Free Campsites in the USA by States

Free Campsites In the USA by States

(Last Updated: February 17, 2019)

It is a tough economy, especially for campers who have to pay through the teeth for every camping item. However, not anymore, because there are free camping sites for you to use, without paying a penny, if you know where to look for them. And no, just because they are free, it does not mean that they are low quality, but these are some of the best campsites in the US.

The secret to happy camping is choosing a location that is suitable for you and your family. You will find that the free sites give you as much fun as the paid-for ones. Isn’t it fun to live outdoors for some time? Forget about that hot shower and other luxuries at home and experience some survival for the fittest life for some days. The fact that these camping areas are free means you will save money and direct it to other things. The bottom line is, if you can have it free of charge, do not pay for it. Save money, there is life after camping.

Here is the thing, there are several free campsites in the USA in different states. From there, you have many areas to choose for camping. You cannot miss one that fits you, no matter how choosy you are. Here is all the information that will help you get the best camping ground for free, or for almost free.


1. Alabama

Alabama offers free campsites for you to enjoy such as the one below:

Alabama Hills

Alabama Hills

If you hold the notion that camping is all about going to the remote, less attractive places, then you are wrong. Alabama Hills come with lots of sceneries that will melt your heart. You cannot afford to leave your camera home. Carry it with you so that once you return home, there is a story you can tell just by the photographs you will have taken.

The one activity that goes well with camping is hiking. Alabama Hills provide the terrain that you need to have fun. The hills are also known for movie making, so do not be confused when you are interrupted in a good way in the middle of your camping.

Remember most free campgrounds do not have facilities, so is Alabama hills. Figure out how to take care of that.


2. California

This is another state renowned for its magnificent camping grounds. Some of the free campsites in California are as shown below, but there are more:

Mono Lake

Mono lake

This free national forest campsite will ensure that you have the fun of a lifetime as you go camping across America. Therefore, you have to be careful as you walk through the forest trees and the rough terrain.

Take care of yourself by having the right gear, which includes boots, appropriate clothes, and backpacks. If you like lake camping, Mono Lake has great places to camp.

The Sierra Nevada, in California, has popular camping areas. It provides campsites such as:

Clover Meadow

You should visit this place between June and October. Do not make a mistake of coming at any other time. You do not need to make camping reservations. It is all about who comes first being served first.

The campsite is conducive for tent camping. You will get water, picnic tables, and fire rings. Do not worry about your ablutions since vault toilets are available.

Eldorado Forest

Eldorado forest

If the canopy layers in a forest sway you, then Eldorado is the ideal place for you to go camping. It has some of the best free campgrounds. Once you are in the Sierra forest, simply go north of it.

Now, this campsite has the restriction that you should be 100 feet from any water source. There are no amenities whatsoever. So, when packing, please bear that in mind.

Lake Tahoe Basin

Lake Tahoe basin

Just like the other campsites in the Sierra Nevada, this one does not have any amenities. However, you can make campfires, which are allowed in certain spots or when you obtain a permit.


3. Arizona

This state is also rich in campsites. The free ones include:


This campsite stands out due to the red rocks in its terrain. It also has private and quiet places to camp. So, when you feel that you need to unwind after a hectic year of work, Sedona in Arizona is good for you.

You will have access to an awesome view. You will not want to leave.


4. Colorado

Colorado is known for its amazing camping spots. Here, there a number of free places to camp for you and the whole family:

Wye Campground

Wye Campground

This is located in Pike forest. Wye offers more than 20 good camping spots. You can have picnics if you like. The picnic tables in Wye will be of great help. You will have access to fire rings so campfires are allowed. Toilets are available but there is no water.

There are those times when all you want to do is sit around an open fire like in the old times, and enjoy that quiet moment. Such is not possible in urban places. Wye is peaceful and it is rare to find the site crowded. No campground reservations need be made, so all you do is arrive at the campsite, choose one of the best places to camp and start having fun.

Guanella Pass

Guanella pass

From Colorado Springs, drive for around 80 miles, and there you are! As you travel along the road, there are many breathtaking sceneries. It is time to pick that camera and take some good photos. It does not hurt to stop and have some photo shoots. Guanella Pass provides a suitable ground for hiking.


5. Florida

In Florida, you cannot afford to miss free campsites such as:

Deep Creek Reserve


The mangrove trees in this place are just amazing. This is what makes this reserve unique from other campsites. Among the many activities that you can engage in, paddling is one. Therefore, it is not all about hiking change the game a little bit and learn something new.

DuPuis Area

DuPuis area

This area has a range of wildlife to enjoy viewing. If you like wildlife, then this is a good place to take photos for a documentary or album. Hiking and paddling are some of the outdoor activities that you could engage in if you like.

