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10 Best Boondocking Destinations for the Summer

Looking for some off-the-grid RVing adventures? Here is a list of the top boondocking destinations for the season.

Best boondocking destinations

What’s better than starting off the vacation with a trip in your RV and onto the open road during the summers? A journey of exploration and adventure is really all one needs sometimes to unwind and relax after a busy working schedule. Sometimes, though, the traditional camping experience comes with its crowds and noisy neighbors, turning more troubling than restful. That is why f you're an avid camper or RV enthusiast seeking a unique and off-grid experience, boondocking is the way to go.

What is boondocking

Let us take you on a journey to discover the ten best boondocking destinations for the summer. From rugged mountains to pristine lakeshores, these hidden gems offer a chance to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and immerse yourself in the beauty of nature. So, gear up, pack your sense of adventure, and get ready to explore these remarkable boondocking spots that promise unforgettable summer memories!

How to Boondock in an RV?

Boondocking, also known as dry camping, refers to camping in an RV without relying on external hookups or amenities. Boondocking in an RV allows you to enjoy the freedom of camping in remote areas and off-grid locations. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to boondock in an RV:

1. Find Suitable Boondocking Locations:

- Research and identify boondocking-friendly areas such as national forests, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands, or other public lands that permit dispersed camping.

- Utilize online resources, RV boondocking apps, and forums dedicated to boondocking to find recommended locations and gather information from fellow RVers.

2. Prepare Your RV:

- Ensure your RV is in good working condition, including the electrical and plumbing systems, propane tanks, and batteries.

- Equip your RV with solar panels or a generator for generating electricity.

- Increase your freshwater capacity by carrying extra water in portable containers or installing larger water tanks.

3. Conserve Resources:

- Conserve water by taking shorter showers, reusing dishes, and using water-saving techniques.

- Minimize electricity usage by relying on natural light, using energy-efficient appliances, and turning off unnecessary devices when not in use.

- Manage waste effectively by properly disposing of trash and recycling when possible.

4. Practice Energy Management:

- Optimize battery usage by limiting the use of power-hungry appliances and devices.

- Utilize LED lights for efficient lighting and consider installing energy-efficient appliances.

- Monitor battery levels and recharge them using solar power or a generator as needed.

5. Manage Your Waste:

- If your RV doesn't have a built-in blackwater tank, utilize portable waste tanks and dispose of waste at designated dump stations.

- Practice Leave No Trace principles and respect the environment by properly disposing of graywater and following local regulations.

6. Be Self-Sufficient:

- Stock up on essential supplies, including food, water, fuel, and other necessary items, as you may be far from stores or amenities.

- Carry necessary tools and equipment for minor repairs and maintenance.

7. Practice Good Etiquette:

- Respect the natural surroundings and fellow campers by keeping noise levels low and leaving the campsite clean.

- Follow any posted rules or regulations for the specific boondocking area.

boondocking in RV

RV Boondocking Tips

How long can you boondock in an RV? You can dry camp in your RV for as long as you like, in fact, many full-time RVers prefer living off-the-grid and embracing a simpler lifestyle closer to nature. Here are some tips for RV boondocking for beginners and experts alike.

1. Scout for Hidden Gems: Seek out lesser-known boondocking spots by connecting with local RV communities or using specialized apps and websites to discover unique and off-the-beaten-path locations.

2. Embrace Minimalism: Simplify your RV setup by carrying only essential items, decluttering unnecessary belongings, and adopting a minimalist lifestyle that maximizes space and reduces the need for excessive resources.

3. Connect with Nature: Immerse yourself in the natural surroundings by engaging in activities like birdwatching, hiking, fishing, or photography. Take the time to appreciate the beauty and serenity of your boondocking location.

4. Master Campfire Cooking: Enhance your boondocking experience by mastering the art of cooking over a campfire. Explore delicious recipes and savor the flavors of outdoor meals prepared in the open air.

5. Practice Stealth Camping: When boondocking in urban or semi-urban areas, practice stealth camping by choosing inconspicuous spots, keeping a low profile, and minimizing noise and light pollution.

6. Develop Off-Grid Skills: Learn essential off-grid skills like navigation, fire building, basic first aid, and self-reliance. These skills can come in handy during boondocking adventures and enhance your overall camping experience.

7. Seek Local Experiences: Connect with local communities and embrace the cultural aspects of your boondocking location. Explore nearby towns, attend local events, and support local businesses to immerse yourself in the regional charm.

