Camping in the nature is a blessed experience that everyone should experience at least once in their lives. It is especially lovely to stay in campsites across the United States. What’s more, some of these beautiful camping spots are absolutely free!
Here are the best free campsites across the United States recommended by these well-traveled, nature-loving travel bloggers.
Sinlahekin Wildlife Area, Washington
Emily from Two Dusty Travelers says:
Camping on Conners Lake in the Sinlahekin Wildlife Area of Eastern Washington offers gorgeous views and miles of trails to hike! It’s best visited in the summer, when temperatures can get warm enough for a swim. Facilities are minimal (there is a bathroom at one end of the lake), so come prepared!
You’ll likely be rewarded by having the place to yourself. Except for the wildlife, that is: Bald eagles soared over our campsite, and watching a family of otters cavorting in the lake was the highlight of our trip.
Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, Utah
Kristin from Be My Travel Muse says:
I love camping and hiking in Utah, where so much of the land is Bureau of Land Management-owned and therefore free to the public to use, particularly in Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument.
As long as you’re not visible from the road and leave no trace, you’re welcome to camp almost anywhere! My personal favorite was near the start of Coyote Gulch. The best time to go is in the spring or fall when it’s not too hot or too cold. It’s the desert, after all!
Also read: Tips for successful camping with kids
The Dude Ranch, South Dakota
Lisa from TheHotFlashPacker says:
The Dude Ranch campground in Oacoma, SD is one of the best free campgrounds in the state. Located just 3 miles off I-90 on a good gravel road, you can sleep on the banks of the Missouri River surrounded by state wildlife refuge and private ranches.
I met some friendly locals fishing for walleye and there was a clean pit toilet. Only 4 parties were camping mid-week, but it’s busy on the weekends. You can stay up to 14 nights.
Bears Ears National Monument, Utah
Megan from Red Around The World says:
Bears Ears National Monument in Southeastern Utah is an underrated, overlooked area. The wildness and ruggedness of the area probably helps with that, but if you get the chance to visit, I would highly recommend it. After an average visit there last year, I had no strong desire to go back, but recently ended up there and let me tell you, I was blown away by what I saw. And the best part is, there is tons of free camping and hiking in the park and surrounding area.
You can get there from the same turnoff as Natural Bridges National Monument and don’t need a high clearance vehicle. Four-wheel drive is helpful, but not necessary for the main road. I turned off towards the Gooseberry Guard Station, passed The Notch, and went a little bit further down. I found the perfect spot with a view.
The best time to go would be in the summer or fall since it is a lot cooler up there. You can escape the desert heat and see some leaves changing in the fall. You could go in the winter, just make sure you’re prepared for possible snow and very cold weather.
Alvord Desert, Oregon
Val and Nick from Wandering Wheatleys say:
The Alvord Desert is a 12-by-7-mile dry lake bed located in Southeastern Oregon, about a 9-hour drive from Portland. This area gets only 7 inches of rain every year and it is a popular place to cruise around due to the fact that it is so flat and that you’re unlikely to see another soul for miles. Plus you can drive fast, really fast. An unofficial women’s world land speed record was set here in 1976 – she was clocked at 512 miles/hour!
Visitors can set up camp anywhere that they please on the massive playa. Campfires are permitted and it is the perfect place to stargaze as there is no light pollution. There are no amenities but there is a small, privately owned convenience store with the only bathroom in the area. For a small fee you can take a soak in their relaxing hot springs and use their solar powered shower.
The best time to visit the Alvord is June through November when the playa is the driest so driving conditions are best.