10 Free Campgrounds in Oregon and How to Find More

Nothing beats free camping, especially when in it’s in a beautiful place like Oregon.

This state is home to Crater Lake National Park, Multnomah Falls, and Haystack Rock, as well as many other outdoor activities. It puts Oregon at the top of the list for places to take your RV camping. 

Paid RV campsites can make traveling on a budget more difficult plus, many require a reservation, spoiling any attempts at spontaneity.

Fortunately, Oregon has tons of ‘first come, first serve’, or dispersed camping options. This is because public lands make up 64% of the state’s land mass. Free camping is easy to find in Oregon—as long as you know what to look for.

Some people just use their map or GPS to find secluded spots, while others drive down random forest roads hoping to find a scenic spot with room for their RV.

Overall, free camping requires a little effort on your part, and lacks the amenities you’ll find at paid sites; however, if you love isolation, and a private piece of Oregon’s gorgeous landscapes, it’s the best way to camp. Unfortunately, the local government requires campers to make reservations for its state parks. 

These campgrounds and camping areas fill fast, and make it difficult to reserve last-minute. Some of these also require a fee, making your RV trip more expensive.

Don’t worry though, in order to help you camp on a budget, we’ve outlined everything you need to know about boondocking in Oregon. From what to expect, what to pack, and most importantly, how to find best places to legally camp for free in Oregon.

Where and How Do You Find Free RV Camping Spots in Oregon?

You’ll find federally designated public lands all over Oregon. It’s completely legal to camp on any of this land (unless otherwise specified).

The exact places you can use for free camping are as follows:

  • Bureau of Land Management (BLM)
  • National Forest Land
  • Wildlife Management Areas (WMA)
  • National Grasslands
  • County Parks & City Parks – Not all, so check signs or contact the city department
  • Trailheads – Not all, so check signs or contact a ranger 
  • Rest Stops (Check for blue signs that ban overnight parking)
  • A few Commercial Parking lots (Cracker Barrel, Cabelas, etc.). Call, and ask the business for permission first. 

Best Apps and Tools for Finding Free RV Campsites in Oregon

Even with the above information it can still be difficult to find public land. Afterall, they often lack signs delineating them as a public space.

We found these apps and tools to help you search for specific, free RV campsites in Oregon

1. The Dyrt (iOS, Android, Web Browser) (FREE)

This app will allow you to find outdoor accommodations across Oregon, whether you’re in a tent, trailer, RV, or cabin. It provides millions of listings, reviews, prices, and tips from other campers who have already visited.

2. Free Campsites (Web Browser) (FREE)

Gotta love simplicity. And that’s exactly what Free Campsites provides. The site allows you to plan a travel route through Oregon with their ‘trip planner’ option.

Not only will it provide text directions, but it’ll also show you any and all RV campsites along your way through The Beaver State (free, or otherwise).

Unfortunately, there’s no app for this tool yet, but it’s easily accessible through most web browsers. 

3. Campendium (iOS, Android, Web Browser) (FREE)

Campendium is the prettier, more user-friendly version of Free Campsites. It also provides you with more options than just finding RV campsites. You can use filters to locate any, and every, type of outdoor accommodation.

It provides a plethora of useful information for RV-ers as well, including: last paid price, longest RV reported at site, and clearance access information.

And while it doesn’t have an app yet, you can add the Campendium’s icon to your phone’s home screen by following these helpful instructions (iOS / Android).

If All Else Fails, Use Your Map and Drive Down a Random Dirt Road

You spent a weekend binge-watching all the Tomb Raider movies, and now you feel like having an adventure of your own.

Sweet! Ditch the apps and pick up a good ol’ map of Oregon. New maps will show you where you can find National Forest land as well as BLM and other public lands.

You can drive down any road as long as there isn’t a sign telling you not to. If there’s no signs than you can pull off 200ft from the road and camp for 14 days on average. 

Important Tips for Camping in Oregon

Oregon covers a space of 98,466 square miles. That enormous land area contains everything from desert sand dunes to pine forests to white sand beaches.

Needless to say, it’s an environmentally diverse place to attempt an RV camping trip. 

It’s both exciting and perilous to stay in such unpredictable terrain. Furthermore, all of Oregon goes to great lengths to preserve its wilderness.

There’s certain laws and rules in place to achieve this mission. We’ve included them to help you enjoy a safe and legal camping trip. Here’s our important tips when camping in Oregon:

14-16 Day Limit, 60 Consecutive Day Reset Period

As the old adage goes: nothing is for free. Fortunately, this claim falls short in Oregon (kinda).

