Camp for Free near Yellowstone and Other Places in Wyoming
If you are seeking wide-open spaces where you can enjoy solitude, Wyoming may be just the place for your next camping adventure. As the least populous state in the U.S., free camping in Wyoming can be adventurous and visually stunning. Here’s what you need to know about free camping in WY.
Can you Camp in Yellowstone for Free?
One of the biggest attractions for campers visiting Wyoming is Yellowstone National Park. It’s no wonder—Yellowstone is one of the most picturesque national parks in the United States. Campers can spend their time marveling at Old Faithful or observing wildlife including bison, elk, bears, and others.
Camping at a designated campground comes with fees, and depending on how long you plan to camp for, the cost can add up quickly. Luckily, there are some ways you can take advantage of free camping near Yellowstone.
The one caveat to this is you will need to camp outside the park in Montana and Idaho rather than in Wyoming itself. Fortunately, the states are close enough that it is likely worth the short drive if you plan on camping around Yellowstone for free.
Camping for Free in Wyoming on BLM Lands
There are plenty of other options for free camping in Wyoming besides the Yellowstone National Park area. BLM Wyoming, which stands for Bureau of Land Management, manages the publicly owned land throughout the state.
Nearly half of WY is BLM-managed land. Dispersed camping is allowed on most BLM land away from developed recreation facilities. There is no fee for dispersed camping, but campers should be aware of the rules and regulations. Some of these include:
- Obey stay limits. Campers are permitted to stay in one spot on BLM land for 14 days. After that, they must move at least 25 miles away from that spot, and cannot return to the original campsite for 28 days. This important rule helps prevent the overuse of resources in any one given area.
- Closed for camping signs. Some areas may be closed to camping in order to protect the wildlife or natural resources.
- Honor Leave No Trace principles. This includes choosing pre-existing campsites that have durable ground to stay on, packing out all trash and waste, and practicing fire safety.
- Respect private property. Not all land is BLM-managed. You may not take advantage of free camping in Wyoming by occupying private property. The BLM map overlays on Campendium can help you determine if you are staying somewhere camping is permitted.
Camping for Free in Wyoming in National Forests
The national forests in Wyoming are generally available for dispersed camping. Each forest has rules regarding how long a camper can stay in one spot, so be sure to double-check before you make plans to camp.
National Forests in Wyoming
- Ashley National Forest
- Bighorn National Forest
- Bridger National Forest
- Bridger-Teton National Forest
- Buffalo Valley Dispersed Campsites
- Caribou-Targhee National Forest
- Medicine Bow National Forest
- Medicine Bow - Routt National Forest
- Shoshone National Forest
- Spread Creek Dispersed Campsites
- Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest
Camping at Wyoming Rest Stops
While you cannot pitch a tent or extend your slides at a Wyoming rest stop, the state does allow drivers who feel drowsy and unable to drive to nap or sleep in their car.