What is Dispersed Camping?
Dispersed camping is the term used for camping anywhere in the National Forest OUTSIDE of a designated campground. Dispersed camping means no services; such as trash removal, and little or no facilities; such as tables and fire pits, are provided. Some popular dispersed camping areas may have toilets.There are extra responsibilities and skills that are necessary for dispersed camping. It is your responsibility to know the camping rules and regulations to make your experience safe, and to keep the natural resources scenic and unspoiled for other campers.
Rules for Disperse Camping:
Groups of over 75 people who wish to use the forest, need to obtain a special use permit.
You need to be self-contained. No amenities are provided; such as water, restrooms or trash cans.
You may camp in a dispersed area for up to 16 days. After 16 days, you must move at least 5 road miles for camping in another dispersed area. Campers may not return to the same campsite within the calendar year.
Please place your campsite at least 100 feet from any stream or other water source.
Keep a Pack-In Pack-Out camp. Follow Leave No Trace guidelines.
Contact the local Forest Service office to see if any restrictions, especially fire restrictions are in place.
Be Bear Aware. There are bears on the National Forest, so camp accordingly.
Where Can I Disperse Camp?
Typically, dispersed camping is NOT allowed in the vicinity of developed recreation areas such as campgrounds, picnic areas, or trailheads. Many people drive out on Forest Service roads into the woods and find a clearing or a spot near a stream or with a view of the mountains. Drive on existing roads to prevent resource damage. Dispersed camping is allowed in a one-mile perimeter away from campgrounds and 100 feet from any stream. To prevent resource damage please keep your campsite within 150 feet from a roadway.
How to Pick a Campsite?
If you are going to an area where others have camped before, pick a site that has been used before. Plants, soil and wildlife are impacted by new campsites so using existing ones will minimize your impact in the forest. If there is no existing campsite, then follow these Leave No Trace guidelines.
Camp on bare soil if possible, to avoid damage or killing plants and grass.
Do NOT camp within 100 feet of any water source, plants near water are especially fragile.
Do not camp in the middle of a clearing or meadow; try to make your campsite less visible so that other visitors will see a "wild" setting
Do not try to level or dig trenches in the ground at your campsite.