Free Camping Near You
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Whether you’re looking for a free camping spot locally or want to plan a free camping road trip, we’ve got you covered! To discover campsites near you, you may just use your smart phone’s GPS feature, or you can use our trip planner to plan your journey from point A to point B. Our camping community delivers the most up-to-date and accurate free camping information accessible. It might be difficult to locate free campgrounds. Freecampsites.net makes it simple to find a campground. We provide you with a straightforward, map-based search engine for finding free and inexpensive camping spots.
- This is a platform for you to share campsites and camp spots that you have found on your own.
- By sharing camping knowledge openly, we can all save time and money by researching campgrounds in less time and spending more time camping as a result.
- Thank you for returning and informing us of your findings!
- The greater the amount of knowledge you have, the better informed your selections are.
- Often, we feel, the most beautiful and quiet camping spots are those that are provided free of charge.
- You are the legal owner of these lands, and you have the right to utilize them.
- We hope you will enjoy camping in the same manner as we do.
- There are currently a sufficient number of Wal-Mart and truck stop directories available.
- Intergalactic Data has graciously supplied next level hosting for this website.
How to Find Free Camping Near Me – Campendium
When it comes to hundreds of camp places around the United States and Canada that don’t charge a dollar for camping, who can argue with the saying “the best things in life are free?” Discover all you need to know about free camping, including what it is, where to locate it, and what you’ll need to bring with you.
What is free camping?
It is permissible to camp for free in your RV or tent in a spot where you are not required to pay a fee for your stay. The majority of free campsites are located outside of established campgrounds. Free camping is sometimes referred to as boondocking, rustic camping, dry camping, and scattered camping, to name a few variations. The fact that free camping areas are available attracts some campers simply because they are free.
However, others may find additional benefits to free camping sites, such as the pleasures of camping without amenities, the option to camp farther away from other people than can be found in a campground, and the remote nature of many free campsites, to be particularly appealing.
What do I need to camp for free?
Because most free campgrounds do not provide any facilities, you’ll need to be prepared when you visit. If you’re camping in a distant, wild region (such as a National Forest or on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) property), you’ll need to bring the following items in addition to your RV or tent.
- Water for drinking and washing
- Garbage bags
- Food storage containers
- And other supplies. a roll of toilet paper and a shovel a set of camp chairs and a table Permits (if any are required)
A working grasp of Leave No Trace principles, including how to properly dispose of garbage, is required for camping ethically in free campgrounds. Unless you’re camping in a remote location with no access to facilities such as a restroom or a waste disposal facility, it’s probable that you’ll have to make do with what you have on hand.
Where can I find free camping?
The United States and Canada are replete with opportunities for free camping, but not all of this free camping is made equal. When it comes to free camping, there is a vast range of options for convenience, beauty, and fun to be found anywhere from Walmarts to national forests.
National forests are public properties that are maintained by the United States Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service. National forests exist in practically every state in the United States, and while not all of them permit dispersed camping, many of them (particularly in the western United States) do. In addition to RVs and trailers, tent camping in a national forest is an excellent option. The majority of national forests that allow scattered camping have a 14-day stay restriction, however this might range from as little as one day to as much as 30 days in other instances.
What’s the added bonus?
Drive a few minutes out of the park, drive into a peaceful location in the national forest, and take in the peace and quiet of nature.
How to Find Free Camping in the National Forest on Campendium
- Make use of a text search to narrow your focus on the region you’re interested in. Choose “National Forest” as the category. Choose “Free” as the price.
Bureau of Land Management (BLM)
Land management is the responsibility of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), which is largely responsible for managing land in the western United States, particularly open desert environments. The Bureau of Property Management (BLM) oversees land that is used for a variety of purposes, including recreation, grazing, logging, and resource extraction. Generally speaking, free camping on BLM lands is limited to 30 days, although it might be shorter or longer depending on where you are. RVs, vans, and tent campers are welcome on BLM land, which is sometimes (but not always) accessible by road.
It pays to conduct some preliminary study ahead of time to know what you might encounter.
How to Find Free BLM Camping on Campendium
- Make use of a text search to narrow your focus on the region you’re interested in. Choose “BLM” as the category
- Choose “Free” as the price.
Other Public Lands in the United States and Canada
National forests and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land are the most popular areas to locate free camping in the United States and Canada; however, other types of public lands in the United States and Canada provide pockets of campsites in different states and regions. State parks, city parks, and county parks all have free camping spots that are occasionally available. Entities such as water management districts, trust lands, and conservation areas fall under this category. Smaller government departments in the United States, such as the Army Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation, also operate a few campgrounds.
Reading reviews on Campendium and contacting the organization that operates these free campsites will assist you in determining whether or not they are a good fit for your needs.
How to Find Free Public Land Camping on Campendium
- Make use of a text search to narrow your focus on the region you’re interested in. Then choose the category “All Public Lands.” Choose “Free” as the price.
This search function is now available in Canada! Who’s up for some free camping in British Columbia this weekend?
Camping is not considered to be overnight parking in the strictest sense of the word. It will be staying overnight in a developed region where parking will be available throughout the night. The following are examples of locations that may allow overnight parking: Wal-Mart, truck-stops, rest areas, and town parking lots Overnight parking regulations and restrictions differ significantly from one location to the next. Overnight parking at a Walmart in one town may be permitted, but not at a Walmart in the next town over.
Due to the fact that most overnight parking lots do not allow tent camping, they are best suited for individuals traveling in recreational vehicles or vans.
Some locations may also be a little on the shady side.
