Historic Route 60 travels from Arizona to Virginia and has some of the best free campsites near national historical places. One of the best parts of RVing is finding free boondocking along your journey so you can take a break and explore areas often very secluded and private.
As a bonus, many of these free campsites are near fun places to see on your journey.
Let’s dig in to unpack some tips on free camping and the seven best free campsites along Route 60.
What to Know About Free Camping
The western United States has many national and state parks and Bureau of Land Management lands which are shared resources. Due to this, you’ll find a lot of free camping. These spaces allow you to camp for free, but that does come with certain caveats and responsibilities.
In the first place, free campsites will not have hookups. At best, you might find a fill station for potable water and maybe a central dump station. However, these will often have fees. That means you need to go prepared to boondock.
Boondocking means camping without water, sewer, or electric hooked to your RV. Your rig needs to be self-contained. You need fresh water and store your wastewater in your gray/black tanks. Some RVs can boondock for longer than others, but you’ll ultimately need to break camp one day to refill with water, charge batteries, dump tanks, etc.
Boondocking also means that you’ll practice principles of Leave No Trace and pack-in/pack-out everything that you need, including your trash. Free camping on public lands is a privilege. So don’t spoil it for everyone by leaving your campsite a mess as you leave.
Free campsites also set a limit on how many nights you can camp. Most will have a seven or 14-night max, but you should always check the specific camp location for those details.
These Are Important Tools When You’re Boondocking
Proper boondocking requires tools to keep you rolling for a while. Here’s what you’ll want to have:
Generator: Generators, usually powered by gas, provide power to your whole RV. Be sure to find an inverter generator that’s quiet (out of respect for your neighbors) and has enough wattage to power your needs.
Solar Panels: You can use solar panels in place of or in addition to a generator to help you power your RV. Depending on how much you spend, you can get a solar setup that can replace your generator. The good news is most free campsites along Route 60 feature ample sunlight, so you can keep charged for the long haul.
Cell Booster: Many campsites have poor cell service. That’s where a cell booster like this one comes in very handy.
First Aid Kit: Free campsites are often removed from civilization, meaning you must prepare for an emergency. A first aid kit is a great start.
Pro Tip: Make sure to avoid doing any of these 7 Deadly Sins of Boondocking while free camping.
7 Best Free Campsites Along Route 60
Historic U.S. Route 60 runs from east Virginia to western Arizona. From Arizona, you can continue to California from Route 60 to the Interstate 10 interchange. This 2,655-mile highway covers many terrains and landscapes.
Most of these campsites lie in Arizona, which offers breathtaking desert views. We also list one in New Mexico and Oklahoma. However, you can find many more along the way. Take a look at seven of the best free campsites along Route 60.
#1 Ramsey Mine Road Dispersed Camping
GPS: 33.6667, -113.9618
About the Campsite: If you plan to hit the Quartzite RV rally in Arizona, this is one of the closest BLM sites. You can easily access it off Route 60, and it offers spacious spots and wide-open views. It has no restrooms or trash bins, so please plan accordingly to pack in/pack out.
Reported Cell Service: Verizon 4G, AT&T 4G, and T-Mobile 4G receive four-bar reception.
Route 60 Boondocking Vibes: 7.2/10 for easy access and proximity. Lost points for reported road noise.
#2 Vicksburg Dispersed Camping
GPS: 33.7479, -113.7478
About the Campsite: This is another spot a stone’s throw from Quartzite and all the RVing fun there. Reviews say you can easily access it, and it offers sweeping views of a valley. Lying just outside Hope, Ariz., you can find the provisions you’ll need for your stay. Big rigs seem to have no problem getting in, but it’s always a good idea to scout ahead with a smaller vehicle. It has no bathrooms or trash bins.
Reported Cell Service: Verizon and AT&T 4G receive three bars, while T-Mobile 4G gets four-bar service.
Route 60 Boondocking Vibes: 8/10 because it’s easy to get into and offers spanning views, great cell service, and access to some popular Arizona sites.
