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.

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Recent Kansas Free Campsite Reviews

Hutchinson, KS

Strataca Salt Mine Museum

Sep 10, 2022

"Didn't Stay Here, but We Would..."

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We surveyed this parking lot on 05/03/2022, and confirmed that the Strataca museum allows 1 night of overnight parking with the purchase of admission. We were awed by the museum tour (which we rate as 9/10) and highly recommend it to others. With our concern about nearby nightly railroad and highway noise, we rate the parking area as 3/5. We...
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11 reviews
Dodge City, KS

Dodge City Roadside Park

Sep 10, 2022

"Good Enough to Stay Again"

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We stayed at this park for two nights beginning 05/01/2022. Commercial trucks shared this roadside rest area throughout both nights, but nearly no one was there during the days. Nearby trains rolled through regularly, including nighttime. Very windy on the second night. My wife, who is often the cautious one, felt safe here. Free makes it...
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11 reviews
Courtland, KS

Courtland City Park

Sep 08, 2022

"Just A Basic Town With A Friendly Environment. "

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I’d definitely stay here again.

1 review
Aug 25, 2022

"Nice Little Fishing Lake With A Few Camping Spots"

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We arrived about 4 pm in the afternoon and only one other camper was here. We drove around the lake a found us a spot that suited us to setup. We camp in our suburban so camp setup is minimal for us. We had a solid 2 bars of Verizon 4g LTE. Work from phone and hotspot was easy and quick. We noticed that there were two vault toilets that were...
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Aug 13, 2022

"Great little rest stop and park"

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What a gem. When you pull in, it doesn't seem like much. Continue to the west end and there you'll find a loop with a RV dump and rinse water. There are potable hydrants in the center of the circle near the lightpole ( and on the dump side just past the dump (blue hydrants in the middle of the lawn). Well off of the interstate and I felt...
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