This summer, we went on a road trip through some of the West Coast’s best national parks. Over the course of two weeks, we only paid for two campsites! How? Dispersed camping.
Dispersed camping, or freedom camping, or boondocking, or primitive camping are all words that refer to camping for free outside of developed campgrounds. Since moving to California, dispersed camping has become my main camping method due to the increasing popularity and congestion at many established campgrounds.
Here are some of my favorite perks of dispersed camping:
- It’s completely FREE!!!!
- I love a good deal, and free is about the best deal out there.
- No crowds!
- Because dispersed camping involves a little more work, you won’t find yourself camping near 300 of your closest friends.
- Great views!
- The views and overall atmosphere while dispersed camping is (in my opinion) much better than in developed campgrounds. Usually dispersed sites are in national forests, and away from civilization. Say hello, to beautiful starry nights.
- Getting to dispersed campsites involves a bit more adventure and exploration than finding the KOA on the side of the highway. Thus, you can expect to have a great time!
Hopefully by now, you’re convinced to give dispersed camping a go. There are two free camping areas that I know of near Joshua Tree:
1) There’s a BLM area north of the park just off of highway 62. Turn north on Sunfair Road and then turn right onto Sunflower Road. A little ways down Sunflower road, you will see a large area for camping.
2) There are also multiple BLM free camping areas to the South of Joshua Tree National Park. There is one spot to the West of Cottonwood Springs road and there are a couple spots to the East of Cottonwood Spring road.
Check out the map below for specific locations of some great campsites!
Those are my favorite free campsites near Joshua Tree National Park. Please leave a comment below if you want to divulge some of your favorite Joshua Tree campsites.
Once you’re done, you should also check out these free camping guides: