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Free Tent Camping Near Sacramento

Hoomaluhia Botanical Garden Hawaii

WINTER STORM – Snow Tent Camping Solo

Theres no shortage of gorgeous scenery to see on the islands of Hawaii, but Hoomaluhia Botanical Garden on Oahu offers visitors the unique opportunity to see plant life from all over the world. The city-run campsite is a quiet option and camping is available for free Mondays through Fridays, but you will need to make a reservation.

Free Campgrounds In California And How To Find More

If theres one thing better than camping, its free camping, especially in a wooded or beachfront area. In California, a state known for its areas of natural beauty, theres enough free camping to keep you bouncing around for months or even years.

While most national parks dont offer free camping, look for Bureau of Land Management or United States Forest Service land on the outskirts, where the perfect free camping in California site awaits you. For last-minute camping, you can use The Dyrt PROs Offline Maps and Map Layers to find free camping near you. These features will show you public lands where you can camp for free whether or not you have service or wifi!

Free Camping At Sacramento Pass Recreation Area Near Great Basin National Park

The free campground at Sacramento Pass Recreation Area near Great Basin National Park is made up of 10 official campsites. Each campsite is big rig/RV friendly and all of them have a fire ring, a grill, and a picnic table.

Seven of those ten campsites have large pavilions and are pull-throughs.

Related Product: Add snap on SnapPad Rubber RV Jack Feet to your RV stabilizers to add grip and eleminate the need for RV blocks.

When you first enter the Sacramento Pass campground there is a large parking area. This is where the main vault toilets, dumpsters, and information sign is located.

Its also the first access point to the pond located in the center of the main camping area.

The dumpsters were full when we were there but free garbage disposal is a very rare amenities at free campgrounds and its greatly appreciated.

If all the campsites are taken when you get to Sacramento Pass you can park in this parking lot to spend the night.

There is even a small unofficial campsite with a picnic table on the western side where some people camped for the night.

When you enter the parking lot you want to go to the right, this will take you to the first 6 pull-through campsites.

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You can see in the picture above that the first part of the campground is right next to the road.

It was a little noisy at times when a semi would pass by but for the most part, it was quiet.

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Also Check: Banff National Park Camping Reservations

Dispersed Camping Rules & Regulations

One of our favorite things about dispersed camping is the lack of permits, reservations, and other requirements youll often find at developed campgrounds. However, there are a few California specific rules and regulations that youll need to know when planning you trip:

  • Cleveland National Forest: Campfires are prohibited outside of developed campgrounds and permits are required for specific areas if dispersed camping.
  • San Bernardino National Forest: Campfires are prohibited outside of developed campgrounds
  • Angeles National Forest: Dispersed camping is prohibited
  • Alabama Hills: Although not yet implemented, there is a high likelihood that a permit system will be put in place.

It is best to check current regulations with the relevant USFS or BLM office, but you should plan on adhering to the following as outlined by the USFS:

  • Do not camp in areas near trailheads, picnic areas, or developed campgrounds.
  • Keep your campsite small.
  • Use existing sites and fire rings when available.
  • Pick a site where vegetation is absent.
  • Do not camp within 200 feet of a water source.
  • Dispersed camping is generally limited to 14 days within any continuous 30 day period.
  • Only have a campfire if it is permitted, and always be sure it is completely extinguished.

California Campfire Permits

This permit program applies to all dispersed camping in California, so please ensure you have a campfire permit by completing the form below:

You can request a campfire permit for your trip here.

The Sacramento River Of Northern California

Sacramento Tent City

The main artery from the North the Big River of California

Mighty Mount Shasta snowmelt flows south, bound to meet the giant Lake Shasta, which merges with the Pit River and numerous other major waterways, becoming the big Sacramento River. Running right down the center of the North Sacramento Valley to merge into the California Delta. Shipping channel links the State Capital city of Sacramento with the San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean. Agriculture and wildlife depend on this river heavily.

tent camping camp sites, campground camping, RV camps, dump stations, marinas, bait, gasoline, public boat ramps, boating, fishing, kayak rentals


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Yosemite And Kings Canyon

US 395 through the Inyo National Forest, which stretches along the eastern border of Yosemite, Kings Canyon, and Sequoia National Parks, is the crown jewel of California free camping.

Alabama Hills Recreation Area is the hands-down favorite of the Campendium community . Those seeking a quieter experience will find it at lesser-known gems like Owens Gorge Road and Sagehen Meadows.

Tumco Historic Townsite In Winterhaven

Coordinates:32.8811, -114.8325

About:Tumco Historic Townsite in Winterhaven is a spacious area in the desert. The dispersed camping is easy to access. Although theres not much to see in the historic town, its a great place to base yourself for sand dunes nearby, and its close to the border of Arizona and Mexico.

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Sacwest Rv Park & Campground

SacWest RV Park & Campground is only ten minutes outside of downtown Sacramento in the West/Old-town Sacramento district on the slough. If Joes Crab Shack and the Old Town historical museums arent enough for you, feel free to join in any of the activities scheduled at this RV park including wine mixers, bingo nights, and water slides for the whole family.

Luxury tent, cabin, and cottage rentals, plus its convenient location, make this the number one in glamping/camping getaways close to Sacramento.

  • Closest town: Sacramento
  • Specs: 136 sites, full hookups, electric, tent/tent+electric/cabin/cottage/RVs up to 60 ft./ fifth wheels, heavy usage
  • Amenities: Glamping, cabins, cottage getaways, wine mixers, BBQ, bingo, paddle boats
  • Reservations: Yes, at

Best Free Camping Incalifornia

Free Camping Near Great Basin National Park – Sacramento Pass BLM Campground, Nevada

By Sara Sheehy

With its 840 miles of coastline, beautiful mountains, and fun cities, California is at the top of many peoples adventure lists. From the Sierra Nevada Mountains to Joshua Tree National Park, California is filled with beautiful destinations, sunny days, and plenty of those Beach Boys vibes.

California has an ample amount of dispersed camping if you know where to look. Here is where youll find the best no-cost camping in the Golden State.

See the California free camping map.

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Goodenough Creek Campground Idaho

Even though the name literally says good enough, visitors of Goodenough Creek Campground whove reviewed this place tout it as much more than that. The grounds in McCammon offer gorgeous views as well as toilets, picnic tables, and fire rings. There are 10 designated camping spots five for tents and five for RVs and trailers.

Things To Keep In Mind While Camping In California

While these campgrounds may be free, if you want to have a fire or use a burner, youll likely need a permit.

Be sure to research ahead of time if your campground allows campfires, and if so, if it requires a permit . Remember to always use a burner on even ground and to never leave a fire unattended!

Dispersed camping requires that a Leave No Trace policy be followed.

Some principles of the LNT ethos are: travel and camp on durable surfaces, dispose of waste properly, leave what you find, minimize campfire impacts, respect wildlife, and be considerate of other visitors!

Many of these campgrounds are only open seasonally. Remember to research in advance what months your preferred campsite is open for use!

Northern California is bear country! Always make sure you research the presence of bears in your area, and travel equipped with a bear box!

Camping Gear

Investing in quality camping gear is important as you dont want to be stuck in the middle of nowhere and realize you dont have sufficient equipment. We use this this durable tent, sleeping bag, and sleeping pad on all of our California camping trips.


Camping just isnt as much fun if you only plan to eat granola bars. We recommend bringing along a camping stove, some pots and pans, some camping dishes, unscented soap, and a folding wash basin.


If you plan on a more active camping adventure, youre also going to want to bring a good pair of hiking shoes. We recommend these ones!


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What Is Blm Camping

The Bureau protects undeveloped public lands. Some BLM areas offer dispersed BLM camping in California at little to no cost. Youre typically allowed to stay up to 14 nights on BLM land, and some locations require a permit. Signs will be posted if a permit is required.

Also, its always a good idea to thoroughly read any signage in case of special rules and regulations for the area. In addition, there may be BLM lands that offer some amenities for campers, but mostly, youll find boondocking options only.

Brannan Island State Recreation Area

Sacramento Pass Rec Area

Image from The Dyrt camper Daren W.

This is a one-of-a-kind campground nestled amidst a maze of creeks and waterways that make up the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Cradled by the Three Mile Slough, Seven Mile Slough, and the Sacramento River, youre surrounded by water. Tons of spots to choose from if youre a tent camper, be sure to bring your stakes as theres a lot of wind in the open areas to pick up and toss your tent.

Lots of fishing and boating activities. Campsites are spaced out. Easy access to the water. Family favorite.Mike C.

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Camping Near Sacramento 10 Hidden Gems To See

Sacramento is known for a lot of things, ranging from technology to legislation, and the good olâ gold rush. However, in these considerations, people often forget one amazing thing about Sacramento â it is very close to beautiful, natural sites that are great for camping. With that in mind, weâll look at amazing sites for camping near Sacramento. Be prepared to be surprised and to enjoy these recommendations!

The Best Camping Near Sacramento Ca

February 15, 2022 By // by Courtney DuPuy

Camping in and around Sacramento, California is one of the best summer recreational activities available to those in the Central Valley. Snowmelt from Alpine lakes in the Sierra Nevadas, just two hours eastward, act as tributaries for the American River, the Yuba River, and smaller offshoots like the Bear River, so there are plenty of spots to go and cool off.

The following is a collection of campsites situated along the water from Sacramento to Lake Tahoe and everything in between. Both RVs and tents can be accommodated. Fish, hike, eat some lunch, take a swim and enjoy the Sierra Nevadas like they were meant to be enjoyed. These make great basecamps for day trips to hot springs near Truckee.

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Grizzly Flat Dispersed Campground

Amenities: Vault toilet and rock firepits

Activities: Hiking, hunting, horseback riding, boating, all-terrain vehicle driving, and wildlife watching

Dogs allowed: Yes, but only on-leash.

