City Of Rocks National Reserve
Image from The Dyrt camper Amy C.
With million-year-old granite spires reaching 60 stories high, City of Rocks National Reserve is nothing short of breathtaking. The City of Rocks Campground is nestled deep in the reserve and features primitive tent campsites that let you make the most of the scenery. Pit toilets, fire rings, and trash cans are the only conveniences, but there is access to water nearby.
This is easily my favorite campground. Ever. The sites are clean and comfortable. All spots are well maintained but still feel organic and dont encroach on the wildlife.- Corey Micheala D.
White Bird Gravel Pit
Cell Service: none
Elevation: 1440 ft
This free BLM camping area in Idaho is good for a quick overnight stop. From 95, turn west onto Old Highway 95 and drive for a few hundred feet. Youll see a large gravel parking lot on your left, right along the Salmon River. This is the free camping area.
However, if youre in a truck bed camper or other small camping setup, go to the back of the parking lot and youll find a small trail leading to a more secluded spot overlooking the river. Now its not so bad!
Although Highway 95 is nearby and youll be able to see houses in the hillsides, pulling as far back as possible does help create the feeling that you have a private campsite right along the Salmon River.
Pit toilets are provided, but other than that, there are no other amenities at this free camping spot in Idaho.
Kirkham Bonneville & Pine Flats Campgrounds Boise National Forest
For those that enjoy a little soak alongside their camping experience, Boise National Forest is the place to go. The national forest has several enticing hot springs, and a few of the better-known soaking spots have campgrounds nearby.
Several of these hot spring campgrounds are on Highway 21, also known as Ponderosa Pine Scenic Byway, which connects Boise to Stanley. This lovely route is worth the drive alone. An alternative way to get to hot springs from Boise is Highway 55 through Horseshoe Bend.
The popular Kirkham Hot Springs has an adjacent campground with 16 sites available. East towards Stanley, Bonneville Campground connects to hot springs via a short hiking trail. Likewise, Pine Flats Campground and Pine Flats Hot Spring, west of Lowman towards Garden Valley, is also a popular hot spring destination.
These three hot spring campgrounds all feature sites for tents and RVs. Vault toilets and potable water are available to campers and day users. Reservations are available for these popular campgrounds and are recommended for the summer season.
For more thermal areas to enjoy in the area, check out our best hot springs in Idaho article.
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What Is Free Camping
Free camping is any spot where you can legally camp overnight for free. Specifically, the term often references land managed by the Bureau of Land Management So, take care to ensure that camping is permitted in the area you plan to set up camp. Contacting park rangers or local authorities is certainly the best way to verify any questionable camping locations.
These locations are often dry camping, and youll need to be self-contained to make use of the area. Although, some free campgrounds do have restrooms available and, if youre lucky, a water fill station.
Also, be sure to check the facilities at your chosen spot in advance, so you can better prepare for your adventure.
Pro Tip: Heres our guide for using Campendium to find free campsites.
What People Are Saying About Nat
The kids love the warm stream, its less than 2 ft wide and just for wading& playing. The campground is kept clean and has friendly& helpful staff. Megan, Google Review
Learn more on the locationswebsite!
- Daily/Weekly/Monthly Rates: Daily starts at $10 # of RV Sites: 7 Full Hookups: No 30/50 Amp: No Back-in/Pull-through Sites: Yes/No Pool/Hot tub: No Showers: No Pets Allowed: Yes Cell Reception: Limited
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Federal Rv Camping Information
- NationalPark Service NPS information about Idaho RV camping in National Park Service campgrounds.
US Forest Service Idaho RV camping and recreation information.
- Bureau of Land Management BLM information about lands managed in Idaho. BLM manages 8.4 million acres of public land, with over 50 developed recreation areas. Free dispersed RV camping is encouraged on BLM lands in Idaho.
- US Army Corps of Engineers USACE/COE information about Corps lakes in Idaho. RV camping facilities are available at two USACE administered lakes in Idaho.
- US Fish and Wildlife Service FWS information about National Wildlife Refuges in Idaho. Not all refuges allow camping, so check carefully.
Free Camping In North Idaho
Wild rivers, dense forests, and beautiful lakes await in lush northern Idaho. Its a big, overwhelming landscape, so first-time visitors would be wise to camp near Sandpoint or Coeur dAlene for easy access to grocery shopping, river sports, great fishing, and other amenities.
Coeur dAlene is a bigger city that offers some in-town overnight parking at Cabelas and Walmart in nearby Post Falls, but boondockers looking to stay for longer will find better options at Fernan Saddle and Rose Lake.
