Our Favorite Boondocking Spots
Orignal article written by Heartland RV owners, The Flying Hens and can be read here.
Two years ago, we took our very first RV vacation. We were total RV newbies, but that trip was THE BEST vacation we’ve ever taken as a family. Thanks to social media, we already knew about the idea of boondocking from some RV friends we met along the way. So on that very first RV trip we ever took, we tried out dry camping and we fell in LOVE! Fast forward a few months after that trip, we became full time RVers.
We knew right from the beginning of our RV Journey that the majority of our camping would be boondocking in the great wide open spaces of the west. For those who are new here, you may be wondering what I’m talking about. Boondocking is a style of camping where you are completely without hookups (no connection to water, power or sewer!) Generally, boondocking is free or cheap on most public lands across the USA. The perks of boondocking are that you get to park in places with AMAZING views and not have a neighboring RV eight feet away from you.
Here are some helpful blog posts about boondocking:
And here is a helpful video about boondocking basics over on our YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMatnKKJJXc&t=125s
Our Top 7 Favorite Boondocking Locations
We’ve been full-time traveling in our RV for over eighteen months now! We’ve visited some incredible places and I thought it was a great time to share some of our favorite boondocking spots we’ve visited so far. We bought our Heartland Cyclone 4007 because of its large tank capacity for the purpose of dry camping for long periods of time. All of these places were found on Campendium.
Lake Panosoffkee Wildlife Management Area (Central Florida)
Boondocking in Florida? You betcha! This was one of our favorite boondocking locations in Florida. Lake Panosoffkee allows FREE dry camping here for up to 14 days (reservation required!) This area is mostly a large open field, which is perfect for solar, but also has some shaded spots further back. Amenities include water spigots, picnic tables and fire rings, as well as a bathroom (no shower.)
We loved Lake Panosoffkee because of the above amenities as well as the LOCATION. This area is a perfect place to base out of to explore all that Central Florida has to offer.
See availability and make free online reservation here.
Lone Rock Beach (Page, Utah)
We’ve camped here three times we love this place so much! Lone Rock Beach offers dry camping *on the beach* overlooking the water. Amenities include cold outdoor showers, toilets, dumpsters, RV dump, and water spigots! The price for camping is a small fee of $14/night (no reservations needed), which isn’t bad for all the amenities and beautiful views!
It’s important to note that if you drive over the border to Arizona (to go into town or experience local attraction), there is an hour time change! There is a Walmart, laundry mat and several restaurants in the town of Page that is about a 15 minute drive away.
Bootjack Dispersed Camping (Island Park, ID)
This spot was secluded and GORGEOUS! The road to get to our spot was a little rutted, but we were able to park right along the river. There were plenty of areas to park in the fields and trees that are easily accessible though. I loved this spot for the views, but the location is fantastic too! Located about 20 minutes from the entrance of West Yellowstone, this is a great location for exploring the western areas of Yellowstone National Park. Camping here is free, and the max stay is 14 days.
Willow Springs Dispersed Camping (Moab, Utah)
This is a very popular spot for boondocking near Moab. There are absolutely no amenities here (although I did see a porta-potty) but this spot is free and is convenient to Arches NP, Dead Horse State Park and Canyonlands NP. The views are great too!
FYI: Moab is a fairly small town with only ONE very small laundry mat. Moab does offer several grocery stores, plenty of restaurants as well as gas stations with water full and sewer dump.
The Wall (Wall, South Dakota)
We go to the Wall for the VIEWS! Located in Wall, South Dakota, this spot is just outside Badlands NP. You can park anywhere along “The Wall” which is a several mile stretch overlooking the Badlands. There are no amenities here but it is free! Down the road is also Wall Drug which is a popular tourist destination. You must visit to try their famous 5 cent coffee and homemade donuts!
Wall, South Dakota is a very small town. Stock up on groceries and essentials before you arrive. There are small stores in town for the basics.
