Top 10 Dispersed Camping Spots in the Pacific Northwest

For those who prefer an unstructured environment, dispersed camping can be a great way to explore new areas without worrying about being close to the hustle and bustle of the city. If you’re in the Pacific Northwest, there is lots of opportunity for dispersed camping on public land.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) offers a variety of inexpensive and remote camping opportunities not found in national conservation areas or developed campgrounds. BLM oversees over 240 million acres of land in the United States, with over 400 campgrounds on these properties. BLMs offer a variety of RVing and camping experiences, from fully developed parks to legit boondocking and dry camping experiences.

BLM Campgrounds in the Pacific Northwest.

Many great camping spots across Washington, Oregon, and Northern California are perfect for this type of camping. Here are some of the best camping spots we recommend because they offer a variety of recreational activities for outdoor enthusiasts.

Umtanum Creek Recreation Site

The Umtanum Creek Recreation Site is located along the Yakima River. It winds through a picturesque desert landscape, with some cliffs rising more than 2,000 feet. It’s a popular spot for wildlife watching and fishing, as well as family-friendly rafting and camping. The recreational area offers a variety of campsites for tents and RVs of any size. It also includes a group campground and designated primitive campsites.

Coordinates: Ellensburg, WA, 46.855100, -120.483274 and Map

Rock Creek Recreation Site

The Rock Creek Recreation Site is a secluded campground located along the forested banks of Rock Creek. It offers visitors a variety of activities, such as picnic areas and swimming. Nearby, the Esquire Ranch recreation site allows visitors to cross a bridge over Rock Creek and explore the historic ranch used for sheep and cattle from the 1930s until the 1980s.

Coordinates: Idleyld Park, OR, 43.397940, -122.928180 and Map

Chopaka Lake

The highlands of northern Okanogan County contain a jewel of a mountain lake. The Aspen trees and sagebrush line its shores, providing a scenic backdrop to many lakeside activities.

Coordinates: Loomis, WA, 48.914673, -119.703070 and Map

Saddle Mountains

The Saddle Mountains rise above the Columbia River in south-central Washington, providing views of the surrounding countryside and wide-open desert scenery. Adventure seekers can enjoy opportunities to go hiking, horseback riding, and driving motorized vehicles on rugged roads.

Coordinates: Wenatchee, WA, 46.774144, -119.884638 and Map

Rogue River

The Rogue River is clean, and there is plenty of opportunities to enjoy swimming and kayaking. Along the river, you may see deer, otters, and black bears looking for a meal of salmon. Black bears are accustomed to easy pickings from boaters and may prove a nuisance on numerous campsites. You will see plenty of birds in this area and great blue herons. Be aware of ticks and rattlesnakes too.

Coordinates: Grants Pass, OR, 42.4299, -123.4484 and Map

Clay Creek Recreation Site

The Clay Creek Recreation Site is situated in the Coast Range of Oregon between Eugene and the Oregon coast. It offers a variety of activities, including hiking through the forest, fishing on the river, wildlife viewing, and camping.

Coordinates: Walton, OR, 43.905080, -123.568330

Alsea Falls Recreation Site

The well-maintained trails through the Alsea Falls Recreation Site offer a beautiful way to enjoy the surroundings. In warm weather, the river provides a refreshing coolness at this spot. This campground is open the first weekend in May through the end of September, but you can visit the area for day use all year round.

Coordinates: Monroe, OR, 44.320561, -123.487822

Shasta Campground

Shasta Campground offers 27 tent and trailer campsites. There is plenty of fun activities to enjoy here, including hiking and fishing. From some areas, you can see Mount Shasta, Lake Shasta, and the Trinity Alps. To really enjoy everything in this area, it’s recommended that you use an off-road vehicle.

Coordinates: Gateway Unified, CA, 40.715967, -122.432815 and Map

Rocky Point – West

Rocky Point West is a small camping area located on the west shore of Eagle Lake outside of Susanville, California. This undeveloped camping area is perfect for those who want to get away from it all and relax in nature. There are a couple of official campgrounds in the area, including North Eagle Lake Campground and Rocky Point East Campground.

Coordinates: Buck Bay, California, 40.67589, -120.744274

Horton Creek

Campers at Horton Creek enjoy the spaciousness and unobstructed views of the mountains and night sky. The campground is really nice, and the sound of the creek is very peaceful. The area is remote enough where you can truly enjoy the peace and quiet and stargaze at night! Be mindful that there is no shade, so be prepared with plenty of water to drink and sunscreen to protect yourself!

Coordinates: Bishop, CA, 37.38, -118.578

Bottom Line

Dispersed camping is a popular way to experience the great outdoors. BLM land offers many opportunities to make the camping experience affordable, safe, and an escape from the city. Be sure to follow the Leave No Trace principles when camping, hiking, fishing, or enjoying any recreational activity.