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Your Ideal Rv Parking And Camp Site
If you are looking for an RV parking site or campground near Twin Falls, Idahos attractions, come to Oregon Trail Campground! We are a licensed and certified RV campground and a member of RV Idaho and Trailer Life. Whether you want to settle into a campsite with complete amenities, or you want to go camping in a more traditional manner, we have everything here at Oregon Trail Campground!
Roman Nose Lakes In The Panhandle
Cell Service: yes T-Mobile/Sprint/U.S. Cellular with Booster spotty AT& T with Booster
Elevation: 6,007 feet
If youre looking for national forest camping in Idaho, there are some great choices around Roman Nose Lakes! These dispersed camping sites are in a proposed wilderness area in the Kaniksu National Forest.
There are several smaller sites perfect for vehicle or tent camping, as well as one large group site. Each site has a leveled gravel pad, a fire ring, and there is a pit toilet available.
A trail system connects each campsite to the lowest of the 3 Roman Nose Lakes, and a boardwalk goes around a section of this lake. From there you can do the approximately 4 mile out and back trail up to visit the other two lakes.
The Roman Nose Trail is great for families. We hiked it in July and our daughter got to play in a little snow, the trail is well maintained and easy to follow, and each of the three lakes are crystal clear and the views are incredible!.
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Free Camping In Sun Valley And The Sawtooth Basin
Sun Valley is the United States first destination ski resort and a popular Idaho destination year-round. In fact, if you ask the locals, theyll likely tell you that they love summer even better than winter! Surrounded by five mountain ranges and plenty of public lands, there is a wealth of primitive campsites in the Sun Valley area.
For those who need cell service, Lake Creek is a crowd favorite for both RV camping and tent camping. If you can escape the connectivity demands and get off-the-grid, check out the epic mountain views in Baker Creek or Prairie Creek.
Black Canyon Recreation Site
Cell Service: Yes on booster
Elevation: 4748 ft
This free camping area is really more of a gravel parking area on BLM land in the mountains above Pocatello, ID. The sign posted during our visit stated that its only open April 14 – November 16.
Because no one was there during our quick overnight stop, we enjoyed this place and the great views. Theres a pit toilet at one end of the parking area and several nice tent sites right across the road with covered picnic tables and fire pits.
This is an OHV area, so from what we understand, it can get rather noisy on the weekends from ATV and OHV traffic. If this were the case, I would imagine this free camping area would be suited for nothing more than a late night pull-in and place to lay your head, if that.
There is no exit directly from I-15 onto N. Black Canyon Road, so your GPS will first route you onto Old Hwy 91 in order to get to this free campsite. The gravel road in is a little bumpy but should be fine for all types of vehicles and campers, but is not ideal for larger RVs.
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Twin Falls County Fairgrounds Rv Park
- 189 RV Hookup Sites $16 – $15.00
- 25 Tent/Campsites $8.00
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Low Cost & More Campgrounds In Idaho:
If youre looking for a resource for low-cost and more campgrounds, check out the Idaho Campground Review website they have reviews of a large number of campgrounds all over Idaho & I found that they did list many that were low-cost, even free but they are not organized that way. You will need to go into each campground in the area you are looking at and see what the price is for the campground. But its a great resource to look at a big list & read the reviews.
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State Rv Camping Information
- Idaho State Parks offer a wide variety of campgrounds. RV camping locations from the mountains to the plains with almost unlimited recreation opportunities are located throughout the state.
- Idaho Fish and Game Information and directions to Idahos Wildlife Management Areasmany allow RV camping.
- Official Idaho State Tourism Website Where to go and what to do. Includes Idaho RV camping suggestions.
- Idaho Power Parks Several parks provide public RV camping on a first come, first serve basis.
Priest Lake State Park
Less than 30 miles from the Canadian border in the Idaho Panhandle, Priest Lake offers a surplus of campsites surrounded by pure nature. The state park comprises three units spanning the east side of the 19-mile lake, and each unit has a campground that facilitates tents and RVs.
The Indian Creek Unit, near the center of the lake, is home to the park’s visitor center and other amenities like a gas station and amphitheater. The Indian Creek Unit has over 30 campsites available, with a mix of electric and nonelectric spots.
To the north, the Lionhead Unit is also a popular camping spot within the park, with nearly 50 sites. Camping is also available south of the lake within the Dickensheet Unit.
The state park also has unique overnight opportunities. Six Lakefront Cabins in the Indian Creek Unit sleep five people and provide rustic accommodations. A large group camp is within the Lionshead Unit. The Lionshead Group Camp includes a cabin that sleeps 12, and enough RV and tent sites to accommodate 50 people. Advance reservation is required for the group camp.
