Every member of The Dyrt community fell in love with camping at some point in their lives. Maybe it was the first time you slept in a tent in the backyard on a summer night. Or maybe it was a big family trip to the state park with all the cousins. Whatever the experience, the core of camping is in the memories — the ones we have and the ones we’ll make.

The great thing about camping is that it often doesn’t take a spectacular campground to make incredible memories out in nature. Yet, some campgrounds are so beautiful, so wondrous and so unique that they truly are on another level. That’s what this list — based on millions of ratings and reviews from The Dyrt community — is all about.

It’s only appropriate that The Dyrt partnered with the 2024 Toyota Tacoma for Best Places to Camp this year, as each of the Top 3 in the nation — “The Wall” in South Dakota’s Buffalo Gap National Grasslands, Saddle Mountain in Arizona’s Kaibab National Forest, and Sacred White Shell Mountain in Colorado — are dispersed camping areas that are free of charge. All you need is a reliable vehicle to get you there, preferably one that can handle rugged terrain. (May we suggest the 2024 Toyota Tacoma?)

According to The Dyrt’s 2024 Camping Report presented by the All-New Toyota Tacoma, rooftop tent and overlanding are the types of camping campers say they most want to try for the first time in 2024. In addition, nearly two-thirds of campers camped for free at least once last year.

Each of the 10 camping locations on this list was also highly ranked in the 2024 Best Places to Camp Regional Awards that were announced in May. Real reviews from The Dyrt campers are included for each location.

Without further ado, here are the Best Places to Camp: Top 10 in the U.S. presented by the 2024 Toyota Tacoma.

1. “The Wall” in Buffalo Gap National Grasslands — South Dakota

Location: Wall

What makes it great: Only about a mile from one of the main overlooks in the Badlands, this boondocking spot is justifiably popular — there are no amenities at all but the views are incredible. You can learn more about Buffalo Gap National Grasslands at the National Grassland Visitor Center in nearby Wall. It’s a good base for exploring the Badlands, but also excellent for spotting wildlife, catching sunsets and sunrises, and night-sky photography.

What The Dyrt’s community of campers has to say:

“Amazing views and plenty of sites. The views from the campsites are astounding. Very serene landscape with plenty of wildlife. The road is long and I suggest following it all the way before picking a campsite.” — Logan W

“Had a fantastic experience at the ‘wall.’ I pulled into what seemed like pure grassland only to be wonderfully surprised by the scenic wall of badlands! 10/10 experience.” — Alexis R

Price: Free; Number of sites: Dispersed; Read more


2. Saddle Mountain — Kaibab National Forest — Arizona

Location: North Rim

What makes it great: On a remote side road near the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, this dispersed camping area is a great find — the North Rim is less visited than other parts of the canyon, but even so, a free place to camp that offers both solitude and scenery is worth celebrating. Views from any of the North Rim overlooks are stunning, and these campsites are clustered around the very impressive Saddle Mountain overlook. Hikers can tackle trails to Saddle Mountain or south to Point Imperial; for the truly hardcore, the Nankoweap Trail leads to ancient granaries in the canyon wall. No amenities, but civilization is relatively nearby at Jacob Lake and North Rim village.

What The Dyrt’s community of campers has to say:

“Stunning. Every summer I go on a road trip thru national forest all over the US and Kaibab is one of the prettiest I’ve ever seen, so much wildlife and elk and obviously the Grand Canyon, such a great camping spot and the sunrise there is like nothing you have ever seen.” — Shelby C

“Wow! This place is truly amazing, you can pitch your tent 5 feet away from the start of the canyon, not to mention the beautiful sunrises and sunsets! It is a long gravel road on the way here, 4WD definitely recommended.” — Emily

Price: Free; Number of sites: Dispersed; Read more


3. Sacred White Shell Mountain — Colorado

Location: Blanca

What makes it great: Nestled up against the side of Blanca Peak, this dispersed camping area is very close to Great Sand Dunes National Park, and only about a five-minute drive from the excellent hike to Zapata Falls. It’s another great place for stargazing or night-sky photography. Fire pits are about the only amenity here, but supplies and civilization await in the nearby town of Alamosa.

What The Dyrt’s community of campers has to say:

“The sunset and lightning storms in the distance were breathtaking.” — Adam K

“Stunning views and amazing sunset. Not to mention that at night you could see every star in the sky. I stargazed until it was time to go to sleep. Also a couple kangaroo rats were running around my campsite and it made me so happy, since I was really hoping to see one while I was in this area.” — Amy C

“The best part about this area, aside from the views & the sunsets, is the access to the sand dunes natl park. We completely stumbled upon this area and it turned out to be one of the coolest day trips we’ve ever had. Highly highly recommend checking out the sand dunes.” — Ben R

Price: Free; Number of sites: Dispersed; Read more


4. Bay Point Landing — Oregon

Location: Coos Bay

What makes it great: Situated on a quiet, calm bay along the Oregon coast, with views on all sides, this campground has a menu of luxuries way beyond the usual camping experience: heated saltwater pool, yoga, hiking tours and a general store that delivers right to your campsite when you order via text. There’s a playground and game room, Wi-Fi and cable. Campsites have full hookups and there’s a modern bathhouse, laundry room, fitness center and a food truck. Or you can opt to stay in one of the sleek, high-design camping cabins or an Airstream. The surrounding area has several hiking trails, wildlife viewing opportunities and world-class fishing. The location is close to the fun seaside town of Bandon to the south and the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area to the north.

What The Dyrt’s community of campers has to say:

“We have been camping in a pickup truck camper during a cross-country trip but we opted to splurge and booked 2 nights in an Airstream at Bay Point. It was SO worth it! The Airstreams are very new and IMPECCABLY clean.” — Peter F

“Talk about GLAMPING! They will bring wine, wood, games, did I say wine, and more directly to your site!!! They have an indoor pool, a kiddie room, a gym, a place to hold parties indoors, wifi, showers, place to do laundry, and cute fireplaces.” — Manda M

“You can tell the developers put money into the property and thought through about the experience – whether you are just camping and having fun or whether you have to work from the road.” — Vivi W

Price: $50-279; Number of sites: 178; Book it on The Dyrt


5. Hidden Valley Campground — Joshua Tree National Park — California

Location: Twentynine Palms

What makes it great: Joshua Tree is a famously spectacular place, with a crazy variety of ecosystems, big boulders, amazing light and, of course, the namesake trees. This first-come, first-served campground in Joshua Tree National Park is a favorite place to stay while visiting. It’s right in the midst of several climbing spots, so rock climbers seek it out. It’s also an excellent area for landscape and night-sky photography, stargazing, hiking and wildlife watching. Sites have picnic tables and fire rings, and the campground has multiple restrooms and trash cans (no drinking water or electrical hookups).

What The Dyrt’s community of campers has to say:

“This spot was awesome, lots of wildlife to see (lizards, jackrabbits, etc). There’s plenty of spots that offer great shade, because of the rocks. The rocks are great to boulder, scramble, or climb on. Bring your climbing gear if you’re interested!” — Ben R

“I was lucky enough to grab a spot up against the rocks and it was spectacular. Be sure to climb up on the rocks at night for some awesome stargazing. (Don’t forget your headlamp.)” — Connor W

Price: $15; Number of sites: 44; Read more


6. Sandy Springs Campground — Ohio

Location: Stout

What makes it great: At the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains on the banks of the Ohio River, this campground is easy to reach but surrounded by forest. Choose from tidy, spacious riverside RV sites, rental campers, camping cabins, or even a houseboat. Then settle into an Adirondack chair and watch the tugboats and river barges make their way along the river. The surrounding area is great for birdwatchers, and anglers can fish from the campground’s boat ramp. There are showers, laundry, a dump station and a camp store.

What The Dyrt’s community of campers has to say:

“The view!!!!!! Backing your camper up to the view of the Ohio River is so calming.” — Mark R

“We arrived late and the hosts were so kind and communicative. We were met at the office and given a site right on the river. We had a peaceful night and awoke to fog on the river which was beautiful and quickly lifted. A sweet kitty visited with us during our walk down to the water and breakfast.” — Mary T

“If you are looking for good old wholesome camping take advantage of Sandy Springs Campground any time of the year.” — Denise C

Price: $35-$125; Number of sites: 40; Book it on The Dyrt


7. BLM Middle Fork Shafer Canyon Dispersed — Utah

Location: Moab

What makes it great: It’s not easy to find a good, secluded campsite anywhere near Moab these days, but this area is along a high-clearance, 4-wheel-drive road near Dead Horse Point State Park and within easy striking distance of Arches National Park. It’s just challenging enough to get to that you’re likely to have a choice of sites all to yourself. The camping area is high up on the mesa with amazing views over the red-rock canyon. Expect epic morning and evening views, peace and quiet, and starry night skies.

