Friday, June 14, 2024

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Free Camping Near My Location

Cypress Valley Tree Houses

HOW TO FIND AMAZING CAMPSITES: Campgrounds vs Dispersed Camping (free camping!)

I stumbled across Cypress Valley when researching The Best Day Trips from Austin, and am SHOCKED I hadnt heard of it before! These tree houses are incredible.

They have five different accommodations: The Yoki, Lofthaven, , and Willow tree houses each sleep two guests, while The Nest sleeps four guests regularly but can accommodate up to six.

Where Its Not Okay To Free Camp

While there are a lot of places where you can camp for free, there are also many places where you shouldnt. Some of these places are prohibited due to risk to either yourself, children and/or minors, or because it is military land. These include locations such as:

  • Parks with playgrounds
  • Any locations that have signs stating no overnight parking
  • Businesses that dont allow overnight parking

These are just a few of the locations that you should avoid when looking for free camping areas. I highly recommend you trust your instincts when looking for an overnight camping spot. It is always better to play it safe if you get a bad feeling about an area.

The Best Free Camping Near Yellowstone

Beautiful, secret, and FREE camp spots around Yellowstone!

By:Lauren Blanchard+ Save to a List

Have you ever found yourself stressing about where to find a place to camp for the night? Did you know you can find beautiful, scenic, private and FREE camping right outside of Yellowstone? You can! And the possibilities are almost ENDLESS. Sometimes finding a campsite can be difficult. Numerous things can taint the experience. Maybe campgrounds are full. Maybe you want quiet and privacy. Maybe the nearest availability is too far away? Maybe you want to be free to make some noise after hours? Cost may also be a factor. You have more options! And I’m going to help you discover them.

I spent 3 summers working and living in Yellowstone. I know the place like the back of my hand. During that time, I started exploring off the beaten path, driving forest service roads outside of the park. What I found blew my mind! It excited me SO much that there were these hidden and SECRET camping spots that seemingly no one knew about! And FREE!

It should be noted that these FREE spots are dry camp spots. Meaning there are no services. You’ll have a patch of dirt to park your car or pitch your tent, and you’ll have a fire ring. But no picnic table, no pit toilets. No water spigot, no trash bins. Please camp responsibly and follow leave-no-trace ethics when using these free spots. Keep it beautiful and clean for the next person to discover! 🙂

Ok here we go!

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Camping On Public Lands

BLM-managed lands offer numerous opportunities for camping under the stars ranging from staying in an RV at a highly developed campground to simply throwing a sleeping bag on the ground in the backcountry. No matter what type of experience you are looking for, you can find it on BLM-managed public lands.

Leave No Trace And Dispose Of Waste

Andrews Cove, GA

All campers must “leave no trace” no matter where you camp. Pack out what you pack in, do not damage trees, water, habitat, or anything else. Do not burn litter or garbage. Always observe posted signs.

Your visit could have a big impact. Seeds and mud on gear and clothing can spread harmful invasive plants. Before leaving home, make sure your gear, footwear, and clothing is free of seeds and soilespecially tents, tarps, and hammocks. Clean and dispose of anything before leaving home.

Take extra care when disposing of human waste to avoid contaminating nearby water. Dig a hole six inches deep and at least 100 feet away from any water source. When you are done, fill the hole with soil. Never defecate or leave toilet paper on top of the ground.

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Where Can You Find Free Dispersed Camping

Free camping, or dispersed camping, is allowed in all national forests, unless noted otherwise. You can find places to camp on the side of main roads, or follow forest access roads to more remote sites. Theres also the option to backpack in for several miles and find a quiet site away from any roads or people. These sites are available on a first-come, first-serve basis and cannot be reserved in advance. If youre in a pinch you can use the offline maps and campgrounds of The Dyrt PRO to find the BLM land near you.

The general rule is to camp 100-200 feet away from any road, trail, or water source. If a previous campsite is visible, using that site will minimize impact to the area.

What To Know About Free Camping

Free camping is an excellent choice for some RVers, but its not for everyone. Instead of the amenities of a typical RV park, youll be boondocking. In other words, relying on your own power, water, and waste storage systems for the duration of your stay.

Some free camping locations may offer limited toilet services or potable water. However, you should generally plan on bringing in and taking out everything you need and produce.

But in exchange for these limited services, free camping spots typically offer peaceful, scenic beauty. This can be hard to come by at many RV parks or campgrounds. The other main draw is, of course, the price. Its hard to beat a no-cost campground!

Pro Tip: At the very least, we recommend bringing a cell booster with you. This will help you stay connected when youre far off-grid.

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How To Deal With Your Trash

Near Big Meadow Roads junction with The Generals Highway is a sizeable pull-off picnic area with portapotties and bear safe garbage containers. Either use these containers or take trash with you. Pack it in, pack it out.

