Unlike camping in developed grounds, boondocking makes life much easier as you don’t get to pay nor go through the bureaucratic reservation process. This may be particularly helpful when you just want to park and spend the nights in parking in free lots.
In this guide, we explore the best 26 boondocking locations you can savor. These locations incredibly match elegance, adventure, and freedom, giving beautiful memories you would cherish for a lifetime.
Upper Sweetwater Campground
This is an excellent boondocking location, loaded with thrills and facilities. Typically, you are not paying for these sites. The Upper Sweetwater campground features a campfire ring, grill, and sizable picnic table.
Indeed, the parking spurs are well paved with the tree adorning the perimeters of the inner road combining with its tight turns, making this location very conducive for your tent campers, slide-ins, and pop-up trailers. This campground has your sanitary affairs taken care of with vault toilets.
Williams Hill BLM
As expected, this is another exquisite boondocking location you can enjoy at no cost. Williams Hill is decked with about nine spots.
Each of these specks is fitted with an impressive gazebo area. This is adjoined by an inviting picnic table (which could accommodate your stove or grill) and a concrete slab. The beautiful mountain views are equally breathtaking.
If you are boondocking in the company of your family, you may want to consider Big Sur. This site is tucked in Coastal Redwood trees, flanking the reputed Sig Sur River.
Boondocking here is sure to be an experience as you would enjoy the rusting camping bins while watching your kids having the fun of their lives in the inviting river.
What more, the camping bins are supplied with fireplaces and kitchens. Given how coveted this location is, it is advised that you reserve your spot say six or seven months beforehand.
If you want to take a huge break from the rigors of civilization, you may consider boondocking in Alabama hills. This location is exquisite for its collection of rocks (with exciting boulder formation) strategically situated easterly of Sierra Nevada, not far from Lone Pine.
The view here is fantastic, enjoying how the mountain peaks straddle the desert. Little wonders, the Alabama Hills is a famous site for shooting blockbuster movies given its natural scenic luster.
The Carrizo Plain
The Carrizo Plain is one of California’s most popular outdoor destinations, having symbolic importance to Native Americans. Within a few hours’ drive from Los Angeles, you should be in the Carrizo Plain.
The exclusivity of this site makes it a perfect resort to the noisy buzz of your everyday life. This site is furnished with an impressive collection of plant species and animals – some of them even threatened.
Here at the Carrizo Plain, you could enjoy features like the famed Painted Rock, alkali flats of Soda Lake, and a long stretch of lowlands bordered by mountains.
Madden Peak Road
There is a reason why Madden Peak Road takes our first boondocking location in Colorado. Located in Hesperus, Madden is one of the most incredible areas to enjoy the natural beauty of the San Juan National Forest.
Typically, Madden is an out-and-back trail, measuring almost 14 km, near Mancos. The boondocking campsites here at Madden Peak Road are situated on either side of the dirt road. Driving through the road, you could come across several deer and elk.
This road takes you north, all the way from the peak points separating Durango from Cortez. This allows you to readily reach the breathtaking aspen groves and the famed ponderosa pine woodland. In the ponderosa pine woodland, you can create some sweet memories at Hammond’s Flycatchers.
Sultan Camping Aera
Right in the heavy forests bordering the junction between the Mediterranean and the Kabak Valley is the Sultan Camping Aera. This area is famed for its local cuisine, which gives you a stacked vegetarian food menu.
When you are done and ready for a pint to wash the meals down your belly, there are some nice cocktails at the bar to be savored around the firepit. Undoubtedly, you are never forgetting your boondocking experience at Sultan Camping Area.
Was there any way we were going to mention the best boondocking locations in Colorado without mentioning the famed Slate River valley? This location is seated long the Slate River Road.
This is separated from Gothic Road by approximately 6 miles. Slate River boasts many dispersed campsites (some of them non-electric) to assuage your boondocking needs. Numerical markings majorly denote these areas.
From the valley, you can enjoy an awe-inspiring view of the Paradise Divide. When it is time to answer Mother Nature’s call, you can readily utilize the vault toilets scattered across the road.
Washington Gulch Road
The Washington Gulch Road is another boondocking location to reckon in Colorado, although people often don’t come here. This is an out-and-back trailer very close to Crested Butte.
The Washington Gulch Trail starts from ¼ miles of Gothic Campground, finishing around where the trail meets the Washington Gulch Road. For the best of experience, it is advisable to use this location around July to September.
Given its incredible scenic, there is no way you are not checking this out for your boondocking expedition; little surprise bikers are crazily in love with this site.
