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For those who are new to dry camping and wonder why folks camp without hookups let's post some pictures of places we've boondocked to give and idea of what we're talking about.

This is Agguire Spring Campground outside of White Sands NP.  It's a BLM campground at about 6K'.  You can see WSNP about 20 miles in the distance.

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For those who are new to dry camping and wonder why folks camp without hookups let's post some pictures of places we've boondocked to give and idea of what we're talking about. This is Agguire Sp

Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument is south west Arizona. 

This is Franklin Mountain State Park outside of El Paso.  There are only 6 sites.

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Quartzsite, AZ, Dome Rock.  In January there is a big RV show in town followed by a Fiberglass rally at Dome Rock.  BLM dispersed camping.  Find a spot and camp!

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Mike and Carol | Fair Oaks Ranch, TX | 2016 Elite II #135 | 2020 Ram Rebel 4X4 5.7L Hemi

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Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument is south west Arizona. 

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Mike and Carol | Fair Oaks Ranch, TX | 2016 Elite II #135 | 2020 Ram Rebel 4X4 5.7L Hemi

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This is Red Canyon campground just outside of Bryce Canyon NP.  It's a FS campground.

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Mike and Carol | Fair Oaks Ranch, TX | 2016 Elite II #135 | 2020 Ram Rebel 4X4 5.7L Hemi

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This is a BLM area outside of Goblin State Park in Utah.  We couldn't get a spot in the park, so went just a few miles away where there is a lot of BLM land with free dispersed camping.

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Mike and Carol | Fair Oaks Ranch, TX | 2016 Elite II #135 | 2020 Ram Rebel 4X4 5.7L Hemi

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This is Gros Ventre Campground in Grand Teton NP.  We had nice fall weather for a few days before it got cold.

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Mike and Carol | Fair Oaks Ranch, TX | 2016 Elite II #135 | 2020 Ram Rebel 4X4 5.7L Hemi

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Gorgeous! Thanks so much for posting these. For those of us who have never boondocked it's hard to imagine what to expect. I thought it was all just dispersed camping but now I see there are real campsites available at some places just no services. This makes me feel better. Although I do look forward to camping out in nature with the great views like you have shown.

Cindy & Charlie

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I'd always  thought "boondocking"  referred to dispersed camping - i.e. using places where it's  legal to camp but not in an established campground, and campingin a campground w/o hookups was "dry camping."  But I'm happy  to go  with the local  flow here on this forum and thread -  the point in this threat being places where you'll be happy  you  have a camper that lets you break  free of hookups!

Here are a few views from a sweet dispersed site on BLM land just  east of Capitol  Reef NP off of the Notom Road. There are SO  many spots  like this near CR  and also the Grand  Staircase  Escalante NM. 

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CR boondock milky way-.jpg

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Jim and  Yanna, Woodinville WA

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Here's a shot of a "dry camp" site at one of the established campgrounds  in Valley of  Fire State Park in NV. It was really sweet, tucked into a very  private alcove with the only  sign of nearby  campers around the corner being the light of their fire glowing on the red rock pillars as  you see in the  shot of the site. I arrived at the park early enough on a Friday to get one of the more sweet (for me at least) sites,  even  though the CG was already well more than half full. I'd just  been  in some more  remote parts of UT so the busy-ness of VoF was a little startling at times though I could  quickly get away  from  all  that  just  by heading out on some of  the great  trails  there,  and even more so by  going cross  country (with GPS app  and  downloaded maps just  in  case!) across the lovely  sandstone there. This site was also a lovely refuge  from the LA  crowds. 

VoF stars at camp-0233.jpg

VoF milky way-0235.jpg

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Jim and  Yanna, Woodinville WA

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7 minutes ago, Jim_Oker said:

I'd always  thought "boondocking"  referred to dispersed camping - i.e. using places where it's  legal to camp but not in an established campground, and campingin a campground w/o hookups was "dry camping."  But I'm happy  to go  with the local  flow here on this forum and thread -  the point in this threat being places where you'll be happy  you  have a camper that lets you break  free of hookups!

Jim, technically you are probably right.  A lot of folks use "boondocking", "dry camping" and "no hookups" interchangeably.  The pictures I posted are mostly campgrounds with no hookups but some are dispersed areas.  I guess the idea is to show new campers the different camping possibilities outside of FHU campgrounds.  Mike

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Mike and Carol | Fair Oaks Ranch, TX | 2016 Elite II #135 | 2020 Ram Rebel 4X4 5.7L Hemi

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Just now, Mike and Carol said:

I guess the idea is to show new campers the different camping possibilities outside of FHU campgrounds. 

Yeah I get it, and am playing along. I bring up  the lexical  discussion just  in case anyone else has  read definitions along the lines of what  I'm  familiar with,  in hopes of helping reduce  confusion. And yeah, now and then I end up next to hookups - in my camper van (from  which I've removed the water tank in favor of using that under-seat storage  space and instead using portable containers...) at most I'll connect to the electric post if I think my battery may not be full  from driving. But for the most part those  are the  campgrounds  I use while trying  to  make time from  point a to point b. Most of the "destination"  campgrounds I've used have no hookups - Deadhorse Point and also Snow Canyon in  UT are among the relatively  rare exceptions I  can think of (both fantastic spots btw!).