How to Find Free Overnight Parking on Campendium
- Make use of a text search to narrow your focus on the region you’re interested in. “Parking Lot,” “Street Parking,” and “Rest Area” are the categories to choose from. A purple “P” will be placed on the map to indicate the location of these camping areas. Choose “Free” as the price.
Why spend money on camping when there are over 2,800 free campsites listed on Campendium? If you’re looking for a little adventure, a little isolation, or simply a way to stretch your travel budget, take the plunge and check out the free camping opportunities available near you on your next vacation.
10 Great Places to Camp in Oklahoma
Roberts Cave State Park, which is located near Wilburton, provides gorgeous campsites and a variety of family-friendly outdoor adventures.
Chickasaw National Recreation Area – Sulphur
In Sulphuri, the Chickasaw National Recreation Area is a camping paradise with a plethora of activities such as hiking trails, swimming holes, bike trails, boating trails, and more. Water flows across travertine terraces in this park, creating spring-fed swimming holes and rippling waterfalls all over the place. Spend the day boating or simply resting on the beaches of Lake of the Arbuckles, which is renowned as one of Oklahoma’s top fishing lakes. Visit the Travertine Nature Center to learn about the local fauna and hike through wooded paths that lead to mineral springs, picturesque bluffs, and even a resident buffalo herd.
Three campgrounds, The Point, Guy Sandy, and Buckhorn, are located inside the park and provide electric and water connections as well as rustic tent campsites for people and families to camp in comfort.
It also has a playground for the kids.
It also has a playground for children. Guy Sandy Campground has 40 tent sites and is a more rustic experience because there is no power, no comfort stations, and no showers available.
Beavers Bend State Park – Broken Bow
Beavers Bend State Park, which is located along the gently flowing Lower Mountain Fork River and close to Broken Bow Lake, provides unrivaled camping and hiking options. Pack your belongings and travel to one of the ten tent campsites that are dispersed across the park. At the Beavers Bend region, tent camping may be found in five campgrounds, the majority of which are located on the northwest bank of the Lower Mountain Fork River. As the sun rises beyond the horizon, get up early and take in the spectacular sight of mist rising from the surface of the river.
- For tent camping with plenty of family-friendly amenities, consider the Dogwood Campground, which has a picnic area, children’s playground, and a trout fishing area.
- A sandy swimming beach, a miniature golf course, and a paddleboat rental facility are all within walking distance.
- Rent a canoe or kayak from Beavers Bend River Floats, which is situated within the park, and take a leisurely float down the two and a half mile-long river journey.
- You’ll find rocky outcroppings and sandy bars dotted around the region, making it an excellent spot to stop and cool down in the ocean over lunch.
- The Hochatown Area, which is located just north of the river along the beaches of Broken Bow Lake, has excellent camping choices in five more campsites, which are named Hawk, Deer, Coyote, Eagle, and Blue Jay.
Greenleaf State Park – Braggs
Greenleaf Lake is directly across the street. Greenleaf State Park, located in the beautiful mountainous scenery of northeastern Oklahoma, is a hidden gem that offers countless opportunities for family enjoyment. The little ones will be thrilled by an 18-hole miniature golf course, a lake bathing beach, a playground, and children’s activities, while mom and dad will appreciate the hiking trails and free pontoon boat trips. After a long day of touring, gather the family around a bonfire to relax and take in the tranquil surroundings.
Lakeview Campground offers a variety of amenities, including two multi-use centers, a playground, picnic area, nature hut, boat ramp, and comfort station with hot showers and laundry facilities.
Trailhead Point Campground, located on an 18-mile trail system that includes a swinging bridge across a cove of Greenleaf Lake, is an excellent choice for those who enjoy hiking or mountain biking.
Sequoyah State ParkFort Gibson Lake – Hulbert
Sequoyah State Parkis a tranquil peninsula surrounded on three sides by the crystal-clear waters of Fort Gibson Lake, making it an ideal location for your next camping vacation. Within the park, there is an abundance of wildlife, and a nature center allows campers to get an up-close and personal glimpse of some of the park’s critters. Early in the morning in Sequoyah State Park, you could discover your tent surrounded by grazing deer or wild turkeys, which would be a pleasant surprise. Camping in the Creek, Choctaw, and Paradise Cove campsites is convenient, with water and power connections, showers, picnic areas, and boat ramps available for guests’ use.
Paradise Cove Campground, which is surrounded by the Eagle Roost Trail in Sequoyah State Park, is a favorite destination for hiking enthusiasts.
Guests at the Sequoyah Riding Stables may take a horseback tour of the gorgeous park, or they can explore the 2-mile paved route that winds its way through the park.
A restaurant within the park’s resort provides campers with an alternative to the traditional campfire food.
Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge – Lawton
Additionally, the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge is home to free-range prairie dogs as well as elk, deer, longhorn cattle, and buffalo. The refuge is also the location ofMount Scott, one of Oklahoma’s most notable mountains. At the refuge, visitors may engage in practically every type of outdoor activity, including hiking, fishing, rock climbing, mountain biking, birding, and many other activities. Guests staying overnight can do so at the Doris Campsite, which is the only public campground on the refuge.
Doris Campground is open year-round.
All campsites are equipped with a grill, a fire ring, and a picnic table for your enjoyment.
Fishing in the pure waters of the quiet lake, hiking and boulder hopping on the rocky landscape, or telling ghost stories over a campfire beneath the stars are all possibilities.
Illinois River – Tahlequah
There are sixty miles of flowing river on the Illinois River near Tahlequah, Oklahoma, with shaded tree overhangs, gentle rapids, a rock bottom, and crystal clear waters to enjoy. A range of lengths and watercraft options are available to guests on this Class II river, making it suitable for both beginners and experienced paddlers. Relax in a canoe, raft, or kayak while taking in the breathtaking beauty of the river, strolling along the banks, or fishing in the abundant fishing holes available.
Tent and RV campsites are available along the banks of the picturesque river, provided by a dozen or more float trip outfitters and tour operators.
The services provided by each outfitter differ, but the majority of them include pick-up and drop-off transportation for clients rafting down the river.
Ouachita National Forest – Hodgen
Located on 352,000 acres, the Ouachita National Forest offers spectacular views, hiking, bicycling and horseback riding paths, as well as opportunities for hunting, fishing and even hang gliding. In addition to the Billy Creek Campground, Cedar Lake, Cedar Lake Equestrian Camp, and Winding Stair Campground, the public has access to four other campgrounds. Billy Creek Campground includes 12 campsites, each of which has a picnic table as well as a fire pit or a grill for cooking. Campers can use a vault toilet and two water spigots that are located nearby.
- There is a varied range of experiences available at these campsites, ranging from the basic to the ultra-modern.
- The property is surrounded by mature trees, and it also features a boat dock and fishing pier on the grounds.
- The Cedar Lake Equestrian Campground will be a hit with both of you.
- Nearly 100 miles of horse trails and modernized facilities for both horses and riders are available at this enormous camp.
- There are four double campsites and 23 single campsites available, as well as a comfort station with flush toilets and warm showers on site.
- Return to the camp, which has five tent pads, a table, a fire ring, and a toilet, for a chance to reconnect with nature and spend some peaceful time alone.
Boiling Springs State Park – Woodward
Boiling Springs State Park is a must-see location for campers of all stripes, offering a spectacular display of wood, lakes, and streams among the typically scant vegetation seen in northeastern Oklahoma’s semi-arid environment, making it a must-visit for everyone. This prairie paradise just outside of Woodward, named for the natural “boiling” spring that greets guests at the welcome center, offers a unique and revitalizing camping experience with lots of hiking and wildlife-watching options.
Two group camping choices are available in the White Tail and Spring Hill campgrounds: 40 RV sites and 12 tent campsites, as well as two alternatives for group camping.
Explore a bit further out from camp on the Scout Trail, which winds its way around lovely Shaul Lake, or trek to the beaches of the North Canadian River on the River Trail, which starts at the well that has the same name.
During your explorations of the unusual and beautiful topography of Boiling Springs State Park, be sure to keep an eye out for the numerous species that call this area of the earth their home.
Black Mesa State ParkNature Preserve – Kenton
Black Mesa State Park is particularly well-suited for adventurous campers, but don’t let that put you off: this incredible place is a must-see for everyone who wants to experience some of the most magnificent scenery Oklahoma has to offer. Featuring 25 tent sites, 29 RV sites with water and electric hookups, picnic facilities, boat ramps, trout fishing during the season, a playground, restrooms with showers, and a group camp with 12 bunkhouses, this high plains paradise at the tip-top of Oklahoma’s Sooner State offers plenty of opportunities to make the most of your camping trip.
The annual Perseid meteor shower, which occurs in August each year and is visible from Black Mesa, attracts astronomy enthusiasts who come to witness one of the most amazing light shows on the planet.
Robbers Cave State Park – Wilburton
However, Robbers Cave State Park is better recognized today as one of the state’s prime camping destinations. The park has a storied past as a hideout for legendary outlaws such as Jesse James and Belle Starr, but it is also one of the state’s premier camping destinations. You may pitch your tent right next to picturesque Lake Carlton or Lake Wayne Wallace, or farther inland at the Dogwood or Deep Ford campgrounds, or choose one of the 86 primitive campsites that are tucked away along hidden pathways for a true wilderness experience.
Are you looking for something a little different?
No matter where you choose to rest your head, you’ll surely want to take in the spectacular views of the undulating foothills of the Sans Bois Mountains that can be had from the peak of the Cave Trail.
Other Great Places to Camp Across Oklahoma
To find out more about Oklahoma camping and campsites, please visit ourCamping website, where you’ll discover images, videos, further articles, and listings for more than 400 locations where you may enjoy camping in the state of Oklahoma.
Your Complete Guide to Free Camping Across the Country
BannerOak, a firm with extensive experience in the field of headgear, has provided this article to you. Their trucker hats are the ideal accessory for discovering free camping opportunities in your area. It may feel as though free camping is as scarce as Big Foot these days. With a growing number of people venturing outside in search of fresh air and dark sky, both the number of people and the cost of parking are rising. The majority of national park campsites charge $30 or more for a single night’s stay in their facilities.
However, free camping is available, and the benefits of free camping extend far beyond the financial aspect.
Many dirt roads around the country lead to dead ends on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land, where camping is permitted.
It means going the additional mile to discover a wonderful place to call home for a night or longer. Free camping becomes simpler and easier to locate with time and effort put into study and practice. Let’s have a look at how you might be able to find a free campground this weekend:
What is Free Camping?
Camping for free, boondocking, or scattered camping are all terms that effectively indicate the same thing: days spent in an area with minimal or no facilities and with no camping costs attached. You may have to move outside of your comfort zone if you’re used to picnic tables, fire rings, and toilets. Dispersed campsites with prepared tent pads and fire rings are available in some locations, but not all of them. Please accept my heartfelt congrats if you have found one of these sites. Your quest for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow has just been completed.
There are a couple of ground rules to follow.
Free camping laws might differ from one location to the next, so check with ranger stations for information on stay limits, fire restrictions, and where the greatest locations could be hiding before setting up camp.
Where Can You Camp for Free?
