Tips for Camping on California’s BLM Lands

The Bureau of Land Management oversees a wealth of undeveloped wilderness land in California. When you plan a BLM camping trip, you can save money while treading lightly on the protected environment, all without sacrificing a wonderful outdoor experience. Below are some tips for keeping camping fees at a minimum and making a minimal impact on the natural landscape.

What Are BLM Lands?

The Bureau of Land Management is a federal agency similar to the U.S. Forest Service. The lands that both manage are public properties. However, while much of the USFS land is forested, much of the BLM property is rangeland. The Department of the Interior oversees the BLM, which operates in 11 western states and a few eastern locations.

Both developed and dispersed campsites are available throughout the BLM lands in California. They are ideal for RV camping, whether self-contained or with hook-ups. Nightly fees vary, but you will find they are affordable, and BLM reinvests the money into maintaining the land. Some of the more popular campgrounds require advance reservations. You are limited to 14-16 days of camping at the same site during each 28-day period. Find out more on the California BLM website.

Permits, Fees and Ground Rules

  • If you do not have a reservation, BLM campsites are first come, first served.
  • Go to gov to check if the site you want is available and to make your reservation.
  • Once you arrive, be sure to pay your fee, display your receipt and set up camp to confirm your reservation.
  • Do not leave your personal items at the campsite if you will be gone more than 72 hours.
  • Not all BLM campsites are open year-round. Be sure to check ahead to confirm availability before you leave home.

Passes for Camping on Public Lands

BLM has teamed up with USFS, Fish and Wildlife, the National Park Service, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation to offer recreational passes that cover the use fees for the public lands these agencies oversee. The Interagency Pass Program has established the America the Beautiful series, which give you access to a variety of public, recreational landscapes in the U.S. If you have just purchased an RV motorhome for sale, you can spend all summer traveling from campsite to campsite with your America the Beautiful pass. Log onto the Interagency Pass website for more information and to buy your pass.

Tips for Camping on California’s BLM Lands

Some California campers seek the ultimate adventure of the backcountry while others prefer a more civilized BLM camping experience. No matter what you are seeking, you are likely to find it within the vast variety of BLM public lands.

If you have just acquired an RV for sale from El Monte RV, a campground with water and power hook-ups is ideal. You can still experience the rivers, trails and open off-road landscapes of the wilderness. At night, though, you can settle into your motorhome and enjoy some modern conveniences.

When you put down stakes anywhere in the 15 million acres of California’s BLM lands, you are never far from spectacular vistas, wildlife and awe-inspiring nature. Walk among ancient redwoods, for example, in the Headwaters Forest Reserve. Drink in the beauty of the King Range National Conservation Area as the mist settles atop the epic bluffs. Explore the unique geological formations in the Alabama Hills, or wander among the wind-hewn dunes of the California Desert Conservation Area. Visit the Carrizo Plain National Monument to experience the vibrant wildflower bloom in the spring. Whether it’s hiking trails, white water rivers, historic places or even lighthouses, the California BLM landscape is as diverse as your imagination.

When you are out in your used RV sale vehicle, you’ll find many developed BLM campsites and picnic spots that suit your camping style. The variety of activities, viewpoints and facilities means that you’re sure to find places that are just right for you. Nightly fees range from $4 to $10 per campsite, depending on the location and services available.

If you prefer a scaled-down experience, bring your own water supply and settle into one of the dispersed campsites that pepper the BLM lands. These undeveloped, off-grid places are typically open for fee-free camping up to 14 days within each 28-day timeframe. However, be sure not to leave your stuff alone at your campsite for more than 10 days.

Although many dispersed campsites are first come, first served, Clear Creek Recreational Area and King Range Wilderness are two that do require permits. As you would with any wilderness camping, pack out your trash and leave the area as clean as you found it.

More Helpful Tips for Camping California’s BLM Areas

To find a list of all the BLM’s 195 public parks in California, consult the BLM California website. You will find the contact information for each, as well as details on permits, camping fees and more. A bit of advance planning will help make your trip with your RV motorhome for sale a resounding success.

Some additional things to keep in mind as you set out in your used RV sale rig include:

  • Posted rules specific to each campground are important to keeping the area open for everyone, so be sure to obey them during your stay.
  • Fees vary by location, so check ahead online or at the local field office for details.
  • The limitations on the length of your stay may vary, but in general, plan your visit for no more than 14 days in a single month-long period.
  • Pay your camping fee as you enter the campground or no more than 30 minutes after occupying your site.
  • To learn more about the available activities in and around your camping destination, visit the BLM California Activities

Make this year’s family camping experience the best it can be with an RV motorhome for sale at El Monte RV Sales. With the right RV for sale for your family, everyone will get the most out of a fabulous BLM camping experience.

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