Best Camping in North Dakota

Camping in North Dakota

By Alex Murphy

North Dakota, known for its portrayal in the movie Fargo, also has a National Park, wild grasslands, and miles of state to check out in one of the least populated places in the country.

Bordering Canada, Montana, South Dakota, and Minnesota, the state has pleasant summer temps and bitterly cold winters and has plenty of great camping in North Dakota for visitors to enjoy.

See a map of all camping in North Dakota.

North Dakota State Parks

There are 16 North Dakota State Parks spread across the state with many different attractions, including ice fishing, hiking, and canoeing.

As the name suggests, Lake Sakakawea State Park is on a lake with easy fishing access and has some of the most popular state park camping in North Dakota.

Cross Ranch State Park sits on the Missouri River and has great views of a nearby bison herd, while Little Missouri State Park is on the banks of the Little Missouri River and is made up of badlands giving the area some of the most interesting terrain ND State Parks has to offer.

North Dakota National Parks

Theodore Roosevelt National Park has a distinctive name and is unique as it's separated into three different parts across the western part of the state. While the area is mostly made up of badlands, the Little Missouri River also flows through the park, and there are more than 100 miles of hiking and horseback riding trails for visitors to use.

Camping in Theodore Roosevelt is broken into different areas, with popular camping at Juniper Campground in the northern part of the park and Cottonwood Campground located in the southern part of the park.

North Dakota RV Parks

Campers can find many North Dakota RV Parks across the I-94 corridor.

When traveling across North Dakota, the first city you hit heading east to west is Fargo, the state's largest and most populated city. Travelers can find camping near Fargo at Days Inn RV park just outside city limits.

Bismarck, the capital of North Dakota is more centrally located, and although it's smaller than Fargo, the city still has plenty of shops and restaurants. Visitors can stay within city limits at the Bismarck KOA.

Finally, heading west on I-94 right before Montana, campers will find Theodore Roosevelt National Park and some of the most outdoorsy camping in North Dakota. Boots Campground is a popular destination in the state with views of the Badlands.

Free Camping in North Dakota

The majority of the free camping in North Dakota can be found in the southwest corner of the state, near North Dakota's National Park and National Forest land.

Scoria Pit Dispersed Camping is in the Little Missouri National Grassland and has more campground reviews than other locations in the state. Not far from Scoria Pit is the Painted Canyon Visitor Center within Theodore Roosevelt National Park and is a popular place to camp based on Campendium reviews.

Several city parks in North Dakota allow free camping. Topping the list of most reviews for these parks is Michigan City Park, not far from Grand Forks on the eastern side of the state.

North Dakota National Forests

Little Missouri National Grassland in western North Dakota is surprisingly hilly for a protected grassland, but that only adds to the views. The Grassland is near many other outdoor destinations and has popular camping sites such as Wannagan Campground and Magpie Campground.

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mobile device showing map of camping locations


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Recent North Dakota Campground Reviews

Nov 29, 2021

"Very helpful Park Rangers and an amazing park."

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I pulled in here this past June 25th without reservations. The campground was pretty crowded, and though there were quite a few sites long enough for my class A and trailer - they were all full. The park rangers stopped as I was looking for a spot and told me I could park on the parking apron near the pay station if I liked - it was flat and...
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2 reviews
Valley City, ND

Moon Lake

Nov 29, 2021

"A beautiful quiet area"

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I found this campsite this past June. My gps took me on a wild goose chase and put me at the far end of the lake. Giving up the gps I tried dead-reckoning and found it easily. When I pulled in mid afternoon there was one couple picnicing there and plenty of room for my 36' footer and 20' car trailer. Very quiet and peaceful, beautiful lake view,...
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2 reviews
Sentinel Butte, ND

Buffalo Gap Campground

Nov 22, 2021

"great campground but NO service"

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drove up, found a spot, and paid at the kiosk. showed up around 5pm and there were plenty of spots open in August. nice campsite with water spigot nearby and pit toilets. not a good place to do work if you need service, but other than that's its close to the park and really nice!

34 reviews
Nov 14, 2021

"Nice for a quick overnight in Bismark, not far from I-94"

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We were just passing through on our way to Montana in late September. This was a reasonably priced site, it was nice an level blacktop with lots of spacing between sites. We only had a 30 amp electrical hookup. The bathrooms were clean and showers were hot. We used the dump station on exiting with no issues. There were plenty of open...
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Big Lor
9 reviews
Oct 26, 2021

"Nice park, friendly people!"

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We came here the last 2 weeks of October to duck hunk. It's a very small park just off the road set on a pretty little body of water. The sites adequate and easy to back in to with full hook ups. There were trees behind the sites and green grass between each and a fire pit and wood were provided. The camp host, Ed, was a really nice guy and fun...
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1 review