Free Campgrounds on your GPS

Over 1100 Free Campgrounds on your GPS

In this post we will share how to easily import over 1100 great free campgrounds, free campsites, and free dispersed camping area onto your cars GPS. There are several great tools out in the wilderness of the internet that help you plan your next camping trip. There are even a few websites featuring information on free campsites, but they all require internet to access, or leave you manually entering coordinates into your GPS. The files and methods presented in this article will have you easily browsing over 1100 free campsites in the Western United States and Florida from your GPS anytime regardless of internet availability.

Map and Keys used  for navigation
Map and Keys

GPS Device Selection

Many of the GPS devices on the market will allow you to import several different file types. The steps may be different for your device check your manufactures owners guide or forums for assistance. No matter which device you choose extra storage space is a huge plus. If you have not purchased a GPS yet, or are upgrading look for a device that supports micro SD cards. For your reference the file size of our 1100 plus free campsites files is 892 KB. The Garmin Drive 5 was my top choice for several reasons. First I have had excellent user experiences in the past with their products. The ability to import file containing custom points of interest. Extra storage capabilities, easily adjustable routes and a very reasonable price all helped narrow down the options. Garmin’s free tool Base Camp has also been extremely helpful so a compatible device was a must. Note that I am in no way associated with Garmin, and I am not being paid to promote their products.

Car GPS Device used for navigation
GPS Device

Preinstall Checklist

  • Sufficient Storage Space. (892 KB)
  • Computer running Windows 10 (Other operating systems will work, but the steps may be slightly different.)
  • Format Micro SD Card if additional space is needed.
  • Download Free Camping files in the format that works best on your device.
  • Install POI Loader from Garmin to your computer.


Check the storage space on your GPS device

  1. Plug your device into your computer with the provided cable.
  2. Open File Explorer.
  3. Navigate to “This PC” in the left panel on Windows 10.
  4. Select your GPS and view free space available.

Format Micro SD Card for use in Garmin Drive 5 LM

  1. Insert the micro SD card into the larger SD card, or a compatible reader
  2. Open File Explorer.
  3. Select your Micro SD card
  4. Right Click | Format
  5. On the format screen name the volume so it is easy to identify later
  6. Ensure that FAT32 is selected
  7. Change allocation unit size to “Default allocation size”
  8. Leave all other fields at the default setting and click start.
  9. Use windows to safely remove the device when formating is complete
  10. Install the SD card in your device.

Download Free Camping Files

  1. Go to Free Camping Files
  2. Download the file type you will be importing to your device to your computer. (We will be using the files in the Sub 50 GPX Alpha)

Importing .GPX files into a Garmin Drive

  1. Attach your garmin device to your computer.
  2. Open the POI loader tool
  3. Select Garmin Device | Click Next
  4. The POI loader should find your device | Click Next
  5. Select install new custom POI’s on your device. | Click Next
  6. Browse to the location on your computer where you saved the Free Camping Files.
  7. Name the newly Created Custom POI file. (This is not required.) | Click Next
  8. The POI files will install. | Click Finish.

There are several different file types available in the download folder for the POI’s as different devices will support different file types and sizes. You are free to use, alter and share these files for non commercial use. The best program for making changes is Base Camp by Garmin.

Purchase of the guides on this website are a great way to help support the creation of more adventure oriented content. I hope you have a great time enjoying nature.

Thank you!

New Mexico & Texas Free Camping

“I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.”

– John Muir

Overview:

The land of enchantment is poised to hold a sacred piece of your heart with its rugged mountain terrain and vast rolling deserts. Star gazers will appreciate the low population and large stretches of land between the big cities. Around each twist and turn in the road is a new fantastic place to get away from it all and get back to what’s important. When you have had your fill of the expanses of the desert you can head over to east Texas with the lure of long sandy beaches, the small islands on the intercoastal waterway, and warm winter nights. There is no shortage of nature to explore and enjoy in these two states. From the mountains and the second largest canyon in North America, to the ocean and back again this book will show you where to camp and recreate in New Mexico and Texas for free as well as some very affordable camping options.
Details Include

  • Links to all Public sites
  • Contact Numbers
  • Latitude and Longitude
  • Where the closest groceries and gas are locate
  • Brief details specific to the site

The content in this guide is optimized for use on a phone or similar mobile device making it easy to travel with and difficult to forget at home.
104 Free camping spots and the information you need to find many more hidden gems.
26 State operated facilities that offer exceptional value for avid campers

New Mexico & Texas Free Camping Book – Map



How to update content on the Kindle

From time to time I will update the content of the book to correct errors, both big and small, as well as to add new content to the book. To update your version of the book you will need to complete the following steps.

