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  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default Interstate Camping Guide

    This thread provides information about public campground found along Interstate Highways. Generally, all campgrounds are within 20 miles of the Interstate Highway unless otherwise noted. (This information was current as of April, 2019)

    What I learned in creating this thread:

    * Our interstate system is more extensive than I really realized.
    * Our interstates follow a pretty strict guideline regarding their numbers, but it results in a lot of "split interstates" that are never going to be connected.
    * There are more campgrounds close to the freeway than I thought there would be.
    * Some campgrounds appear close, but the type of access road will slow down the traffic.
    * Some states have a lot of state parks and national forests; others have very few.
    * Some states put more into their state parks and recreation area websites than others.
    * Many, many state park campgrounds are available through ReserveAmerica.
    * Some national forest campgrounds can be reserved through ReserveAmerica; others are first-come, first-served.
    * Quite a few state and national campgrounds have a 25' RV limit.
    * Some state parks charge extra for non-resident campers. Camper beware!
    * Some state parks, especially those in my state (California) can cost as much as a nice spot in a commercial park.
    * There are probably many city parks with an RV area that are not listed. These are more difficult to find; inquire locally.

    I hope that the information in this thread will be helpful to those who travel Interstate Highways and wish to camp out along the way.


    Donna


    List of the INTERSTATE HIGHWAYS reviewed in this thread

    I-5
    I-8
    I-10
    I-15
    I-20
    I-24
    I-25
    I-26
    I-29
    I-30
    I-35
    I-39
    I-40
    I-43
    I-44
    I-45
    I-49
    I-55/57
    I-59
    I-64
    I-65
    I-68
    I-69
    I-69 Kentucky
    I-70
    I-71
    I-72/74
    I-75
    I-76
    I-77
    I-78
    I-79
    I-80
    I-81
    I-82
    I-83
    I-84 West
    I-84 East
    I-85
    I-86
    I-87
    I-88
    I-89
    I-90
    I-91
    I-93
    I-94
    I-95
    I-96

    (I-70 information that used to be in this first post has been moved to the end of this thread)
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 11-10-2019 at 01:29 PM. Reason: List of the highways added

  2. #2
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    Default

    Public Camping, Interstate 5 (South to North)
    All campsites 20 miles or less from the Interstate unless noted.


    CA
    Note: CA state beaches fill quickly. Reservations are highly recommended to avoid disappointment. This is especially true in summer and all weekends.

    Sweetwater Summit Regional Park, Bonita
    Silver Strand State Beach, Coronado
    San Elijo State Beach, Solana Beach/Del Mar
    South Carlsbad State Beach, Carlsbad
    Guajome Regional Park, Oceanside
    Note: Inland, for the campers who don't care for beach camping!
    San Onofre State Beach, San Onofre
    Note: Part of this beach is a non-sanctioned nude beach.
    San Clemente State Beach, San Clemente
    Doheny State Beach, Dana Point
    Bolsa Chica State Beach, Orange County
    Lake Castaic Campgrounds
    Chuchapate Campground, Frazier Park
    San Luis Reservoir State Recreation Area
    Caswell Memorial State Park, Manteca
    Colusa-Sacramento River State Recreation Area, Colusa
    Woodson Bridge State Recreation Area, Corning
    Lake Shasta Campsites, Lakehead
    Castle Crags State Park, Castella
    Mount Shasta Camping

    OR Note: Oregon has a bunch of state parks and national forests, but most of the campsites are 30+ miles from I-5.

    Valley of the Rogue State Park, Rogue River
    Silver Falls State Park, Salem
    Note: This is about 25 miles off the freeway.
    Trout Creek Campground, Willamette NF, Cascadia
    Note: This is about 35 miles off the freeway.
    Champoeg State Heritage Area, St Paul
    Ainsworth State Park, Cascade Locks
    Note: This is about 32 miles down I-84 east, but near Multnomah Falls on the Columbia Gorge.

