At The Dyrt, we share camping tips from our community of campers and campgrounds. With so many campers staying home, we continue to share this info so you can plan future camping trips across the U.S.

Have you ever stood on the shore of a crowded, waterfront campsite and dreamt of a quieter place? Somewhere where the sound of the water lapping at your feet is the only sound you can hear? (Instead of your campground neighbors radio?)

There’s a simple solution to this desire: Boat-in only campgrounds.

OK, it’s not that simple. Boat-in campgrounds are by definition, trickier to reach. You’ll need a boat to get there. But these 5 boat-in campgrounds are definitely worth the extra paddle.

Boat-in Campgrounds or Bust

Bring your own boat, or rent one! Here are 5 secluded campgrounds that can only be reached by boat.





1. White Oak Boat-In Campground, KY

boat-in

Image by kelly martodam via Google

One of the larger boat-in campgrounds on our list, this waterside haven sits on the pristine Laurel River Lake and boasts an impressive 51 sites, most of which are dotted right along the shoreline. Since White Oak is fairly well-trafficked and patrolled, this destination is a safe option for all of those who are just getting their feet wet, so to speak, with the idea of boat-in camping.

2. Crystal Boat-In Campsite, CO


If you’re a water-loving camper who has already tested your limits when it comes to boating into the backcountry, this may be the site for you. Nestled in a remote cove that rests in the mouth of this picturesque creek, Crystal Boat-In Campsite allows for one small group of visitors at a time. This one is a must for those seeking solitude against a backdrop of Colorado’s immense outdoor beauty.

3. Big Cove Boat-In Campgrounds, OR

boat-in

Image by bearsrock09 via Instagram

Located on the north side of Bend, Big Cove offers its campers a rustic experience, deep within Oregonian grassland. Although the sites are without basic amenities, they do tend to fill up quickly in the peak season, which means you should give yourself plenty of paddling time in order to nab your spot for the night. Or better yet? Paddle on over this fall when the crowds are thin or non-existent.

4. Jackson Point Boat-In Campground, CA

boat-in

Image by carloco4life via Instagram

Offering adventure-filled camping in Lake Tahoe backcountry, Jackson Point rests within the less-traveled Jackson Meadow Reservoir. Because this area is known for its snow during the winters, be sure to check with park services if you’re planning a cold-weather retreat. They do close the site once the snowpack reaches a certain height.

5. Jarvies Family Boat-In, UT

Sitting at an elevation of 6,040-feet, this very special boat-in campground gives water-loving visitors a little more luxury; all sites are reservable and include access to a shared toilet. It’s not the Ritz, but it does provide campers with unparalleled views of sky-high junipers, pines, and the famous red cliffs of Utah.

Camping on the water means you’ll almost definitely feel the chill at night — so paddle out prepared! Our friends over at Klymit will keep you cozy with durable, waterproof sleeping bags, pads, pillows, and hammocks.

If you check out one of these boat-in only sites, we’d love to hear about it! Add your reviews and photos on The Dyrt, and you could win free camping gear from Klymit and other great outdoor brands.

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  • Deanna Weiss

    Deanna Weiss

    A proud West Coast native, Deanna first developed her passion for the great outdoors on the beaches and mountains of Southern California. In 2014, she set off to South Korea where she spent her time working as an English teacher and exploring the megacity of Seoul. Just this past year, she had the opportunity to experience some breathtaking hiking spots in her favorite country that she has visited thus far--Taiwan. Deanna currently lives the lifestyle of a digital nomad, camping and AirBnBing as she moves across North America.