  1. Open the kindle app on your device.
  2. Navigate to your Home screen and press the vertical 3 dot button
  3. Select remove from device
  4. Navigate to your library screen (The book you removed should not have a check mark on it, indicating that the book is not on the device you are using.)
  5. Press and hold the title for a few seconds to select it
  6. Press the vertical 3 dot button and select download
  7. Your book will re download with all the new content.
  8. Enjoy!

Scouting Report – (CO-6) Spring Creek

Free Camping Near Green Mountain Reservoir

Free camping and fishing go hand in hand. Lake Heeney is home to some huge fish. Lake trout in the range of 35 + inches and in excess of 15 lbs have been harvested from this location. There is a large variety of spices in the lake and there are some generous bag limits in place at the writing of this article to help balance fish populations. You can get more information on that Here. While there are scores of rivers and streams that offer both fishing and free camping, finding free camping near large lakes can be more difficult, because they are prime camping locations. Consequently all of the sites that surround the lake are pay sites managed by the forest service. Unfortunately the Spring Creek campsite is not on the lake however it is reasonable close.

Spring Creek Area:

Spring Creek Information

Phone Number: (970) 945-2521

Elevation: 9,400

Lat/Long: 39.897711, -106.408402

Nearby Town: Kremmling, Co. @ 17 miles

Details:

  • No fees
  • No potable water
  • No trash
  • No restroom
  • Dispersed camping is allowed in this area refer to the appropriate map

Date of Report:

07/2018

Road Conditions:

Fair

The spring creek area is located at the end of a well maintained county dirt road. When you come to the sign for the BLM land, the road becomes a little rougher with a fair amount of washboard and some good size pot holes. For this reason, from the county road on it is in your best interest to take it easy and go slow paying attention to the road conditions.

The road leading to the first main set of sites is passable by passenger car, although low clearance vehicles should exercise caution on with dips and ruts. If you plan to explore the area more I would advise a higher clearance vehicle as the terrain becomes a little more rugged.  

General Site Information:

The first set of sites just after the Spring Creek sign are in two main clearings and are surrounded by large pines. The fairly level sites have stone fire rings, but are lacking in picnic tables or restrooms. Further down the road there are more campsites, however, the road gets a little rougher and a higher clearance vehicle will have less problems navigating the narrow dirt road. The sites farther off are set in the thick pine forest with a great deal of privacy. There are plenty of opportunities to explore the forest in relative solitude at this location, even though there is a fair amount of traffic in and out of the area. 

If you are looking to get onto the water during your mountain retreat, you will likely want to visit Heeney Lake about 12 miles away. Green Mountain reservoir is an amazingly beautiful place to drop your boat in the water and enjoy the surrounding beauty of the mountains. There are a few day use area operated by the forest service off of the lake to launch non-motorized non trailed boats, but if you are looking to launch a motorized boat you will need to go to the Heeney marina site in town.

Note: that there is no fee to launch your boat here, but there will be a parking fee. The other forest service sites on the lake either do not have boat ramps, or in a few cases do not allow you to launch a craft from their site. Finally if you are looking to launch a canoe or Kayak there are several other access points around the lake where you can launch with relative ease. Please make sure that you are following all applicable regulations for

mandatory boat inspection.

McDonald Flats Campground

Willows Campground

Nearby Activities or Attractions:

  • 30 minutes from Heeney lake (Green Mountain Reservoir).
  • Heeney lake has pay campsites on the reservoir and places to launch a boat. Power boats need to launch at the marina in Heeney.

This site is one of the many listed in Colorado Free Camping. Please consider purchasing a copy as all proceeds help fund future content creation.

