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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Ft. Collins, CO.
    Posts
    320

    Default

    National Forests (not National Parks) often, or even mostly out west, allow what's called 'dispersed camping.'

    This is the pull up and park kind of camping. But it isn't necessarily easy to find when you need it and my experience is that it's generally off a dirt or 4WD road rather than just off a paved road thru the NF.

    I've done some trip planning using Google Maps and searching on campgrounds in national forests. It's how I fiigure out my options along the routes I'm considering.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    7,043

    Default Try BLM as well

    BLM offices and officers are also very helpful, but like noFanofCB says, mostly dirt roads to get to their campgrounds. I don't know what Escape's contract says about going off made roads. BLM too may have it on the internet, but when I used them three years ago, none of it was on the internet. Often they do not have toilets, and when they do, they are primitive long drop toilets, neither will there be running water. Not exactly what I would want on my honeymoon.

    Lifey

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Ft. Collins, CO.
    Posts
    320

    Default

    On my recent June trip to Montana I stayed in 2 BLM campgrounds. Pit toilets, no running water but some rough picnic tables and fire rings. And no usage fees.

    The other two campgrounds on the trip were paid National Forest campgrounds. (Skull Creek near Flaming Gorge and Cottonwood on the Snake River south of Salmon, ID)

    In my trip report link below the 9th ,10th and 11th pictures up from the end show Big Sandy Recreation Area. Further up the page the Smokey Cub camground was also BLM. Neither shows up on Google Maps even when you know they are there.

    I suppose I could have pulled off the road and camped in many other places but a pit toilet is usually better than none and I find picnic tables to be really handy for unpacking and repacking the motorcycle.


    http://coloradowreckchasing.com/ADVp...trip_2017.html

  4. Default

    Thank you for all your input Southwest Dave! I will check out Zion National Park, Teton's, and Red Rock Country. These are the things I wouldn't think/ know to look into so I appreciate it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Southwest Dave View Post
    I also think you could get more driving done on days 5, 6 and 7 to allow more time at Yellowstone and Grand canyon. You could drive to Jackson WY on day 5 and spend a bit of time in the Teton's on the way and then get a good day on the road, perhaps as far south as Cedar City.
    My husband doesn't want to drive more than 3 hours a day, but I am hoping I can convince him a few longer days of driving will be worth it to have a few more days of no driving.

    In terms of sleeping, here in NY we back-country camp and just sleep in camping hammocks, not in tents. But I have a feeling doing that in the Rockies may not be as safe in terms of wildlife as it is up here. Maybe we can do that in a couple of places and stick to booking sites for the campervan for the rest of the trip.

    Again thanks for all your input! I will definitely check out everything you mentioned and alter the trip a bit :)

  5. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lifemagician View Post
    BLM offices and officers are also very helpful, but like noFanofCB says, mostly dirt roads to get to their campgrounds. I don't know what Escape's contract says about going off made roads. BLM too may have it on the internet, but when I used them three years ago, none of it was on the internet. Often they do not have toilets, and when they do, they are primitive long drop toilets, neither will there be running water. Not exactly what I would want on my honeymoon.

    Lifey
    I will definitely check out BLM Offices and what the contract says for the campervan, good thought!

    Honestly no running water or toilets doesn't really scare us, we back country camp for fun so that wouldn't be anything new :) I'm hoping to find a place for a massage or something at the end of the trip to include something Honeymoon-esque into our trip. We figured we can do a beach honeymoon anytime, but doing a 2-week road trip will be much harder to do once we have kids. Plus, we really stink at just sitting and relaxing :D

  6. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by noFanofCB View Post
    On my recent June trip to Montana I stayed in 2 BLM campgrounds. Pit toilets, no running water but some rough picnic tables and fire rings. And no usage fees.

    http://coloradowreckchasing.com/ADVp...trip_2017.html
    Your trip looks amazing, thank you for sharing! I just looked through your photos and saw a few things that will definitely interest my husband, like Freedom, WY :) Your photos definitely get me more excited for our trip!

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,467

    Default

    From Escape's site:

    Road Restrictions:

    Driving on unpaved roads (excluding county and state maintained roads), dirt roads, restricted areas and ‘off road’ areas is not allowed. Renter is liable for all damages to vehicle, tires, towing charges and other expenses as a result of a breakdown, collision, or other, associated with operating Escape Campervans vehicles in these areas. Escape Campervans’ insurance protection will also be null and void. The following are restricted areas:

    Anywhere in Mexico, Baja California and Alaska.
    Death Valley between the dates 1st May and 30th September.
    Any unimproved road, trail, track (excluding county and state maintained road)
    Any off-road areas (dunes, Salt Plains, beaches, riverbeds, logging roads, forest trails, dirt trails etc.)
    The Burning Man festival unless prior permission has been given and the grooming fee has been paid.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Ft. Collins, CO.
    Posts
    320

    Default

    The BLM campgrounds I stayed at were located on graded county roads so that condition is pretty easily met though it might be prudent to take a picture of the county or state route number sign for the road in use if it's dirt/gravel in case there is a dispute.

    There are a LOT of unpaved but maintained roads in Montana and Idaho. Even so I kept my speed moderate and rode in the middle of the roads so that if anything happened I'd eventually be found. There wasn't any traffic on the road east of Lemhi Pass.

    The picture of the Big Sandy Rec area is a hint to those who need it that hammock camping sometimes won't work unless you bring your own trees :-)

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,986

    Default Still a cost.

    One thing you need to consider when planning is that free/wild camping can cost you both time and money in fuel if you go much out of your way. That could be a problem if you do end up sticking to the 3 hour driving rule. You gotta love the solitude though!

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