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Top 10 Free Camping Locations in America

Since hitting the road over two years ago, we quickly realized that free camping is one of our favorite parts of #RVLife. The freedom, privacy & price align perfectly with our vibe!

This year we camped at over 60 locations from Alabama to Wyoming to Southern California… and everywhere in between. After carefully thumbing through our travel log, we created this list of the Top 10 free camping locations of 2018.

If you want more details about free camping, check out our article, Boondocking Essentials.

Let’s Start the Countdown

#10 The Main Drag 525 in Sedona, AZ

Free Camping Location: Sedona, Arizona

GPS: 34.8334, -111.9083

Ideal for: Easy access to Sedona & surrounding communities. Lots of sun for solar. Good for group camping.

Free Camping  Overview: The Main Drag 525 is the closest and most accessible free camping to downtown Sedona. It’s located on National Forest land and has a 14 day stay limit. While the road is washboarded, the first few sites can be found just a mile from the main highway. We saw all size rigs towards the beginning of the road, but we wouldn’t recommend taking a big rig too far down the road. Turning around could be a challenge.

If you’re coming from Flagstaff, make sure to take advantage of this free dump station & water fill up.

Cell Connectivity: We received 4G AT&T and T-Mobile, but the speeds were frustratingly slow… even with our booster.

Things to Consider: Washboard road, big rigs might not find a space, could be crowded, and slowish internet.

#9 Grayrocks Reservoir in Wheatland, WY

Free Camping  Location: Wheatland, Wyoming

GPS42.1593, -104.6996

Ideal for: Waterfront views, privacy, and lots of space. All size rigs.

Free Camping  Overview: We loved the waterfront sites at Grayrocks. The entire camping area is huge. There are 7 different entrances into the site, some are rougher than others, if you’re in a big rig you may want to scout it out before driving in.

At Grayrocks there’s a boat launch and vault toilet. There’s free dump & water located in town at Lewis City Park.

Cell Connectivity: We received 3G AT&T with our WeBoost cell booster. It was fast enough for light Netflix streaming.

Things to Consider: It’s out in the boonies (not a bad thing, but come stocked up with groceries). There are a few large dips in the road – they can be avoided if you scout out the area.

#8 Cebolla Mesa in Questa, NM

Free Camping  Location: Carson National in Questa, New Mexico

GPS36.6405, -105.6891

Ideal for: Epic scenery. privacy, proximity to Taos and small rigs.

Free Camping Overview: Cebolla Mesa has the trifecta: amazing views, proximity to Taos and fast cellular internet connectivity. Unfortunately, its located down a rough dirt road with overhanging branches, making it challenging for tall rigs over 20ft to access the site. We loved the entire Enchanted Circle area and were in awe over the beauty of northern New Mexico.

The site offer vault toilets, fire pits and hiking trails.

Cell Connectivity: Fast 4G AT&T and T-Mobile

Things to Consider: Hard for big rigs to access, no trash receptacles onsite

#7 Craggy Wash in Lake Havasu, AZ

Free Camping Location: Lake Havasu City, Arizona

GPS34.5935, -114.3619

Ideal for: Group camping, desert sunsets & proximity to Lake Havasu

Free Camping Overview: We really enjoyed the vibe of free camping at Craggy Wash. Lake Havasu is a nomad hotspot, so we were able to meet and socialize with many new friends. And, even though socializing was fun, we had a decent amount of privacy at our spot. The site offers no amenities, but nearby gas stations offer dump stations.

Lake Havasu offers lots of shopping and recreational activities.

Cell Connectivity: Fast 4G AT&T and T-Mobile – no booster needed.

Things to Consider: It could be crowded. Big rigs should scout it out, but we saw many large 5th wheels and Class As camping in Craggy Wash. Water fill up was hard to find.

#6 Indian Bread Rocks in Bowie AZ

Free Camping Location: Bowie, Arizona

GPS32.2386, -109.5001

Ideal for: Rock climbing, peace & quiet, travelers driving on I-10

Free Camping Overview: Indian Bread Rocks is located just a few miles off of I-10 on the eastern side of Arizona. We really enjoyed the solitude and rock formations. It also offered a vault toilet, fire pits and grills. Big rigs will struggle getting here, but our friends in a 30+ foot Airstream made it just fine with some careful maneuvering. 

Be sure to come prepared, because there is no shopping within 30 miles. BUT, there is free water at the gas station on the Bowie interstate exit.

Cell Connectivity: 4G Verizon & AT&T, fickle T-Mobile connection.

Things to Consider: Big rigs be careful! 

#5 Lake Hattie in Laramie WY

Free Camping Location: Lake Hattie in Laramie, Wyoming (20 miles from town)

GPS41.2375, -105.9014

Ideal for: Waterfront camping, all size rigs and boating/fishing.

