersed camping, legal and free on publicly owned land.
There are 11 national forests and 361 state parks in Oregon, as well as nearly 16 million acres of land overseen by the Bureau of Land Management . These are great places to boondock.
If youre not familiar with boondocking, it is dry camping for free without any hook-ups. Youll bring anything you need and pack it up when you leave. You provide for your water, food, bathroom, and power.
Keep in Mind: Trying to avoid spending too much on a campsite? Check out these 10 free camping spots in Oregon.
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How To Choose Blm Camping Oregon: The Buying Guide
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What you Should Keep in Mind When Buying blm camping oregon
When shopping for a blm camping oregon, there are several things to consider. You need to think about the quality of the product, the price, and even how much it will benefit your life. However, you also need to keep these factors in mind:
Planning Your Grande Ronde Wild And Scenic River Blm Trip
You must have a self-issued boating permit to boat on the Grande Ronde Wild and Scenic River. You must carry a containerized portable toilet when boating on this river. If you plan to cook along the river, you must bring a firepan. Once you finish cooking, you need to put all your ashes in it and take them with you. Additionally, each boat must have a sound signaling device, like a whistle and a flashlight. Of course, each person must have a lifejacket.
To keep the area as wild as possible, no group of more than 25 people can float or camp together. You will love seeing the wildlife on this memory-making trip. Be sure to give them plenty of space. If you think you are about to startle one, make some noise. Assuming you have a great vessel, like a multichambered inflatable raft, whitewater kayak or drift boat, you will make memories that last a lifetime along this section of the river. Before you leave, take a minute and read more about BLM camping.
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Blm Camping And Recreation: The Complete Guide
Some of America’s most awe-inspiring camping opportunities can be found on Bureau of Land Management undeveloped public lands. These often untouched destinations are a highlight for any outdoor enthusiast searching for open space and solitude to pitch a tent and enjoy all that nature has to offer. Besides developed campgrounds, national conservation areas, and open-air recreation, the BLM also provides dispersed camping for those who truly want to get away from it all.
BLM lands offer a variety of recreational vehicle and camping types for those looking for adventure. From fully-developed RV parks and campgrounds to true boondocking and dry camping , theres something for every kind of explorer across the United States.