Scouting Report – (CO-7) Williams Fork Reservoir

Date of Report: 07/2018

 

Road Conditions: Excellent

Paved all the way to the campsites

Roads within the campsites are well maintained dirt roads easily passable by car.

General Site Information:

Williams Fork Reservoir is a boondockers dream with ample flat spots in a great location with cellular service. All of the sites are right on the lake with easy access to restrooms and the boat ramp. Each site has a solid metal fire ring along with a nice steel picnic table. There is little in the way of tree cover at this site so if you are after a fire you will want to bring your own firewood to this site. There is plenty of tall lush green grass and unspoiled views of the lake in the camping areas which is on the east side of the lake..  

Check the local weather for Kremmling, CO.

Nearby Activities or Attractions:

  • Boating on Williams Fork Reservoir.
  • Town of Kremmling
  • Hot Sulphur Springs

Scouting Report – (CO-4) Lake Irwin

Lake Irwin Dispersed Camping Area:

Lake Irwin Campground

Phone Number: (970) 874-6600

Elevation: 10,400

Lat/Long: 38.88078, -107.11011

Nearby Town: Crested Butte, Co. @ 9 miles

Details:

  • No fee
  • No potable water
  • No trash
  • Only small non motorized boats allowed on the lake no boat ramp
  • Vault toilets in the Lake Irwin Campground and a porta-potty by the lake

Note:

The link above is for the paid campsite, but there are a lot of free dispersed camping sites along FSR-826.D1

Date of Report: 06/2018

Road Conditions: Very good

The road up Kebler pass is paved most of the way and the rest of the road is a well taken care of dirt road. This site is easily accessible by passenger car up to the lake Irwin campground. Forest service road 826.1D is a little more rugged, but is still passable by passenger car providing you are going slow and paying attention to where you are driving on the road. Vehicles with higher clearance (Subaru) should have no issues getting to all of the sites in this area.

General Site Information:

There is a pay campsite and there is ample dispersed camping on FSR 826.1D, this is a very popular area due to its extreme beauty and if you are coming up on a weekend or over a holiday there is a chance that all of the sites here may be taken. If that is the case I would suggest you check the MVUM for the area as there is a huge amount of dispersed camping around Crested Butte. The views from the free sites along the forest service road are some of the finest in the rocky mountains. The best time to visit the area is late June and July when the wild flowers take over every nook and cranny of the forest floor beneath the towering trees. Everywhere you turn in this area there is a breathtaking site to be seen. The lake is quite large and cold even in the throws of summer, due to the elevation of over 10,500 feet you should never expect temperatures to go much over 80 degrees. Sup boarding and canoeing are very popular on the lake as well as fishing which I hear is good if you are after trout.

At the end of your stay here I would highly recommend you plan your route home or to your next location with a stop at the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. The area is a bit remote and extremely beautiful.  There are many excellent places to stop off on 92 to take a picture of some truly spectacular scenery. As you follow the canyon north I would urge you to take the 11 mile trek to the north rim of the park and explore this remote location  in closer detail. The admission to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park  is well worth it for the incredible views of sheer canyon  walls raising thousands of feet from the raging Gunnison river below.

Current local weather for Crested Butte

Nearby Activities or Attractions:

  • Crested Butte
  • Hand launch craft on Lake Irwin
  • Ample hiking near and in the close vicinity of the area.
  • Must hike trails:
  • Trail around Lake Irwin
  • Beaver Ponds Trail #516
  • Judd Falls Trail

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

Blue Mesa Reservoir in Curecanti National Recreation area. – This location also has several free Boat-in campsites.

BrandedLakeIrwin007

Scouting Report – ( CO-1) Mount Evans State Wildlife Area

This is one of the free campsites at mount evans state wildlife area, featured in Colorado Free Camping.
Free Camp Site at Mount Evans State Wildlife Area

Mount Evans SWA:

Mount Evans SWA Information

Phone Number: (303) 291-7227

Elevation: 7,947 – 9,905

Lat/Long: 39.619866, -105.475211

Nearby Town: Evergreen, Co. @ 11 miles

Details:

  • No fee
  • No water
  • No trash
  • Vault toilet
  • Camping is for 5 days in a 45 day period

Date of Report: 06/2018

Road Conditions:

Very good – Road is paved most of the way to the campsites

Last 3 miles to the campsites is groomed dirt road

From the Mount Evans Wilderness area gate to the first set of campsites is less than 1 mile has a slight incline and is easily traveled by normal passenger car providing there are no extreme weather events  that would normally impact travel.