You can camp for free on public lands in Oregon; HOWEVER, there’s a time limit. On average, free campsites in Oregon have a 14-16 day limit.

Usually, the ‘maximum camping period allowed’ is posted in the area, but if it’s not, you should probably hit the road after two weeks. 

If you still want to camp after this initial period just move 25 miles away, and camp for another 14 days.

After that, however, you need to wait 28 consecutive days before you’re allowed to camp in the area again.

Pack in, Pack Out

Oregon is beautiful, pristine, and should stay that way! It’s difficult for government workers to keep wildlife preserves clean, especially the free campsites contained within them.

Give them a hand, by leaving no trace. This means taking all trash, human waste, and other refuse with you. Doing otherwise can result in fines, and worse, a degradation of nature.

Fire Restrictions

Fear Smoky the Bear. If you commit arson, even accidentally, he’ll send your sorry butt to prison. Stay on Smoky the Bear’s good side and stay out of prison.

In all seriousness, take caution using open flames. Check the fire restrictions specific to your campsite in Oregon.

The state usually maintains a state-wide fire ban. Always call a ranger station to make sure having a fire is okay.

Pack a Rain Jacket 

Oregon is known for its rain. In fact, it gets around 180-200 inches of rain in its coastal cities every year.

Bring a good rain jacket, a thick sleeping bag for the cold nights, and extra propane to run your heater overnight. 

10 Coolest Spots To Camp For Free In Oregon

We’re here to make your search for free RV campsites in Oregon easier! We combed the internet for the RV campsites with the most amenities, the top things to do and see nearby, as well as the most beautiful surrounding nature and wildlife.

Here are the 10 of the best boondocking locations and free campsites in Oregon:

  • Odessa Campground – Fremont-Winema National Forest
  • Oak Flat – Rogue-Siskiyou National Forest
  • Rufus Landing Recreation Area – Rufus
  • Barnhouse Campground – Ochoco National Forest
  • Alder Springs Campground – Willamette National Forest
  • Three Forks Campground – Owyhee Canyonlands
  • Mineral Camp Campground – Umpqua National Forest
  • Mt. Ashland Campground – Ashland
  • Blue Heron Cheese Company –  Tillamook
  • Marion Forks Dispersed Camping – Willamette National Forest

1. Odessa Campground – Fremont-Winema National Forest

Odessa-Campground-–-Fremont-Winema-National-Forest
@campanda_

Situated around 35 minutes west of Klamath Falls, this campsite features large ponderosa pines and Douglas firs which provide cover and privacy between campsites.

It’s a great birding spot but make sure you bring bug spray in June and July.

These months see a lot of mosquito activity. Overall, it’s a gorgeous spot in Fremont-Winema National Forest. 

Why do we love it?

You’ll get a happy medium between secluded camping and accessibility to modern comforts. You get all the outdoor activities within walking distance of your trailer.

These include swimming, fishing, boating, hiking, and more. Furthermore, its location near the highway gives you quick access to nearby gas stations. 

Location: Odessa Campground

RV Campsite Information

  • Maximum RV length reported: 35ft
  • Number of sites: 6
  • Amenities: Vault toilets, picnic table, fire pit, and boat ramp 
  • Max Stay: 14 Days 

Top Things to do Nearby

  • Upper Klamath Lake – The largest freshwater lake west of the Rockies. You’ll find plenty to do here, including: picnicking, fishing, and other water sports. 
  • Collier Memorial State Park – features a museum for historic logging equipment, a pioneer village, a new horse camp and a hiking trailhead.
  • Upper Klamath National Wildlife Refuge – You can view tons of birds here and take a self-guided canoe tour.  

For more information on RV camping in Odessa Campground visit HERE

2. Oak Flat – Rogue-Siskiyou National Forest

Oak-Flat-–-Rogue-Siskiyou-National-Forest
@heartsill_shalomsweden

Set along the Illinois River, Oak Flat Campground offers visitors a chance to explore Oregon in a more secluded fashion.

Visitors should visit in the summer when the beautiful weather encourages wildlife, both plant and animal, to flourish. 

Why do we love it?

The biggest draw for this campsite is its nearby lazy river. You can spend the day floating down it with a beer in hand and a summer sun warming you.

If you’d rather engage in more strenuous activity you can fish, hike, or go horse backing. It’s the outdoors enthusiast’s paradise!