The United States Forest Service is in charge of managing 20 National Grasslands and 154 National Forests in the United States. There are a total of 193 million acres of public land in the United States. National Forests are simple to see on Google Maps; they’re often the green, shaded regions that span enormous swathes of land in the middle of nowhere. On the United States Forest Service website, an interactive map displays hiking routes, camp locations, ADA accessible areas, and more, making it simple for users to choose a general area to park their campervan or pitch their tent for the night while on vacation.
Bureau of Land Management
The Bureau of Land Management is responsible for the management of one in every ten acres of land in the United States. This includes land in the Dakotas, Utah, Alaska, and California, among other locations. BLM land comprises some of the most underappreciated expanses of landscape in the United States. BLM land receives 75 percent fewer tourists than the National Forest System and 80 percent fewer visitors than the National Park Service, according to statistical estimates. The 245 million acres scream out for to be discovered and explored.
What to Consider When Looking for Free Camping
If you’re prepared to put in the time and effort, you can locate some very unique locations. Free camping, on the other hand, comes with some duties. Fees are what pay for the upkeep of campgrounds, therefore if they are not collected, the area will most likely not be maintained as frequently as it should be. As a camper in this area, it is your responsibility to reduce your environmental effect. Always leave your site in the same condition that you found it. This is the fundamental tenet of the Leave No Trace(LNT) philosophy, and it is very crucial for preserving wild places in their natural state.
Take care to clean up all of your waste, dismantle your fire ring, and make certain that your makeshift restroom has been buried or otherwise disposed of. Some broad rules for Leave No Trace practices are as follows:
- If you’ve packed it in, it’s time to pack it out. It is preferable to travel on durable surfaces (rock, gravel, or dry grass). Fill the holes with human feces 6-8 inches deep and place them at least 200 feet from water sources. You should leave plants and other natural items in the same condition as you found them. Keep flames small, burn them down to ash, extinguish them completely, and then spread the cold ashes.
Since it has already been established, while camping for free, there are few conveniences to take advantage of. This includes more than just plumbing and power; it also includes water, picnic tables, and fire rings. Prepare for meals by packing foldable chairs and a table, and always remember to carry enough of water, especially if you’re camping in the desert.
In rural areas, dispersed camping is sometimes found near the end of, or beside, uneven, pothole-ridden roads that don’t see much traffic. Visiting a lonely piece of property in the woods? Before you go, check the local government website for regulations. The National Parks Service (NPS), the United States Forest Service (USFS), and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) all keep up-to-date information on road closures in their respective jurisdictions. You should feel secure in your vehicle’s ability to handle whatever terrain you may encounter.
Other Uses in the Area
Another thing to consider is who else is using this space. Mineral extraction, logging, oil extraction, hunting, grazing, and other operations are carried out on BLM and USFS lands. Because BLM and USFS territory frequently borders private or National Park Service area, understanding where your boundaries are might help you avoid getting a ticket or being cited for trespassing.
Maps and GPS
If you’re traveling through a dense forest or desert, there’s a good possibility you’ll lose cell service. Especially in an age when we are too connected to everything and everyone, this may sometimes be the driving reason behind the decision to check out to the middle of nowhere in the first place. Make sure you are prepared with an Atlas or a map of the region, just in case something happens. It is possible to go lost on a backroad with no cell phone coverage, which might spoil your free camping trip forever!
Other “Camping” Options
The phrase “boondocking” is frequently used to refer to parking and sleeping in areas that would not normally be considered “campgrounds,” while “boondocking” may also apply to any location where you camp without access to an RV connection system. Most RV campers and “vanlifers” who routinely travel long distances and need a place to park and sleep rely on these boondocking possibilities for their accommodations. Prepare ahead of time by checking in with companies, or go in and speak with the management to ensure that you are respecting the guidelines.
However, if you are knowledgeable enough about where you are permitted to park for the night, you will not be need to breach the law.
The majority of casinos provide overnight RV parking with no facilities.
Casinos are ideal because of their buffet offerings and complimentary beverages (coffee and soda, of course). Most casinos also provide new customers with credit to use on the machines, which is ideal for those of us who need a little assistance from our companions.
Check with each rest place to be sure. However, while not all rest places allow overnight camping in their parking lots, a large number do. Check with your state’s Department of Transportation ahead of time to avoid any problems later on in the process. In most cases, signs are posted at each parking lot stating that overnight parking is prohibited and that hourly parking limits apply.
In addition to providing showers and facilities, truck stops are a popular stop for travelers on long road trips. Showers will cost you a few dollars, but they’ll be well worth it after a few days in the bush, I promise. Many truck stops also include dump stations for RV waste tanks, which is convenient for RVers.
Walmart offers free camping, so this wouldn’t be a comprehensive list without include it. For years, Walmart was the go-to place for RVers and vanlifers who were in a pinch. Walmarts, on the other hand, are not all created equal. The corporation has changed its policy to let each individual store to pick whether or not to provide free camping space. Calling ahead to find out will spare you a hassle, as well as the inconvenience of a 3 a.m. tap on the door. Check out our guide to free camping at Walmart for advice from Shari and Hutch, who live in their camper for the most of the year.
To put it another way, this effectively implies that you may live at Cracker Barrel, which for some may be a dream come true to work there. You are only permitted to stay for one night at a time. What is the most evident advantage? Breakfast, lunch, and supper are all available right outside your door.