The Hickory Hammock Wildlife Area

hickory hammock

Here, you will meet birds, wild dogs, and even cows. You can engage in water surfing for fun. The recreational activities are free too. This site is also peaceful.

Around Hickory, you find places such as Vero Beach and Fort Pierce. You can find a beach campground at Vera. These are places rich in history.


6. Illinois

If you are looking for free campgrounds in Illinois, you have nothing to worry about.

Shawnee Forest

Shawnee forest

This is a national forest and therefore camping in its environs has a few restrictions. However, such restrictions are for a good cause.

Your camp spot should be set up 150 feet away from water sources. Always keep this in mind lest you get into trouble with the forest management. Besides, you cannot camp for more than 2 weeks. The good thing is that no permit is needed, and … it is a free camping park.


7. Nebraska

In almost every state, there are free places to camp and Nebraska is no exception because you have Bayard City Park, one of the free campgrounds.

Bayard is clean, quiet and easily accessible from the urban areas. Water is also available and electricity to keep you going. The gravel on the ground makes Bayard such a good and attractive site to go camping on.



8. New York

New York is such a big city. But it is not all a concrete jungle full of creeps who will make you want to have a local ride shotgun with you. It has so many free places to camp. Such places include:



This is an easily accessible campsite with a good view of mountains and water points. It is recommended for family camping. The beautiful mountain slopes are such good places for hiking. Adirondack is situated in a forest thus efficient for adventure. You cannot miss taking as many photographs as you may like in this place.

Catskill Forest

Catskill forest

This is another place with free camping grounds in New York. It comes with breathtaking sceneries for you to enjoy. The shores are rocky in nature making it easy for you to walk around; they are not slippery. However, be careful with your feet.


9. North Carolina

If you are looking for beach campgrounds, or for regular campsites where you will pay very little or nothing at all in fees, then NC is where you should head. This state also offers some good lake camping experience.

Here are two places where you can go camping:

Blue Valley

Blue Valley

Blue Valley offers beautiful water sources, places where you can enjoy watching the sunrise and set. Camping around water sources is usually a good idea because they are accessible to your children are unlikely to get lost even if they wander away.

The trees offer some tantalizing aesthetic value to the Blue Valley. If you love vegetation, you will have great subjects for photographs. Camping is never fun without hiking. Once you are in Blue Valley, hiking is guaranteed.

Ammons branch

This is an area under forest management. It offers four campsites with one allowing you to have a recreational vehicle. At least, Ammons has a vault toilet and good hiking places. You will never have enough of the hiking trails. However, the road is made of gravel to ensure that your car can stand such conditions.


10. Ohio

Even the state of Ohio has some campground reservations where you can have fun as a family. Here are just two places among the many that we have there:

East Fork

East Fork

This is a state park that offers 4 camping areas. It is in such camp parks as East Fork that you will not only hike but also bike for fun. The hills provide such a beautiful scene for holidaymakers.

Wayne Forest

This is a unique, one and only national forest in Ohio State. You do not need a permit to go camping at this site. Trails are available for hiking and biking too. You will have a chance to see horse trails and have some good time camping. The downside is, your time for camping is limited to 2 weeks.


11. Washington

This state offers free camping sites, and among them we have:

Pine Lake

Pine Lake

If you are in Washington, yet all you want is lake camping, then Pine Lake should be among your options. Of course, you could engage in fishing and hiking too.

Campfires are not allowed here because the area is extensively wooded.

Oak Creek

Oak Creek

This place is unique in its own way especially in the activities you can engage in. You have a lot to choose from including rock climbing and hunting. The creek is always open throughout the year. The good news is that this campsite has 3 vault toilets.


12. Indiana

Indiana is well known for the Charles Deam wilderness as one of the free campsites. This place is very beautiful with lush, green vegetation. You can go for horse riding on the trails. The toilets available in the Charles wilderness are an add-on to this campsite. The dumpster makes it even more hygienic. It is a place worth taking your children for fun. This wilderness has some of the best free campsites the USA has to offer, right in Indiana.


13. Kansas

You can never miss free campsites in city parks of Kansas. You, therefore, do not need to look any further or have a hard time looking for a campsite. Just as there are Massachusetts campgrounds where you pay nothing, Kansas also has many to offer.


14. Massachusetts

There are Massachusetts campgrounds that you must try out. For example, there are all of 8 free campsites in Cabelas in Berlin where campers, trucks, and cars are allowed. However, do stop at the store and let them know that you are staying there. All sizes of RV and campers are allowed in.

The final word

Before you pack up and leave home, remember to look for campground reviews so that you do not go camping blindly. Reading reviews is the only way to know whether the camping reservations that you have in mind have water and other amenities. You can also find out whether they allow RVs, campers, cars or trucks.

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