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Free Camping Near Kansas City

Federal Rv Camping Information

Free Camping in Downs Kansas
  • National Park Service Information about Missouri RV camping at National Park Service facilities.
  • US Forest Service Official USFS information about Missouri RV camping in the Mark Twain National Forest. Free dispersed RV camping is encouraged on lands managed by the USFS. Includes public campground information.
  • US Army Corps of Engineers USACE/COE information about COE lakes and RV camping opportunities in Missouri.
  • US Fish & Wildlife Service Most FWS locations do not allow camping, so check carefully before heading to a refuge.
  • Indian Trail Conservation Area Salem

    This campsite gazes across Blackwell Lake on the fringes of Mark Twain National Forest.

    The body of water stretches 35 acres across the landscape and dwarfs two other nearby ponds.

    Though the campsites lack most developed features, their grassy lots maintain good leveling and immaculate cleanliness.

    It puts you within driving distance of everything Mark Twain National Forest has to offer without putting you at the center of the crowds.

    Why do we love it?

    Theres something incredibly charming about primitive campsites despite their lack of amenities.

    The shaded forests of this water pregnant landscape give visitors both privacy, as well as, an intimate contact with nature.

    You can fish at nearby Blackwell Lake, take a stroll through the oak forest, or picnic at one of its two ponds. Its a place for disconnecting and relaxing.


    • Maximum RV length reported: 45ft
    • Number of sites: 30
    • Amenities: Bathrooms and fire pits
    • Max Stay: 14

    Top Things to do Nearby

    For more information on RV camping at Indian Trail Conservation Area visit HERE.

    Dispersed Camping Best Practices

    • Carry plenty of water. Do not drink water from a stream, river, or lake unless it has been purified.
    • Let someone know approximately where you plan to camp. If you suffer a medical emergency, you cannot count on cell phone coverage, and it may be a very long time before someone finds you, particularly if they don’t know where to look.
    • Do not ride bicycles on trails where they are not allowed.
    • If you wish to keep your campsite secure, avoid loud noises, lights at night, and campfire smoke, and cover any reflectors on your bicycle and gear.
    • Do not practice dispersed camping during hunting seasons sportsmen do not expect to stumble upon a campsite while hunting, and you do not want to be mistaken for prey.

    Read Also: Mark Twain National Forest Camping

    Se Kansas Rv Parking Montgomery State Fishing Lake

    AddressElevation: 768

    Management: Public State Park

    This place is totally cool I would call this a gym for Kansas there is camping literally all the way around the lake I mean you use the GPS coordinates to get here but several the dryer driveways when you go past the place are actually other driveways to other spots to camp tons of fishing bluegills crappies Channel cat I mean you got to check this out and I mean all size RVs could actually Camp here open all year round minimum 14-day stay but as I was talking the game wardens they said they would let you probably get by staying longer in the off season.

    Se Kansas Boondocking Locations Buffalo Ranch Swa

    Kansas Free Camping!


    Elevation: 1167

    Management: Public State Park

    The road in is Gravel and 0 miles from a paved road. Cowley State Fishing Lake is open All Year. There are 1-5 campsites at this location and the maximum RV length is 25 feet. You may stay 14 days at Cowley State Fishing Lake. A small lake near Arkansas City, Kansas, and along Hwy 166, Cowley State Fishing Lake features free camping with covered picnic tables, fire pits, and a pit toilet. The campsites are along the gravel road on the ridge above the lake.

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    State Rv Camping Information

  • State Parks in Missouri Information about RV camping and campgournds at Missouris state parks.
  • Department of Conservation Information about state Wildlife Management Areas, Refuges, and camping opportunities in Missouri.
  • Missouri Tourism Website Where to go, and what to do. Includes Missouri RV camping suggestions and travel planning ideas.
  • Suncatcher Lake And Rv Park

    Leavenworth, KS

    The Suncatcher campground is tucked away on the outskirts of KC. If you think the best places to camp are quiet, this may be the camping spot for you.

