We've tried to stay in almost entirely free camping areas since we started our trip 6 weeks ago. These were our stops so far, with a brief blurb about each.
*** - A favorite spot. Must see.
:( - Disappointed. Read caption for reasons.
# - Stayed with friends/family
Start- Fort Myers, FL - August 18, 2020
Barrington County Park, Georgia
Cute little free camping spot that was almost entirely empty.
Lake Marion, South Carolina
Stopped here for lunch and a swim but didn't stay. They had a campground but I don't think it was free.
# Farmville, Virginia
Stayed with family and left our sweet kitten with them for safe keeping while we were gone.
Little Fort Campground- George Washington National Forest, Woodstock, Virginia
Beautiful Shenandoah Valley. Free boondocking.
# Princeton, New Jersey
Stayed with friends and picked up our moped that they've been storing for about three years.
# Youngstown, New York
Stayed with friends and visited Lake Ontario and Niagara Falls!
# Canadice, New York
Stayed with friends and explored the finger lakes.
Walmart, Somewhere in Ohio
This one was an accident... The road to our campground was closed, it was late, and we were out of options.
Blackwell Horse Camp- Heltonville, Indiana
Nice little free spot in the national forest. Fireflies!
Whetstone Camping Area- Williamsburg, Missouri
Another freebie. Good for a night. Nothing to write home about.
*** Rochester Falls- Helena, Missouri
Loved this spot. Free boondocking right on the river where there was a cute little waterfall. Unfortunately, it was raining so we only got a little exploring in.
*** Badlands National Park, South Dakota
Be still my heart. We camped in two spots at Badlands: one outside of the park just by the Wall entrance which was stunning and one inside the park at Sage Creek Campground, where they have free first come, first served camping.
*** Pactola Reservoir- Black Hills, South Dakota
We wanted to swim, so we found this spot and ended up staying about three days. There's a beach area that you have to pay to enter, but also little parking spots along the road which is where we set up camp.
Buffalo, Wyoming (BLM land)
Another unplanned stay. We were on the way to Montana when the smoke from the wildfires out west started getting REALLY bad. We found the closest public land that had camping and stayed. It was beautiful and we were greeted by horses and cows in the morning.
Ten Sleep Brewery- Ten Sleep, Wyoming
We paid for this one. $5 per night and $3 per shower but it was worth it. The coolest part is we were camped right where this herd of pronghorns would come down from the hillside. The dogs freaked.
:( Yellowstone National Park- USFS land between YS and GT
A bit of a bummer. We ended up basically just driving through Yellowstone and Grand Tetons since they don't allow dogs on any hikes and it was extremely busy. We got to this camping area late and it was really crowded and some guy was a real dick to us, so not recommended.
*** Granite Creek Falls -Jackson, Wyoming
Amazing. Free camping in the national forest along granite creek. It's a 1.5 mile hike to a hot spring under a waterfall. Doesn't get much better than that.
Overnight spot on a reservoir in northern Utah.
*** Bonneville Salt Flats- Wendover, Utah
Another favorite. Camped in the desert among the mountains and played on the salt flats during the day with the moped. If you drive past the turn off for the speedway there's tons of BLM land thats open for camping.
:( Saratoga Springs, Utah
I was really excited about this spot but it turned out to be super weird. Saratoga Springs is newly developed and chock full of subdivisions. The view of Utah Lake was awesome but the campground was strangely placed and there were like these massive swarms of mosquitos.
*** Crystal Geyser- Green River, Utah
A hidden gem. The geyser was erupting when we arrived which was awesome. It's been erupting for about 90 years and the mineral formations deposited are really cool. It's a ways down a dirt road, but not terrible.
Klondike Bluffs- Moab, Utah
We chose this spot outside Moab over the more-crowded Willow Springs. If you drive a little ways back, there were usually plenty of spots.
Yellow Circle Dispersed - Moab, Utah
Tried out a new spot North of Moab a little more in the mountains. Very pretty and private.
*** Porcupine Rim, above Castle Valley- Moab, Utah
Best views ever. You drive through the Sand Flats to get to Porcupine Rim which is on national forest land. The guy at the ticket booth let us in for free since we were just driving through. The drive in is super scenic and the camping area is perched above Castle Valley.
Outside Capitol Reef National Park
There's lots of public land outside Capitol Reef. We camped a few miles outside the park on BLM land and it was lovely. Capitol Reef NP itself was a pleasant surprise, smaller crowds than the rest of the big 5 and really interesting history.
Tom's Best Spring Dispersed, Near Bryce Canyon
Nice spot to be close to Bryce Canyon. The dogs got into a feud with a chipmunk.
*** Losee Canyon, Close to Bryce Canyon NP
National forest land. GORGEOUS views. We got to hike around a bunch of arches and hoodoos without the crowds!
*** Hurricane Cliffs, Outside Zion National Park
This one will get its own post eventually because it was really neat and random.
Outside of Lake Powell- Glen Canyon National Recreation Area
This spot was just across from the entrance to Lone Rock Beach on Lake Powell where you can camp right on the beach. It was PACKED so we opted for the free dispersed camping less than a mile away and just drove in to swim.
*** Marble Point, Kaibab National Forest, Grand Canyon, AZ
So gorgeous. Overlooks the Grand Canyon just outside of the National Park. We woke up to watch the sunrise over the Grand Canyon which was spectacular.
Marshall Lake, Flagstaff, AZ
Great spot to spend a night, but nothing extraordinary. The lake was dry and there were many cattle which was a fun surprise.
*** Forest Road 618- Clear Creek, AZ
Beauuuutiful desert location just a few miles from a glorious spring-fed creek to cool off.
Child's Dispersed Camping, Verde Hot Spring, AZ
14 miles down a washboard road will make you feel like you're going crazy, but the payout is great. My only qualm was that we got there on a Friday and were kept up ALL NIGHT by people on acid, lol. Next time, we'll camp somewhere else along Verde River Rd to access the hot spring and Fossil Creek.
Indian Point Campground at Lake Roosevelt, AZ
A little busy because it was the weekend, but a nice spot.
***Redington Rd, Tuscon, AZ
Best views ever. The sunset and the saguaros were incredible. Also a coyote walked into our campsite.
***Bigelow Mnt. Rd, Mt Lemmon, AZ
Wonderful spot, we really enjoyed the vibes in Tucson and it's really cool that if you get to hot out in the desert, just a quick 45 minute drive up the mountain will bring you to a nice cool aspen-y forest.
Indian Bread Rocks Recreation Area, AZ
Great spot to overnight. The rocks were really cool to explore on, but it was fly HELL. seriously, we carried them with us for like 3 days afterward. So annoying.
BLM land, Truth or Consequences, NM
Convenient spot right off the interstate and along the Rio Grande, but there are many people who appear to be living there and it's very littered.
Devil's Canyon, Santa Fe, NM
Great setting. Not a lot of camping spots. No service and the dirt road in is the worst ever.
***Santa Fe National Forest Disepersed, Jemez Springs, NM
Lovely mountaintop setting. Short 3 mile drive to hot springs. Very private and quiet.