Resources for Free Camping
- The Dyrt’s Guide to Free Camping in National Forests
- The Dyrt’s Guide to Free Camping in Oregon
- The Dyrt’s Guide to Free Camping in Nevada
- The Dyrt’s Guide to Free Camping in the Pacific Northwest
- Free Camping in California: A Dyrt’s Guide
- Wyoming Free Camping: The Dyrt’s Guide to Finding It
- The Dyrt’s Guide to Free Camping in Florida
- The Dyrt’s Guide to Free Camping in Florida
- Map of the United States Forest Service
- Boondockers Welcome
- The Mandagies’ guide to free camping
- Freedom in a Can: The Best Way to Find Free Camping
This post is provided to you byBannerOak, whose snapback trucker hats are the ideal complement to any free camping vacation.
- Dispersed camping
- Boondocking: A Guide to Free RV Camping
- Lander, Wyoming
- Camping in Utah
- Camping in Arizona
- Camping in Northern California
- Grand Canyon Camping
- In our Year in Review, you may learn about the latest camping travel trends for 2020. Finding Free Camping in National Forests
- A Checklist for First-Time RVers
- How to Find Free Camping in National Forests
- With the Dyrt Map Layers, you can find free camping spots. The Ultimate Guide to Free Camping
- The Ultimate Guide to Free Camping
- Wifi for your RV: Everything You Need to Know About It
- Best Overland Routes in North America
- 7 of the best routes in North America
- 14 Wilderness Survival Tools You Should Have in Your Backpack If You’re Going Camping
- Here are some items to include on your primitive camping checklist:
Campsites — Texas Parks & Wildlife Department
Bastrop State Park is a great place to camp. To discover more about camping opportunities in state parks, natural areas, and historic sites around Texas, please see the links below. Go to the following page:
- Among the camping options available are boat-to campsites, campsites with electricity, campsites with water, drive-up campsites with no hookups, equestrian campsites, full hookup campsites, glamping (luxury camping), hike-in/backpacking campsites, other camping options, and walk-in tent campsites.
Full Hookup Campsites
Are you looking for a place with all the amenities? Water, electric, and sewage hookups are available at the following campgrounds:
Campsites With Electricity
Campsites with water and electricity are available at the following parks:
Campsites With Water
Campsites with water (but no other amenities) are available at the following parks:
Drive-up Campsites With No Hookups
These campsites are without utilities, however they may be equipped with other amenities (such as picnic tables).
Walk-in Tent Campsites
You will need to carry your equipment a short distance to reach these walk-in locations. The majority (but not all) of the campsites have water spigots in the immediate vicinity of the campgrounds.
You should plan on bringing your own water to these locations. Some have facilities, while many others do not have them.
- For canoe/kayak campers who have come down the river, Devils River is the only place to stay.
Glamping (Luxury Camping)
Air conditioning, luxury rustic furniture, refrigerators, microwaves, coffee makers, games, bicycles, gas grills and gas fire pits, covered porches with rockers, porch swings, and much more are included in the rental price.
If you’re interested in learning more about horseback riding in Texas state parks, check out theHorseback Ridingpage.
Camping in Arizona
Make your reservations now. Arizona’s state parks provide a plethora of excellent camping opportunities, and you may choose from a variety of landscapes, campsite types, and levels of activity. Are you seeking for the greatest tent camping choices, or will you be traveling in an RV? If so, we have the information you need. Would you like a campground that is close to water, or would you prefer a campground that has spectacular views of Arizona? No matter what season you visit, there are lots of alternatives for weekend activities, road excursions from your home base, and excitement in any of the parks you visit throughout your camping trip.
Summer sites, winter locations, and in-between spots are all available.
We offer a slew of excellent selections in a variety of locations around the Grand Canyon State. When you decide to go camping in beautiful Arizona, you can use this resource to help you narrow down your options while choosing the Arizona state park that is most suited to your needs and interests.
Best tent and RV camping in Arizona – Northern Region
Schedule an Appointment It is impossible to include all of the wonderful sites to camp in Arizona’s state parks, and you may choose from a variety of settings, campsite types, and levels of difficulty. Is it your first time going and you’re looking for the greatest tent camping choices, or will you be taking an RV? Perhaps a campground near water would be preferable, or perhaps you’d like a spot with a spectacular view of Arizona? There are fantastic possibilities for weekend activities, road excursions from your home base, and lots of fun in any of the parks throughout your camping trip, no matter what time of year it is.
Summer locations, winter locations, and in-between locations are all available.
Throughout the Grand Canyon State, we offer a variety of excellent selections in a variety of locations.
Recreation options – Dead Horse Ranch State Park and beyond
Everyone is unique, and we understand that! Due to the numerous excellent leisure opportunities available, Dead Horse Ranch State Park actually has the potential to provide enjoyment for the entire family. You just cannot go camping in Arizona without taking time to hike and see the natural beauty of the state. In Dead Horse Ranch, there are a number of hiking routes that take you through breathtaking scenery of the Verde Valley! You may go for a leisurely stroll or a strenuous exercise – the greatest thing is that you get to select your own path!
- This is the walk for you.
- There is something for everyone in this park, thanks to the various paths that are spread across it.
- Horseback riding (during the season), fishing, and bird/wildlife viewing are some of the additional activities available inside the park, but your possibilities really expand if you stay longer and explore other surrounding parks.
- Continue reading to discover more about these north central Arizona parks before you make your travel arrangements.
- A sight to behold, the red rocks carved out by millions of years of erosion are available for viewing at either Red Rock or Slide Rock state parks, which may be visited for free.
- Hike the paths of Red Rock either during the day or at night for a unique experience.
- Enjoy a stroll through the lovely apple orchards, picnicking, or exploring the park on one of three different routes throughout the fall season.
- Both Jerome and Fort Verde historic state parks, which are located near Dead Horse Ranch, provide intriguing (and occasionally disturbing) facts about Arizona’s past.
