10 Incredible FREE boondocking camping spots in the western U.S.
If you enjoy boondocking with your RV, I’m going to share 10 incredible places to camp for free in the western part of the U.S. Most of these locations are located near popular national parks or recreational areas—so, if you want to avoid the over-crowded campgrounds to be one with nature, read on…
The Google Map above provides precise location for each of these free boondocking spots.
FREE REMOTE CAMPING NEAR THE GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK
Just east of the Grand Teton National Park is wonderful place to boondock for free, and it’s just minutes from the park.
The Bridger-Teton National Forest can be accessed down a couple of roads—we happened to drive down Forest Rd 30290, which will lead you to a wide open area, fine for big RV’s, but if you have a smaller rig like ours, or you want to tent camp with some privacy, there are a couple dozen sites with a bit of back country explore. There is even a creek running by several of the camp spots. Named Spread Creek, this compilation of small creeks works its way to the Snake River. The scenery is fantastic, and many camp spots are is nestled among the forest trees.
BOONDOCKING FOR FREE NEAR CAPITOL REEF NATIONAL PARK
Up next, not far from Capitol Reef National Park, along Scenic Hwy 24, in the middle of no where, is a unique looking rock formation called Kathline Rock. This majestic butte really stands out because there is nothing else like it for miles. It’s located just north of Hanksville, about 35 miles from the park.
This is a great camp spot to boondocks and is fun place to climb around and get a bird’s eye view of the expansive landscape. While this camp spot is right off the road, the butte does insulate some of the traffic noise, which is pretty minimal after dark.
COASTAL CALIFORNIA CAMPING FOR FREE
Another incredible place to boondock for free is along the northern coast of California, off of Hwy 1 in Big Sur and northern parts of the state just past Fort Bragg. While you’ll find quite a few places to camp, do keep an eye out for no camping signs.
There is nothing like camping right on the edge of a cliff with ocean views shown above.
NEARLY FREE CAMP SPOT OUTSIDE OF WHITE SANDS NATIONAL PARK
This next camping spot is not quite free, it costs a whopping $5/night, but is worth every penny. Located about 40 miles south of White Sands National Park, Aguirre Springs Campground is situated on BLM land and is a really special place. This is a dry campground for smaller rigs (under 26’) due to the narrow, hilly and winding road.
Located well off of the Hwy 70, nestled within the Organ mountain, this is a really quiet and scenic place to camp. We’ve camped here twice and both times had no problems finding a spot, however I do recommend arriving early in the afternoon. It’s also worth mentioning that the gates close at sunset.
While there are no hookups available, there are bathrooms, as well grills, shade cover, picnic tables and plenty of hiking trails.
BADLANDS AREA IN NEW MEXICO
Also in New Mexico, located about 30 miles southeast of Farmington off of hwy 550, the badlands of Angle Peak Scenic area offers about 10 free boondock sites, each providing spectacular views of the rugged terrain.
Stretching for several miles down service road 7175, the campsites begin just past the scenic overlook. It’s a very quiet and peaceful place. When we camped, there wasn’t another person there. The hiking trails allow you to get up close to the colorful landscape, while the sunsets are simply breathtaking.
BOONDOCKING NEAR MOAB
Located northeast of Moab along the incredibly scenic hwy 128, which follows the mighty Colorado River, is a slew of of places to camp for free, along with a number of primitive campgrounds.
Camping in this area, flanked by souring mountains and high mesa’s, is a place so scenic you may never want to leave. There is no end to the outdoor adventures either, from horseback riding, river rafting, water skiing, UTV’ing, hiking, biking and more.
FREE CAMPING NEAR LAKE POWELL
If you’re visiting Lake Powell and don’t want to be packed in like sardines near the water at Lone Rock, there are two boondock areas near the lake on the west side of Hwy 89.
The first, is down a dirt road just north of Lone Rock Road that leads you toward the mountains. There are a few pullouts along the road, or a large open area where you’ll find BLM Corrals.
This camping area is on the south side of a bluff where an alcove provides a haven for one most exclusive resorts in the world, Amangiri.
The other boodock camp spot is just northwest of Glen Canyon Dam, a place called Beehive Campground. If you have a big rig, this is where you’ll want to park. If you are tent camping and have a 4×4, you can continue down the sandy road and find some remote primitive camping with stupendous views and plenty of red rock to hike and explore.
Just over the hill from Superior, Arizona, off of US 60 is Oak Flat Campground, this is wide open area for free camping, giving you access to the Superstition Mountains and Salt River Canyon.
FREE CAMPING NEAR VALLEY OF FIRE STATE PARK
An hour or so northeast of Las Vegas is the geological wonder known as Valley of Fire State Park. While there are two campgrounds in the park to allow people more time to immerse themselves within the awe-inspiring beauty, they fill up fast.
Just outside the park is a vast area called Poverty Flats, this is a great place for free camping when visiting Valley of Fire and the Lake Mead Recreational area.
BONNIVILLE SALT FLATS
Located in Northwestern Utah, the Bonniville Salt Flats is a fascinating place to visit, especially during race week. While you are not allowed to camp on the salt flats, there is a small area designated for campers, but it’s not very appealing.
A much better place to camp is just off the flats up Leppy Pass. It’s a steep paved road for a ways, then turns to dirt. The farther you go, the fewer people you’ll see. Once you get to the top of the pass, it’s a vast area of wilderness, providing a peaceful place to rest.
If you have any questions about any of these free camp spots for boondocking, leave a questions below. Thanks so much for reading. Until next time, we’ll see ya on the road…