Marijuana & Camping – What You Need to Know Before Lighting Up in a Legal State

For some, after a day of exploring the outdoors, there’s no better feeling than coming back to camp to make a fire, eat some grub, and smoke a joint under the stars.

a couple hanging out by a campfire next to their airstream

Before you light up, it’s important to know local cannabis laws and fire safety guidelines. There are only 14 states that have fully legalized cannabis, including Washington D.C., which makes laws confusing from state to state. Add traveling and camping on federal property to your cannabis experience, and it gets even more convoluted.

Do you want to elevate your camping adventures with cannabis? Here are some general tips and 420-friendly campgrounds to help immerse yourself in nature and cannabis, responsibly and legally.

Tips for Camping with Cannabis

1. Know Before You Go

Even if you’re visiting a cannabis-friendly state, it’s still important to check the state’s laws. For instance, states like Colorado are fully legalized but have age requirements and buying limits. In Colorado, you can buy and possess up to an ounce (28.3 grams) of marijuana at a time. But in places like Pennsylvania, you need to be more informed and careful as state law says that medicinal marijuana is legal, but it’s not recreationally legal.

2. Avoid Crossing State Lines with Weed Products

According to Leafly, “Federal law prohibits transporting any federally restricted substance across state lines, and cannabis clocks in at Schedule I on the Controlled Substances Act.” Even if you’re transporting the weed products from legal state to legal state, it’s still considered a federal offense and a definite way to ruin your vacation.

3. Get Familiar with the 2018 Farm Bill

Did you know cannabis products that have less than 0.3 percent of THC are federally legal because of the 2018 Farm Bill? This means feel free to travel wherever you want with CBD or hemp goodies that follow these guidelines.

4. Travel to 420-Friendly Places

To make things even easier on your wayward self, follow the Sour Diesel smoke to 420-friendly destinations like Colorado, where the dispensaries are just as rife as the hiking trails. Or, seek out campgrounds that cater to campers who prefer an edible over a s’more.

“I wanted to invest somehow in the cannabis industry,” Camp Kush in the 4 Corners owner and proprietor Jen said. “It became obvious to me that when marijuana was legalized that everyone else in the vacation rental and hotel or motel industry shut down to marijuana tourists, and I thought that was ridiculous. So we’re on the fringes of the industry but catering to the tourists for sure.”

Understanding Park Regulations

It’s important to note that state and national parks are not the most 420-friendly destinations. But their natural beauty will still give you a breathtaking high.

National Parks

National parks are considered federal property, which means it is illegal to toke up in any national park in the United States. Although most park rangers will generally just fine and confiscate your bud, it’s still important to know their regulations and the state’s approach to cannabis consumption.

State Parks

When it comes to state parks, cannabis consumption is a little more convoluted. Since state parks are public property, marijuana should be prohibited, but some states have ways around it, like offering 420-friendly rental properties or specific campgrounds or camp spots for cannabis-users.

Green lights lighting up campsites
Bandon Wayside Motel & RV in Bandon, OR – Photo by: nlb

Stay in a 420-Friendly Campground

As states continue to legalize recreational marijuana, you may start to find more cannabis campgrounds near you. For now, these campgrounds across the United States are blazing the trail for marijuana smokers who love to smoke and sleep under the mountains and stars.

Oregon

Bandon Wayside Motel & RV

Follow the Oregon Coast to Bandon Wayside Motel & RV, an RV park with access to the stunning beaches of southern Oregon, the Oregon Coast Trail, Willamette Valley wine country, and the 101 Pacific Coast Highway.

Bandon is also a hidden gem to explore when you’re worn out from exploring the state’s mossy green forests and parks. Since this campground is privately owned, the owners allow you to smoke in a designated gazebo on the property.

Colorado

CanyonSide Campground

For the ultimate cannabis camping experience, trek on over to Bellvue, Colorado, where you will find CanyonSide Campground.

This campground covers all of the bases with comfortable cabins, tent, and RV spots with views of the surrounding area, including Cache La Poudre River, where adventurers can white water raft, kayak, and fly fish. The Poudre Canyon also offers access to hiking, horseback riding, and ATVing through Bellvue’s rolling hills of greenery.

Speaking of greens, CanyonSide Campground also fully immerses itself in the camper’s cannabis experience with concierge services and even classes on how to consume in nature safely.

Camp Kush in the 4 Corners

Tucked away in Cortez, Colorado, Camp Kush in the 4 Corners is your gateway to the southwest desert and an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise. From here, you can make quick trips to Mesa Verde National Park and the San Juan National Forest.

“The campground itself sits on the valley floor, and it’s surrounded by 360-degree views of the mountains and mesas,” Camp Kush in the 4 Corners campground owner and proprietor Jen said.

This campground is not only filled with nature and nestled amongst the deep red hues of the desert but as a former church camp, it is also a historical landmark. The campground converted to a 420-friendly destination in 2018.

“Especially in Cortez, people cross over the border and want to buy weed and want to have somewhere safe to smoke in,” Jen said.

Whether you’re car camping, sleeping in a tent, traveling by RV, or looking to socialize in the hostel bunks, Camp Kush in the 4 Corners is a home away from home for all travelers, including those who like to smoke flower amongst the wildflowers and views.

Joyful Journey Hot Springs Spa

According to Joyful Journey’s website, “Joyful Journey is a sanctuary, a community, and a retreat, where people from all walks of life come to experience its soothing waters – to heal and find peace from the stress of their daily lives.”

Imagine a trip full of cannabis, hot springs, and the Sangre De Cristo Wilderness near Moffat, Colorado. At Joyful Hot Springs Spa, you can take yoga classes, soak in a hot spring, and toke in the smoking pavilion surrounded by peaks piercing the Colorado sky.

It not only offers RV hookups but also access to tipis and yurts as well if you need a break from tents and sleeping bags.

Michigan

Covert-South Haven KOA

When it comes to the east coast, legal cannabis camping is harder to come by, but if you head to the midwest, you will find Covert-South Haven KOA.

As one of the most recent states to legalize recreational marijuana, this campground in Michigan quickly adapted its policies to accommodate campers who like to unwind from the day’s activities with a spliff.

Although there’s a catch—Michigan state law prohibits the use of recreational marijuana anywhere that is accessible to the public. This means campers can only smoke within their own units, cars, or RVs rather than the campgrounds, cabins, or buildings.

But regardless, Covert-South Haven KOA is a gateway to not only Lake Michigan but also a 420-friendly camping experience close to the east coast.

As state governments continue to loosen cannabis laws and regulations, campers, backpackers, and outdoor enthusiasts can expect more accommodations for cannabis users as they travel across the United States.