Best Free Camping in Oregon

Dispersed Camping Oregon

By Tania Griffis

When it comes to sleeping amongst stunning scenery and mild climates, it’s hard to compete with the state of Oregon. This beautiful state is filled with mountains, greenery, and plenty of opportunities to pitch a tent. Even better? This can often be done for low cost or even completely free.

However, there are only certain places where you can take advantage of free camping in Oregon. Read this guide to find out where you can safely participate in free or dispersed camping throughout the state.

See a map of all free camping in Oregon.

Is dispersed camping allowed in Oregon?

Yes, dispersed camping is allowed in Oregon and can be a wonderful way to explore the state. Dispersed camping is allowed in the state and national forests year-round, and the state does not require a permit or prior permission to do so.

While the Forest Service campgrounds in Oregon typically offer amenities such as fire rings, picnic tables, and in some cases plumbing, dispersed camping means you will not have access to any of these features.

Dispersed camping in Oregon is truly an adventure. While this type of camping does require extra know-how and experience, it can be a wonderful way to enjoy free camping in Oregon.

Campers are required to follow the Leave No Trace guidelines. These include regulations such as camping on bare soil rather than vegetation, keeping your campsite a minimum distance of 200 feet away from any water source, and removing all trash and debris from the site when you leave.

Free Camping on the Oregon Coast

If you are looking for dispersed camping on the Oregon coast, there are several opportunities available. Free camping is available outside of coastal state parks and outside of certain city limits.

These spots tend to be remote and hard to access. Campers should take care to note where high tide is and keep their tents well away from the shoreline.

Free Camping in Oregon in Public Lands

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) manages over 16 million acres of public land throughout Oregon and Washington. While some of these areas offer paid developed camping, dispersed camping on public lands is also an option.

Campers may not stay for longer than 14 days within a consecutive 28 day period. After the 14 days are exceeded, campers must move a minimum of 25 miles away to locate a new campsite.

Free State Park Camping Oregon

While state parks typically charge a fee to stay within their grounds and utilize camping spots, a few groups are exempt from this charge.

The state offers special camping passes to U.S. veterans with a service-related disability or active military on official leave. This pass allows for free parking and free camping in Oregon state parks, including RV sites, campsites, and horse campsites.

Additionally, several parks within the Oregon state park system will sometimes offer free yurts and cabins for groups of underrepresented campers such as people of color, disabled campers, and those who identify as LGBTQ.

Boondocking in Oregon

If you prefer to camp in an RV, boondocking in Oregon can be a simple—and fun—way to keep costs down. Boondocking is typically outside of developed campsites, meaning there is no water or hookups available. Parking overnight in a parking lot such as a Walmart is sometimes an option, but campers must get permission from the store manager before doing so.

With a little extra planning, campers can easily take advantage of free camping in Oregon and enjoy all the scenic wonders of this state.

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mobile device showing map of camping locations

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Recent Oregon Free Campsite Reviews

Nov 30, 2021

"Nice Spot"

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A great quiet overnight spot to stop for the night. It was a bit hard to find a level spot but not too bad and we had a nice view of the river. Easy on and off the road and the only negative would be the goat heads.

Jennifer Sexton
12 reviews
Nov 29, 2021

"Gun range and rocky is some spots "

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have a travel trailer and went all the way back to the water where the cows are because there’s supposed to be no shooting there. We found a little spot to take away but all day and into the night people are shooting, we couldn’t walk around because he didn’t know where you get hit by accident. And then folks at all also come to the back where...
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Fort Klamath, OR

Annie Creek Sno-Park

Nov 22, 2021

"pretty great dispersed camping"

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about as good as it gets for dispersed camping minus the crappy service pros: pit toilets, flat black top for parking big rigs, "community" fire pit, right outside of crater lake np cons: practically no service (could sometimes make phone calls but nothing more than that), not a lot of privacy unless you drive down a dirt road to one of...
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Paige Watson
34 reviews
Jordan Valley, OR

Antelope Reservoir

Nov 16, 2021

"Secluded and quiet! "

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This was a nice location to stop for a night. We have a massive 44 foot fifth wheel that we had no issues getting down here. Granted we were here November 15th and completely alone until well after dark. I can see that in the summer time we wouldn’t be able to fit as easily. The reservoir was drained out mostly, but it provided a nice bike ride....
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Nov 08, 2021

"Closed for camping-Day use only"

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We stayed here overnight November 8th, 2021. Beautiful location! The trains and highways didn't bother us at all; we slept like the dead! There is signs that say dayuse between signs when first entering. However, the Park Ranger let us know the next morning they are closed for camping for the season. Our reason for only 4 stars. BUT, we stayed...
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Lisa Behr
1 review