    This RV park offers full hookups for campers. This RV park is also pet friendly so, you can camp with your pets too! Stays are by reservation only and tent camping is not allowed.

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    Knob Noster State Park

    Knob Noster, MO

    As one of the best places to camp in Kansas City, Knob Noster State Park offers a wide variety of activities the whole family can enjoy. From multiple campsites to hiking, fishing, equestrian trails, kayak rentals, play grounds, educational events and more! This state park may be a bit of a drive out of the metro, but it is definitely worth it!

    Important Tips For Free Camping In Missouri

    Kansas Free Camping

    Missouri is hugeapproximately 69,704 square miles, to be more precise.

    This breathless landscape contains everything from flat grasslands to oak forests to meandering mountains.

    The endless outdoor activities available in these areas make this state one of the best places to go boondocking in the country.

    Free camping in Missouri isnt all sunshine and rainbows though! Youll be lacking most amenities, including: no toilets, no trash cans, no treated water, and no power/sewer.

    On top of that, youll be required to carry out extra responsibilities for this type of camping. Thats why its important to educate yourself before you preparing for your boondocking trip in Missouri!

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    Free Se Kansas Camping Spots Chase State Fishing Lake

    Address1130 Lake Road, Cottonwood Falls, KSCottonwood Falls, KansasElevation: 1332

    Management: Public State Forest

    The road in is Gravel and 1 miles from a paved road. There are 6-15 campsites at this location. You may stay 14 days at Chase State Fishing Lake. Chase State Fishing Lake and Wildlife Area is located in central Chase County, 1.5 miles west of Cottonwood Falls in the center of the scenic Flint Hills region of Kansas. Pit toilets. Trail across dam to waterfall. Potholes in gravel road. Pavilion with two picnic tables.

    Hurricane Access Area Primitive Camping

    Address: Sterling Harbor Rd, Elsberry, MO 63343

    Fee: Free

    Max RV Length: No restrictions listed

    This Army Corps of Engineers camping area off Route M offers two sites, available for up to 14 days.

    These spots work best for those with four-wheel-drive vehicles this is an access point to the Mississippi River and can be challenging to drive to.

    It has a single-lane boat ramp.

    These primitive free camping sites in Missouri have no hookups or amenities.

    Read Also: Rv Camping Near North Cascades National Park

    Cabins In Or Near Kansas City For A Weekend Getaway

    Did you know that there are plenty of beautiful and scenic cabins near Kansas City your family can rent for a night or the weekend?

    Whether you are planning for a holiday, weekend getaway, family trip or a romantic night away, these cabins are just a short drive from Kansas City. Some of these are even lake cabins offering a beautiful lakeside view! Weve covered several areas for you including Branson, Table Rock Lake, Stockton Lake, Pomme de Terre Lake, the Flint Hills and more:

    Sams Throne Recreation Area Arkansas

    Mill Creek Campground &  RV Park

    Sams Throne Recreation Area in Ozark National Forest is popular among campers, hikers, photographers, and nature enthusiasts alike. Theres no fee to stay in the Newton County campground, but previous visitors have warned that those with large RVs may struggle to make their way toward the campsites on small, winding roads.

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    Turkey Foot Campground Kentucky

    Most of the free camping in Kentucky is located in national forests. Turkey Foot Campground in Daniel Boone National Forest, is located in McKee and is known for trout fishing. Its a clean and secluded option, but may be tough to get to if youre in a large vehicle. Visitors can enjoy beautiful views, picnic tables, fire rigs, and tent pads.

    Do You Have The Right Vehicle For Camping

    While its certainly possible to camp with a car, its definitely not ideal. Youll want a vehicle thats appropriately sized for all your aforementioned camping gear and ready to tackle the mud, if need be. There are two vehicles that come to mind for camp-tastic adventurers like yourself:

    Nissan Frontier

    Offering best-in-class horsepower , trail-ready 4×4, and 6,720 pounds of max towing, the 2022 Nissan Frontier is a great partner for any camping trip. Youll be able to tow a small boat or camper with ease, or simply fill the bed with all your camping items. Intelligent Around View Monitor is also an absolute game-changer when backing a travel trailer into a campsite. Dont leave home without it.

