Wednesday, May 31, 2023


Free camping — at wildlife refuges

By Bib Difley

Be on the lookout for Fish and Wildlife refuges, both national and state, for good boondocking and cheap camping opportunities. When there is no hunting season active, these refuges can be deserted. Though policies vary with each state, at some of these wildlife resources you can camp either free or very cheap.

Some refuges can be quite scenic, on ponds maintained for ducks for instance. In some states (California is one example) you can camp free if you have a state fishing or hunting license. If not, you can still camp but will have to pay, usually a very reasonable fee.

Check online or at regional Fish & Game offices for policies and locations — but avoid during hunting seasons.

(Photo: Finney-Ramer Unit of California’s Imperial Wildlife Area)

You can find Bob Difley’s RVing e-books on Amazon Kindle.


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David W
3 years ago

Unless I am mistaken, only a very small number of wildlife refuges actually allow camping. I have recently reviewed all pages of the US FWS website and found only a few offer overnight camping on their grounds. Is it possible to get special permission to overnight at locations that don’t advertise camping?

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