- Fort Verde State Historic Park, which is about 45 minutes away, was the site of an Army garrison that held battalions of military men for the protection of residents against neighboring Native American tribes during the American Civil War.
The first-hand artifacts, which include medical gear, regular furnishings, and examples of toys, demonstrate a different way of living and allow you to truly appreciate what you have right now in life. At Fort Verde, it’s easy to get caught up in the history surrounding you.
Best tent and RV camping in Arizona – Southern Region
Southern Arizona has campgrounds in parks that are close to water, close to mountains, and close to world-famous caverns. It takes only a short drive from Phoenix or Tucson to reach a spot that is guaranteed to make your weekend break something you’ll want to repeat time and time again. There are seven wonderful camping places to select from, beginning withLost Dutchman State Parkin Apache Junction and continuing all the way toPatagonia Lake State Parkat the southern edge of the state. All of them provide tent or RV camping, and you may pick between them.
There are even some excellent summer camping chances in these desert parks, so choose a location and get out there.
Recreation Opportunities – Find your park!
Southern Arizona offers a diverse range of activities and landscapes to suit every taste and budget. Located at the foot of the majestic Superstition Mountains, Lost Dutchman State Park is home to strenuous treks, breathtaking views, animal viewing, tent and RV campsites, and brand-new camper cottages. Additionally, the Lost Dutchman provides a variety of activities to keep the kids occupied and you entertained – everything from midnight scorpion hunts to star parties and guided walks. You may spend your days hiking, riding, and exploring before returning to the park at night to take in the sights and sounds of the night sky.
- As you go farther south, stop at Picacho Peak State Park for a few days to relax.
- Picacho Peak, on the other hand, has it all, even if you are searching for a more leisurely trek.
- Wildflowers bloom at the foot of the mountain in the spring, creating a broad orange carpet of poppies.
- Discover the splendor of more than 5,000 saguaros or put your bird-watching skills to the test with the more than 150 kinds of birds that call the park their permanent home.
- At addition, there are twice-monthly family-friendly performances held in this location.
- On the weekends, Oracle is a certified Dark Sky Park with fantastic star parties, and you can also visit the historic Kannally Ranch House in the daytime.
- Continue south to Kartchner Caverns State Park in Benson, where you can do more than just visit the cave!
The desert scrub images painted by Kartchner at the foot of the Whetstone Mountains make you a spectacular vista from your camping spot.
Enjoy a few days at the “Best Arizona Attraction,” roasting marshmallows over a campfire, and relaxing by the pool.
If you’d want to travel a little further east, check out Roper Lake State Park andDankworth Pond State Park, both of which are located near Safford.
The trails are a terrific opportunity to get in some exercise while enjoying a pleasant nature stroll – just remember to bring your binoculars!
Roper Lake is a great place to go fishing.
Camp in one of Arizona’s hidden jewels, Patagonia Lake State Park, at the absolute bottom of the state, in the midst of the desert.
Camping cabins with lake views are available, as are 105 campsites for tents or RVs, all of which are within walking distance of a gorgeous white-sand beach.
Boat-in campsites are also available for those who prefer to travel by water.
Patagonia Lake is a wonderful family park that offers a variety of activities and a specific swimming zone in the lake. Stay for a bit and explore two adjacent historic parks – Tubac Presidio andTombstone Courthousestate historic parks – before returning home.
Best tent and RV camping in Arizona – Western Region
The “west coast” of Arizona is flanked by the world-famous Colorado River, and four parks provide opportunities to relax and take in the sights and sounds of this natural wonder. Furthermore, if you’re seeking for excellent fishing, boating, and camping opportunities near a lake, Alamo Lake State Park provides the peaceful, calm environment you’re looking for. Make your way out west to camp with Arizona State Parks and Trails.
West Coast opportunities – Colorado River and Alamo Lake
On Arizona’s “west coast,” which is surrounded by the renowned Colorado River, four parks provide opportunities to relax and take in the sights and sounds of the natural world. Alamo Lake State Park also offers excellent fishing, boating, and camping opportunities in close proximity to a lake, providing a private and tranquil setting for anyone seeking such an experience. Make your way west and enjoy camping with Arizona State Parks and Trails.
Donate to Arizona State Parks
Arizona’s state park system does not receive any funds from the General Fund, which is funded by taxes collected by the state. For us to be a self-sustaining organization, it is critical that we get public support for continuing expenditures and improvements to the park system you use every day.
How will your donation be used?
- Improved park experiences may be achieved by improvements such as playgrounds, bathrooms, and other infrastructure. Repairs of existing buildings and structures in the parks, especially historic structures
- Maintenance of existing facilities
- Trail upkeep and construction
- Trail maintenance and building Cleanups are being organized all around Arizona. Operational costs of the park, including materials and equipment used to operate the park.
Now is the time to get a commemorative tee. There will be no shipment!
16 Great Places to Go Camping in Southern California and Baja
Original publication of this story appeared in the April 2018 edition of San Diego Magazine. As a result of COVID-19, it has been revised to match current guidelines.
Choose your Camping Adventure:
Camping on the Beach|Mountain|Desert|Baja|More Camping Advice
San Onofre Bluffs Campground
When you sleep directly near to the ocean at this state beach campsite north of Camp Pendleton, you can hear the waves slamming on the shore from your tent. Family-friendly activities such as wildlife programs and geocaching are available, as is quick and simple beach access via a short and steep trail. Furthermore, Trestles, a world-class surfing destination, is nearby. Distance between downtown San Diego and the hotel: 60 miles Fees: $40 per night plus tax Sites 1 to 23 (or 105 to 112), which offer ocean views, are the most desirable.
