Best Free Camping in Oregon

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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.

Recent Oregon Free Campsite Reviews

Rufus, OR

Giles French Park

Jul 09, 2024

"Easy safe spot but ridiculous Rangers knocking!!!!"

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So I have been her many times before. Great place along the river. Native Americans tend to their flushing platforms here, so they can come to it in the middle of the night to check their nets. They are harmless, just stay a bit away from their platforms and give them their access so they can fold their nets out on land. BUT!! There is...
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22 reviews
La Grande, OR

Morgan Lake

Jul 08, 2024

"Quiet Lake With Decent Views "

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Steep climb but doable in our Promaster. Not really set up for big rigs but good for smaller rigs and tents. Busy day use area in the summer but quiet at night. Nice lake. Even went for a swim off the swim dock. And still free as of July 2024.

2 reviews
Jul 04, 2024

"BEWARE of Mice!"

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Ive been on the road full time for about 3 years and have never ran into any issues with my mice (luckily) until this spot. Was away from the rig one day running errands and then lots of little footprints appeared in the dirt/sand. Site itself, minus the mice, is just okay, close proximity to Bend & Sisters and being free are really the only perk.

5 reviews
Jul 02, 2024

"Cell Service, Level, No Hassle Outweighs Trains, Traffic "

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It’s a parking lot at a river access point and park. There are picnic tables, bathrooms and dumpsters here that for us made it worth a two day stop to regroup and relax before hitting the road again. NOTABLE- the trains blare through every couple of hours, sometimes with the horns sometimes without. If sound is an issue for you, this won’t do.

5 reviews
Jul 02, 2024

"Great Spot with TONS of spaces"

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We rolled up at 9:20 (on a monday night) and we were still able to find something. Admittedly had to drive about 3 mins down a well maintained dirt road but not a problem. Super close to down town and very quiet.