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Free Camping Near Luray Va

Beautiful Spots To Go Camping In Shenandoah National Park

Free camping spot in South Fork Shenandoah River, Luray, Virginia

Want to do more than just a drive-through or day trip to Shenandoah National Park? Plan a trip and spend more than a day driving the Skyline Drive, so you can spend a night camping in Shenandoah National Park at one of the many campgrounds.

Enjoy a night, weekend or even a week experiencing all the park and surrounding area has to offer by camping at one of the five campgrounds within the park, pitch your tent doing some backcountry camping, or pull your RV into one of the campgrounds just outside one of the parks four entrance gates.

Within the park, the campgrounds feature various options, including tenting and RV campsites, cabins and backcountry huts. Some of the campgrounds also offer group sites for up to 20 people.

Camping With Yogi And Boo Boo

Near the entrance to Luray, the Yogi Bears Jellystone Park Camp-Resort offers a multi-faceted camping experience. From relaxing in the shadows of the Blue Ridge Mountains to participating in the many fun-filled activities, the 73 rolling acres will meet the needs of every family member. When campers arent busy swimming and splashing at Yogi Bears Water Zone & Splashpad, they can enjoy the on-site Mini Golf, Gem Mine Experience, arcade, or paddle boat rentals. Other activities include a popular fishing pond, two jumping pillows, Lazer Tag in the woods, outdoor sports, and a playground. The park offers cabins and campsites of all types, allowing visitors to take full advantage of the unparalleled scenery that surrounds.

For additional information and bookings, please visit:

Yogi Bear Jellystone Park Camp

  • Address:2250 US Highway 211 E, Luray, VA 22835
  • Distance from Washington D.C.: 90 miles / 1 hour 50 minutes
  • Open: Mar 20-Nov 20

On the Shenandoah River banks, this 100-acre campground offers a variety of sites from full hook-ups to primitive tent sites along with four cabins. There are hot shower bathhouses, shaded pavilions, a camp store and a tube float within the campground.

Along their ¾-mile of river frontage, there are various spots where you can access the river to enjoy a paddle.

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Where Can You Camp For Free In Virginia

Want to find camping for free in Virginia? Luckily, there are several options for you to explore.

Public Lands

Primitive, walk-in tent camping is an option on some public lands. However, dispersed camping must be away from any developed recreational areas or campgrounds.

To be a good steward of the land when you are dispersed camping, remember to find a flat or worn spot that looks like it has been camped on before. Camping on an established site will protect the landscape and preserve the ecosystem. To further protect the natural areas, camping is limited to a maximum of 14 days within any 28 consecutive day period.

National Forests in Virginia

Sections of two different national forests are in Virginia, George Washington National Forest and the Jefferson National Forest. The forest service allows for free primitive or dispersed camping in some areas within the forest.

Dispersed camping or backcountry camping is limited to undeveloped areas. Recreation areas, administrative areas, active timber sale areas, and any areas that have a no camping sign cannot be used for primitive camping. Free camping is limited to no longer than 21 consecutive days, and all campsites must be at least 200 feet away from any water sources.

Combined, there are 2,340 miles of perennial streams , so make sure you pack some fishing gear if you have an angler with you on your camping trip.

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Shenandoah National Park Campgrounds

Riverfront Camping

The first step in planning your perfect camping trip in Shenandoah is to first understand a bit about the geography of the park. Shenandoah National Park is over 105 miles long, but quite narrow across. Skyline Drive runs the length or the park and is used to access the majority of campgrounds and trailheads within the park.

As such, most destinations within Shenandoah will have their location given by the mile marker they are located at along Skyline Drive. The mile markers begin at the northern entrance station at Front Royal and finish at mile 105 at the Rockfish Gap Entrance Station located at the southern end of the park.

In between these two points youll have several options for camping within Shenandoah National Park. The five campgrounds within the national park provide plenty of options for everything from RV camping to secluded car camping, while over 500 miles of hiking trails provide endless opportunities for the adventurous to enjoy backcountry camping in Shenandoah.

The map below gives you a general sense of where each of the campgrounds are located in Shenandoah National Park as well as their relation to the surrounding area.

All of the campgrounds within Shenandoah National Park are open seasonally beginning in the late-Spring through the late-Fall. This typically means that you can expect campgrounds to open in late-April or early-May and stay open through the end of October or early-November.

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Dispersed Campsites Near Shenandoah National Park

Your final option for camping near Shenandoah National Park is to find a free, dispersed campsite in the adjacent George Washington National Forest. This national forest is overseen by the Forest Service/BLM which manages hundreds of thousands of acres of public land throughout the country and generally allows for dispersed camping on it. You can find more information on dispersed camping on BLM land here.

Crisman Hollow Dispersed Camping

Located to the west of Luray, Crisman Hollow Road offers some excellent dispersed camping in George Washington National Forest. Many of the campsites are located along Passage Creek and have fire rings.

The campsites are located near the Scothorn Gap Trail and directions can be found here. also has good information on Crisman Hollow Dispersed Camping.

