Best Free Camping in Nebraska

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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.

Recent Nebraska Free Campsite Reviews

Jul 23, 2024

"Great Free Spot! "

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Right off the highway and lots of space for all sized rigs. Minimal traffic noise and no issues spending the night. Felt safe! Pretty lake views! Would stay again!

Jul 23, 2024

"Can’t ask for much more"

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Stayed here July 22, 2024. I ended up just parking in the small lot next to the river right after you cross the bridge to the right. Figured it’d be better for bugs to be next to flowing water and not near the lake part of the area. Didn’t see a single mosquito, but they’ve never seemed to like me anyways. I went a little over a mile down the...
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karmathebum
19 reviews
Cairo, NE

Cairo Ball Fields

Jul 19, 2024

"Small Town Camping"

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We found this spot during a travel day lunch break. This small town free camping spot in little city parks are awesome! We spent two hours here, very quiet little town. The camping is east of the Cairo Ballfield, southwest of this small towns swimming pool. All three camping locations are adjacent to large open green space. There's one water...
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2sealsonwheels
7 reviews
Jul 19, 2024

"Great Overnight Free And Beautiful"

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What a great find! It’s donation-based but no one monitoring it. (4 night max) Nice shady spots with water and electric, a sewer available on your way in/out. But more importantly, it’s located in one of the nicest parks I’ve ever been to. Spent the morning taking the dog for a long walk on gravel bike paths all throughout the park. There’s a...
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Deganiser
8 reviews
Jul 18, 2024

"Good spot for a night"

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Nice overlook of the Missouri river. Not too much company just a few boats in and out of the launch. There is an electrical outlet inside the pit toilet.

camper-898817
1 review