There are 2 more sites very near the Camp Rock site about another 3 miles down the dirt road.

Check local forecasts prior to your visit. Current Evergreen Weather

This is one of the free campsites at mount evans state wildlife area, featured in Colorado Free Camping.
Free Campsite at Mount Evans State Wildlife Area

General Site Information:

The site is only available for camping from June 15th until January 1st, and is restricted beyond that time.  Mount Evans SWA Information. There are 3 campsites at the main site that have fire rings and a couple picnic tables available for use. This main camping area is also the location of the restroom facilities. If you continue down the road  which does have some steeper parts there are 2 more sites along the way to Camp Rock Campsites. There are no restrooms at these sites, but there are restroom facilities at the Camp Rock site which is very close to these 2 sites. (within walking distance.) The main sites have sparse protection from the sun and wind from the surrounding pine trees that skirt the road. The sites at the first location have fire rings and picnic tables for your use and are small pull in spots. The sites near the camp rock camping area are a little larger and also have fire rings and picnic tables for your use. Both sites near the camp rock campsite are located just off the main dirt road amidst clearings in the pine forest. There is no potable water at any of these sites so plan ahead and bring your own water.

Nearby Activities or Attractions:

  • Evergreen 
  • Evergreen Lake

Hiking at nearby:

  • Alderfer/Three Sisters Park
  • Elk Meadows Park
  • Dedisse Park

 

Scouting Report – (CO-1) Mount Evans SWA

This is one of the free campsites at mount evans state wildlife area, featured in Colorado Free Camping.
Free Camp Site at Mount Evans State Wildlife Area

Free Camping Near Denver

Free Camping in Colorado can be a challenge when you are looking to camp near Denver, although there are a few gems out there within a short drive of the mile high city. The aim of these posts is to reveal some affordable options for enjoying nature with great free camping near Denver. We hope you consider purchasing a copy of our free camping guide Colorado Free Camping available for purchase on Amazon. All book sales help to grow the availability of easy to use content and resources from Onesunchaser.

Mount Evans SWA:

Mount Evans SWA Information

Phone Number: (303) 291-7227

Elevation: 7,947 – 9,905

Lat/Long: 39.619866, -105.475211

Nearby Town: Evergreen, Co. @ 11 miles

Details:

  • No fee
  • No water
  • No trash
  • Vault toilet
  • Camping is for 5 days in a 45 day period

Date of Report:

06/2018

Road Conditions:

Very good – Road is paved most of the way to the campsites

Last 3 miles to the campsites is groomed dirt road

From the Mount Evans Wilderness area gate to the first set of campsites is less than 1 mile but has a slight incline and is easily traveled by normal passenger car providing there are no extreme weather events  that would normally impact travel.

There are 2 more sites very near the Camp Rock site about another 3 miles down the dirt road. Making all of these sites some of the best free camping near Denver.

Check local forecasts prior to your visit.

General Site Information:

The site is only available for camping from June 15th until January 1st, and is restricted beyond that time. See the following link for more detailed information Mount Evans SWA Information. There are 3 campsites at the main site that have fire rings, a vault toilet and a couple picnic tables available for use. If you continue down the road  which does have some steeper parts there are 2 more sites along the way to Camp Rock Campsites, but there are no restrooms facilities at these sites. Fear not as restroom facilities are a short walk away at the Camp Rock Campground. Both sites near the camp rock campsite are located just off the main dirt road amidst clearings in the pine forest. No potable water is available at any of these sites so be sure to plan ahead and bring your own water.

Nearby Activities or Attractions:

  • Evergreen 
  • Evergreen Lake

Hiking at nearby:

  • Alderfer/Three Sisters Park
  • Elk Meadows Park
  • Dedisse Park

Please consider supporting the development of more content like this by purchasing Colorado Free Camping. or one of the other great camping books available on this site.

Embedded image for Mount Evans State Wildlife Area
Mount Evans State Wildlife Area