Slate Lick Fields Dispersed Camping

Located north-west of Harrisonburg, VA the Slate Lick Fields offer great dispersed camping near Shenandoah National Park. The campsites are located along Hog Pen Road and directions can be found here. Keep in mind there is not a good water source here, so youll need to bring plenty of drinking water with you.

BLM regulations on dispersed camping allow you to camp for up to 14 days in a 28 day period, so be sure to observe that limit at both of the sites above.

It is especially important to practice Leave No Trace principles when dispersed camping.

Elizabeth Furnace Family Campground

  • Address:15618 Fort Valley Rd, Fort Valley, VA 22652
  • Distance from Washington D.C.: 80 miles / 1½ hours
  • Cost: $20 a night

In George Washington and Jefferson National Forest, the Elizabeth Furnace Family Campgrounds 32 sites sit along Passage Creek.

The campground is first-come, first-serve, and open year-round.

Each campsite comes with a fire ring and picnic table. The campgrounds has flush toilets and warm showers from Memorial Day weekend through September. During the remaining part of the year, there are vault toilets onsite.

Water is available year-round from a hand pump.

There are no hook-ups at any of the sites, but there is a dump station for campers.

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How Do I Pick A Good Campsite

Many people drive out on Forest Service roads into the woods and find a clearing or a spot near a stream or with a view of the mountains. Do not drive on meadows to access your camping site. Drive on existing roads to prevent resource damage. You can also follow these tips:

  • Ask a ranger. For an inside track into the best places to stay, keep an eye out for any BLM Ranger Station or visitor center and ask the true locals for their suggestions. Weve never been led astray and youll be amazed at how much theyll go out of their way to help you out.
  • Scour Google Maps. Again, look for the green areas that signify public lands. Use Google Earth to get an idea of roads and landscapes.
  • Attempt to camp on a paved road. If not possible, camp on bare, well-packed gravel. Note that this is done at your own risk: if renting an Escape Campervan, you are NOT covered by insurance and are NOT covered in the Escape Roadside Assistance plan if you are OFF a paved road. Camping on a level area also makes sleeping more comfortable.
  • If youre going to an area where others have camped before, pick a site that has been used before. Plants, soil, and wildlife are impacted by new campsites so using existing ones will minimize your impact on the forest. Always follow Leave No Trace principles.
  • Check out these online resources and apps that make it easy to find places to camp:

Shenandoah National Park Boondocking Locations Cf Phelps Wma

Spacious Skies Shenandoah Campground | Luray VA

AddressElevation: 347

Management: Fish and Wildlife Service

C.F. Phelps WMA is open Year Round. There are 16-29 campsites at this location. You may stay 14 Days at C.F. Phelps WMA. $4 per day for a day pass, $23 for a yearly pass, or one of the acceptable licenses/waivers. More information below. Most of the management areas 4,539 acres are in southern Fauquier County with the balance being in Culpeper County. This was one of our favorite Shenandoah National Park camping spots.

Best Review:

It is a nice place, and the rangers never visited us. Three friends and I took our motorcycles and camped in the parking lot near the pond. A few families came by to go fishing, and all were nice. Also few people drove in and left and a few horseback riders came past. There is no potable water available so pack it in. There is no trash cans around, so pack it out. The rules are pretty manageable. We had a campfire, but made sure it burned all the way down so there were no chunks left behind. we all had a great time.

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Guide To The Best Free Camping In Virginia

Virginia is one of the top destinations for those looking to explore the great outdoors. With miles of public parks, national forests, and private campgrounds, there is everything you could need to spend time outdoors. In fact, the Blue Ridge Parkway was one of the top ten most visited National Parks last year.

There are plenty of dispersed camping opportunities and some basic campsites that offer free camping in VA and offer savings. While these may not be your traditional campsite experiences, they are still great for free overnight camping in Virginia.

If youve been wondering where can you camp for free in Virginia, there are several places to consider.

Marys Rock Summit Trail

This hike is a pretty moderate one, and its located just outside of the town of Sperryville. You start at the Marys Rock Trailhead and eventually make your way up to the summit, where you will be treated to some mighty panoramic views.

To get to the trail, you take Route 211 and turn onto Route 22. The trailhead is on the right. There is a small parking lot, and it can get crowded on the weekends, so you may have to park a little way down the road.

The hike up to the summit is about 4 miles round trip, and its a bit steep in some areas, but nothing you cant handle if you are in average shape.

Once you are at the summit, youll have some people selling hot dogs and drinks near the parking lot. Its a great place to stop to eat before heading back down since its pretty close to the trailhead.

The Marys Rock Summit hike should take between 2-3 hours to complete. The views are definitely worth it, though! It isnt too tricky, but it is long, so be prepared.

Length: 3.4 miElevation gain: 1,210 ftRoute type: Out & back

Dogs on leash, Backpacking, Camping, Hiking, Walking, Bird watching, Running, Forest, Views, Wildflowers, Wildlife, Rocky, Fee

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Dispersed Camping Rules Of The Road

There are extra responsibilities and skills that are necessary for dispersed camping. It is your responsibility to know these before you try this new experience.

