Looking for a free campsite with a view? Then search out reservoirs along your route. Chances are likely you`ll find several that allow dispersed camping along a receding shoreline.
Finding the right place to camp can be tricky at times, but if you have been following my blog over the years you have heard me tout the benefits of camping at reservoirs. Usually, they are low in the summer and fall, prior to winter precipitation. The levels then usually rise back up to full pool.
However, keep in mind, with the current droughts in the west, many have not been at normal levels in years. There are typically lots of options on where to park along the water but proper research is required. An example of this was our recent trip through southern Idaho at Little Camas Reservoir.
Several websites including the Boise National Forest website list Little Camas Reservoir being open to free dispersed camping and indicate the following information:
Species Present: Rainbow trout
Seasons: Fishing rules and regulations in the Boise National Forest are from the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. See current fishing regulations, call (208)334-3700, or write Idaho Department of Fish and Game, P.O. Box 25, Boise, ID 83707.
Access: Take Highway 20 east from Mountain Home and turn north on Forest Road 160. There is a Forest Service boat dock at the north end of the reservoir.
Camping: Dispersed camping is available. Restrooms are at the boat ramp.
More Information: Mountain Home Ranger District, (208) 587-7961. Idaho Department of Fish and Game Idaho Fish and Game Southwest Region, 3101 S. Powerline Rd, Nampa ID 83686 (208)465-8465.
A Reservoir Experience to Remember
Following the driving directions, we arrived at a broad, flat grassy valley that looked as it hadn’t seen water in years! As we only needed a place for the night, it didn’t really matter if there was water or not. So, we pulled into the lake bottom and settled in for the night.
Its not difficult to find free or very reasonable rates for dispersed camping space at a reservoir along a route. Simply, do an online search using the name of the reservoir and the words “dispersed camping” and see what awaits you, a waterfront camp space or a grassy field? Again, its always best to do proper research to ensure you get what you expect.
Playing reservoir roulette, just another adventure in RVing!