Skip to Content

The 5 Worst Free Camping Spots We Experienced (Stay at Your Own Risk)

We love sharing the best RV boondocking sites with all of you! We’ve created “best of” lists every year for the last five years.

Today, however, is a different story.

We’re sharing the 5 worst boondocking sites we ever pulled into (and quickly pulled out of). These 5 campsites are why we always have a Plan B and Plan C.

With begrudging enthusiasm, let’s dive in.

1. South Tourist Park (Idaho)

Where: Idaho Falls, Idaho

Why It’s Awful: This RV boondocking site doesn’t exist anymore, and for good reason. When we camped there in 2016 it looked like a tent city with an asphalt parking lot. The parking lot had traffic at all hours of the night (seemingly for drug deals).

The only reason we stayed here overnight was because we had “safety in numbers.” This was where we met the Mortons on the Move for the first time! Altogether, we had three RVs looking out for each other.

Could It Get Better: If it’s free, probably not. I’m guessing that’s why it no longer allows overnight RV parking. However, there is still a functional dump station available for travelers.

To be clear – there is an official “paid for” campground near the same area now. You can see from the pic below, we still made the best of a bad boondocking site!


2. East Allen Lake Public Access (Wyoming)

Where: Medicine Bow, Wyoming

Why It’s Awful: This is an RV boondocking site made for a horror movie. You enter through a long dirt road that winds past random, old-timey oil drills. Once you make it to the camping site, you’re greeting by the creepiest outhouse ever (pic below).


This site was so bad, we actually left a negative review on Campendium. If a large rig attempted to camp here, I’d fear they wouldn’t be able to turn around.

Could It Get Better: I think not! Unless you’re in dire need, stay very far away from this campsite (and toilet).

3. Snyder Hill (Arizona)

Where: Tucson, Arizona

Why It’s Awful: Here’s the thing about Snyder Hill…it was once on our “best of” list. Over the years, we’ve seen this RV boondocking spot get progressively worse. It’s overrun by full-time residents, littering the grounds.

We’ve never seen the stay limits being monitored by federal rangers.

During our most recent stay, we heard an early morning domestic fight and smelled tires burning on a campfire.

Could It Get Better: Hell yes! All it would take is implementing stay limits. The location is fantastic.

4. Sherburn WMA (Louisiana)

Where: Krotz Springs, Louisiana

Why It’s Awful: Flooding is the worst. Louisiana gets a lot of rainfall. If you’re camping at Sherburn WMA during rain, plan of getting flooded!

This site isn’t always awful…but, it was the one that taught us to have a backup plan.

Here’s our spot on high ground, camping overnight, at a no-camping zone 😬.

Could It Get Better: It sure could! A few dry days, and it’ll be a solid choice.


5. San Jon Municipal Park (New Mexico)

Where: San Jon, New Mexico

Why It’s Awful: Context is everything with San Jon Municipal Park. It’s a pretty good overnight parking option, but it’s an awful RV boondocking option. I wouldn’t recommend staying here for more than 12 hours.

There’s nothing around, yet each site is eerily supplied with an aluminum pavilion. I’d rather overnight park at a Walmart.

Could It Get Better: If your frame of mind is “overnight parking,” it can be good. Just don’t stay long! Better still, here’s our “Secrets of Finding Great Overnight Parking” article.


Discover the Best Free Camping Across the USA

To be honest with you, we hate paying for camping. There are so many free campsites in America (with complete privacy).

You should give it a try!

As a matter of fact, these free campsites are yours. Every time you pay federal taxes, you’re contributing to these lands.

Become a FREE CAMPING INSIDER and join the 100,000 campers who love to score the best site! 

We’ll send you the 50 Best Free Campsites in the USA (one per state). Access the list by submitting your email below: