Free Campsites in the United States 2023 – Tips and Guide


Are you a camping lover? In this article, we have shared the best free campsites in the United States where you can enjoy an outdoor adventure free of cost.

What are Free Campsites?

Free campsites are lands and parks where travel enthusiasts can pitch their tents and park their RVs without paying any fee. The government often manages these free campsites. Some examples are national forests and state parks.

Advantages of Free Campsites

Accessible campsites are the best option for those who want to explore the beauty of nature on a low budget. It may be unique, but fewer amenities will be available on a free campsite. However, You have the advantage of less budget and flexibility.

Free campsites become filled up during the peak days of camping. Every free campsite has its rules and regulations, so you must go with proper research and planning. While camping on a free campsite, it is also essential to take care of cleanliness, as there is no proper management for maintenance.

free campsites in the united states

Types of free campsites in the United States

There are several free campsites available in the United States. Each of them is famous for its beauty and amenities. Here we have explained some of the common types:

  1. National Forests and Grasslands
  2. Bureau of Land Management Lands
  3. State Parks
  4. Wildlife Management Lands.

1. National Forests and Grasslands:

National forests and grasslands provide some of the best free campsites in the United States. There are 154 national forests and 20 grasslands in 13 different states of the United States. They are scattered over millions of acres of land where you might have the best camping experience.

The US government manages these free campsites and offers recreation opportunities and amenities such as fire rings, toilets, picnic tables, wildlife viewing, and geology.

Some of the famous national forests and grasslands are listed here:

NameDesignationsStateYear. EST
AngelesNational ForestCalifornia1892
Black KettleNational GrasslandOklahoma, Texas1960
Black HillNational ForestSouth Dakota, Wyoming1897
CurlewNational GrasslandIdaho1934
DeltaNational ForestMississippi1961
FishlakeNational ForestUtah1899
PawneeNational GrasslandColorado1960
OzarkNational ForestArkansas1908
San IsabelNational Forest
Famous national forests and grasslands

2. Bureau of Land Management Lands:

Bureau of Land Management ( BLM) lands consist of vast public lands managed by the federal government. The Bureau of land management is an agency in the Department of Interior which controls and maintains federal lands.

These lands openly welcome millions of visitors annually. The BLM lands are spread over 245 million acres. The central Head Quarter of BLM is located in Washington D.C. Sub-offices are in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Jackson, Mississippi; Jupiter, Florida; Lorton, Virginia; and Rolla, Missouri.

What is Land Owned by BLM?

Approximately 30% of the minerals and 1 in 10% of the land in the United States is owned and managed by BLM. These lands and resources are found in every state, including Forests, Desserts, mountains, and rangelands.

One of the primary purposes of the Bureau of land management Land (BLM) is to preserve the cultural resources of the United States.

3. State Parks

State parks in the U.S. might be beautiful places to go camping. While camping in the state parks, not all state parks may offer free campsites, but there are specific campsites that offer free overnight stay for campers and visitors.

state parks in the US

You don’t need to worry about the beauty of these state parks as they are already located in beautiful natural places. Each state park has its unique features of beauty.

Most State Parks in the united states offer a variety of amenities like picnic tables, fire rings showers, and restrooms. Furthermore, State parks also offer hiking, fishing, and wildlife viewing amenities along with camping.

Proper planning and research are needed as each state park has unique rules and regulations. You must follow the leave-no-trace rule in every location to maintain a clean and green environment.

State Parks with Free Campsites in the United States:

In most states, you can find free campsites in the United States. Among them, Arizona has the highest number of campgrounds with free campsites in the United States.

Here is a list of the states where you can go free camping in the United States:

  1. Indian Bread Rock, located in Arizona
  2. Old Highway 89 in Utah
  3. Angel Beach Campground in New Mexico
  4. Lewis Park Campground in Wyoming
  5. River Rise Preserve State Park in Florida
  6. Lizard Head Pass in Colorado
  7. Sam Forse Collins Recreational Park in Texas
  8. The Pads in Death Valley, California
  9. Sage Creek Campground in South Dakota
  10. Otter Creek Fishing Access Site in Montana

Check for the rules and regulations and the number of nights each park allows staying.

Finding Free Campsites Near Me:

Finding free campsites in the United States is both easy and budget-friendly. You can take these actions to find the best free campsites near you.

  1. Plenty of websites and apps on your mobile phone publish articles. Camping Explores is one of the top blogs that write about camping, RV camping, and campsites in the United States.
  2. Check for dispersed camping. It is always free, and you can camp in designated campsites.
  3. Have contact with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). As mentioned earlier, BLM manages lands where you can go free camping.
  4. Local Rangers Stations might give you complete information regarding free campsites nearby and the area’s rules and regulations.

Tips for Camping in Free Campsites

Camping in the free campsites might be budget-friendly, but drawbacks also exist.

  • You must prepare for primitive camping as free campsites lack fire rings, toilets, and showers.
  • So, you have to plan and research properly and go with all the essential camping gear required.
  • Respect nature and leave no trace.
  • Cooperate and be friendly with other campers in the area.
  • Take care and be aware of the wildlife in the area.

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