Frequently Asked Question

How have you identified the US Forest Service dispersed camping locations?

Last Updated 3 years ago

Our information is based on the Motor Vehicle Use Maps (MVUM’s) for each national forest.These maps designate quite clearly where dispersed camping is allowed. In general, along the designated roads dispersed camping is allowed within 300 feet of the road, although some Forests have other restrictions. Of course, there are many thousands of such locations, too many to include each and every spot. We have traveled via Google Earth along each of the Forest Service roads and picked out the most obvious locations for inclusion in our database. In areas where the forest canopy is thick, of course, it’s pretty much impossible to see sites from above.

Some of the sites we see in our search we do not include because they are not within 300 feet of the road or they are along a road which is not designated for camping. If you choose to use any sites in those areas, you do so at the risk of being asked to move on by rangers.

We have found it difficult to classify these dispersed locations as to type of camping (RV vs Tent) or appropriate sized rigs, so we urge you to do a little homework before heading out to these remote sites. Take a few minutes to check a satellite view of the location (our apps provide that capability). We also highly recommend that you stop in at district ranger offices and talk to rangers for some guidance on local rules. They may also be able to point out some suitable locations that we have missed.

Be aware that these dispersed locations come in all shapes and sizes. Some are nothing more than a pull-off along the road while others are a short distance off the road and may be in a very pleasant spot beside a river or pond. As for RV suitability, many are not suitable for big Class A DP’s, but vans, truck campers and pickup trucks towing trailers may be just fine.

Season information, road accessibility and road numbers are taken from the MVUM’s and the USFS Interactive Visitor’s Map. The USFS road numbers occasionally differ from Google Earth and other maps.

Please note that sites may have been closed for various reasons and access may be difficult in some cases. We have done our best to provide as much information as possible, but we cannot be held responsible for errors in details.

We are providing our dispersed camping information to assist those who are more adventurous and like the sense of independence and solitude not found in a designated formal campground park.

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