For a part of the country considered to be a “fly-over state,” free camping in Kansas is relatively abundant and often surprisingly diverse. RVers will find a free place to call home in national grasslands, city parks, private businesses, and via campgrounds provided by the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism. Does all of that free camping fill up your tanks? There are also several free dump facilities around the state.
Free RV Camping at KDWPT Campgrounds
The Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism is responsible for the majority of free camping in the Sunflower State. A dozen recreation areas, scattered across the state, provide camping in designated spots and always near a lake. Getting through the Great Kansan Plains? Notice a sign along the roadway that says “State Fishing Lake”? It’s also a good bet that you’ll locate a free camping area nearby.
Highlights include Leavenworth State Fishing Lake between Topeka and Kansas City, and Chase State Fishing Lake near Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve. Although they tend to be in the eastern side of the state, you’ll find these camping places all over the place.
Free Camping in Kansas County and City Parks
Apart from the state-provided camping places, several small communities have been kind enough to provide campers a place to stay for an evening or two. Some of these, like Davis Park Campground in the city of Greensburg KS and Medicine Lodge’s city park, even provide electric hookups. However, most of these sites are simply a place to park with access to a restroom, some picnic tables, and maybe even a boat ramp or a playground. One of the attractions is Antelope Lake County Park, which has lakefront camping and one of the state’s most unusual amenities…ample shade!
Free Dispersed Camping in Cimarron National Grassland
If you like national forests, Kansas has its own counterpart in the shape of national grasslands. Just beyond the park, Cimarron provides basic boondocking. Don’t anticipate much in the way of landscape, since this isn’t your standard national forest. The place isn’t for everyone, but should campers want to see what a national grassland entails or just need a quick, free overnighter while traveling Kansas State Route 51, the option is available.
More Free Overnight Camping in Kansas
In addition to the public areas previously mentioned, several companies provide free parking. They are often merely a parking spot in the rear of a Walmart parking lot, and although it is not needed, the aim is that you will buy at their establishment during your stay. Be mindful of other customers and attempt to stay as covert as possible—generally, etiquette dictates that you do not bring out your chairs or awning and otherwise be unobtrusive. Having saying that, they are entirely legal venues to stay the night. This policy is found mostly between I-70 and US 50, making Walmart and Cabella’s the ideal method to grab some shut-eye on the long journey that is through Kansas. Before settling down for the night, verify with management or security.
Another worth noting is that the Kansas Underground Salt Museum, nicknamed Strataca, offers free camping in their lot to those interested in a mine tour.