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Top 10 States for Free Camping & The Most Boondocking

Top 10 States for Free Camping & The Most Boondocking


If you’re looking for ideas for free
camping then you are in the right spot! How’s it going? Welcome to the Campendium YouTube Channel where it’s our hope and our goal to provide you with the resources
and the motivation to get out there and camp. So if you haven’t already please
hit that subscribe button, because today we’re gonna be talking about the top 10
best states to to find free camping. Now most of the states that you
find the abundance of free camping is usually on the west side of the
Mississippi, but coming in at number 10 is Michigan, and no we’re not just being
nice to Michigan, it actually did earn its spot on the top 10 list.
It has camping options from rest areas near the cities, to natural areas like
the national scenic lake shores. Coming in at number 9 is New Mexico with a
strong state park pass that gets you camping for near nothing, accompanied by a healthy portion of BLM land. The Land of Enchantment promises free camping
across the state. Drivin’ & Vibin’ wrote “The scenery is amazing,
we’re camp just 30 feet from the cliffs of the Rio Grande Gorge.” Moving on to
number eight is Oregon. What’s what’s not to love about Oregon, with beautiful
scenery, great fishing great rivers and the coast. Toss in the free camping and
you see why Boondock or Bust says “Beautiful and remote, right on the
Williamson River. If you’re looking for some peace and quiet, this is definitely
the place.” That brings us to number seven – Idaho. This could be the Northwest most
overlooked destination to camp. Idaho is stacked head to toe with a classic
camping experience. RV Chickadee with one of their 25 reviews says “Only one of my
favorite boondocking spots ever.” And coming in at number six is Utah! The
southern half of the state is just covered in free camping. It’s got
national everything, from national parks national monuments, national forests and
that’s just one portion of the state. It really is a beautiful place to camp. And
coming in at number five is Wyoming now it might be Yellowstone that gets the
majority of the attention, but it’s the Grand Teton
National Park that gives you that jaw-dropping scenery that is just
astounding. And it only begins there as Wyoming is nearly a hundred thousand
square miles of full wide-open spaces. madelinelemon says “If I could rate this 6 stars, I would. Our spot was right on Granite Creek with
crystal-clear water just a few feet from our door. Coming in at number four is the
state of Washington. If campfires beneath thick forest canopies, rushing rivers and
distant mountain peaks are your idea of a good time
well you won’t find them in more abundance and accompanied by more free camping anywhere else. Now that brings us to the top three. These are the ones that
made the podium, so coming in with the bronze medal is Arizona. Arizona
obviously has plenty of desert camping, but it might surprise you with some of
the mountain camping in the forest up in Flagstaff and Sedona, and don’t forget
about the Grand Canyon. Arizona has over 200 free places to camp, easily giving it
the bronze medal. And coming in with the silver is California. Now you could
almost give the silver medal to California just because of all the free
camping along the 395. If it’s places like Yosemite and the Redwoods when you think of California, you’re in for a completely other world when you head to
the eastern side of the state. And coming in at number one with the gold medal is
Colorado! It takes the number one position out of sheer volume of free
camping beneath the nation’s most rugged peaks. Exploring the western half of the
state as a modern-day mountain man’s dream. Van-Tramp says “Of course you want to camp here, this is one of the most amazing places in all of Colorado during
the summer and winter if you ski. Wild flowers galore, easy path into town and
the many other local places for outdoor adventures. So that closes out our list
of the top ten states with free camping. So like I said earlier if you haven’t
already, please hit that subscribe button, give us a like and remember to keep
traveling and to explore safe. I think that was backwards. Remember to keep
exploring and to travel safe. We will see you next time.

85 thoughts on “Top 10 States for Free Camping & The Most Boondocking

  • A couple of the mentioned have distinct deterrents to their State Park camping so "free" is the operative word. Colorado State Parks charge an additional $9 a day "usage fee" in addition to the camping fees. They offer an annual pass requiring 10 stays to break even. And Idaho State Parks charge an additional "out of state" fee for non residents of $9 also.

  • Fantastic video! Why there are those opposed to sharing this info surprises me. They need to remember that at one point they didn’t know about these places either.

  • I use campendium all the time. I also promote using it. I live in Colorado and love it's camping. I use to live in Arizona and that is the second best place!!!!!!

  • Just a suggestion, on the campendium website you should have a place where one can add campsites to visit in a list.

  • #2 Mexifornia? Balderdash. It's not even part of the United States.
    #7 Idaho, best kept Secret is deserving of the #2 spot because of the real abundance of reasonably accessible Dispersed campsites + Idaho has palatial State built rest area where overnight camping for 10 hours is permitted & the rest areas have electrical outlets so you can charge your iphone or laptop. Many picnic tables have a covering/canopy.
    #8 Oregon does have dispersed campsites, however, most require miles & miles of travel along burro paths & it will rain during your stay at a campsite, so be prepared for RAIN, big time.

  • Now if Georgia would open its state wildlife management areas to RV camping it would have a lot of places but all are tent camping only and some beach area. Tent camping only

  • Thanks Jared. We're 3 hua? Well at least the temps are coming down and we can weekend closer to Prescott and Phoenix now… 🙂 Can't wait to spend a weekend at Apache and Roosevelt Lakes!

  • Great video. But no way is CA a good free camping state. Unless you want to be packed in like sardines. And the coast is a joke too. Too many people.

  • Can someone give me website to find out about camping in the National Parks and the free areas. Please. So many beautiful places to see. Thank you.

  • I am seriously glad that my state of Montana did not make the list. I won't have to compete with the RV's that don't know where the free campsites are here. Some are very close to areas that are well traveled also.