8. Leave a Positive Impact: Practice responsible boondocking by leaving your campsite cleaner than you found it. Pick up litter, minimize your ecological footprint, and respect the natural environment to preserve these pristine locations for future RVers.

Factors to Consider Before Choosing a Boondocking Destination

Although boondocking is one of the best ways to reunite with nature, it comes with considerable matters that must be considered before you embark on your journey.


Before selecting a boondocking destination, consider the accessibility of the location. Determine if the chosen spot can be reached easily with your RV or camper and check whether the roads leading to the destination are suitable for your vehicle's size and weight. Additionally, ensure that the route doesn't pose any challenges, such as narrow passages, which could impede safe travel.


Evaluate the availability of essential amenities and resources at the boondocking site. You should take into consideration factors such as access to fresh water sources, waste disposal facilities, and cell phone reception before the journey so that you aren’t taken by surprise after reaching the destination. Depending on your needs and preferences, you may want to prioritize sites that offer proximity to amenities or carry sufficient supplies and equipment for self-sufficiency.

Safety and Security

Researching the area to assess its safety record and evaluating any potential risks, such as encounters with large wildlife or adverse weather conditions can ensure your boondocking experience is safe. One recommendation is to inform the local authorities about your plans when traveling to extra remote areas, or into habitats of wildlife so that they can check up on you during your stay.

Local regulations

Some localities have specific rules regarding boondocking, including permit requirements, maximum stay durations, and designated camping zones. Familiarizing yourself with these regulations would ensure that you avoid any legal issues or fines during your stay. Moreover, since you would be venturing into secluded territory, be mindful of the animals and their habitat, making sure to not disturb the peace and the sanctity of the places.

Nearby activities

Your personal preferences and the activities you wish to engage in during your boondocking adventure can also determine your destination. Determine if the chosen site aligns with your interests, whether it's hiking, fishing, wildlife photography, or simply enjoying breathtaking natural landscapes.

best rv boondocking apps

Ten Best Boondocking Destinations

Here are some of the best locations for boondockers to visit in the summer!

Joshua Tree National Park is considered a fantastic destination for boondocking with its striking desert landscapes, iconic Joshua trees, and rugged rock formations that offers a memorable and unparalleled boondocking experience. There are numerous dispersed camping opportunities available throughout the park, and the boondockers are free to choose from, allowing campers to find secluded spots and enjoy the privacy and tranquility of the desert. The park is also renowned for its dark skies as the remote areas of the park allow for unobstructed views of the night sky, revealing a breathtaking display of stars, planets, and celestial wonders. The park also presents numerous opportunities for hiking for the ones who love a good trek.

Nestled near the iconic Grand Canyon, the Kaibab National Forest provides a serene escape for campers seeking solitude and natural beauty. Boondockers can enjoy the winding roads, offering an opportunity to immerse themselves in the tranquil ambiance of ponderosa pine forests, open meadows, and pristine wilderness. With its proximity to the Grand Canyon, campers can enjoy breathtaking vistas and embark on scenic hikes along the rim. The forest also boasts a variety of activities, including fishing, hiking trails, and the forest's remarkable flora and fauna. Whether you are seeking a peaceful retreat or an adventure in nature, Kaibab National Forest provides an idyllic boondocking destination.

San Juan National Forest in southwestern Colorado is a haven for boondockers seeking a pristine and adventurous camping experience. With its expansive wilderness, towering peaks, and dense woodland, the forest offers abundant opportunities for dispersed camping along the forest's network of backcountry roads. The stunning alpine lakes, cascading waterfalls, and rugged mountain landscapes create a picturesque backdrop for camping enthusiasts. Moreover, the forest is renowned for its extensive trail system, allowing boondockers to embark on hikes, mountain biking excursions, and off-roading adventures while wildlife enthusiasts may also delight in the chance to spot elk, deer, and various bird species in their natural habitat.

The Buffalo Gap National Grassland offers a unique and expansive boondocking experience in the heart of the Great Plains. With its vast grassy landscapes, rolling hills, and rugged terrain, this national grassland provides an opportunity for campers to immerse themselves in the tranquility of the prairie. Boondockers can find secluded spots along the gravel roads that crisscross the grassland, allowing them to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of modern life and connect with the serene natural surroundings. The grassland is known for its diverse wildlife, including bison herds, pronghorn antelope, and a variety of bird species, making it a paradise for nature enthusiasts and wildlife photographers. Additionally, visitors can enjoy activities such as hiking, birdwatching, stargazing, and capturing stunning sunsets over the vast grassy expanse.