    WA

    Battle Ground Lake State Park, Battle Ground
    Paradise Point State Park, Ridgefield
    Seaquest State Park, Castle Rock
    Note: This park has a close proximity to Mt St Helens and I-5.
    Lewis & Clark State Park, Winlock
    Millersylvania State Park, Olympia
    Joemma Beach State Park, Lakebay
    Kanaskat-Palmer State Park, Palmer
    Wenberg CountynPark, Stanwood
    Larrabee State Park, Blanchard
    Birch Bay State Park

    More to come....stay tuned!

    Donna

    For shorter breaks along this highway check HERE.
    Last edited by AZBuck; 07-09-2019 at 09:03 AM. Reason: Added link to smaller parks for short stops

  3. Default Goblin Valley, east end of I-70 in Utah

    Goblin Valley is a wondrous park but it is pretty much in the middle of nowhere. If all of their campsites are full when you arrive, which happened to me, there is an alternative.

    There is a large dispersed BLM camping area on Temple Mountain Road just past Goblin Valley Road. You can see it clearly on a map with satellite view. Quite a few RVs were there. I donít recall there being anything other than a dirt parking lot but it will do if youíre self contained.

    Of course, other people were simply setting up camp by themselves in the desert, but my wife didnít feel safe without others camping nearby.

    [Moderators Note]: When "travelingman" first posted this comment, he was responding to information that was originally posted in the first post of this thread. His comments have now been copied to post #55 to make slightly more logical sense. This original post is retained to keep the original posting order correct.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 11-10-2019 at 01:35 PM. Reason: added explanation note

  4. #4
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    Default

    This is a great list and should be of great help the next time I get back on that highway!

  5. #5
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    Public Camping, I-15 (south to north).
    All campgrounds within 20 miles of the interstate, unless noted.


    CA:

    Santee Lakes Park, Santee
    Dos Picos County Park, Ramona
    Note: This park is about 25 miles from I-15.
    Palomar Mountain State Park, Pauma Valley
    Dripping Springs NF CG, Aguanga
    Blue Jay NF CG, Lake Elsinore
    Silverwood Lake State Recreation Area, Wrightwood

    NV:

    Spring Mountain Ranch State Park, west of Las Vegas
    Mount Charleston Wilderness, west of Las Vegas
    Valley of Fire State Park, Overton
    Echo Bay CG, Lake Mead

    AZ:

    Virgin River Canyon Recreation Area, BLM
    Note: This area is closed for renovation. At this time (May 2020) it is still closed.

    UT:

    Snow Canyon State Park, St George
    Zion National Park CG's (3)
    Note: These campgrounds fill quickly – reservations needed!
    Cedar Breaks National Monument, Cedar City
    Note: Cedar Breaks is 22 gorgeous miles east of Cedar City, but it takes 45 minutes to get there.
    Dixie National Forest, 3 CG's
    Minersville Lake State Park, Beaver
    Yuba State Park, Scipio
    Utah Lake State Park, Provo
    Note: Its proximity to SLC and Provo make this a very popular park. Reservations required!
    Deer Creek State Park, Charleston
    Willard Bay State Park, North Ogden
    Hyrum State Park, Hyrum

    MT:

    Clark Canyon Reservoir Campgrounds
    Note: Quite a few campgrounds, but be aware that one or two are “boat in” only.
    Philipsburg Bay Campground, Georgetown Lake
    Stuarts Mill Bay Campground, Georgetown Lake, has no website
    Cromwell-Dixon Campground, Helena NF
    Log Gulch Recreation Area, Holter Dam

    More to come....

    Donna

    For shorter breaks along this highway check HERE.
    Last edited by DonnaR57; 05-23-2020 at 04:03 PM. Reason: updated Virgin River BLM closure

  6. #6
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    Default

    Public Campgrounds along I-40, west to east.
    All campgrounds within 20 miles unless otherwise noted.


    CA:

    Sorry, none within 20 miles of that road! This is the Mohave Desert. (Moderators Note: Actually in California, this region is spelled Mojave Desert.)

    ***But this highway does follow historic Route 66 and a couple of regional and national parks and there are certainly many RV parks along this highway, And there are several places with dispersed camping all through the desert within 20 miles of the highway.***

    AZ:

    Katherine Landing Campground, Lake Mohave
    Note: This is about 35 miles north of Kingman.
    Kaibab Lake Campground, Williams
    Note: One of the closest public campgrounds to Grand Canyon, so it fills quickly!
    Homolovi State Park, Winslow
    NOTE: There are no campgrounds in Petrified Forest National Park. All camping is walk-in, backcountry only.

    NM:

    McGaffey Campground, NF
    Note: This is a heavily used campground. Plan accordingly.
    Bluewater Lake State Park, Prewitt
    Villanueva State Park, Clines Corners
    Santa Rosa Lake State Park, Santa Rosa
    Conchas Lake State Park, Tucumcari
    Ute Lake State Park, Logan
    Note: This is about 26 miles.

    TX:

    Palo Duro Canyon State Park, SE of Amarillo
    Note: This is about 27 miles from the heart of Amarillo.

    OK:

    Foss State Park, Foss
    Red Rock Canyon State Park, Hinton – no longer a state park -- now under private ownership.
    Okmulgee State Park, Okmulgee
    Dripping Springs State Park, Henryetta
    Lake Eufaula State Park, Checotah
    Tenkiller State Park, Paradise Hill
    Greenleaf State Park, Bragg
    Brushy Lake City Park, Sallisaw


    AR:

    Redding Campground, Ozark NF
    Note: About 23 miles, but may take 45 minutes one way.
    Shores Lake Campground, Ozark NF
    Lake Dardanelle State Park, Russellville
    Village Creek State Park, Forrest City

    TN:

    Natchez Trace State Park, Yuma
    Montgomery Bell State Park, Burns
    Cedars of Lebanon, Bairds Mills
    Edgar Evins State Park, Silver Point
    Cumberland Mountain State Park, Crossville
    Cosby Campground, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Hartford



    NC:

    Mills River, Pisgah National Forest, Avery Creek
    Note: About 25 miles.
    Lake James State Park, Nebo
    Pilot Mountain State Park, Pinnacle
    Note: About 25 miles.
    Carolina Beach State Park
    Note: About 25 miles from the eastern terminus of I-40.

    More to come!

    Donna

    For shorter breaks along this highway check HERE.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 11-11-2019 at 03:22 PM. Reason: Spelling

  7. #7
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    Public Campgrounds Near Interstate 10, and Interstate 8. All campgrounds located within 20 miles, unless noted otherwise.

    Note: Many of the campgrounds in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, along I-10, are located in desert areas. During the summer, that means it will probably be HOT, even at night. Desert camping means making sure you have plenty of water if the campsite does not provide it, especially if you are camping on some of the BLM lands.

    CA:

    Mount San Jacinto State Park, Banning
    Mountain park at higher elevation.
    Pinyon Flat, San Bernardino NF Campground, Palm Desert
    Desert park
    Joshua Tree National Park, Indio
    Salton Sea State Recreation Area, North Shore


    AZ:

    Quartzsite BLM Camping
    Picacho Peak State Park, Picacho
    Gilbert Ray County Campground, near Saguaro National Park
    Kartchner Caverns State Park, Benson

    NM:

    Rockhound State Park, Deming
    Organ Mountains Desert Peaks National Monument, Las Cruces (managed by BLM)

    TX:

    Balmorhea State Park, Balmorhea
    South Llano River State Park, Junction
    Palmetto State Park, Lulling
    Stephen F Austin State Park, Sealy
    Sea Rim State Park, Port Arthur
    Village Creek State Park, Lumberton

    LA:

    Sam Houston Jones State Park, Lake Charles
    Tickfaw State Park, Ponchatoula
    Fairview-Riverside State Park, Madisonville
    Fontainebleau State Park, Lacombe

    Buccaneer State Park, Lakeshore
    Shepard State Park, Gautier

    AL:

    Meaher State Park, Spanish Fort
    Gulf State Park, Gulf Shores
    Note: About 30 miles from I-10.

    FL:

    Big Lagoon State Park, Gulf Shores
    Blackwater River State Park, Milton
    Henderson Beach State Park, Fort Walton Beach
    Note: About 30 miles.
    Florday Caverns State Park, Marianna
    Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park, White Springs
    Ocean Pond Campground, Osceola National Forest
    Little Talbot Island State Park, Jacksonville
    Note: About 25 miles from the eastern terminus of I-10.

    More to come....

    Donna

    For shorter breaks along this highway check HERE.
    Last edited by DonnaR57; 12-04-2019 at 06:05 PM. Reason: fixed an HTML issue; added a link to a campsite

  8. #8
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    Public campgrounds along I-8 (alternative to I-10 in Southern California and Arizona, from San Diego). All campsites within 20 miles of the freeway, unless noted.


    CA:

    Campsites near the western terminus of I-8
    Mission Trails Regional Park, San Diego
    Note: More details can be found on each campground through the links with I-5.
    Santee Lakes Campground, Santee
    Lake Jennings County Park, El Cajon/Lakeside
    Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, Descanso
    Note: The two Cuyamaca campgrounds fill quickly on weekends from May to October!
    Boulder Oaks NF Campground, Pine Valley
    Note: This campground is high desert, appeals to PCT hikers, and gets busy on weekends May to October.
    Cibbets Flat NF Campground, Pine Valley
    Note: This campground is high desert, and gets busy only on weekends.
    Burnt Rancheria NF Campground, Laguna Highway
    Note: This author's favorite NF campground! Located at about 5000 ft elevation so it is cooler than the campsites at Boulder Oaks or Cibbets Flat, in the summer. Not open in winter.
    Laguna Campground, Mt Laguna
    Note: A little further away from I-8 than Burnt Ranch.
    Lake Morena County Park, Campo/Buckman Springs
    Holtville Hot Springs Long Term Visitor Area, Holtville
    Note: Located off Van der Linden Road exit from I-8. NOT free, but cheap enough.
    BLM Pilot Knob Long Term Visitor Area, Winterhaven
    Note: Located just west of the Imperial Sand Dunes.
    Gray's Well Unit, Imperial Sand Dunes, Winterhavenl
    Permits needed!
    BLM Imperial Sand Dunes
    Note: Same dunes, different website!

    AZ:

    Sonoran Desert BLM Lands, Gila Bend
    Note: Though some dispersed camping appears to be accepted, there have been recent issues in the area with undocumented personnel. Between May 1 and November 1, the area gets extremely hot. In other areas, special permits are required to disperse camp, particularly in the “Barry Goldwater” area. A safer alternative:
    West Pinal County Park, AKA Kortsen Park, Stanfield
    PDF for Kortsen West Pinal Co. Park
    Click the PDF if the Pinal Co site does not open.

    More to come....

    Donna

    For shorter breaks along this highway check HERE.
    Last edited by DonnaR57; 05-31-2020 at 08:43 AM. Reason: Added link to smaller parks for short stops; added other camping areas. updated two listings

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Note: These lists are not meant to be inclusive. Other camping areas may be available. Inquire locally.

    Public campgrounds along Interstate 95, south to north. All campgrounds within 20 miles of the interstate, unless otherwise noted.

    FL:

    Everglades National Park, Homestead
    Sebastian Inlet State Park, Sebastian
    Faver-Dykes State Park, Marineland
    Anastasia State Park, Augustine Beach
    Little Talbot Island State Park, Jacksonville
    Fort Clinch State Park, Fernandina Beach

    GA:

    Crooked River State Park, St Mary's
    Fort McAllister State Park, Richmond Hill
    Skidaway Island, Savannah

    SC:

    Colleton State Park, Walterboro
    Santee State Park, Santee
    Poinsett State Park, Pinewood
    Little Pee Dee State Park, Dillon

    VA:

    Note: I-95 from Richmond to Boston has horrible traffic. Camping is listed here, but alternative routes are suggested. There are no public parks listed on Rand McNally and AAA maps between Elk Neck VA and CT.

    Pocahontas State Park, Chesterfield
    Prince William Forest Park, Triangle

    MD:

    Patapsco Valley State Park, Baltimore (see listing with I-70)
    Susquehanna State Park, Perryville MD
    Elk Neck State Park, Elk Neck

    CT:

    Hammonasset Beach State Park, Madison
    Rocky Neck State Park, Giants Neck

    NH:
    Note: NH is the next listed public campground after Rocky Neck.

    Hampton Beach State Park, Hampton

    ME:

    Bradbury Mountain Park, Pownal
    Lake St George State Park, Palermo
    Note: About 25 miles from Augusta.
    Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor
    Note: Acadia is about 30 miles from I-95, but worth the drive. Three campgrounds, but all three fill quickly. Reservations highly suggested!


    More coming.....

    Donna

    For shorter breaks along this highway check HERE.
    Last edited by DonnaR57; 10-10-2019 at 05:47 PM. Reason: Added link to smaller parks for short stops; removed duplicate links

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Public Camping along Interstate 80, west to east. All campgrounds within 20 miles of the freeway, unless otherwise noted.

    CA:

    Folsom Lake State Rec Area
    Lake Spaulding Campground, Blue Canyon (PG&E)
    Lodgepole Campground, Emigrant Gap (PG&E)
    Donner Memorial State Park, Truckee
    Logger Campground, Tahoe National Forest
    Lake Tahoe Campgrounds
    Note: It's 25 miles or more to some campgrounds, but it's a beautiful drive.

    NV:

    Washoe Lake State Park, Carson City
    Note: About 30 miles.
    Lahontan State Park, Silver Springs
    Rye Patch State park, Lovelock
    South Fork State Recreation Area, Spring Creek
    Angel Lake Campground, Wells
    Angel Creek Campground, Wells

    UT:

    Antelope Island State Park, West Valley City
    East Canyon State Park, Porterville
    Rockport State Park, Wanship (5 campgrounds)

    WY:

    Seminoe State Park, Sinclair
    Meadows Camground, Routt National Forest, Laramie
    Curt Gowdy State Park, Cheyenne

    NE:

    Lake McConaughy State Recreation Area, Ogallala
    Lake Ogallala State Recreation Area, Ogallala
    Buffalo Bill Ranch, North Platte
    Lake Maloney State Recreation Area, North Platte
    Johnson Lake State Recreation Area, Lexington
    Fort Kearny State Recreation Area, Kearney
    Mormon Island State Recreation Area, Grand Island
    Pawnee State Recreation Area, Lincoln
    Mahoney State Park, Ashland
    Platte River State Park, Bend
    Two Rivers State Recreation Area, Waterloo/Omaha

    IA:

    Prairie Rose State Park, Harlan
    Lake Anita State Park, Anita
    Rock Creek State Park, Newton
    Lake MacBride State Park, North Liberty

    IL:

    Johnson-Sauk State Park, Annawah
    Starved Rock State Park, Ottawa
    Note: One of our family favorites, this park has everything!
    Illini State Park, Marseilles

    IN:
    Note: At Portage, I-80 becomes the Indiana Turnpike, a toll road with limited access.

    Potato Creek State Park, Lakeville
    Pokagon State Park, Lake James, Angola

    OH:
    Note: I-80 is the Ohio Turnpike throughout the state, a toll road with limited access.

    Harrison Lake State Park, Fayette
    Maumee Bay State Park, Harbor View
    30 miles from nearest exit from the toll road
    West Branch State Park, Wayland
    Note: 17 miles west on I-76

    PA:

    Shenango Lake, Sharpsville
    Cook Forest State Park, Leeper
    Note: 22 miles
    Parker Dam State Park, Penfield
    Bald Eagle State Park, Howard
    Raymond B Winter State Park, Mifflinburg
    Hickory Run State Park, White Haven

    NJ:

    Worthington State Forest, Delaware Water Gap
    Jenny Jump State Forest, Hope

    More to come...

    Donna

    For shorter breaks along this highway check HERE.
    Last edited by DonnaR57; 05-31-2020 at 08:54 AM. Reason: Added link to smaller parks for short stops; removed entry

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