Location: Oak Flat Campground

RV Campsite Information

  • Maximum RV length reported: Small RVs only (No specific size reported)
  • Number of sites: 15
  • Amenities: Picnic Tables, Vault Toilets, and fire pits
  • Max Stay: 14 Days, every 28 days 

Top Things to do Nearby

  • Tubing Down the Illinois River – Nothing beats a cold drink, a lazy river, and a warm summer day. You couldn’t get more relaxed anywhere else in the world. 
  • Hike to Rainie Falls Overlook – A 2-mile trail to Rainie Falls that immerses you in a breathtaking landscape. You can fish for salmon along the river or simply take a picture of this incredibly landscape. 
  • Wolf Creek State Park – Everything that’s great about Oregon in one little park. You can spend an entire day here and still not get bored. 

For more information on RV camping in Oak Flat Campground visit HERE

3. Rufus Landing Recreation Area – Rufus

Rufus-Landing-Recreation-Area-–-Rufus
@breeliciously

The biggest free RV campsite on our list. This enormous gravel lot overlooks a beautiful alpine lake.

Its just off Highway 84 and easily accessible, making it a somewhat busy rest stop for weary travelers. Nonetheless, this area has plenty to offer with modern comforts nearby!

Why do we love it?

A trailhead within walking distance gives visitors quick access to the Colombia River.

The snaking body of water offers outdoors activities galore! This campsite is also great because it puts you within driving distance of Rufus, a small town.

That means you can easily buy more provisions and extend your RV camping trip for as long as you want. 

Location: Rufus Landing Recreation Area

RV Campsite Information

  • Maximum RV length reported: 50ft
  • Number of sites: NA 
  • Amenities: Vault Toilet
  • Max Stay: 14 days, every 28 days

Top Things to do Nearby

  • Check out Mary Hill Museum – A secluded mansion renovated to function as a museum of modern art. The pieces contained within are eclectic and diverse in their subject matter, making for an interesting afternoon.   
  • LePage Park – Located at the confluence of two rivers. Popular activities include fishing, swimming, boating, and water-skiing.
  • Marvel at John Day Lock Dam – This formidable dam stretches across the Columbia River and supplies visitors with a number of activities. 

For more information on RV camping in Rufus Landing Recreation Area visit HERE

4. Barnhouse Campground – Ochoco National Forest

Barnhouse-Campground-–-Ochoco-National-Forest
@sarahemilywibbenmeyer

A spot teeming with wildlife, and nestled among enormous ponderosa pine trees only a few miles from the highway. 

Coyotes and owls fill the area with sound on warm evenings and the occasional rancher will graze their livestock nearby.

The area also hosts a trailhead for the Barnhouse Trail (#813) situated in the campground’s northwest corner.

Why do we love it?

There’s plenty to do near this secluded campground. You can explore the fossil beds nearby or hike around the famous painted hills.

Either way you’re going to enjoy an RV camping trip with tons of outdoor activities.

If you want a camping trip where you don’t need to drive to do something fun, this is the campsite for you. 

Location: Barnhouse Campground

RV Campsite Information

  • Maximum RV length reported: 25ft
  • Number of sites: 6
  • Amenities: Vault toilets, picnic tables, fire pits
  • Max Stay: 14 days

Top Things to do Nearby

  • Spend a Day (Or a Night) at Walton Lake – This beautiful alpine lake offers every water sport you can imagine. Go swimming, fish for some salmon, or cruise around on your paddleboard. 
  • Go to Big Summit Prairie in the Spring – In April the wildflowers bloom, turning this high elevation prairie into a scene from a storybook. Much of this area is private so be aware of ‘no trespassing’ signs.  
  • Check Out the Views from Lookout Mountain – If you want to see Ochoco National Forest in all of her glory hike to Lookout Mountain’s summit. It’s a relatively easy hike with a big pay-off. 

For more information on RV camping in Barnhouse Campground visit HERE

5. Alder Springs Campground – Willamette National Forest

Alder-Springs-Campground-–-Willamette-National-Forest
@desertheathertravels

A small, rustic campsite right off the historic McKenzie Pass Highway deep in the heart of Willamette National Forest.

The area is blanketed in towering Douglas fir trees and makes for a perfect getaway spot on a warm day.

Nearby you’ll find access to Linton Lake Trailhead across the highway from the campground. 

Why do we love it?

The three musts of any campsite, include: clean, quiet, and beautiful. This campsite hits all three! It’s right next to a gentle river with plenty of amazing views and opportunities for fishing and non-motorized watercraft.

Plus, its secluded location has helped it remain hidden from the crowds. In other words you won’t find a lot of trash or noise. Perfect for a peaceful getaway!

