Author Topic: How to find camping spots  (Read 6976 times)

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Offline daleswindler

How to find camping spots
« on: June 20, 2023, 04:51:16 pm »
I am planning a solo ride from west to east across Washington State.  Is there an online tool or directory that will help me find places to pitch my tent?

Offline John Nelson

Re: How to find camping spots
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2023, 05:46:01 pm »
Google isn’t bad at finding campgrounds. Just type “campgrounds near yakima wa” into Google maps. You’ll have to look at each one individually to see if they accept tents.

Of course if you’re on an ACA route, you can just look at their map, and the ACA has already figured out which places allow tents. And the ACA will identify a few free places to camp too.

Offline ray b

Re: How to find camping spots
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2023, 09:20:09 pm »
As always - "What John said."

I'll add that the ACA phone app does a nice job at maintaining up-to-date info on camping, and for finding a place to sleep, I preferred this app over the paper maps and ACA .GPX data downloaded to my Garmin.

There are no good apps for stealth camping or picking a spot for "dispersed" camping in the National Forests  - though again, the ACA maps will warn you about areas of National Forests where camping is restricted to established camp grounds and also point out established "dispersed" (free) camp sites - in which you'll usually find an old RV or trailer parked for the summer. (If you're not familiar with the terms, a quick Google search will give you the idea.)

I've tried a number of other apps for campsites, but have not found them useful. Sure at this point, a few of the old backpackers will contribute to your list of apps to check out.
“A good man always knows his limitations.”

Offline daleswindler

Re: How to find camping spots
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2023, 12:28:20 am »
You are making me reconsider doing my own route. Maybe it would be best to follow an ACA route. --Dale

Offline adventurepdx

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Re: How to find camping spots
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2023, 12:35:00 am »
I've tried a number of other apps for campsites, but have not found them useful.

I'll second the advice of using Google Maps, but I will share one app that I have found useful: Allstays Camp and Tent. It does cost some $$, but it's a one time nominal fee--I bought it back in 2011 or so when I did my Cross-Con Tour, and it still works for me (and yes, I've switched devices!) It's got a nice map interface and breaks down campgrounds by type: National Parks, State Parks, National Forests, BLM, County/Municipal, Army Corps of Engineers, and private. It gives a basic overview of each campground's amenities. Unfortunately it doesn't indicate hiker/biker sites, but I don't know if any app does.

Offline adventurepdx

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  • Riding bikes in and around Portland, Oregon
Re: How to find camping spots
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2023, 12:40:05 am »
You are making me reconsider doing my own route. Maybe it would be best to follow an ACA route. --Dale

Did you have a map of your proposed route you can share?

Following an ACA route will make things easier, but that's not necessarily a reason to scrap your plans.

Offline daleswindler

Re: How to find camping spots
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2023, 12:55:50 am »
I signed up for Allstays Pro. That looks like a winner!

Offline UncaBuddha

Re: How to find camping spots
« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2023, 09:53:08 am »
Hmm, are you using an iPhone or Android? I can't find Allstays on my Android Samsung.

Offline daleswindler

Re: How to find camping spots
« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2023, 09:55:43 am »
I haven't tried it from my phone yet.  It is Android.  I've been using it from the desktop computer.  I'll get back to that this evening and see if I can use it from by Android.

Offline daleswindler

Re: How to find camping spots
« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2023, 09:40:00 pm »
AllStays did discontinue their Android App back in 2017.

Offline j1of1

Re: How to find camping spots
« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2023, 09:48:11 am »
1.  Did you start your ride yet?
2.  Planned route W --> E?
3.  I'm riding Seattle --> Missoula --> Pueblo in June 2024, NOT using Palouse to Cascades trail because of loose gravel and I'm using a touring bike, with panniers and tires < 2"   Are you planning to go across the PCT?

Offline UncaBuddha

Re: How to find camping spots
« Reply #11 on: September 30, 2023, 09:55:13 am »
AllStays did discontinue their Android App back in 2017.

Well, doggonit!

Offline BikeliciousBabe

Re: How to find camping spots
« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2023, 09:52:57 am »
1.  Did you start your ride yet?
2.  Planned route W --> E?
3.  I'm riding Seattle --> Missoula --> Pueblo in June 2024, NOT using Palouse to Cascades trail because of loose gravel and I'm using a touring bike, with panniers and tires < 2"   Are you planning to go across the PCT?

I did a lot of that way back in 2000.  Left Seattle and picked up the Norhtern Tier near Mt. Veron, WA.  Took that to Glacier National Park to ride up and back down the west slope of Going to the Sun.  From there, I headed back to Columbia Falls and took the Great Parks North Route to Missoula, where I picked up the Trans Am route all the way to Fairplay, CO.  Continued on the Great Parks South to Cortez, CO.  (If you stay on the TA at Fairplay, you end up in Pueblo.)

I have since been on parts of the NT and TA in MT a few times and more recently. Send me a PM if you would like some options to enhance the experience and/or woud like my opinons on where to stay.