This campground is located within the tranquil and secluded Mendocino National Forest, which is considered one of the best camping destinations in California and is home to some of the Yuki Wilderness. Spanning 330,780 acres and rising from near sea level to above 7,000 feet in elevation, this national forest boasts dozens of diverse ecosystems. While youre hiking through the beautiful scenery of Mendocino, keep an eye out for the Tule elk, black bears, wild pigs, and even bald eagles. Whether you want to explore mountains, rocky terrain, forests, or the 17-mile canyon creek, youll find a spot in this national forest well-suited for your mood.

Resources For Free Campsites In California & Beyond:

Free Camping On Public Land With Tent And Wood Stove

We have just featured a highlight of free campsites that are found in California, but there are many more that are available. Here are some of the resources we found for finding free campsites in California for you to see if there are more options in an area you want to check out.

Campendium Website this site features free campites across the country including listings for California, plus reviews from readers who have visited the campsites. This is a community-driven type of website, so I would still try to confirm these locations with another state website if possible.

Free Campsites.Net This is another site that is community driven, with reader reports & reviews, but Id encourage you to also try to confirm these with another website such as a BLM or state website.

Total Escape This is an excellent resource to use to find camping sites in California. Its all about California off the beaten path

We found it worked best to use a combination of these websites websites to get names of free camp locations & then we looked them up on the official sites.

You can also buy Forest Service maps of specific National Forests to get more specifics on areas where you can camp for free in those locations.

Also Check: Sam Houston National Forest Rv Camping

Is Blm Camping Free

Almost all BLM camping in California is free and requires no reservations or permits. However, you still need to abide by all rules posted, especially the Leave No Trace policy.

If BLM land is consistently damaged, the government will close it to the public. We want to keep these free camping options open.

Therefore, making sure you leave no trash and cause no damage to the land is extremely important. While camping is free, the rules keep the land beautiful and accessible for others.

Pro Tip:Never break these BLM boondocking rules!

Sacramento Opens First City

Nicholas Cistone lives in his RV at the safe parking near Miller Park, Wednesday, April 14, 2021.

Andrew Nixon / CapRadio

Fifty-one year-old Johnny Rocchia has spent the past five years living in his RV, constantly worrying about it being towed away. In the city of Sacramento, its illegal to sleep in a vehicle in most neighborhoods.

But when he moved to one of Sacramentos recently-opened safe parking sites for homeless residents who live in vehicles, he breathed a sigh of relief.

This here was a blessing, Rocchia said last week, standing near his RV. Me and my girlfriend were going, Gosh, this is nice. This is what we need.

The new site for homeless residents located on a city-owned dirt lot near the Sacramento marina is staffed 24/7 with case managers who work out of trailers and help connect residents with housing and social services. About 50 people live there now in 35 parked cars, vans and RVs.

The city also provides residents with two meals per day, wash stations, onsite security and garbage pickup through a contract with First Step Communities, a homeless services nonprofit.

The lot opened this month after the launch of Sacramentos first city-sponsored safe ground and parking site near Southside Park. That location had about 100 residents as of last week and has separate areas for people living in tents and vehicles, said Stephen Watters, executive director of First Step Communities.

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Ice House Campground Eldorado National Forest

The Ice House Campground is a popular campground 80 miles northeast of Sacramento within Eldorado National Forest. It’s on the banks of the scenic Ice House Reservoir and is great for activities like fishing, paddle sports, and swimming. And the ponderosa pine forest surrounding the campground is nothing but postcard perfect.

Ice House Campground accommodates tents and RVs with over 80 sites available. Potable water and pit toilets are available at the campground, and the neighboring Ice House Resort features a general store and café. The campground generally operates between Memorial Day and mid-October.

The national forest also operates the Northwind Campground and Strawberry Campground on the Ice House Reservoir, east of Ice House Campground. Both feature primitive campsites and less expensive camping rates. A scenic hiking trail connects all three campgrounds in the area.

Other great hiking trails are a short drive from the campground, including the tumbling Bassi Falls trail less than 10 miles away.

Address: Ice House Reservoir, Wrights Lake Road, Pollock Pines, California

Black Rock Campgroundlassen National Forest


There are plenty of primitive campsites in Lassen National Forest, but if youre looking to camp with a few of your friends, Black Rock Campground offers six first come, first served campsites equipped with grills and tables. Anglers can fish in both Deer Creek and Mill Creek, and hikers will find plenty of trails for low- or high-mileage days.

Vault toilets are available at Black Rock, so your camping experience doesnt have to be completely primitive. Within the national forest boundaries, theres opportunity for mineral prospecting, horse riding, and water activities on Lake Almanor.

Find free California campgrounds from your car without WiFi. The Dyrt PRO lets you download maps and campgrounds without cell service. My alternative to using pro would be to drive back out to cell service.

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