If you are pondering where to go boondocking in Montana, you should definitely be looking at Nelson Creek. Back in the days, this boondocking location was a lucrative exploration hub, well distinguished for gold mining. This explains why this site is decked with remarkably mined tunnels, tailings, and tailraces.
Much has changed since then, and now Nelson Creek is more reputed for satiating the exploration dreams of campers, including gold panning.
The campground borders the creek with several dispersed campsites. Just above the recreational section is a terrace where you can easily get a hotel, tore, and pottery store.
If you are coming with kids, Nelson Creek has some handful of playing facilities for them. The whole camping party can enjoy unforgettable sessions, either participating in flying fox sessions or cooking BBQs and enjoying them on picnic tables.
When you are done with all that, you could take the track through the tunnel, exploring some exciting bushwalking around.
This boondocking location is situated around Clark Fork River. This is very close to Thompson Falls town located in Clark Fork Valley. Coming to Thompson Falls, you should prepare for the boating and fishing pleasures either at the famous Noxon Rapids Reservoir or much closer at the Clark Fork River.
There are opportunities for your kids to start their fishing careers in the fishpond, fishing for trout. The camping party can enjoy walks or watching the birds flying around merrily.
Moving across the river is fun, thanks to a small boat launch supply, and for bigger boats, you can get a full-sized launch just half of a mile from the park.
Graves Creek royally sits in Olympic National Pak, a massive recreational destination for outdoor enthusiasts seeking to enjoy the incredible temperate rainforest and the scenic glamor of the Quinault River Valley, famously tagged the Enchanted Valley.
The campground is about two and a half miles from the Quinault River Valley. The campground is typically accessible all through the year, boasting over 25 campsites. When summer revs up, you may struggle to get a space in the remote campground as Graves Creek is usually stacked up with teeming explorers.
It is worth noting that the campground lacks portable water systems. Therefore, it is necessary to bring a means of water purification along or just altogether bring a lot of freshwater with you when boondocking.
This location is about 7.85 miles off North Fork Road. North Ford Road is in Glacier National Park, just north of Columbia Falls.
This site is only open to ATVs and motorcycles.
The trail here may not be too welcoming to beginners, given the lack of steep sections. The trail is parallel to McGinnis creek.
Quadrunners and motorcycles can legally explore the portion of the road that intersects with the Navajo Bypass. This is where the trail terminates. Aside from this portion, only legal vehicles can explore the remaining part of Navajo Road.
Sheldon Wildlife Refuge
If you are eager to share in the pleasures of the uncivilized wild, sharing close quarters with the likes of the bighorn sheep and pronghorn antelope, then you should be boondocking in Sheldon Wildlife Refuge.
Just anyone – young and old – can come and savor the pleasures of this refuge. The BLM ground nestling between the Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge in Nevada and the Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge in Oregon is an excellent location for an exceptional outback experience, giving you the solace you so terribly need from society.
Admittedly, the Greater Hart-Sheldon Region is stocked with barely a handful of recognized trails with the amenities equally not luxurious. For the roads, they cut across dirt, gravel, and pavement.
When boondocking here, it would be beneficial to come along with extra gas, water, food supplies, and possibly one spare tire.
Pyramid Lake is just 2.5 miles away from the Los Alamos campground, which is barely an hour and a half from Los Angeles.
More than just boondocking, Pyramid Lake offers you lovable pleasures like fishing, jet skiing, waterboarding, and waterskiing.
This location is equipped with several campgrounds, comprising three group campsites over 85 single-family sites.
For every of these group sites, you get a facility that can accommodate ten vehicles and up to forty guests. These sites are furnished with grills and picnic tables.
There are extra recreational activities around as the camping party can enjoy some games at the volleyball courts. You need not make provisions for drinking water as these sites are outfitted with fresh drinking water and flush toilets. Just around is a dump station.
Valley of Fire State Park
If you don’t mind reconnecting with medieval cultures when boondocking, you should visit the Valley of Fire State Park. This park is famed for the sparkling red Aztec sandstone spanning over 45,000 acres.
There are also historic markings on these rocks since two millennia ago. Here in the park, you get grills, amazing trails, and shaded tables.
Valley of Fire State Park is about 16 miles south of Overton, Nevada. Every year, this park usually holds the historic Atlatl Competition. Here you and other campers mimic old Aztec culture, participating in mock fights with ancient spears.