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Jim and  Yanna, Woodinville WA

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Here's a typical very campable roadside pullout in the Valley of the Gods in southeast Utah. There are also a handful of spur roads with quite sweet sites along them. Nearby Muley Point also has great sites though perhaps more appropriate for a camper van than for a travel trailer (when I was there two years ago I honestly didn't look with "travel trailer" in mind so I'm not sure - it's a funky road to get up there  and I'm not sure what  turnarounds are like at the top... BUT down in VOTG there are a ton of options and no sweat for any trailer setup that you're willing to take on a dirt road that gets a tad bumpy).

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Jim and  Yanna, Woodinville WA

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Here are a few shots from a yearly group camp and ski long weekend with some ski touring buddies. We are at one of several dispersed camp sites along the North Girl of the Teanaway River just outside of Cle Elum WA. There's a good trailer turnaround at camp Wahoo a bit north of here and its also possible to turn around at the end of the road IF people haven't been parking like idiots there (which is sadly becoming more common in the Cascades). We had no trouble claiming this large site mid week in early May just after the road had melted out but competition gets more fierce in mid summer.

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Jim and  Yanna, Woodinville WA

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And back on dry camping at established sites, this is the middle of the South campground in Zion NP. I scored this site mid afternoon in early November two years ago. There's not much privacy there but the setting is stunning and it's super convenient to the shuttle buses that take you to the valley as well as to restaurants and other services in Springdale.

I've also stayed a night in a well used dispersed camping spot twenty minutes east of Springdale which the info desk rangers there will happily tell you about. The next morning I got in a Friday before holiday weekend  (memorial day, not my best timed trip to an NP ever but it was still a fantastic visit) line to score a site here in South which I used for four or five nights back in 2016. South has since been put in the reservation system I think. 

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Jim and  Yanna, Woodinville WA

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6 hours ago, Mike and Carol said:

Joshua Tree NP, Indian Cove campground.

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This reminds me of camping at City of Rocks, ID.  

 

3 hours ago, Jim_Oker said:

Here's a shot of a "dry camp" site at one of the established campgrounds  in Valley of  Fire State Park in NV. It was really sweet, tucked into a very  private alcove with the only  sign of nearby  campers around the corner being the light of their fire glowing on the red rock pillars as  you see in the  shot of the site. I arrived at the park early enough on a Friday to get one of the more sweet (for me at least) sites,  even  though the CG was already well more than half full. I'd just  been  in some more  remote parts of UT so the busy-ness of VoF was a little startling at times though I could  quickly get away  from  all  that  just  by heading out on some of  the great  trails  there,  and even more so by  going cross  country (with GPS app  and  downloaded maps just  in  case!) across the lovely  sandstone there. This site was also a lovely refuge  from the LA  crowds. 

VoF stars at camp-0233.jpg

VoF milky way-0235.jpg

Love your night shots.  I just can't seem to get those . . . .

 

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Ray and Susan Huff

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I've heard City of  Rocks is  lovely. I  want to  hit it sometime on  my  way down  to  UT but so  far haven't been willing to divert quite that far off the superhighway.  I've  only been as far as Bruneau  Dunes  (no CG shot but here's  a shot from the top  of the dunes; the CG in October was very  much  "boondocking"  in the sense used in this thread). As for the night shots, I  am using a fairly new full  frame low noise sensor with  camera on tripod and a  tack  sharp  prime lens with  a big maximum  aperture.  There are some good online tutorials explaining keys to shooting the night sky (often focused on the mikly way but those tips will  help with any star shots) including the  "500 rule"  and so forth. A full frame  sensor is  not a must but it  helps  to have  a relatively new and not too  small sensor so  that it won't have an  outrageous level of  "noise" when  shooting at high ISO (like in the ballpark of ISO  3200).

Bruneau Dunes Spine-.jpg

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Jim and  Yanna, Woodinville WA

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6 hours ago, Time2Go! said:

For those of us who have never boondocked it's hard to imagine what to expect

When we park out in the field, at home, technically we are boondocking. We have not plugged it in, at home, since bringing it home in 2017. Yet we can go down whenever we please, turn on a light, run water, watch TV, or read a book. Got to love the solar system.

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In between Arches NP and Canyonlands NP there are a bunch of BLM campgrounds and dispersed camping areas.  This is Horsethief campground just outside of Canyonlands NP.  Nice level sites with at table and fire ring.  Vault toilets were very clean.  Only about 15 minutes outside of Moab.

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Mike and Carol | Fair Oaks Ranch, TX | 2016 Elite II #135 | 2020 Ram Rebel 4X4 5.7L Hemi

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Here's the site I scored the first time I stayed at South campground in Zion NP. It was on the edge toward the Virgin River with some widely spaced walk in tent only sites out below and toward the river(phone panoramic photo is distorted mainking a relatively  straight road look like it makes  a 90 degree bend). This is a really sweet site. 

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Jim and  Yanna, Woodinville WA

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The middle photo was shot through the windshield while parked at a very nice dispersed camp spot just a bit south of Boulder UT, along the very cool and scenic hogsback feature that runs from Boulder south toward a crossing of the Escalante River. The other two shots were a few minutes away just before she after sunrise where I shot some photos and then made and ate breakfast with extremely scenic views. I like to have a kitchen with me in my van for after these dawn photo outings. I can think of many memorable breakfasts this way.

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Jim and  Yanna, Woodinville WA

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