Government Wash (Boulder City, Nevada)
This was a new boondocking spot for us this year. Located about 35 minutes from the Vegas Strip, Government Wash is a surprisingly beautiful place to boondock. Camping here is free if you have a Park Pass to enter the National Recreational Area (America the Beautiful Pass works!) The only amenities here are dumpsters, which is always appreciated! The views overlooking the lake are beautiful and make for spectacular sunsets. This spot is also close to Valley of Fire State Park and the Hoover Dam.
Just outside of the Recreational Area are several towns with laundromats and all the shopping places you could ask for! There is also a nearby RV park to fill water and dump tanks.
Antelope Springs Dispersed Camping (Moose, Wyoming)
Antelope Springs Dispersed Camping is located just outside of Grand Teton National Park. I’m not sure how we ended up being able to fit in this camping area, but we did! There are actual designated spots for camping and we found a spot that would fit our 44’ RV. Most people in this area are tent campers or have much smaller RVs. This has to be one of our favorite boondocking spots of all time, because, THE VIEWS. This is a perfect location for exploring Grand Teton National Park and Jackson Hole. There’s a maximum stay of 5 days, but it’s free!
Jackson Hole is about a 20 minute drive away and offers a few grocery stores, plus plenty of restaurants!
Harvest Hosts/ Boondockers Welcome
Have you heard of Harvest Hosts? As a full time RVer (or even part time) we highly recommend getting a membership. A Harvest Host Membership gives you access to boondock for a one night stay at over 2500+ locations across the country (and even Canada!)- like wineries, museums, and farms. These stays are perfect for stop overs during a cross country RV trip. A Harvest Host yearly membership is only $99, and you can get 15% with our code here. It pays for itself after two stays verses staying at an RV park, but the experiences are worth it all! Please note that you should patronize the host by purchasing something that they offer- like beer, wine, museum tour, or whatever other goods they offer.
Harvest Hosts recently acquired Boondockers Welcome as well, so your annual membership gives you access to an additional 2900+ locations of hosts offering their private property to stay for 1-5 days.
We have a few favorite Harvest Host Locations:
Paw Paw Pecans (Arkansas)
This is our favorite HH spot ever. It was pecan harvest season when we visited, and the owner let our kids in on the action. He gave them special tools and buckets to collect pecans on the ground, and gave them money for every pound collected to spend in the gift shop! We all had such a fun time doing this, plus we enjoy chasing the cats, watching chickens, and seeing the cute puppies on property. There was so much room to run around and play after a long travel day.
Tuscan Hills Winery (Illinois)
This was a perfect stop for us! Tuscan Hills Winery offers beautiful views overlooking a cornfield, a large parking lot, and beautiful family-friendly property! We stayed over a weekend where there was live outdoor entertainment. We ordered a delicious pizza and enjoyed wine while our kids danced to the music.
Montrose Orchards (Michigan)
We had a fantastic stay at this location. The owner allowed us to pick however many blueberries we wanted, and they were so delicious! Must order their homemade donuts before you leave. This location had a large field to park in with beautiful views overlooking the blueberry fields.
Landry Vineyards (Louisiana)
We stopped here overnight on our way back from Florida coming to Texas. This winery offers large parking spaces overlooking the vineyards and it was just so pretty! We enjoyed a wine tasting while our kiddos were treated to a coloring book session at a separate table.
These are fabulous Boondockers Welcome Hosts:
Treyarnon’s in Marianna, Florida
Located in the Florida panhandle, this Boondockers Welcome host was the perfect overnight stop for us as we traveled to Central Florida. Not only were the hosts SUPER friendly, they had FULL HOOKUPS! Our RV spot overlooked the large pond, and the hosts invited us to chat over the campfire that they made for their guests. She even made homemade peanut brittle to share!
Not all Boondockers Welcome hosts have full hookups, so this place is a gem!
Candy Cane Corral in New Boston, TX
We stopped here overnight on our way to Big Bend National Park. The hosts are the most adorable couple we’ve ever seen and keep their Christmas decorations up all year long. They had a water and power hookup available as well! The host was a superstar at helping us maneuver our 43’ RV around a large tree on their property.