At your campsite, youll need a portable toilet, I have a Camco 2.6 gallon cassette toilet that is small and works well. If you dont bring a portable loo, you will need to bury waste in a cat-hole at least 6 inches deep. So bring a shovel.

If you use a portable loo, you can keep it cleaner by collecting solid waste in compostable bags and these can also be buried at least 6 inches deep.

Casinos Truck Stops & Rest Stops

BRUSH CREEK PARK…..Free camping in ALABAMA on the Tennessee River!

Casinos, truck stops, and rest stops also offer overnight parking. Usually, their parking lots are well lit , and some will have a dedicated area for big rigs and even shower facilities. These can be noisy depending on their proximity to the road and the coming and going of big rigs, but if youre in a pinch or just need a convenient place to overnight, these are good options. For casinos with overnight parking, use the map locator on casinocamper.com to see which casinos allow overnight parking.

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Tips For Free Camping At Crater Lake

As with all camping on public or semi-public lands, your goal while free camping at Crater Lake should be to leave no trace. Ensure you have enough space in your storage tanks and a plan for your trash.

Think ahead when it comes to gas, too. You may be able to fill up inside the park depending on the time of year. If not, the closest options are more than 30 miles away. With limited cell phone service in many parts of the area, you dont want to be stuck with an empty tank!

The Crater Lake area can get enormous amounts of snow in the winter, so be aware of the weather and how that may affect your camping experience and access to campsites.

Pro Tip:Some roads, services, and even general areas of Crater Lake are closed in the winter. Check the Forest Service website when planning your trip!

Everything You Need To Know About Dispersed Camping In National Forests

Dispersed camping in national forests is a great way to save money on your outdoor adventures. But it also protects more popular places from overcrowding and damage . Similar to backpacking, youll have to be self-contained and you almost definitely wont have nearby neighbors.

That being said, dispersed camping in national forests typically means parking at a primitive campsite or in a pull-off, just off of a forest access road. So unlike backpacking, you will have your car nearby and you wont have to hike far to set up camp.

If youre interested in exploring a wilder side to camping, this is a good first step. Dispersed camping in national forests might become your new favorite way to sleep outside.

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Sycamore Canyon Campground Point Mugu State Park

Get all the natural beauty associated with the Malibu hills without the opulent price tag.

Beautiful Point Mugu Beach is just a short walk from the campground.

Distance from San Diego: 3 hours | | Destination Website | Amenities: RV access and dump stations, no RV hookups, flush toilets, hot showers , fire pits, picnic tables

Why Camp Here: Located in the rugged Santa Monica Mountains, Sycamore Canyon Campground offers access to the rolling hills and is also within walking distance to Point Mugu beach. The campground, dotted with sycamores and oaks, is a quiet and less crowded camping option than the more popular Malibu campgrounds farther south.

Pro Tip: Head down to Point Mugu beach for sunset and bring firewood to take advantage of a fire pit on the beach.

Other Options For Free Camping Near Grand Canyon South Rim

Free camping near Moab, Utah

What if Forest Road 688 is full? Below are some other options for free camping near the Grand Canyon South Rim. Keep in mind we have not stayed at any of these spots, but they are well known and popular.

Coconino Rim Road

Coconino Rim Road is very close to the Visitor Center and the canyon itself. This might mean that you get more traffic passing by, but you also have a shorter drive and easier access to all of the activities the Grand Canyon has to offer. Not to mention that being close to the Visitor Center means being close to a source of water.

Forest Road 302

Forest Road 302 is also accessible to larger RVs. Some reviewers do mention rutted side roads, so watch out for those, especially if theres snow or mud present. It also sounds like some people had trouble with AT& T service in this area, so keep an eye on your cell receptionif thats important to you during your stay.

Forest Road 306

Forest Road 306 is another option thats close to Forest Road 688. Reviews of this area mention plenty of large spots and fresh water access close by. As with other free camping near the Ground Canyon South Rim, be wary of mud, and scout ahead with a toad or tow vehicle if youre unsure.

Dont Have an RV? Rent One!

If you want to experience RV camping near the Grand Canyon but dont own one, consider renting an RV. Choose from 5th wheels, camper vans, travel trailers, Class A motorhomes and other types of RVs.

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Free Camping: What Is It

RV Parks have gotten to be quite expensive in recent years. And they have their place in the market. If you want luxury or a resort style of living with your RV, they are out there for a price. If you have kids and want lots of activities, there are KOA Kampgrounds. They also come at a price. Maybe it’s gas prices stealing your wallet, the desire for solitude, or you just need to save every dime you can. There are a few options for free camping. One may call it dry camping, WalyMart parking or boondocking. The foundation of it all is that you have no hookups. You have to have your own source of power, preferably by solar and golf cart type batteries. You use very little water to save it until your next chance to fill up.

Oh Ranger Parkfinder App

  • Official app for: iOS

This is an awesome site that was created by three companies American Park Network, Ford and LL Bean.