How far in advance to book: Many of them are already fully booked for the summer.
San Onofre Bluffs is available for business.
Reservations are necessary, and the event is exclusively available to a family group; no other visitors are permitted.
South Carlsbad State Beach Campground
Close to the highway, this campground features an expansive road through the center that’s ideal for biking and playing, and the beach is a short walk down a stairwell. The campground is open year-round. Swimming, surfing, skin diving, and fishing are all great activities to do with the family. Picnic tables and fire pits are available on the campsites, and the restrooms are equipped with showers as well. Provisions like wood and ice are available at the on-site camp shop, and Carlsbad is only a few miles away if you forget anything or just want to get away from the camp meals for a little.
The distance between downtown San Diego and the hotel is 30 miles.
Campsites may be reserved up to six months in advance on the website reservecalifornia.com.
It is still possible to camp at South Carlsbad State Beach Campground, but typical social distancing and face masks are necessary, as is cleaning up after yourself.
There will be no parties or huge groups, and it is preferable that locals attend. Reservations are necessary, and the event is exclusively available to a family group; no other visitors are permitted.
San Elijo State Beach
Close to the highway, this campground features an expansive road through the center that’s ideal for biking and playing, and the beach is a short walk down a stairwell. The campground is open year round. Swimming, surfing, skin diving, and fishing are all great activities to do with the family! Picnic tables and fire pits are available on the campsites, and showers are available in the restrooms as well. Wood and ice may be purchased at the on-site camp store, and Carlsbad is only a few miles away if you forget something or want to get away from the camp meals.
- From downtown San Diego, it is approximately 30 miles away.
- Sites 36 to 53 and 183 to 205 are the most desirable since they are directly on the coast and in the middle of the campground, away from the entrance and parking lots.
- For the summer, many hotels are already fully booked.
- The use of locals is favored over parties or huge groups.
- Reservations are necessary.
Silver Strand State Beach
Tents should be left at home. RVs, motorhomes, and trailers are the only types of vehicles permitted at this park. Providing you have the proper equipment, renting a beachfront accommodation for the night or for the weekend with the beach just feet away is a relatively inexpensive option. Also available are walks, bike rides, and runs along the Bayshore Bikeway as well as trips into Coronado for shopping, eating, or a ferry ride. Distance between downtown San Diego and the hotel: 11 miles Fees:$50 per night for a single room Sites 101 to 137 are the most desirable since they are on the beach.
Silver Strand State Beach is open, although basic social distancing and face masks are necessary, as is the removal of debris from the premises.
Reservations are necessary, and the event is exclusively available to a family group; no other visitors are permitted.
Cuyamaca Rancho State Park
5,000 feet above sea level, this mountain park 15 miles northeast of Alpine is home to an oak forest, verdant meadows, and flowing rivers, all of which are perfect for sleeping. While the Green Valley Falls campsite will be closed until the end of August, the Paso Picacho Campground, which has fire rings, flush toilets, and paid showers, is presently open for business. There are numerous excellent hiking trails that begin straight from the campground, and the surrounding Lake Cuyamaca offers fishing and boating opportunities.
A wood stove, picnic table, BBQ, and fire ring are all included in the 12′ x 12′ cottages, as are full-size bunk beds.
Fees:$30 per night for a single room Sites 6 and 7 are the best since they are more isolated from the rest of the camp, providing for a more peaceful stay.
On reservecalifornia.com, you may make reservations up to seven months in advance.
Parking is extremely limited, and the rest of the rules and regulations are the same as they are in San Onofre and the other state parks.
The Ranch at Bandy Canyon
Check out this 144-acre ranch in San Pasqual Valley if you’re looking for camping that includes a swimming pool, lodge, petting zoo, horseback riding instruction, and cottages that are individually painted. Each cabin has a rustic feel to it and a unique layout, such as the loft in Eagle Cabin, the wraparound porch in Bluebird Cabin, and the brick and lantern decorations in Firehouse Cabin, for example. The distance between downtown San Diego and the hotel is 32 miles. Fees: Starting at $350 per night, plus tax.
It also features a hot tub.
When should you book: Weddings are mainly planned on weekends throughout the summer months, but weekdays are usually accessible.
As part of its cleaning and disinfection process, the Ranch at Bandy Canyon has been closing and disinfecting cabins to guarantee that guests are the first to enter once a cabin has been cleaned.
The campground in Idyllwild Park is within walking distance of the beautiful mountain town, allowing you to camp by night and explore the town’s shops and eateries by day, if you so choose. On weekends, the town is a popular tourist destination, but it is not as congested as Julian. Mile High Cafe is a popular site for carbo-loading before tackling all of the excellent hiking trails in the area, which include the tough Mount San Jacinto and the simpler Ernie Maxwell Scenic Trail, all of which are within walking distance.
The distance between downtown San Diego and the hotel is 110 miles.
When should you book: Reservations are accepted from April to October, and while there are still weekend sites available, it’s better to make your reservation as soon as possible at rivcoparks.org.
There will be no parties or huge groups, and it is preferable that locals attend.
There are a variety of paths to choose from if you want to backpack in the Mount Laguna region. It is recommended that you take the Noble Canyon, Pine Mountain, Cutca, or Wildhorse routes, or design your own route that incorporates many of these. Camping is permitted for up to 14 days out of every 30 days, and open campfires are not permitted anywhere other than established campgrounds. Camping alongside the trails, on the other hand, provides you the opportunity to enjoy the open mountains in privacy.
Set up your tent and have a good time! The Laguna and El Prado Campgrounds will be closed until the 30th of July. The Falcon, Horse Heaven, and Wooded Hill Campgrounds will be closed until August 15, according to their websites.