Location: Alder Springs Campground

RV Campsite Information

  • Maximum RV length reported: Parking at the trailhead seems kosher and can accommodate RVs of 32ft. Going beyond it may stop most larger RVs. 
  • Number of sites: 6
  • Amenities: Vault Toilets, fire ring, picnic tables
  • Max Stay: 14 days in a 60-day period

Top Things to do Nearby

  • Get a Picture with the Three Sisters – Alright, frat boys, chill. These sisters are a group of three mountains. Their snow-capped peaks offer a perfect opportunity to snap a picture. 
  • Terwilliger Hot Springs – It seems like Oregon has as many relaxing hot springs as it does amazing campgrounds. Take advantage of them by bringing a swim suit and going for a dip. 
  • Check Out Clear Lake – The water filters through subterranean caves for over 20 years before emptying into Clear Lake. Therefore, it’s a perfect place for diving and swimming in the summer. 

For more information on RV camping in Alder Springs Campground visit HERE

6. Three Forks Campground – Owyhee Canyonlands

Three-Forks-Campground-–-Owyhee-Canyonlands
@landscape_lurker

Visit this campground at your own risk. The road leading up to it is impassable when it’s raining, and even during a dry day, 4-wheel drive is required to navigate it.

Your hard work will pay-off though, as the area features a hot spring and several rivers containing fish of all different species and sizes. 

Why do we love it?

Great place for those looking to go full primitive. There are no amenities here, and thus, less campers.

The nearby hot springs offers respite for those seeking relaxation while the nearby rivers overflow with salmon in case you’d rather go fishing.

You’re unlikely to run in to any other campers out here. Much of this area belongs to private parties who allow campers to take advantage of the pristine landscape.

Please respect their kindness by keeping the area clean. 

Location: Three Forks Campground

RV Campsite Information

  • Maximum RV length reported: N/A (Some people say you need 4WD to access while others say they risked the drive with 2WD successfully) 
  • Number of sites: 4 designated sites
  • Amenities: None
  • Max Stay: 14 days, every 28 days. Much of the surrounding area is privately owned so please be respectful.  

Top Things to do Nearby

  • Hot Springs – This outdoor lover’s paradise exudes small town charm. You’ll find quaint coffee shops, weathered bookstores, and even a merry-go-round. It’s 10 minutes from the campsite.
  • Three Forks River – Step from your RV and find yourself at the intersection of three separate rives, each overflowing with numerous fish. It’s an anglers dream come true!
  • Bruneau Canyon Overlook – An easy way to see some breathtaking views. Take your RV to the top and gaze out across 60 miles of gorgeous canyon wilderness. 

For more information on RV camping in Three Forks Campground visit HERE.

7. Mineral Camp Campground – Umpqua National Forest

Mineral-Camp-Campground-–-Umpqua-National-Forest
@traveling_with_tee

A small campground located near Sharps Creek and surrounded by thick forests of Douglas fir.

You’ll find it at the base of the historic Hardscrabble Grade. It functioned as a rest point for miners before they made the steep climb to higher elevations. 

Why do we love it?

This isolated gem offers one of the most primitive experiences on our list.

Each of the three campsites at this location are spread out enough to give each RV plenty of space.

You’ll find unlimited hiking opportunities and plenty of picturesque landscapes nearby. At night, the high elevations gives visitors amazing night skies for stargazing.  

Location: Mineral Camp Campground

RV Campsite Information

  • Maximum RV length reported: 20ft
  • Number of sites: 3
  • Amenities: Vault toilets, fire pits, picnic tables
  • Max Stay: 14 days, every 28 days

Top Things to do Nearby

  • Crater Lake National Park – One of the purest lakes in the world, contained within in a massive caldera. The blue waters are open for swimming and non-motorized boats. You can also hike along any of the many trails throughout the park. 
  • Soak in the Umpqua Hot Springs – It costs $5 to park at the trailhead but its worth the money. You can soak in a number of hot springs, the warmest being 112 degrees. Each one offers incredible views so make sure you bring your swim suit.  
  • Take a Picture (Or A Swim) at Toketee Falls – Hike the .04 mile trail that ends at this two-tier waterfall. It’s famous for its picturesque landscape and as a swimming spot for the more adventurous.  

For more information on RV camping in Mineral Camp Campground visit HERE

8. Mt. Ashland Campground – Ashland 

Mt.-Ashland-Campground-–-Ashland-
@blinkous

This beautiful spot offers camping at 6,000 ft with impressive views of Klamath National Forest, and even Mt. Shasta.