Their Oh, Ranger! ParkFinder app is basically a huge database of public land in the US. It contains every single national, state and local park, as well as national forests and federally-managed destinations from Colorado to Washington, California and everything ion between.

One of the best features of the app is the ability to search for campsites based on the kind of activity you are interested in.

Looking for a campsite with fishing near you? You can search

Want a free camping spot where you can park your RV?

Want a really remote campground with clear skies and no light pollution so you can stargaze?

You can use the apps to narrow down your search by all these interests and more.

And did I mention its totally free?

This is a free website and app that you can use on your phone. You can find nearby places on the sites map, which will then show you:

  • Descriptions of the campsite

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Free Camping In The Toms Best Spring Road Area

Many will say this is the best area to camp and I agree. There are countless campsites for every need and with easy access to Bryce Canyon NP and Red Canyon.

Please note in Summer 2022 there are a few camping restrictionsand the images below are not 100% accurate. Please read the signboard at the entrance.

Note the Pit Toilets across the road when you turn onto Toms Best Spring Road! This makes camping here very convenient! Theres no water, however. The closest free water is at the Red Canyon Visitor Center.

There are many campsites and several access roads not shown on my maps. Basically, there are 5 loops to consider. Most folks prefer the first 3 loops closest to Byway 12.

  • Loop 1 branches to the left of Toms Best Rd.
  • Loop 2 goes to the right
  • Loop 3 is also on the right a bit further down Toms Best Rd.

There are two more loops further away but lets focus on the closest 3 in this guide.

Larger RVs tend to prefer Loops 2 and 3. The roads are dusty but easy to navigate. Loop 1 offers excellent views and is perfect for Vans and 4WD vehicles. The roads are rougher but 2WD vehicles should be OK in most weather conditions.

Verizon has reasonable LTE service at these campsites.

Every Site Was Gorgeous

Scouting Free Camping Locations Near Spokane Washington

My first nights site is shown below. I was ALL ALONE . This spot was more or less under the larger arrow in the above map. It was off a reasonably maintained dirt road that also offered a great hike the next day.

The next few days I moved around to different spots in Rabbit Meadow. This location was at the end of a dirt road off Big Meadows Road and the sites were private, flat and again, gorgeous. They also offered plenty of sunlight to charge my solar system.

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Bald Eagle State Forest

Named after the famous Native American chief, Bald Eagle, Bald Eagle State Forest covers 193,424 acres of high, sharp ridges and tracts of old-growth forest with miles of refreshing mountain streams. Due to its location within the ridge and valley section of Pennsylvania, Bald Eagle State Forest has breath-taking sights you cant find anywhere else in the state.

From the Allegheny Mountains in the northwest to the limestone-rich Susquehanna Valley in the southeast, the Bald Eagle forest district spotlights a series of striking sandstone ridges. Some of Bald Eagle State Forests peaks reach heights of up to 2,300 feet above sea level.

Each year, visitors flock to Bald Eagle State Forest for its numerous trails and natural areas. From the Mid State Trail to the old-growth forests, vistas and countless other multiple areas, Bald Eagle State Forest has something to offer every nature enthusiast. The Poe Paddy area is a particularly popular spot among visitors because of its scenic canyons and rugged ridges.

And with 45 designated motorized camping sites, there is no shortage of space for overnight guests. These motorized campsites each come with off-road parking, a fire ring and a picnic table. Despite the many campsites available, it is still recommended that campers call ahead to reserve a spot and request a permit for no charge.

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How To Camp For Free In A Parking Lot

Youve probably heard that you can camp overnight in the parking lots of Walmart, Cracker Barrel, and other businesses. While its true that many of these locations allow free overnight stays, some states have laws and restrictions around this. Use a resource like Overnight RV Parking to find out if an establishment allows for you to park overnight in your vehicle. And double check with management before you arrive for the night.

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National Forests And Grasslands

The United States Forest Service oversees 20 National Grasslands and 154 National Forests. Thats a total of 193 million acres of public land. National Forests are easy to find on Google Maps, theyre usually the green shaded areas covering large swaths of land.

On the USFS website, an interactive map displays hiking trails, camp spots, ADA accessible areas, and more, making it easy for users to find a general area to park their campervan or pitch their tent for the night.

Bastrop / Se Austin / Colorado River Koa Tx

Lake Menno Recreation Area (Huber Campground)

Those who are looking to explore the diverse and unique Texas Hill Country will find that doing some RV camping at Bastrop/SE Austin/Colorado River KOA will be just the ticket to an action-packed visit. At this particular KOA, guests will have their choice of RV sites. Every RV site is set up with full hooks, all able to accommodate 30/50 amp electrical service. Youll also be able to choose between a back-in or pull-through site. Each site has cable television hookup capabilities for those quiet nights in.

After you spend your days exploring the natural wonders of the Texas Hill Country, youll be able to make use of the on-site laundry facilities to get those hiking clothes in good shape

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