5 great boondocking spots
Monday, June 08, 2020
As national and state parks slowly open, their campgrounds are slower to open. Many RVers are ready to start traveling again. Boondocking is an ideal option to stay safe while seeing the country.
Most campsites are spread out with plenty of room to ramble. Many of these have great views and near hiking trails so you can enjoy the outdoors without the crowds. With boondocking, don’t expect restrooms or showers; those that have them may be closed due to the pandemic.
You will need to be self-contained with water, electricity, and using your gray and black tanks. However, another great thing about boondocking is that these sites are free or low-cost.
Below are five sites that are among forests or beaches or are in the mountains. I’m listing coordinates since they don’t necessarily have street addresses. These are some great spots to consider that appear to be open. Check the latest information online or with a phone call for any updates.
A wonderful trip to take is the Natchez Trace that runs through Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee. The road is limited access and has multiple quick stops that are open to learn more about the history and geology of the area.
There are three free campgrounds along the way. Rocky Springs Campground (32.0868, -90.7994) and Jeff Busby Campground (33.4171, -89.2689) are open. Meriwether Lewis Campground (35.5225, -87.456) is currently closed but may open soon.
Magnolia Beach sunset
Magnolia Beach, Texas
For a relaxing beach spot, go to Magnolia Beach (28.5585, -96.5335). There are campsites right off the beach with a shelter and table, but we enjoyed pulling right onto the sand where you can have a bit of a beach all to yourself.
Pull out your camp chairs and sit back to watch birds, the waves, and the occasional tanker pass by. Free for up to 14 days!
Ocala National Forest, Florida
Ocala National Forest (28.9885, -81.7847) has multiple sites for free or low-cost ($5-26 per night) camping. These spots are on sandy but navigable roads. You may even see a bear (we saw bear prints only). There are several springs nearby to cool off during the hot Florida day. Hiking and biking trails are also nearby.
West of Capitol Reef, Utah
Officially in Fishlake National Forest, this site (38.3267, -111.3641) is open and free. The major issues are street noise during the day if you camp near the road and the driveway is rocky and difficult but passable if you take it carefully.
Once you get past that, the view is gorgeous, the sky is dark for stargazing, and you are right between town (Torrey) for supplies and Capitol Reef National Park for trails.
Bureau of Land Management near Sunset Crater, Arizona
These campsites in Coconino National Forest (35.3728, -111.5856) are wonderful. Sites of various sizes are spread out along the roads in the area, so you have plenty of room to the next campsite. We could sit outside and smell Ponderosa pines, enjoy the view, and watch Abert’s squirrels and deer.
Plus, there are multiple things to do in the Flagstaff area if you want to leave your campsite. Camping is free for 14 days. There are at least seven different groups of these campsites, but I just listed the coordinates of one.
Check out freecampsites.net for other free or low-cost spots or use www.campendium.com and sort for free campsites. For more Bureau of Land Management campsites, go to blm.gov (click on Visit and Camping).
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