The Top 10 Places to Boondock in the US

The United States is home to some truly majestic landscapes. There are many ways to experience everything this country has to offer, and RV boondocking is undoubtedly one of the best. Also called dry camping, boondocking is dispersed camping on public land without access to water, sewage, or electric hookups.

There are tons of benefits to boondocking. First, it’s usually free. Second, you’ll get access to some stunning camping spots that are wild, secluded, and unspoiled by civilization. If you want to be one with nature, you’ve got to check out these top ten RV boondocking spots, picked by our Campendium community.

Red bus parked in front of bread shaped rocks.
Indian Bread Rocks | Bowie, AZ – Photo by: Road it up

Indian Bread Rocks Recreation Area, Bowie, Arizona

  • Pad Type: Dirt
  • Max Stay: 14 nights
  • Elevation: 4,166 ft

Located in South Happy Camp Canyon, this site is popular among RV campers, and for a good reason. The desert terrain is a great place to see a variety of cacti and an amazing array of wildlife. Campendium users have spotted roadrunners, antelope, lizards, songbirds, rabbits, and cattle! Campers were especially impressed with how quiet this location is, and they loved being off the beaten path while still close to destinations like Tombstone and Bisbee.

Several RVs parked in a circle in the high desert.
Tom’s Best Spring Dispersed Camping | Panguitch, UT – Photo by: mydslc

Tom’s Best Spring Dispersed Camping, Dixie National Forest, Utah

  • Pad Type: Dirt
  • Max Stay: 16 nights
  • Elevation: 7,841 ft

If you’re planning on visiting Bryce Canyon but can’t get a reservation at one of the campsites or RV parks, this RV camping location is a lifesaver. Just outside the park, Tom’s Best Spring offers exquisite hiking, beautiful views, and most importantly, free camping! It’s easy to access, only ten miles from Bryce, and one of the best boondocking options out there. Here you’ll find level parking spots, room to spread out, and plenty to do. Users especially loved being in one of Utah’s beautiful national forests while staying in the shade of tall pine trees.

Fifth wheel parked in the desert during sunset.
Dog Canyon Dispersed Camping | Alamogordo, NM – Photo by: OwnLessDoMore.us

Dog Canyon Dispersed Camping, Alamogordo, New Mexico

  • Pad Type: Dirt
  • Max Stay: 14 nights
  • Elevation: 4,133 ft

Close to White Sands National Park, this favorite boondocking spot has a great view of the nearby mountains. The site has decent cell service and accessibility for larger rigs. Some users note that this location is a little rocky and not perfectly level, so be prepared to spend some time leveling and getting settled in. One big plus is that the area is spacious and has many parking spots, so you’re likely to find room for your rig.

RV parked during sunset.
White Mountain Road Dispersed Camping | Green River, WY – Photo by: Scott Murray

White Mountain Road Dispersed Camping, Green River, Wyoming

  • Pad Type: Dirt
  • Max Stay: 14 nights
  • Elevation: 7,152 ft

Located at the top of a mountain, this free camping site is a great place to watch sunrises and sunsets. You’ll get amazing views, and some users have even seen wild horses and antelope. Be aware, though, that many campers note that the site can be quite windy.

Truck and fifth wheel parked in front of a mountain.
Sacred White Shell Mountain | Mosca, CO – Photo by: Unknown_Normal

Sacred White Shell Mountain, Mosca, Colorado

  • Pad Type: Dirt
  • Max Stay: 14 nights
  • Elevation: 7,677 ft

Colorado is considered one of the best states for boondocking, and this site is a great example of why. This boondocking site is just outside of the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, accessible via a well-maintained dirt road. There’s a ton of room, and every spot has amazing views of the state’s stunning landscape. Sacred White Shell Mountain has a 16-mile round trip hike, so you can be sure to have exciting adventures during your stay here.

Truck camper parked on a beach.
Magnolia Beach Camping | Port Lavaca, TX – Photo by: Cathiebraz

Magnolia Beach Camping, Port Lavaca, Texas

  • Pad Type: Sand
  • Max Stay: 14 nights
  • Elevation: 0 ft!

It doesn’t get much better than free oceanfront camping. Located on Lavaca Bay, which leads to the Gulf of Mexico, this beach boondocking site is a gorgeous place for overnight camping. There’s plenty of space on this public beach, and Campendium users love how clean and well-maintained it is. With the ocean right out your front door, you’ll have easy access to swimming, fishing, and any other beach activity. One word of warning from users is to be aware of the high tide before you park your rig!

Couple of RVs parked amongst rocks.
Alabama Hills Recreational Area Dispersed Camping | Lone Pine, CA – Photo by: Kathys outdoor adventures

Alabama Hills Recreation Area Dispersed Camping, Lone Pine, California

  • Pad Type: Dirt
  • Max Stay: 14 nights
  • Elevation: 4,461 ft

This popular area sits at the base of Mount Whitney in the Sierra Mountains. Many Campendium users call it their favorite RV camping site, and it’s easy to see why. There is ample room, and hills and trees provide shade and privacy. Also, no matter where you find a parking spot, you are sure to have an amazing view of the scenery.

Fifth wheel parked on the edge of a cliff next to a dirt road.
Nomad View Dispersed Camping | Wall, SD – Photo by: SeeingTheSeitz

Nomad View Dispersed Camping, Buffalo Gap National Grassland, South Dakota

  • Pad Type: Gravel
  • Max Stay: 14 nights
  • Elevation: 2,985 ft

Being a national grassland, this boondocking site stands apart on this list. Campendium users love the spectacular views, both day and night: with such low light pollution, campers here can see an astounding number of stars on a clear night. This site is a great spot for hunting and “rockhounding” or looking for gemstones. Before you go, be sure to check out boondocking tips for this location from rangers.

Airstream parked in the woods.
Carbella Recreation Site | Emigrant, MT – Photo by: TinCanPlan

Carbella Recreation Site, Emigrant, Montana

  • Pad Type: Gravel
  • Max Stay: 14 nights
  • Elevation: 4,986 ft

Located on the upper Yellowstone River, Carbella Recreation Site is a popular spot for free camping, fly fishing, and paddle sports. Situated just 18 miles from the northern entrance to Yellowstone National Park, this newly renovated designated dispersed camping area offers sites with a picnic table, a food locker to protect your tasty bites from bears, and a fire ring. Local rafting companies use a boat ramp nearby, so be prepared for a little bit of hustle and bustle during the day, but at night, you can enjoy the quiet of Montana’s famously big sky stretching out above you.

Class A parked next to a picnic shelter.
Sacramento Pass Recreation Area | Ely, NV – Photo by: Teddi & Roger

Sacramento Pass Recreation Area, Ely, Nevada

  • Pad Type: Dirt
  • Max Stay: 14 nights
  • Elevation: 6,692 ft

Maintained by the Bureau of Land Management, this free boondocking site is just off US-50. There are hiking trails, a small pond with stocked trout, and a second loop with an equestrian trailhead for horseback riding. There are ten sites, and like most boondocking locations, it’s available only on a first-come, first-served basis.

The Campendium community loves how isolated it is. With barely any cell service, this is a great spot to visit if you want to get away for a few days. It’s also less than twenty miles from Great Basin National Park, making it a convenient stop for a southwest boondocking trip.