Free Camping Overview: We loved this free camping on the beach at Lake Hattie. It has a five day stay limit and offers a vault toilet & boat ramp. All size rigs can fit, but only smaller units with high clearance can get to the beach. The sand is packed hard in some areas and loose in others, so be sure to scout it out before driving.

Downtown Laramie is a little too far to make the trip regularly (20 miles), but there is a dump station at the prison museum that costs “donation only”.

Cell Connectivity: Fast 4G AT&T with booster

Things to Consider: It can get quite windy. And, don’t forget, scout out the beach before driving on it!

#4 Jackson Mtn Rd in Pagosa Springs, CO

Free Camping Location: Pagosa Springs, Colorado

GPS37.3474, -106.9343

Ideal for: Mountain vibes, privacy, proximity to hot springs, and rigs 30ft & under

Free Camping Overview: This site is on National Forest land and has a 14 day stay limit. It’s less than 10 miles from Pagosa Springs, but offers tons of privacy and scenery. We loved the cool nights, too. There are no amenities onsite, but the area has tons of hiking. There are a few water spigots and trash receptacles in town.

There aren’t many sites up Jackson MTN Rd, so you might not find a free camping spot. Also, big rigs will be limited to the first site on the left.

Cell Connectivity: Fast 4G AT&T 

Things to Consider: Big rigs can only park at the first site and turning around might be challenging if its occupied. The further you go up the road, the worse the internet gets. Also, nights can get very cold – check the weather!

#3 North Creek in Virgin UT

Free Camping Location: BLM land in Virgin, Utah

GPS37.2203, -113.1616

Ideal for: Smaller rigs, proximity to Zion National Park

Free Camping Overview: The best thing about North Creek is its proximity to Zion National Park (8 miles). But, the vibe at this free camping is also great. It’s located along the creek with plentiful shade trees. The mix of tents & small RVs creates a fun community environment. Everyone is there for the same reason: to explore & hike Zion!

It was crowded, but that didn’t bother us. There is room for two big 5th wheels, but it might still be hard to navigate. This site is a no-go for Class As or low clearance Class Cs.

There are no amenities onsite.

Cell Connectivity: Fast 4G AT&T and T-Mobile with cell booster.

Things to Consider: Scout it out before driving in, and if you want privacy, this site IS NOT ideal.

#2 Magnolia Beach in Port Lavaca TX

Free Camping Location: Magnolia Beach County Park in Port Lavaca, TX

GPS28.5599, -96.537

Ideal for: EVERYONE! Perfect waterfront free camping in a chill environment

Free Camping Overview: Magnolia Beach is the perfect waterfront camping for our style. The ground is crushed shells, easy for all rigs to drive on. We saw Class As, 5th Wheels, and Class Bs (along with all other types of RVs) camping directly on the beach. Unlike the free camping on Padre Island, the tide changes are much less dramatic at Magnolia Beach.

This site offers trash cans, picnic areas and FREE HOT SHOWERS!

Cell Connectivity: 4G AT&T and T-Mobile

Things to Consider: It may be crowded – but the area is big enough to find a spot.

#1 Wedge Overlook in Emery, UT

Free Camping Location: The Little Grand Canyon in Emery, Utah

GPS39.0932, -110.7589

Ideal for: Rigs under 27ft, epic scenery and ultimate peace & quiet.

Free Camping Overview: Of the 100+ free camping locations we’ve visited since 2015, this is BY FAR the most epic. We camped just a few feet from the canyon’s edge and could see for miles & miles. The site is located on BLM land with a 14 day stay limit.

We almost skipped this site because its located down a 20 mile dirt road. But, fear not, the dirt road is amazing quality (better than many paved roads we’ve driven on). Class As are out of luck with this site and huge 5th wheels probably won’t find a large enough spot here either. There are plenty of nearby sites that could accommodate these rigs, but not as close to the canyon.

Onsite there’s a vault toilet and in town (20 miles) there’s a water spigot in front of the Huntington Post Office.

Cell Connectivity: FAST 4G AT&T – It’s amazing to be so far out and have great connectivity!

Things to Consider: Not for big rigs. The 20 mile dirt road is long, but not rough.

More Epic Sites & Resources

Here are a few more “Top Free Camping Lists” and boondocking resources if you’re interested in learning more!

Top 10 Free Campsites of 2017

Top 5 Waterfront Boondocking Sites

Top 5 Overnight Camping Spots

The Art of Free Camping

If you’re interested in viewing all the free campsites we visit, click here!

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  1. Mike says:

    Regarding your buy a camper Q and A. Black tank maintenance is easy. Go to happy No chemicals, cheap and easy.

  2. […] If free camping (or boondocking) is more your speed, check out our list of the Top 10 Free Campsites of 2017! […]

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  4. […] you want to find the most epic free campsites in American, check out this article.  If you’re more into the luxury campground style, we can’t blame you! Fear not […]

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  6. Gabi says:

    So much free camping, so little time! There are so many rad places I haven’t been on this list! The BLM outside of Zion is awesome (and a great basecamp for hiking the Subway)!