The Beginner’s Guide To BLM Camping

America is a vast country and driving through different states or flying over them in a plane, you’re likely to notice huge spaces of land that seemingly have nothing on them. Most people assume that this land is owned by someone or part of some private government lot, but much of it is actually owned by the Bureau of Land Management or BLM.

BLM land is, for the most part, public land that can be used for camping, but before you go ahead and try setting up a site on just any old piece of property you see, you’ll need to educate yourself on BLM land camping.

As with all other types of camping in different locations, there are rules and regulations involved with BLM camping. However, once you learn the ins and outs you’ll be rewarded with free, untouched, and amazing landscapes for you to set up camp on and enjoy your next free outdoor adventure.

What Is BLM Camping?

The Bureau of Land Management is a division of the US Department of the Interior. Founded by President Harry Truman in 1946, the bureau now manages more than 247.3 million acres of land across the entire country.

Bureau Logo

Within this land they also monitor mineral deposits, wildlife and more. There are some areas where BLM land is more prevalent, like Midwest and Western United States, but it is possible to find spots near you for camping or other leisure activities. These places are a popular choice for campers looking to experience the true American landscape.

Can You Camp On BLM Land?

People often look just to the national parks for somewhere to camp, but it turns out that BLM might be a more valuable website. Currently, they managed 34 river, 136 wilderness areas, 23 recreational trails, 43 national landmarks, and more. These areas cover some of the most untouched and picturesque landscapes that the nation has to offer.

BLM has their own website dedicated to helping campers and other outdoor enthusiasts find areas near them with use of a simple interactive map. Not all BLM spots are available to camp on though, which is why it’s important to research the area you might be heading.

Although it sounds like a great idea, BLM camping might not be ideal for everyone. Check out this list of pros and cons that you might encounter to weigh up whether or not this style of camping is for you.


  • There’s plenty of land to choose from and plenty of locations available when you search through their official website
  • Most areas are free of charge so there are no hidden costs
  • Much of the land is protected and you’ll find native wildlife and other species that you might not see in other parts of the country


  • Depending on the area you choose, there are time limits to how long you can camp for and you’ll need to move 25 miles away from the area to extend your stay
  • Many of the areas are in the Midwest and the Western US so there isn’t a huge variety all around the country

Popular Spots For BLM Camping

If you’re wondering about BLM land near you, there are some familiar places that you’ll probably already know of. These are just some of the BLM land in the US that’s available for camping and other recreational activities.

National Monument

Browns Canyon National Monument

A more recent addition to the BLM list, Browns Canyon was added to the scheme by Barack Obama in 2015. There is a lot of wildlife here including elk, sheep, and golden eagles, as well as stunning landscapes to explore.


Alaska is one of the hugest areas that BLM manages with 72 million acres under its watch, to be exact. There are plenty of great camping spots across the state and a variety of wildlife and unique ecosystems to check out.

Mojave Trails National Monument

This Californian land is home to Native American history and features 1.6 million acres for you to explore.  Camping here means you get to experience everything from lava flows to mountain ranges and everything in between.

Valley Of The Gods

This stunning landscape of Utah is another with rich Native American history. Not only will you be able to camp here and check out other outdoor activities, but there are Native American guides who offer tours of the area and teach visitors about its interesting past.

San Juan National Forest

Located in Colorado, this BLM land covers over 1.8 million acres and runs through a number of local towns. Right in the middle of the forest is Durango which is also where the supervisor’s office is and it provides a central point for guided tours and more.

Exploring The Nation’s Best Spots For Camping

As far as camping goes, America has no shortage of amazing places to check out. Within our country, there are so many different landscapes to explore and learn about, no matter what part of the nation you’re from.

Camping Spot

Thanks to the US government, so much of our land has been protected through the management of the BLM and it means that those interested in camping and other outdoor activities will always have somewhere to visit. Initiatives like this ensure our future generations will also have a way to appreciate nature and the great outdoors as well.

Provided you follow the rules of your local BLM spaces and be sure to do your research before you head out, you’ll get a wonderful free space to set up your campsite. By treating nature with respect and leaving these areas unchanged, you’ll be giving everyone else a chance to appreciate everything this great country has to offer.