Pro Tip: Want to visit Quartzite? Check out these 7 Ways to Make Your RV Trip to Quartzsite More Enjoyable.
#3 Peralta Road Dispersed Camping
GPS: 33.3482, -111.4162
About the Campsite: This is one of the coolest free campsites we’ve found because each spot features stunning views of the Superstition Mountains and is within an easy drive of Phoenix and Mesa, Ariz. The spacious camp can accommodate rigs as long as 45 feet without issue. Some folks reported that it can get noisy close to the entrance, but you can go further back to escape this. You must first register for an Arizona State Land Trust Permit ahead of entry and display it on your window.
Reported Cell Service: Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile 4G services get three-bar reception.
Route 60 Boondocking Vibes: 9/10 for its amazing views, ease of entry, and strong cell service.
#4 Gold Canyon Dispersed Camping
GPS: 33.2393, -111.3395
About the Campsite: Gold Canyon Dispersed Camping offers great mountain views, proximity to Phoenix, and easy-access spaces for big rigs. Reviewers noted the spectacular views they had right out of their windows. Some also mentioned that road noise could get loud as this is close to a highway with many big rigs. It doesn’t have restrooms or trash bins on site.
Reported Cell Service: Verizon and T-Mobile 4G gets a four-bar signal, while AT&T 4G receives three bars.
Route 60 Boondocking Vibes: 7.5/10 for great views and easy access. It lost a few points for road noise.
#5 Arnett Road (Tonto National Forest)
GPS: 33.2541, -111.1114
About the Campsite: This free campsite is like camping in a mountain valley. It’s nestled in a canyon near Phoenix and offers spacious and many shaded sites. However, reviewers noted that the rutted and sometimes narrow road could cause difficulty getting in. Scout ahead with a small vehicle where possible. It has no trash bins or vault toilets.
Reported Cell Service: Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile 4G get a four-bar signal.
Route 60 Boondocking Vibes: 7/10 — Arnett Road gets high marks for its views and coziness, but it lost a few points due to road accessibility.
#6 Monica Spring Dispersed Camping
GPS: 33.9527, -107.5053
State: New Mexico
About the Campsite: This free campsite lies in a hip part of New Mexico just outside the Gila National Forest. You can somewhat easily access these beautiful and spacious campsites. The entrance road gets a bit rough, but campers say you’ll be okay if you take it slow. The largest reported rig was 35 feet long, so this site might not work well for big rigs. It has no trash bins or pit toilets.
Reported Cell Service: Verizon 4G gets five bars in this area, while AT&T and T-Mobile 4G only get two bars.
Route 60 Boondocking Vibes: 8/10 — easy to access, proximity to cool natural wonders, and reliable Verizon cell service. It only lost a few points for a rough entry road and limitations on big rigs.
#7 Black Kettle Campground
GPS: 35.7453, -99.714
About the Campsite: This free campsite in Oklahoma has the most shade we’ve seen among any free Route 60 campsites. Folks love this campground because it has hiking trails running throughout. Its proximity to a lake and other natural activities makes it a great option. Additionally, this campground has toilets and trash bins.
Reported Cell Service: Verizon 4G gets three bars, and AT&T and T-Mobile 4G receives three bars.
Route 60 Boondocking Vibes: 10/10 — There’s nothing more you could ask for here. It has shaded sites, easy access, and great cell coverage. You also have natural beauty and hikes nearby. And it’s free? Yes, that makes it a 10 out of 10 for us.
Camp Route 60 for a Great Cross-County Adventure
Many RVers love free boondocking locations, especially in the western United States, where beautiful free campsites abound. You’ll see many historic sites along Route 60. Additionally, it’s nice to know you can find free camping along the way. As a bonus, many free campsites along Route 60 have dependable cell service, meaning you can keep connected while enjoying your RVing journey.
Which of these campsites looks best to you? Tell us in the comments!
Discover the Best Free Camping Across the USA
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You should give it a try!
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