    Nissan Pathfinder

    Thanks to its impressive 6,000-pound towing cap and 80.5 cubic feet of cargo room, the rugged new Nissan Pathfinder is one of the best SUVs for camping. Its under-floor cargo storage area is a great little add-on for those small items, too. Best of all, the 2022 Pathfinder SUV has an Intelligent 4×4 drive-mode selector that can switch between mud, sand, snow, tow, Eco and Sport at the turn of a dial.

    Happy camping! If you need assistance picking out a new vehicle or ordering and installing an SUV roof rack in Olathe, you know who to call: McCarthy Olathe Nissan. Contact our car dealership near Kansas City at 324-7364 to speak with a member of our sales team today.

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    Free Camping In Kansas County And City Parks

    Beyond the camping areas provided by the state, many small towns have been kind enough to offer campers a place to pull in for an overnight or two. Some of these, like Davis Park Campground in the city of Greensburg KS and Medicine Lodge’s city park, even provide electric hookups. However, most of these sites are simply a place to park with access to a restroom, some picnic tables, and maybe even a boat ramp or a playground. One of the highlights is a county park by the name of Antelope Lake, where you’ll find waterfront camping and one of the rarest of amenities in the state…ample shade!

    Whetstone Creek Conservation Area

    Free camping in Meade Kansas!

    Address: CR-1003, Williamsburg, MO 63388

    Fee: Free

    Max RV Length: No restrictions listed, but the longest reported is 35 from an online reviewer.

    Whetstone Creek, a primitive camping area with no hook-ups, lies east of Columbia off Interstate 70.

    Youll find a gravel lot where you can park and some campsites with picnic tables and fire pits. It has vault toilets but no other amenities.

    This free camping area in Missouri is next to Big Lake and several ponds where you can fish.

    Plus, you can use the nearby boat ramp and access trail. Youll also find a shooting range within the 5,208-acre conservation area.

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    No Money Down: Free Camping In Missouri And Illinois

    Free camping is exactly what it sounds like: camping without charge. Other names include dispersed camping, primitive camping, and backcountry camping.

    Most free camping areas/sites can be found on Bureau of Land Management land or in National Forests , but there are other organizations that offer a night under the stars gratis, such as the Department of Fish & Wildlife.

    A free campsite might be favorable to your bank account, and they might help you avoid the summer and holiday camping crowds, but before grabbing your backpack, tent, and sleeping bag, there are a few considerations. Free campsites usually mean little to no amenities things such as toilets, potable water, fire rings, picnic tables, bear lockers, and even paved roads leading to the campsites can seem like frills until they arent there.

    Youll need to remember the idiom pack it in, pack it out. Carry out all of your personal garbage and make sure all fires are completely extinguished before sleeping or leaving camp. Bring a poop trowel, hand sanitizer, and toilet paper and know how and where to dig a cathole. Understand the Leave No Trace Principles and remember to take only pictures, leave only footprints.

    I asked a few outdoors types across Missouri and in southern Illinois about their favorite free campsites, and this is what I gathered.

    Ben Branch Lake.

    A lack of money doesnt need to stop you from sleeping under the stars. Happy camping!

    Hunnewell Lake Conservation Area

    Address: 6503 State Hwy Z, Hunnewell, MO 63443

    Fee: Free

    Max RV Length: No restrictions are listed, but several online reviewers report the area as big-rig friendly.

    Talk about a hidden gem. With views of Hunnewell Lake, this camping area has around 20 pull-through, dry camping sites with fire rings and picnic tables.

    It also has a dump station and potable water. The campground is open year-round.

    Several campers have reported sloped campsites, so ensure you bring those leveling blocks.

    It even has complimentary rowboats you can use onsite.

    And you can pick nuts, berries, and fruits for personal consumption.

    You can stay up to 14 consecutive days here.

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    When Is The Best Time To Camp In Missouri

    Since Missouris a midwestern state, wed recommend camping during the warmer months.

