The U.S. is full of beautiful places to camp for free!
There are so many free places to camp all across the United States.
From coast to coast you can find places to pitch your tent that won’t cost you a dime. But where can you find them?
We’d like to make it easier for you by offering the top five online resources available to show you where you can camp for free.
Even though camping at some of these locations is free, there still may be some restrictions or permit requirements for campers so be sure to check the list before you go. Some states are strict about the use of motorized vehicles, alcohol, camp fires, trash disposal, and even pets.
You’ll find it easy to quickly locate a free camping spot with one of these public guides.
1. The Bureau of Land Management
The Bureau of Land Management is a government website that has the most to offer campers in terms of locations, advice, permits, and recreational opportunities. The government has set aside vast amounts of land —upwards of 245 million acres—for public use. You can thank president Teddy Roosevelt for his early conservation efforts that set aside these lands over 100 years ago. Today, the Bureau of Land Management oversees these lands.
Most of the land set aside includes free camping to this day. You can explore the public lands available in your area, or if you are planning a cross-country trip, you can check out your vacation spot in advance. You might be surprised at where you can camp.
2. The National Park Service
Run by the U.S. Department of The Interior, the National Park Service has a great website for campers looking to do a little historical sightseeing while camping. They have a great map function on their website where you can drill down by the state you want to visit. They offer really great detailed information for each camp site, including free camping options.
Once you pick a state, they will show you the top National Parks in that state, and give a detailed description of what to expect, what to pack, and where to go. Plus, our National Parks offer some of the best views in the country. May be worth camping for free if you wake up next to the Grand Tetons!
3. Your State
Each of the 50 states in the United States maintains a website with a list of state parks that are perfect for camping. For example, if you want to visit Tennessee, check out the Tennessee State Parks website for free camping locations.
The state website is a great resource for finding information about the best campsites for RVs, tents, and even primitive camping. You’ll also learn how to reserve a campsite ahead of time. Once you filter your choices, you may find yourself camping near a waterfall, a pristine lake, or in the middle of a meadow enjoying the morning sunrise.
4. Your Smartphone
Finally, a very simple place to look for free campsites is your smartphone. Just go to your favorite map app, type in “camping,” and hit return. Your map should light up with many local camping options in your area. Be sure to filter through to find the free campsites. You will instantly see reviews and be able to get directions with your phone. You might be surprised to find a few gems just outside your backdoor.
A great way to clear your head
Going camping is a great way to relax and clear your mind. There is something about being outside that is good for the soul. Camping for free can be a great, economical way to get outside, see some very cool national parks, take photos, relax and enjoy the great outdoors.