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!
Dave Helgeson’s many roles in the RV industry started before he even had a driver’s license. His grandparents and father owned an RV dealership before the term “RV” had been coined, and Dave played a pivotal role in nearly every position of an RV dealership. He and his wife Cheri launched their own RV dealership in the Pacific Northwest. The duo also spent 29 years overseeing regional RV shows. Dave has also served as President of a local chapter of the Recreational Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA), worked on the board of advisors for the RV Technician Program of a local technical college, and served as a board member of the Manufactured Home and RV Association. Dave’s reputation earned him the title of “The foremost expert on boondocking,” bestowed by RV industry icon, the late Gary Bunzer (The RV Doctor). When he’s not out boondocking, you’ll find Dave in the spotlight at RV shows across the country, giving seminars about all things RVing. He and Cheri currently roam in their fifth travel trailer, with Dave doing all the service, repair and modifications to his own unit.
Michael Grandy says
“Winter perception”? Is that when it gets cold enough and maybe there’s snow on the ground and you suddenly perceive that winter is here?
I guess you meant “winter precipitation” which can come in the form of rain or snow, either one. Whichever, it generally replenishes the reservoirs and the snow pack in the mountains, which provides spring to summer runoff to replenish the water table down stream.