    Camping during late spring through early fall doesnt guarantee youll steer clear of cold temperatures and inclement weather, but the odds are in your favor.

    However, several of these free camping spots in Missouri stay open year-round.

    If you fancy winter camping, be our guest and plan to camp in Missouri during the winter.

    Or better yet, plan to stay overnight in the fall as you head south to hibernate for the winter.

    Thomas Hill Reservoir Conservation Area Excello

    Walnut Grove RV Park

    The sparkling waters of Thomas Hill Reservoir shine in a secluded forest near Excello, Missouri.

    Its a local watering hole that lacks the larger crowds of more popular lakes and rivers.

    On a busy weekend you can still find a camping spot beneath the shady of its tree speckled shores.

    Thus, this place isnt a good RV camping spot if youre looking to be at the center of the action however, its amazing if you need a beautiful place to hide.

    Why do we love it?

    Nothing beats a water-front campground! Thomas Hill Reservoir overflows with fishing and non-motorized boating opportunities.

    We love it because you can wake up with a Bloody Mary in hand and catch a fish in time for lunch.

    Plus, this is one of the most immaculate RV campsites on our list, due to its cleanliness and number of amenities.

    Youll be shocked that it doesnt have more visitors. Visit this hidden gem before it becomes popular too fast!


    • Amenities: Vault toilets, gravel pads, water spigots, fire pits, and picnic tables
    • Max Stay: 14 days, every 28 days

    Top Things to do Nearby

    For more information on RV camping at Thomas Hill Conservation Campground visit HERE.

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    Is Boondocking Legal In Missouri

    Yes, but only in certain areas. Public land for boondocking is slim in Missouri.

    Federal agencies only control 3.79% of the state however what it lacks in quantity, it makes up for in quality.

    Missouri boasts the best free camping options in the Midwest due to its natural wonders like Mark Twain National Forest and the Ozarks. So, where exactly can you free camp?

    Unlike other states, Missouri possesses no BLM land however, it does have National Forests, Recreations Areas, and certain trailheads for free camping.

    If you want to stay closer to a major city you can choose more urbanized options such as rest stops or certain commercial parking lots.

    Make sure to always check for signs banning you from boondocking in a given area, and always call a business to make sure its alright to stay over night in their parking lot.

    Missouri is pretty relaxed about RVs parking overnight on city streets but always use care when using this option.

    Park in a well-lit area, make your presence minimal, and do not stay in one place longer than a single night. Using common sense you can boondock in Missouri with ease!

    Nw Kansas Boondocking Locations Larsen City


    Elevation: 1060

    Management: Public County Park

    The road in is Paved. There are 6-15 campsites at this location and the maximum RV length is 45 feet. You may stay 3 nights, more with permission at Walnut Park. Small city owned park about 2 miles north of Arkansas City, KS off RT 77 on the bank of the Walnut river. There is water at a few sites. Cost is $5/night up to 3 nights, more with permission Theres a phone number to call to pay posted at the entrance. I did not stay here but it looks like a nice place. A PASS or PERMIT is required at this campsite.

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    Round Prairie Interpretive Site Mark Twain National Forest

    This secluded camping spot, found on the edges of Mark Twain National Forest, puts you in the middle of everything.

    Youll find yourself near the Missouri River, Columbia, and tons of recreation areas.

    The outdoors activities are prevalent, and the chances for relaxation endless. Dont miss this amazing RV destination!

    Why do we love it?

    You can really get away from it all at this beautiful spot. The secluded locale and small number of campsites make it an introverts paradise.

    Furthermore, its amenities are extremely limited, scaring off most campers, and leaving you with a private RV camping spot.

    If get tired of the silence , you can drive a short distance, to the urban wonderland known as Columbia, Missouri.


    • Maximum RV length reported: 40ft
    • Number of sites: Undesignated. Reportedly a few
    • Amenities: Picnic table and a fire ring
    • Max Stay: 15 days, every 30 days

    Top Things to do Nearby

    For more information on RV camping at Round Prairie Interpretive Site visit HERE.

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