Best Free Camping in Nebraska

Free Camping in Nebraska

By Nathan Swartz

Like its fellow Great Plains states to the north and south, Nebraska is largely a state without much change in elevation or extensive forested area. However, what it holds that those neighbors do not is an abundance of free camping, more than nearly any other state one would need to cross to get from the east to west in these United States.

See a map of all free camping in Nebraska.

Free Camping in Omaha, Nebraska

Directly within the city limits, free camping is limited to RV camping in either the Walmart or Cabela's big box store style parking lot. Their proximity to downtown, however, makes them ideal candidates for such an endeavor.

Should you seek something situated in nature, you'll need to travel over an hour west of downtown Omaha, where wildlife management areas like Timber Point and Twin Lakes, or the state's Department of Natural Resources Meadowlark Recreation Area.

Even further west, Loup Power District also provides three free camping sites, including amenities like electric hookups near Columbus, Nebraska.

Free RV Camping Along I-80, Nebraska

If traversing the state as quickly as possible is your goal, there are multiple camping areas along Interstate 80. The aforementioned businesses in Omaha meet this criterion, as does Twin Lakes WMA just west of Lincoln.

Toward the center of the state, a historical stop celebrating the Oregon Trail–by the name of The Archway–provides free of charge camping with a little something to do just outside your door. Further west, Nebraska has a few more wildlife management areas with waterfront camping just off of I-80, near Hershey, NE.

Chappell Lake is your last stop headed west for free primitive camping spots, a little no-frills city park that'll get you off–and back on–the highways in no time.

Free Camping in Nebraska National Forest and Oglala National Grassland

Looking to explore what is arguably Nebraska's most scenic countryside? Sand dunes jutting skyward in a state that is largely flat land, and even a bit of forest, provide a different type of beauty in the Cornhusker State's northwestern corner. There is dispersed camping in the national forest itself, and additional opportunities for boondocking are provided by the state's Game and Parks service. Travelers can find camping opportunities along US Route 20 from Chadron to Harrison, NE. While camping in the national forests is managed by the US Forest Service, state-run operations–and even a city park–provide a variety of ways and places to camp, including an actual campground with water and electric hookups in Harrison City Park.

With free camping in Nebraska being so varied–from actual campgrounds with electric and water to boondocking in wide-open spaces primed for RV parking or car camping, you're sure to find a campsite that meets your needs. These are no reservations places where the price is right, and whether they're full-blown recreation areas, locations tucked against the state's rivers, or just rest areas off the slice of the map you're traveling through, you should have no trouble finding a place to park your RV.

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Recent Nebraska Free Campsite Reviews

Grand Island, NE


Nov 21, 2023

"Very Convenient And Clean"

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Easy access from the highway. Big rig friendly. Overnight trucks and campers park to the far left of the parking lot. Very clean, level lot. Well maintained. We arrived about 6:00 pm Thanksgiving week and found plenty of room to park a 45’ bus with a tow car. We went into the store and did grocery shopping and picked up something for dinner....
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13 reviews
Stromsburg, NE

Buckley Park Campground

Nov 19, 2023

"Great City Park Camping"

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It is quite a ways from the interstate. Still free with donations appreciated. Only one other camper there on a Saturday night in Nov. The park is next to train tracks but there were no trains going by. Road noise quiets down at night. It was fine in our camper. Not the best sites for a tent but doable. Lots of space for walking and pets....
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51 reviews
Nov 19, 2023

"Super quiet, but close to highway off ramp. Cell data was great. Clean and safe area"

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This is one of the best over overnight spots on our trip. Towing a 25ft camper we pulled in at 8pm and were the only ones there. No noise at all. There's water spigot and vaulted toilets, bbq Pavilions. Area was clean and safe.

1 review
Nov 04, 2023

"Great place not for big rigs but could fit if skilled"

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Great place beautiful sunsets over farm fields good pond for swimming and fishing. Cool table on dock so can eat at the water. Few bench around pond. Potable water and clean bathrooms. There is power outlet at shelter. Came in our skoolie and my brother with his truck and scamp. Quiet and beautiful spot. Will hear few shots from duck hunters in...
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6 reviews
Nov 02, 2023

"Lovely Place!"

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Donations requested but it’s free. They have electric and water at the sites (two sites share pedestal and water spigot) and a dump station here. Sign says up to 4 days allowed. Water was off when we were here because of winter temps. Really great walking paths along the creek, during the summer they have an aquatic center with two water slides....
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4 reviews