What The Dyrt’s community of campers has to say:

“This is so so worth it, the prettiest place I’ve ever camped. Million dollar view for free.” — Hannah G

“This is definitely the place with the best canyon views you can get! The spots are right on the edge of the cliffs (be careful with your pets and in the dark). Fire rings are right up on the edge so you can see the entire canyon while you hang out.” — Cortlan S

“Amazing views, will definitely go back. About 30 minutes from Moab and beautiful views on the way to the site too.” — Tracey M

“Best view EVER.” — Jannick V

Price: Free; Number of sites: Dispersed; Read more


8. St. Andrews State Park — Florida

Location: Panama City

What makes it great: White-sand beaches, emerald waters and abundant birds and butterflies keep people coming to this campground, where there’s also a network of hiking trails through pine forest and over dunes. Campsites include full hookup sites for big rigs as well as tent sites. There are well-kept bath/shower buildings, laundry facilities, picnic sites and playgrounds, and you can rent umbrellas for the beach. In summer, shuttles run back and forth to Shell Island, a pristine nature reserve with white sand beaches and the chance to spot dolphins at play. There’s also swimming, snorkeling, fishing and boating from the campground.

What The Dyrt’s community of campers has to say:

“Amazing Campground! Water views, tons of trails, both walking and biking, deer came right into our campsite a few times and we saw so many on our bike rides. Beautiful campground, well maintained! One of our favorites!” — Julie B

“Can’t say enough!! This is one of our favorite state parks! Make reservations early, they book up quick! The jetty area is perfect for young kids, it’s shallow enough for them to play and very little waves. Water is beautiful!!” — Casey L

“Amazing state park on the water.” — Ransom J

Price: $28-$100; Number of sites: 176; Read more


9. Keuka Lake State Park — New York

Location: Keuka Park

What makes it great: Keuka Lake State Park is ideally situated in the Finger Lakes wine country in upstate New York. It’s known for excellent fishing as well as hiking, swimming and boating. There’s a welcoming beach with playground activities. Large campsites are spread out on a hill above the lake, with trees for privacy. Hiking trails lead from the campsites to the beach. Modern bathroom/shower facilities and paved roads add to the convenience.

The lakefront area has shaded picnic tables, rentable pavilions and grills for day use. A scenic drive around Keuka Lake can become a wine-tasting tour. And nearby towns of Penn Yan and Hammondsport are full of character.

What The Dyrt’s community of campers has to say:

“Lake was beautiful and fun for swimming with the kids. Nice bathroom facilities a short walk away and not too close by.” — Alex R

“We stayed for a week and honestly didn’t want to leave.” — David S

“Large grassy sites with privacy between the sites. This is a place I would always recommend.” — Joseph B

Price: $18-$30; Number of sites: 150; Read more


10. Elkamp Eastcreek — Washington

Location: Mineral

What makes it great: Short for “elevated camping,” the name of this place hints at its combination of proximity to wilderness and well-thought-out amenities. The small campground is about a 25-minute drive from the Nisqually Gate of Mount Rainier National Park, making it a good base for exploring. Nearby activities include the countless hiking trails around Mount Rainier, as well as cycling routes, skiing and snowshoeing in winter, landscape photography, fishing and climbing. Campers have a choice of campsites, cabins and vintage Airstream trailers, all situated among tall trees for privacy. More than half of the sites have water and power hookups. There’s a heated bathhouse with a coin operated hot shower, and a meadow furnished with comfy chairs for hanging out and stargazing.

What The Dyrt’s community of campers has to say:

“It is one of the most beautiful campgrounds I’ve experienced over many years! The sites are comfortably private and well thought out for tent, table, and fire ring placements. The bathrooms are actually very nice (dare I say upscale!) and clean. Same with the lovely shower for rent. There are stunning old growth tree stumps and an unbelievable ancient maple tree covered in thick moss that will make your jaw drop! A charming and inviting meadow complete with strategically placed Adirondack chairs for relaxation, chatting, or meditation.” — Gaye B

“This is a family business and Tom & Brian are absolutely wonderful. We come several times a season. We have stayed in most of the tent spots in our sprinter. You can’t go wrong with any site. The meadow is a perfect spot to walk your dog (or kid), have an evening cocktail, or star gaze. The bathrooms are always clean and the gift shop is beautiful with many locally crafted items.” — Colima G

Price: $42-68; Number of sites: 23; Read more