Visitors can access the nearby Pacific Crest Trail, known for its wildflowers, butterflies and bird watching opportunities. Due to its high elevation, this campground is closed in the winter. 

Why do we love it?

If you hate people, you’ll love Ashland Campground. Its high elevation site keeps away the crowds and encourages the wildlife to stay put.

You’ll get incredible views while also enjoying an endless supply of outdoor activities.

These include fishing, hiking, stargazing, biking, and more. If you love the outdoors, you’ll love this campsite! 

Location: Mt. Ashland Campground

RV Campsite Information

  • Maximum RV length reported: 28ft
  • Number of sites: 9
  • Amenities: Vault Toilets
  • Max Stay: 14 days, every 28 days

Top Things to do Nearby

  • Go Spelunking in Pluto’s Cave – A semi-collapsed lava tube that was formed by an eruption many millennia ago. Visitors can safely explore 1200 feet into the cave.
  • Hike Canyon Creek Trail – Venture through dense pine forests, marvel at gushing waterfalls, and eat a picnic next to a couple of the most gorgeous alpine lakes in the region.
  • Summit Mt. Ashland – Take an easy 5-mile round-trip hike to Mt. Ashland’s peak in the warmer months. Or ski or snowboard down its slopes in the winter. One way or another you’ll see impressive views of Klamath National Forest.  

For more information on RV camping in Mt. Ashland Campground visit HERE

9. Blue Heron Cheese Company –  Tillamook

Blue-Heron-Cheese-Company-–-Tillamook
@wanderingwheelsrv

Okay fine, this one is only free if you’re able to say no to donations, but it’s too unique not to include on the list.

In order to stay you’re highly encouraged, although not required, to purchase some of the business’s products.

The building is situated on some beautiful Oregon farmland so we think it’s worth it!

Why do we love it?

You get a chance to buy some delicious gourmet cheese while also staying for free on the property.

Go buy some wine and have a movie night in your trailer. Too often we think RVing needs to involve the outdoors but every once in a while, you just need to escape.

At Blue Heron Cheese Company, you can do that. Plus, you’ll be a short drive from the coast so you can take that wine and cheese with you to watch the sunset. 

Location: Blue Heron Cheese Company

RV Campsite Information

  • Maximum RV length reported: 42ft
  • Number of sites: 40
  • Amenities: Bathroom; restaurant and general store are within walking distance
  • Max Stay: 2

Top Things to do Nearby

  • Tour the Tillamook Creamery – Home of the famous Tillamook dairy products. You can sample milk, cheese, yogurt, and more at this enormous creamery. 
  • Tillamook Air Museum  – This epic museum houses a US air blimp hanger, numerous historical aircraft, and tons of information about aviation. Don’t miss it!
  • Tillamook Bay – Catch the sun set over foggy Tillamook Bay. It’s a romantic spot for lovers. 

For more information on RV camping at Blue Heron Cheese Company visit HERE.

10. Marion Forks Dispersed Camping – Willamette National Forest

Marion-Forks-Dispersed-Camping-–-Willamette-National-Forest
@addubs7

Do not confuse this with the nearby campground of the same name which costs money. This camping area is free but lacks amenities.

Its positioned near Marion Salmon fishery which offers tours and an opportunity to angle from the nearby river. 

Why do we love it?

You’ll find yourself deep in Oregon’s forest country. Enjoy a quarter mile stroll on a paved loop path that runs along Marion Creek.

Here, you can access a picnic area and the fish hatchery where you can learn about spring Chinook salmon and the history of the area. It’s a great place to RV camp with the family!

Location: Marion Forks Dispersed Camping

RV Campsite Information

  • Maximum RV length reported: 30ft
  • Number of sites: 3
  • Amenities: None
  • Max Stay: 14 days, every 60 days

Top Things to do Nearby

  • Capture the Three Sisters at Golden Hour – These three mountains really dazzle at dusk. Their purple slopes break away into snow-capped peaks that take one’s breath away.
  • Terwilliger Hot Springs – If you need a break from all your outdoor activities, go relax at a hot spring.  
  • Check Out Clear Lake – A great place for diving and swimming. The water here is some of the clearest you’ll see in the state due to the fact that it filters through caverns before reaching the lake.  

For more information on RV camping in Marion Forks Dispersed Camping visit HERE

Oregon is ranked 5th in the country for the states with the most public land. It’s enormous natural landscapes offer plenty of opportunities for free RV camping. If you’ve ever camped in Oregon, we want to hear about it. Tell us your story in the comments below!

Last Updated on by Aaron Richardson

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