Best Free Camping in Kansas

Free Camping in Kansas

By Nathan Swartz

For a part of the country considered to be a "fly-over state," free camping in Kansas is relatively abundant and often surprisingly diverse. RVers will find a free place to call home in national grasslands, city parks, private businesses, and via campgrounds provided by the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism. All of that free camping left your tanks full? The state is full of free dump stations, as well.

See a map of all free camping in Kansas.

Free RV Camping at KDWPT Campgrounds

The bulk of free camping in the Sunflower State is provided courtesy of the Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism. A dozen recreation areas, scattered across the state, provide camping in designated spots and always near a lake. Crossing the Great Kansan Plains? See a sign that reads "State Fishing Lake" along the highway? Chances are it's also an indication you'll find a free spot to camp there, too.

Highlights include Leavenworth State Fishing Lake between Topeka and Kansas City, and Chase State Fishing Lake near Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve. While they trend toward the eastern half of the state, you'll see these camping areas spread across the state.

Free Camping in Kansas County and City Parks

Beyond the camping areas provided by the state, many small towns have been kind enough to offer campers a place to pull in for an overnight or two. Some of these, like Davis Park Campground in the city of Greensburg KS and Medicine Lodge's city park, even provide electric hookups. However, most of these sites are simply a place to park with access to a restroom, some picnic tables, and maybe even a boat ramp or a playground. One of the highlights is a county park by the name of Antelope Lake, where you'll find waterfront camping and one of the rarest of amenities in the state...ample shade!

Free Dispersed Camping in Cimarron National Grassland

If you're a fan of national forests, Kansas' version comes in the form of national grasslands. Cimarron offers bare-bones boondocking just outside of the park. Unlike your typical national forest, don't expect much in the way of scenery. The place isn't for everyone, but should campers want to see what a national grassland entails or just need a quick, free overnighter while traveling Kansas State Route 51, the option is available.

More Free Overnight Camping in Kansas

In addition to the public lands we've already discussed, many businesses offer a free place to park. Not exactly full-on campsites, these are typically just a parking space at the back of a Walmart parking lot, and while it's not required, the hope is that you'll shop at their business during your stay. Be considerate of other customers, and try and remain as stealthy as possible–generally, etiquette is to not put out your chairs or awning and otherwise be discreet. That said, these places are perfectly legal spots to spend the night. You'll find Walmart and Cabella's with this policy located primarily near I-70 and US 50, making them the perfect way to get some shut-eye on the long trek that is crossing Kansas. Be sure to check with management or security before settling in for the night.

Also of note, the Kansas Underground Salt Museum, aka Strataca, provides free camping in their lot to customers interested in a tour of the mines.

portable computer displaying map of camping locations
mobile device showing map of camping locations
Roadpass Pro
Signup for Roadpass Pro to get premium access to all of these great road travel apps.
Unlock pro campendium features
Ad Free Experience
Cell Service Overlays & Reports
Public Land Map Overlays
Trail Maps
Filter by Elevation
Pro icon Join Roadpass Pro

Recent Kansas Free Campsite Reviews

Mar 25, 2023

"Nice Stop For Passing Through "

active staractive staractive staractive starinactive star
Paved parking lot, picnic tables, & restrooms. Was close to road, however the road was not very busy. Good Verizon cell coverage.

Mar 15, 2023

"Free Camping Right Of 54."

active staractive staractive staractive staractive star
We stopped here after a long day of driving. Right off of 54 so some road noise. Bathrooms available with sink and flush toilets. Trash bins available. Great AT&T signal. Sites are level with picnic tables. Really a great stop for free.

2 reviews
Liberal, KS


Feb 01, 2023

"Nice safe Walmart parking lot"

active staractive staractive staractive staractive star
I've stayed in this Walmart parking lot on several occasions over the last few years. There's always been one or two other rvs and a couple of big riggs. It's always been quite. The only down side is there's isn't any restaurants on the perifery like there is at most Walmart. Still, it's a safe harbour for an evening.

2 reviews
Cottonwood Falls, KS

Chase State Fishing Lake

Jan 18, 2023

"Great free night."

active staractive staractive staractive starinactive star
We stayed here in our DIY camper van. It was a weeknight, and I think we were the only ones there. No real facilities, camping spots next to the lake. Rocky and not entirely level, but workable. Happy enough for a free overnight stay.

Jan 06, 2023

"Great Little Fishing Lake."

active staractive staractive staractive staractive star
Didn’t See Anyone Else But It Is January. Seems clean. Some of the spots are peninsulas that go out into the water. It was actually very cool and made for some great sunrises coming through my window. They do have fire rings and picnic tables. And big rigs would be OK. It seems to be very well maintained as far as the road.

3 reviews