Address: 314 Indian Creek Park Road, Coolin, Idaho
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Open In Winter Mode Welcome Back Snowbirds Please Read Below
Beginning Nov 1st, we are on winter mode. The office/store will NOT be open but we are usually onsite. Sites with water will have heat tape to extend the camping season. We will take reservations and have maps for arriving guests. We are easily reachable for any issues via text at 208-324-4169. Welcome to the Gem State and the Twin Falls/Jerome KOA. On the way or for a stay, we are your ideal KOA. Close to the interstate but a world away, we are the perfect location for an easy in and easy out, overnight or extended stay. We offer a swimming pool, clean restrooms/showers, kids and pets playgrounds, WiFi, and cable TV. You’re in to relax and recharge, and then you’re out and on your way to Yellowstone Park or other exciting destinations.
Experience Southern Idaho’s Magic Valley as you walk on the new cantilevered overlook by the Perrine Bridge. Watch daredevil BASE jumpers, see Evel Knievel’s jump site or cool down at Shoshone Ice Caves. Back at KOA, enjoy a refreshing swim after a day of sightseeing or stop by the ice cream social. The store is stocked with groceries, beer, wine, RV supplies, and souvenirs. Whether you want to relax at your campsite, explore the area, or sit by the pool, the Twin Falls/Jerome KOA has it all. The staff looks forward to your visit!
Pool: Memorial Weekend – Labor Day Weekend. Max pull thru: 80 feet. Your hosts: the Carranza family.
From Interstate 84:
Our Daily Discounted Rate Is As Low As $38
- 30/50 AMP Service
- Pull-Thru Sites
Whether with family or a few select friends, getting out and exploring the rocks, rivers, mountains and forests of the Oregon Trail is a thrilling experience. Here at Oregon Trail Campground, the choicest destinations such as theMagic Valley, Snake River and Shoshone Falls are within a 10 minute drive, and the campground is less than 15 minutes from the I-84.
Explore the Oregon Trail Hassle-Free! Contact Us!
We are located at 2733 Kimberly Rd. Twin Falls, Idaho 83301 and we are open to serve you year round. Contact us at today for inquiries or reservations. Visit
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Finlay Flats Recreation Area In Montana
Cell Service: none, but we were told other sites at the same campground do have service
Elevation: 2,335 ft
Although this free campsite is actually in Montana, were including it on this list because its on your likely route for your Idaho road trip if you avoid interstates like us and are trying to zig zag through the national forests of Idaho.
This dispersed camping area is found on national forest land along the Clark Fork River, just off Hwy 200 near the Idaho/Montana border. After turning north onto NF-2654/Finlay Flats Road, which is well maintained gravel, travel under 2 miles, cross the railroad tracks, and youll arrive at Finlay Flats.
The free camping spots are large enough for bigger RVs, level, and most of the 10-12 sites have a bit of shade. The spots are close enough together that you wont have a lot of privacy or feel very secluded, but the views of the Clark Fork River and surrounding area more than make up for it.
Youll need to be prepared to boondock while staying at this free campground. There is no potable water, trash, or electricity, however, there are pit toilets available.
Lake Cascade State Park
Thirty miles south of McCall, and 75 miles north of Boise, Lake Cascade is a year-round recreation destination. The eye-catching North Fork Mountains backdrop all 86 miles of shoreline. The reflective water attracts all sorts of activity, including boating, fishing, and windsurfing. The state park surrounding Lake Cascade operates a dozen different campgrounds with over 230 campsites in total.
Campgrounds at Lake Cascade are on the southeast and northwest side of the lake. Poison Creek and RidgelineCampgrounds are the only two that offer full hookup RV spots. The rest of the developed campgrounds at Lake Cascade are nonelectric and cater to both tents and RVs. Lake Cascade also features group camps and dispersed camping areas.
Another thing that all campsites at Lake Cascade have in common is access to the water. All campgrounds have nearby boat docks, and many, such as Van Wyck Campground, have sandy beach swimming areas. Each campground also has restroom facilities and potable water. Sunsets from either side of the lake make a trip to Lake Cascade worth the visit alone.
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Best Free Camping Spots In Idaho
Idaho is one of the most underrated locations for enjoying nature, but it has abundant beauty and outdoor activities. And Idaho has plenty of free camping for you to use as a base camp while you explore.
Many think Idaho has nothing to offer except a tiny sliver of Yellowstone National Park. But youre missing out if thats the only thing you experience while in Idaho. From fishing and kayaking to hiking, horseback riding, and history, weve got seven great free campgrounds for you to enjoy in Idaho.
Lets dig into free camping Idaho style!