Best Free Camping in New Hampshire

Free Camping in New Hampshire

New Hampshire is a small New England state nestled between Vermont and Maine that is sometimes overlooked, but campers who have discovered its beauty frequently trek back for more.

Pitching your tent or parking your RV in the National Forest is a popular option, as approximately 85% of New Hampshire is covered by forests.

Many east-coast residents find themselves planning a camping trip to New Hampshire, as it is only a 1 ½  hour drive from Portland, Maine (on the coast) or a 5 ½ hour scenic drive from New York City, New York.

Where can I camp for free in New Hampshire?

Are you looking for the best free camping in NH? Here are several options for you to try, whether you are camping in a tent or looking for camping areas where you can boondock in your RV.

White Mountain National Forest

Dispersed camping (undeveloped camping, without amenities) is an option in some areas in New Hampshire, including the White Mountain National Forest and some areas along the Appalachian Trail. Over 160 miles of the trail passes through New Hampshire.

White Mountain National Forest is one of only two New England National Forests (the other is Green Mountain National Forest in Vermont). This area allows for dispersed camping in established sites 200 feet away from water sources, trails, and developed campgrounds.

A popular area of the forest is the Pemigewasset Wilderness section, which has approximately 60 miles of maintained hiking trails.

Parking Lots

Occasionally, travelers will opt to stay overnight in a parking lot. If you opt for this route, be sure to get permission from management or security before setting up for the evening.

Wherever you decide to stay, make sure to practice the Leave No Trace principles by picking up all trash and leaving the area in excellent shape for the next camper to enjoy.

portable computer displaying map of camping locations
mobile device showing map of camping locations


Become a member & get access to features like:
Cell Coverage Maps
Public Land Overlays
Trail Map Layers
Ad Free

Recent New Hampshire Free Campsite Reviews

Bethlehem, NH

Haystack Road

Aug 24, 2021

"Nice Sites, Beautiful Area"

active staractive staractive staractive staractive star
Great area with 6-8 camping sites all spread out - lots of privacy. Some sites you can drive onto and some have rocks blocking off the site with parking next to the road. Was pretty busy, so it may be hard to get a spot. Signal was spotty - we have a WeBoost and got 3 bars of Verizon LTE with it. Without the WeBoost, it was 1 bar or no bars. A...
Read More

Vanessa Lansdale
22 reviews
Bethlehem, NH

Gale River Loop Road

Jul 31, 2021

"Good and bad at the same time, if you are over 25ft combined don't count on it... ... "

active staractive staractive starinactive starinactive star
I want to give 4 or 5 stars but I can't make the site more popular... We arrived in a Friday in August and all sites were taken, scouting for sites I asked one camper when he was leaving and I came back in the morning of the day he left to secure the spot, otherwise I would never got it here, not even 5 minutes of me arriving at least other 4...
Read More

Luis Ramos
6 reviews
Bethlehem, NH

Gale River Loop Road

Jul 22, 2021

"Great spot"

active staractive staractive staractive staractive star
Nice and private. Sites are well spaced all along the loop road. Mostly clean. Lots of trails for hiking. The river is beautiful. Plenty of room to boondock if the sites are all full, including a big turnaround/parking area at one end of the loop and a big pulloff on Rt 3 across from the other entrance at Trudeau Road. Supplies are 15 minutes...
Read More

Jefferson, NH

Jefferson Notch Road

Jul 17, 2021

"Dead Zone (But Quiet!)"

active staractive staractive starinactive starinactive star
All of our other boondocking were full so we stayed at Jefferson Notch road for a couple of nights while we scouted another spot. If you have a big rig, there is a large camping area (can probably fit 3-4 big rigs) that is easiest to access via the Valley Road entrance. However, there is absolutely no cell service here with Verizon. A booster...
Read More

Joseph Comings
5 reviews
Bethlehem, NH

Gale River Loop Road

May 21, 2021

"Nice dispersed camping, not all vehicle accessible "

active staractive staractive staractive staractive star
12 sites available along the gale river loop road. All sites are numbered. Check the forest Facebook page to make sure the road is open depending on the time of year. Forest rangers drove past a few times but never came to chat. Sites were nicely spread out. Not all sites can be driven into. Sites 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, and 9 you can drive a car right...
Read More