  • Contact the local Forest Service office to see if any restrictions are in place. This includes finding out if campfires and open stoves are permitted in much of the West, drought conditions are severe and no flames of any sort are allowed. Ground tents are occasionally not allowed on federal lands or at rest stops . There is also usually a 14-day limit on staying at the same campsite within a 30-day period.
  • Leave it better than you found it. Pack out everything you brought in, including trash. LEAVE NO TRACE is the official guideline. Brush up on your LNT knowledge.
  • Dispersed camping is allowed in a one-mile perimeter away from campgrounds and 100 feet from any stream.
  • Dont sleep on the side of the road its usually illegal. To prevent resource damage, keep your campsite within 150 feet from a roadway.
  • Bring plenty of your own water, or have a way to treat it. Just because you found a campsite near a stream or river with seemingly nothing else around doesnt mean the water is safe to drink. Always treat the water you get from natural sources so that you dont have to end your trip early!
  • Be prepared. Bring a good atlas and/or GPS to help you find your way in/out of the woods . Check the weather for rain, which can create mud holes that you cant drive out of.
  • Dispersed camping on the East Coast

    Hike Shenandoah National Park

    Riverfront Camping

    Additionally, Shenandoah is home to the well-known Skyline Drive, a picturesque road that veers through the park while ascending and falling along the way. A lot of people travel to Skyline Drive to see the traditional Shenandoah fall foliage. The scene of oak, maple, birch, and ash trees is depicted in vivid yellows, reds, and oranges as though it were a canvas for an artist.

    Shenandoah is one of the only National Parks that genuinely welcomes all members of the family due to the hundreds of miles of hiking trails there, the majority of which are pet-friendly.

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    Camping Near You Find A Free Campsite

    Whether you just need to know where to camp nearby or you want to plan a free camping road trip, we’ve got you covered. You can simply use your smart phone’s GPS to find camping near you or even use our trip planner to plan your route from coast to coast.

    Our community provides the best free camping information available. Free campgrounds can be hard to find. makes it easy. We give you a simple, map based search engine to find free and cheap camping areas. Community reviews and ratings provide you with up to date information and help you select the best camp site for your next camping trip.

    This is a platform for sharing campgrounds and camp sites you have discovered. We are community driven, and while we will be adding many free camping spots, we hope that you will add some of your favorite camping places as well. By sharing camping information freely, we can all spend less time researching campgrounds, spend less money, and more time camping. If everyone contributes a few campsites, we’ll all have more places to go camping.

    Please come back and let us know what you find!

    We are not actively seeking Wal-Marts, truckstops or other parking lots and will not be adding very many of these. There are enough Wal-Mart and truck stop directories out there already. However, if a member of the community finds one of these locations to be useful for overnight RV parking and creates an entry, we may approve the listing.

    Please come back and let us know what you find!

    Backcountry Campsites In Shenandoah National Park

    Shenandoah National Park is a backcountry campers dream. The park features over 500 miles of trails that wind their way throughout this stunning landscape and provide countless options for your perfect backpacking trip. However, there are some rules and regulations youll need to keep in mind as you plan your backcountry camping trip in Shenandoah National Park, outlined below.

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    The Complete Guide To Camping In Shenandoah National Park

    *This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure for more info.

    Shenandoah National Park, located in western Virginia, is one of Americas most iconic National Parks. The Blue Ridge mountains create a stunning backdrop for the incredible Skyline Drive, a 105-mile roadway that runs through Shenandoah National Park. We think the best way to experience everything that Shenandoah has to offer is to spend a few nights in your tent or RV where youll experience this beautiful part of the country first hand.

    Shenandoah National Park and the surrounding areas have plenty of options for camping from the five campgrounds located within the park to an abundance of backcountry camping options and plenty of nearby campgrounds only a short drive from the National Park.

    Keep reading to get all the details to plan your perfect camping trip in Shenandoah National Park.

    What To Bring On Your Shenandoah National Park Camping Trip

    Luray KOA & Luray Caverns Review

    Preparing for your Shenandoah National Park camping trip involves more than deciding which campground best fits your needs. There is also the important job of making sure you have all the right gear youll need to ensure a great trip.

    Were sure youll already have the essentials like a great tent, sleeping bags, and camp chairs, but below are some of our favorite items specifically for camping in Shenandoah:

    • Coleman Camping Stove This camping classic is perfect for whipping up classic campsite dinners.
    • Tick repellent Ticks are common throughout Shenandoah, and while it is always a good idea to wear long pants, this tick repellent from Bens is worth applying when out hiking or camping.
    • Portable water container Save yourself the countless trips to the water tap and bring one of these.
    • Cooler The hot summer temperatures make a good cooler essential. We cant recommend Yeti enough!
    • Shenandoah National Park Map An essential for any trip, a good map is a must.
    • Shenandoah Guidebook A good guidebook will provide insights and information to help you plan your perfect trip to Shenandoah. We like this hiking guide from Falcon Guides.

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