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12 Best States for Dispersed Camping

Camping on Cucamonga Peak (photo: Tommy Lisbin)

Are you an outdoor enthusiast looking for an off-the-beaten-path camping experience? Do you prefer the peace and quiet of nature to the bustling noise of a crowded campground? If so, dispersed camping might be just what you’re looking for.

Dispersed camping is a form of camping that takes place outside of designated campgrounds and recreational areas.

Camping on Cucamonga Peak (photo: Tommy Lisbin)
Camping on Cucamonga Peak (photo: Tommy Lisbin)

It allows campers to immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the great outdoors and experience a more secluded and private camping experience.

With its growing popularity, many states in the U.S. now offer dispersed camping opportunities for visitors.

Whether you’re a seasoned camper or a newcomer to the activity, you will find the perfect spot in one of the following states.

Dispersed Camping in the U.S.

Camping under the stars in Death Valley National Park, California  (photo: Wilson Ye)
Camping under the stars in Death Valley (photo: Wilson Ye)

1. California

With its diverse landscapes and mild year-round weather, California is a paradise for dispersed campers.

From the rugged coastline to the rolling hills of the Central Valley, there are countless places to set up camp and enjoy the beauty of the Golden State.

In particular, the Eastern Sierras offer breathtaking views and plenty of dispersed camping areas, with sites like the Mono Lake and Bodie State Park being popular destinations.

If you are looking for the best dispersed campsites in the Golden State, websites such as Outdoor Scott can be helpful.

The Tetons form a beautiful backdrop for dispersed camping in Wyoming  (photo: Karsten Winegeart)
The Tetons (photo: Karsten Winegeart)

2. Wyoming

With its wide open spaces and mesmerizing scenery, Wyoming is a top destination for dispersed camping.

From the Teton Range’s rugged peaks to the Great Plains’ rolling prairies, there are plenty of places to set up camp and enjoy the beauty of the Cowboy State.

The Bridger-Teton National Forest, the Shoshone National Forest, and the Bighorn National Forest are just a few picturesque locations for primitive camping in Wyoming.

Mount Baker in Washington, a fantastic state for dispersed camping (photo: Michael Denning)
Mount Baker (photo: Michael Denning)

3. Washington

With its lush forests, rugged coastline, and majestic mountains, Washington is a nature lover’s dream.

Dispersed camping is permitted in many national forests and BLM lands throughout the state, making it easy to find the perfect spot for a peaceful camping trip.

Popular areas for free camping include the Olympic National Forest, the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, and the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest.


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