  • We can't believe Washington made the list at all! The state does have many great spots, but the state agencies aren't on top of it and everywhere we tried to stay was overrun with drug abuse and mental illness victims living at these state and federal areas.

  • another video about PARKING. —-PARKING is not CAMPING. the search for a free CAMPING video continues…..

  • Hold it!!! I live in Michigan, for like 64 years. And I only know of 1 free campsight. So being at number 10 on this list is rather surprising.
    PS. Expressway rest stops are NOT for camping. Occupy a semi parking spot overnight and don't be surprised to get an angry "knock" on the door (if you're lucky it will be a cop).

  • How do you find free camping in Michigan?there is so much private property within the National and State forests and few designated campgrounds. Price at State ones went up to $17 per night, no amenities other than beauty and vault toilets.

  • I know you did the western states and thanks for that info. We have lots of great free camping here in New England too. White Mountains National Forest in NH and ME, and Green Mountain National Forest in Vermont just to name two. There's more free camping down in the flatlands of Massachusetts  and Connecticut as well. Drop by in Leaf Peeper Season the colors are amazing. Happy Trails!

  • For get Michigan santuar state forget California shity shity state Forget oregon socialist forget new mexico rio grande illigels and criminal drug dealers

  • I would have to argue with you on order and significance. As somebody who has lived many years in Colorado and Wyoming, I have seen a serious decline and free camping in Colorado. Colorado has use significant amounts of its Lottery money to take rustic camping and parking areas and make them paying camping and parking areas. At the same time Wyoming has not changed much in that regard at all and has many areas of rustic camping and parking. The other bone of contention I would have his California, there may be quite a few free places to camp in California but you pay with losing a piece of your soul every time you roll a cross the border into California. Not to mention the high price of fuel and taxes on anything and everything you can imagine. It may seem like a free Camp space there but it ain't free.

  • What he didn't mention about Colorado was the traffic jams, fees, National parks pass and reservations (not free) and tourist town prices. Also, the testy rangers , sheriff's and state patrol just looking for a reason to tell you that you have to move.

  • the New Mexico state park pass is near worthless from Opening day through September, i tell you what. The full-time RVers know which camp sites they want and book them solid for the summer. A lot of these full-timers would be living in a Walmart parking lot if they weren't in the New Mexico state parks. There are first come first served sites but are you going to risk driving 200 miles only to find nowhere to park your rig?

    I haven't tried booking for this coming winter yet.

  • How do you FIND the free camping Spots Ya said the States but not the area as to the free camping is offered!!

  • Who would want to stay in the 3 most liberal commie shithole states of Oregon, Washington and Kommiefornya even for free?

  • Maybe you could spotlight a few good free camping places from Michigan to Colorado. If they exist? Anything in Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma, North Texas, Nebraska? These would serve as connective spots between Michigan and Colorado.

  • Correction – these were the top ten states for free camping. Good luck finding a spot now.

  • Thanks for the well thought out, and nicely researched video. I would guess that the last quote is from someone who's name is pronounced as two words rather than as a last name. Van tramp, rather than Vantramp. Just a guess.

  • Too bad my favorite state of Texas couldn't make the list! Most land in Texas is privately owned so there isn't much public land. It's a beautiful state, just not many places to camp.

  • Okay near nothing is NOT free, you liberals really should learn to stick to rules and guide lines, especially your own.

  • What if you don't want to go west. There is nothing more beautiful than the Appalachian mountains two an a half thousand miles of it. An trees that are not pines that have been burned off black.

  • They charge for you to get into most of the national parks and forests these days!
    If your daughter went to college, they would expect you to pay prostitution fee to visit her! This is the greed of the government with OUR PUBLIC LANDS. They steal them from you and then expect to sell them back to the highest bidder…👃

  • PLEASE BE QUIET!!!!! Retract what you said about Idaho! Idaho is a horrible place to camp. And Idaho is full! Please take it back!

  • Michigan should be number 1

    Wikipedia: "The Michigan Department of Natural Resources manages the largest state forest system in the nation (3.9 million acres (16,000 km²)), administered by the Forest Resources Division. "

    plus we have

    Hiawatha National Forest
    Huron National Forest
    Huron–Manistee National Forests
    as well as our lakefront and beach areas.

    all of it can be camped on for free as long as your 1 mile or more from a regulated state camp site. all you need to do is print out a camp registration form and post it at your site.
    if you have the dnr print it there is a fee.

  • In California "free camping" (dispersed camping) is available in more locations than the east part of the state, the opportunities to do so increase as you travel northward. In the eastern Sierra, every canyon with a paved road has camping/fire restrictions year round. That is, dispersed camping is not allowed in Bishop Creek Canyon, Convict Canyon, Big Pine Creek, Onion Valley, the Lakes Basin (Mammoth), the Devils Postpile/Red's Meadow area and within about 2 miles of the town of Mammoth Lakes . . . . . Pretty much every major canyon or destination west of U.S. Highway 395 from Horseshoe Meadow to Twin Lakes (Bridgeport). The Inyo National Forest has the highest amount of use in its developed recreation sites (campgrounds, picnic areas, interpretive sites, etc.) of any National Forest (not National Parks) in the nation, about twice that of the #2 National Forest. It consistently ranks 3rd to 5th in total recreation use for any National Forest. This heavy use requires some restrictions to protect the land and resources. This is not unusual anywhere in the country. Stop by a ranger station or visitor center to obtain maps and other information. Remember that dispersed camping in California requires a fire permit, even if you are only using gas or propane stoves and year round, fire season or not.

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