You can find free BLM camping with Google Maps using the help of another camping app called, “FreeRoam“. FreeRoam contains BLM land boundaries, and it links these locations to Google Maps so that you can save places and get turn-by-turn driving directions.
Using Google Maps to Find Free BLM Camping
- Start by installing FreeRoam to your phone or tablet. FreeRoam is available on both Google Play and Apple App Store. FreeRoam is completely free, and it contains no ads, despite what Google Play says.
- Tap on the Layers icon and enable both “BLM Land” and “Satellite”. You will now see orange shaded areas laid over a satellite map. These orange shaded areas are BLM lands. You can camp for free on these lands, as long as there is a public road leading into these lands.
- Look for roads leading into BLM lands. Follow these roads until you see a clearing where you can pull your vehicle off to and camp. You’ve now found free BLM camping.
Finding Free Camping Using Google Maps and FreeRoam
Does Google Maps Show BLM Campgrounds?
Most “developed” BLM campgrounds will appear on Google Maps. So do most day use areas such as trail heads, picnic areas, and viewing areas. However, there is no easy way to find all of these BLM campgrounds.
However, Google Maps does not display BLM land boundaries. It will not show you where all BLM-managed lands are. The only way to get this for free is to use FreeRoam (see video above), or the Interactive map on BLM’s website.
How to Find BLM Field Offices on Google Maps
BLM Field Offices are also listed on Google Maps. You only need to search for “BLM” on Google Maps, and it will show you every location near you.
The reason why you may want to contact a local field office is to ask about their policies on camping. Most field offices enforce the same BLM rules for camping. But some will have different rules on maximum length of stay, where you can camp and cannot camp, what their campfire rules are, or how close you can camp near lakes and streams.
All BLM field offices also offer free maps of their jurisdiction. If campfire permits are required, they will also sell the permits there.
Can I Camp Anywhere on BLM Land?
For the most part, yes, you can camp anywhere on BLM land. But there are some exceptions…
- The BLM classifies land into four major categories. “Public lands” is the largest of these categories and is what most campers refer to when they think of BLM camping. Read more about the four types of BLM land.
- Your vehicle must remain on established roads, trails, and camp only in clearings free of vegetation. You cannot drive your vehicle off-road, except for designated OHV recreation areas. Read more about driving your vehicle off-road on BLM lands.
- The BLM operates “Long Term Visitor Areas” which you can camp for as long as 7 months at a time, for just $180.00. Learn more about Long Term Visitor Areas.