Campers are helplessly in love with Mt Hood, and they have so many reasons to. Mt Hood is located in the border region nestled between Hood River and Clackamas counties. This is about 50 miles east-southeasterly Portland.
There is enough boondocking fun here at Mt Hood as this area is decked with more than 2,000 campsites. You can choose to go spotting American Dippers or, better still, roasting some delicious marshmallows while feasting your eyes on the beautiful rushing river.
Crater Lake sits calmly in Klamath County. This is 60 miles of Klamath Falls, approximately 80 miles northeasterly of the city of Medford.
Crater Lake boasts the Lost Creek Campground and the Mazama Campground. These are well-established campgrounds that can adequately sate your outdoor desires.
On its own, the Lost Creek Campground is fortified with sixteen sites which can take your tents, although no RVs are allowed in here. For the Mazama campground, you get over 210 sites for tents with allowance for RV.
Expectedly, these campgrounds work on a first-come-first-served basis, and it could be best you reserve these campgrounds ahead in August, September, and October.
For backers with backcountry permits, they could camp overnight. This privilege also extends to guests lodged in motels about the parks.
This is another great boondocking location if you are looking to explore the outdoor beauties of Oregon. The Oregon Coast is globally renowned for its seas regularly roaring with soft waves and its rocky cliffs.
While boondocking, you can enjoy the fabulous sea stacks as they rise from the untiring sea waves. What more, you can bask in the astonishing view of sunset in the Pacific Ocean. The coastline is open to just anyone, with over 350 miles up for your spectacular exploration.
Virgin Dam BLM
The Virgin Dam offers you BLM camping (at no cost) just outside of the Zion National Park in Utah, located at State Route 9 in Springdale.
This site is equipped with lots of dispersed camping sites branching across the dirt tracks. This is easily navigable even if you are boondocking with Class C or something of reduced size.
These tracks are readily conspicuous when viewed from Route 9. You wouldn’t be starved of fun here are you get a lot of crags and rock formations to browse through.
Ask anyone where would be the best location to go boondocking in Utah’s Dixie, and Leeds Canyon is sure to be among the first three recommendations. Leeds Canyon is just on the illustrious Silver Reef Ghost Town exterior situated in Dixie National Forest.
Leeds Canyon is well renowned for its spectacular canyons, magnificently reflecting the difference between Montane and Leeds Corridor.
The Leeds Canyon opening comprises a combo of shrubs (like permanent oak, creosote bush, and Utah juniper), regular trees, and the famous Navajo sandstone ridges. The site is made of 11 dispersed camping sites.
Sheep Bridge Road
Being BLM, the Sheep Bridge is free to everyone interested in coming around. Finding the Sheep Bridge Road shouldn’t be too challenging. Situated westerly of Zion Park, this site is close to Hurricane Utah, directly off Highway 9.
Here at Zion Park, you can enjoy a pristine view of the mountains. The road leading to this site is gravel. And just flanking this site are zero-cost dump stations, courtesy of a close-by Maverick gas station.
Twin Hollows Canyon
Twin Hollows Canyon is directly across the famously tagged Old Hwy 89 campsite. The roads are impressive, with navigation seamless. It is also furnished with impressive ATT signals, with the views picturesque from all angles.
Taggart Lake is one astonishing location to enjoy boondocking in Wyoming. Taggar Lake is about a mile southerly of Bradley Lake.
The Taggart Lake is naturally girded with several hiking trails other than this. Most notable among this is a trail starting from Taggart Lake Trailhead parking area, spanning almost 3 miles.
Undoubtedly, we will not be forgiven for omitting the illustrious Snake River when mentioning Wyoming’s best boondocking locations. The Snake River is historically epic, starting in Wyoming and spanning southern Idaho, and then diverting across the border between Oregon and Idaho.
Just at the mouth of the Granite Creek, this lovable river has an elevation of 1,480 feet. On top of Rush Creek Rapids, there you have the Hat Point Lookout lavishing you with a mouthwatering sighting of the canyon from an unbelievable 6,982 feet. This is the apex of the Oregon rim.
Jenny Lake is admittedly not one of the biggest boondocking locations on this compilation, but it surely gets the job done as far as outdoor thrills are concerned. The campground is about hundreds of yards separated from Jenny Lake.
This campground spans the glacial mass of earth and stones, carpeted with a pile of lodgepole pine growth. Here, vehicles any taller than 8 feet are prohibited.
Such prohibition also extends to vehicles with lengths any longer than 14 feet. Each site here can at most contain one vehicle, double tents, and six campers staying no longer than seven nights.