Indian Cove Campground
Set up tent among the park’s characteristic alien boulders and rock formations, which are sure to take your breath away. Although this campsite provides the essentials (fire pits, picnic tables, and outhouses), it does not provide water or a camp shop. Cell phone service is either weak or non-existent, so make sure to prepare ahead of time. If you’re prepared to put in the effort, it’s well worth it. You can locate a private area amid the red rocks during the day, explore Joshua Tree during the day, and take in the spectacular celestial vistas during the night in Joshua Tree National Park.
When should you book: Recreation.gov allows you to make reservations up to six months in advance.
Campsites are available to families living in the same home, but not to groups of people.
Social isolation and the use of a mask are essential.
Lazy Sky Boutique Retreat
This elegant, minimalist Yucca Valley property has a total of five tepees and canvas tents, which are arranged in a circle. The latter are furnished with mattresses and bed frames, as well as new sheets and bath towels. All of the rooms share a bathroom with two toilets and an outdoor shower, as well as a full kitchen with dishes and a French press, as well as pots and pans, as well as a barbeque grill and an eating space outside on the patio. Enjoy live music at PappyHarriet’s in Pioneertown, or enjoy a “sound bath” at the Integratron (below), which is supposed to be a time machine constructed in part by Venusian telepaths and located in the downtown area.
The Golden Moon or Rising Sun tepees are the best campsites to reserve if you want to have a truly unique experience.
To avoid contact with the extremely tiny local population, occupancy is restricted to members of the same household, and all food and other goods must be carried in from outside the building.
Melvin Sweet is a fictional character created by author Melvin Sweet.
Vallecito County Park
Take the kids to Julian’s historic Butterfield Stage Station, which is a replica of an ancient stagecoach station. Julian is rich in history. It has been transformed into a tourist attraction and is rumored to be haunted, so if you believe in ghosts and want to get close to them, choose a camping in the vicinity. Besides that, there’s a tiny cemetery, a playground, and a horseshoe court close by, along with lots of trees for shade and facilities that provide showers. Distance between downtown San Diego and the hotel: 90 miles Fees:$22 per night + a $5 processing fee Sites 1 to 6 are the most convenient because they are close to the station.
Reservations can be made online at reservations.sdparks.org or by phone at 877-565-3600 as early as possible.
In the spring and fall, there is generally plenty of available space. For the summer, Vallecito County Park is closed. It will return after Labor Day, weather permitting. Austin Trigg is a songwriter and musician from Austin, Texas.
Bow Willow Campground
Located in the southern area of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, this campground offers a more private vacation with only 16 campsites. Although there are picnic tables and ramadas to make things easier, you should be aware that there is no running water. The spectacular stargazing is the major attraction, but the views of the wide terrain and mountains during the day are equally remarkable. Park your car or set up a tent right up against the rocky mountainside to take in the breathtaking views.
The distance between downtown San Diego and the airport is 105 miles.
There will be no bookings allowed.
There will be no parties or huge groups, and it is preferable that locals attend.
This campsite and park, located south of Ensenada, offers a plethora of recreational opportunities. In addition to zip lines and climbing structures, there are hanging bridges to cross and a water park with waterslides and play structures, as well as horseback riding and mountain bike rentals and ATV rentals. You have the option of staying in tents or cabins, and there is a store on-site where you may get supplies. Distance between downtown San Diego and the hotel: 98 miles Fees: Approximately $23 per night Best camping spots: There are no numbers assigned to the campsites.
When should you book: There are plenty of campsites available, so there is no need to make reservations.
This romantic getaway in Ensenada is comprised of 19 tented cabanas that have been erected into the surrounding vineyards. Each room features a king or queen bed on a frame, air conditioning, a minibar, a fireplace, and a terrace with a raised platform for excellent views of the surrounding landscape. Mountain biking, horseback riding, hiking, and zip line are just a few of the activities available. A restaurant on the premises serves breakfast bowls as well as Mexican delicacies such as mollettes, as well as wine and cheese tastings.
The distance between downtown San Diego and the hotel is 73 miles.
When should reservations be made: Reservations should be made by email or phone. For weekend stays, it’s recommended to make your reservations as soon as possible. www.cabanascuatrocuatros.com. mx.
Guadalupe Canyon Oasis Hot Springs and Nature Reserve
How would you like to have your own own hot spring? Every camper at this Baja campground, which is tucked in the mountains, has its own associated hot springs pool, which can reach temperatures of up to 125 degrees. Each site also has a palapa, a grill, and a spot to pitch a tent; the campsite also includes flush toilets, showers, and a camp store, among other amenities. Some campgrounds can accommodate parties of up to 14 people with four automobiles, making them ideal for a weekend escape with friends.
Swimming and rock jumping are also available in the cold pools on site.
Distance between downtown San Diego and the hotel: 140 miles Fees: Weekend rates start at $40 per night for smaller sites, and $125 for larger sites.
El Mirador is a more private location with stunning vistas that is ideal for a romantic getaway.
Ruben’s Camp and Kiki’s RV, Camping and Motel
These two locations, which are directly across the street from each other on the Sea of Cortez in San Felipe, Baja California, offer a variety of lodging options. In addition to motel rooms, Kiki’s also offers RV sites, while Ruben’s Camp provides car camping sites, each of which has its own palapa. It’s impossible to beat the location: Given that San Felipe is located on the east coast of Baja California Sur, you will be able to see the sun rise over the ocean from your tent. The distance between downtown San Diego and the airport is 245 miles.
The best camping spots are as follows: Seek out locations near the far eastern edge of the camp, where you can see the ocean.