With its pristine alpine lakes, towering mountain peaks, and sprawling meadows, Glacier National Park offers stunning vistas and diverse ecosystems to explore. The park offers secluded camping grounds for travelers who wish to indulge in boondocking, along with its abundant wildlife, including grizzly bears, elk, and mountain goats. Hiking enthusiasts can embark on breathtaking trails that lead to hidden waterfalls, alpine meadows, and glacial vistas. Not only that, the park's Dark Sky Preserve designation makes it an exceptional destination for stargazing, with countless stars and celestial wonders visible in the night sky. Boondocking in Glacier National Park offers a chance to embrace the untouched beauty of the wilderness and experience one of the most picturesque landscapes in the United States.

Situated in the Toiyabe Range, the Sacramento Pass offers breathtaking views, open landscapes, and an escape from bustling city life with its remote camping spots. The high elevation of Sacramento Pass provides cooler temperatures, making it a pleasant retreat during the hot summer months. The Pass area is known for its scenic beauty, with rolling hills, desert vegetation, and occasional wildlife sightings. Outdoor enthusiasts can explore nearby trails for hiking, mountain biking, and off-roading, immersing themselves in the rugged beauty of the desert. With its tranquil ambiance and opportunities for outdoor recreation, Sacramento Pass Recreation Area offers an ideal setting for boondockers looking to disconnect from the modern world and embrace the serenity of the Nevada desert.

With its sprawling canyons, towering mesas, and expansive desert vistas, Canyonlands National Park in Utah, provides endless opportunities for boondockers to form a genuine connection with the natural surroundings. Travelers can find secluded spots along the park's backcountry roads, allowing them to indulge themselves in the untamed beauty of the desert. From the iconic Island in the Sky, with its panoramic views and dramatic overlooks, to the remote and rugged Maze district, boondockers can choose their preferred setting for a memorable camping experience. Hiking trails lead to hidden arches, ancient Native American ruins, and breathtaking viewpoints, rewarding boondockers with unforgettable landscapes at every turn. With its raw and unspoiled landscapes, Canyonlands National Park beckons boondockers to venture off the beaten path and discover the untamed beauty of Utah's desert wilderness.

Coconino National Forest in Arizona spans over 1.8 million acres and is a paradise for those seeking a remote and immersive camping experience. Boondockers can find towering ponderosa pines, red rock formations, and scenic meadows well within their camping spots for the full boondocking adventure. With its proximity to iconic attractions like Sedona and the Grand Canyon, Coconino National Forest serves as a convenient base for exploring the region's natural wonders. Outdoor enthusiasts can also enjoy recreational activities such as fishing, mountain biking, or simply unwinding in the tranquillity of nature.

The lush rainforests, majestic mountains, and pristine coastlines within the Olympic National Forest in Washington provide a diverse and awe-inspiring landscape for campers. The forest's proximity to Olympic National Park allows easy access to stunning hiking trails, enchanting waterfalls, and breathtaking vistas. From exploring the moss-draped old-growth forests of the Quinault Rainforest to wandering the rugged peaks of the Olympic Mountains, boondockers can revel in the wild beauty of the Pacific Northwest. Coastal areas within the forest present opportunities for beachcombing, tidepool exploration, and even whale watching. With its abundance of natural wonders, Olympic National Forest invites campers to immerse themselves in the magic of Washington's outdoor paradise.

Big Bend National Park in Texas is a captivating destination for adventurers seeking a rugged and remote camping experience. Situated along the majestic Rio Grande, the park boasts vast expanses of desert landscapes, soaring canyons, and rugged mountain ranges. Boondockers can find secluded spots within the park's backcountry, allowing them to immerse themselves in the untamed beauty of the Chihuahuan Desert. The park's vastness offers a sense of solitude and tranquility, providing a perfect setting for stargazing under the unpolluted night sky. Wildlife is also abundant in Big Bend, with the chance to spot desert bighorn sheep, coyotes, and even the occasional black bear. From the iconic Santa Elena Canyon to the scenic Chisos Mountains, boondockers can choose from a range of awe-inspiring landscapes to explore.

Boondocking essentials


Boondocking offers a thrilling and immersive camping experience for those seeking to escape the constraints of traditional campsites and embark on an adventure into the great outdoors. However, before setting out on a boondocking journey, it's important to consider certain factors that would ultimately ensure that you have the best experience during your adventures. Moreover, the list provided in the article can help you get started on choosing your ideal destination for boondocking that offers a mix of unique landscapes, captivating wildlife and serenity that suits your preference.



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