Here are the types of campgrounds that we consider "public" for inclusion in our database:
- Owned and/or operated by some level of government
-- May be contracted out, as are many USFS locations
-- Includes things like regional water districts, etc.
- Owned and/or operated by a non-profit entity such as a museum, conservation group, etc
- Owned and/operated by a utility company, such as PGE
- Owned and operated by Indian tribes – we see the tribe as a governmental agency. However, we do not include tribal casino parking lots.
-Thus boondocking locations on public lands qualify, but not parking lots such as Wal-Mart, Cracker Barrel or truck stops.
There are three ways to use this site:
1. Anyone is welcome to peruse the data available on the web site. Simply click on the map icon and go to our web-based map that covers the lower 48 United States, Alaska and Canada.
2. For much more functionality we recommend our Android, iOS and Mac apps for the US and Canada. Click on the Applications link on the Home page for more information.
3. For use in a GPS system, you can download our POI list. Click on the POI link on the Home Page for more information. The POI list contains only the US, including Alaska - no Canada.
Please review the rest of our FAQ's for more information.
We show all the information we can find for each campground. If a particular item is not mentioned, that means it is unknown. For example, we state either "Showers", "Fee Showers" or "No Showers". No mention of showers means we have not been able to determine that information.
Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the data. We use Google Earth extensively to verify locations. However, in a database of this size a certain number of errors are inevitable. It is our goal that the coordinates in the database take you close enough to the campground so that you can find signage, or other local information, directing you to the campground entry.
We do our best to verify all the information. If a field of data is unknown, we leave it blank. We try to find web sites for each entry and use the information provided. Some locations are verified in-person.
If you find an error regarding location and/or information about a campground, you can use the "Submit" menu option to send us the correct information. We appreciate your help in making this the most accurate list available.
We began the project a few years ago by reviewing lots of governmental web sites, such as US Forest Service, National Park Service, Corps of Engineers, the various state park websites and more. We found that in many cases the latitude/longitude coordinates were quite inaccurate, so we began a process of using various mapping tools and Google Earth to pin point as accurately as possible where the campsites are located.
A number of individuals have also helped us by submitting information on places they know about.
And a lot of the search is serendipitous; in researching one campgound we'll come across links to others.
It has taken over seven years to build our database to its current 27,000-plus entries. We still spend several hours most days working on the list to verify and add more information.
You are responsible for ensuring that the information provided meets your needs. At any given time a particular campground may be temporarily closed for renovations or due to fires or storm damage. Roads to remote locations may be in very poor condition, unsuitable for RV’s. A dump station may be closed due to a problem. Wildlife Management Areas may be closed occasionally to protect the wildlife. Considering the financial problems many states are experiencing, you may find some state parks either closed entirely or with use limitations, such as open only on weekends.
Just as you should never blindly follow a route your GPS presents, you should not trust that every piece of information provided here is 100% correct; although we try our best, we know that our data is not absolutely perfect with zero errors.
An important note: it is our policy to provide the coordinates to the actual location of a campground, not the entrance gate which may be several miles away. We do this so we can present unique information about each campground within a park, amenities and fees often vary among campgrounds within a particular park.
Be aware that your GPS map set may or may not show a road to that actual point. We recommend that you double-check your GPS's route to ensure that "you can get there from here", as Bert & I used to say.
To be perfectly honest, we're just not interested in them. We very rarely stay in a private campground, much preferring the greater privacy and quietness generally available at public campgrounds. Besides, there are just too blasted many of them to try to compile one master list. If someone is interested in private campgrounds, there are plenty of resources in print and on-line to help in locating them.
The rules vary a bit from one installation to another, but in general these are the groups that are authorized to use military campgrounds:
- Active duty, reserve and retired members of the Armed Forces
- Members of other uniformed services such as US Coast Guard and US Public Health Service
- Honorably discharged veterans with 100% service-connected disability
A few campgrounds are open to the general public. Some allow an eligible military member to have a guest join them. Our listings include information about authorized users.
Being an honorably discharged vet does not allow use, unless there is another circumstance that does authorize the veteran (retired, 100%DAV, etc).
Here is an article with complete details on authorized use of military facilities:
There are a handful that are private, but not commercial. They’re owned and operated by non-profit organizations such as a historical, civic or conservation-minded groups.
Use the Submit CG Info menu option to send us as much information as possible about a campground. We’ll check it out and add it to the list. And you will get a Thank You from us!
No! No again! Although most parks are easily accessible for RV’s, there are a lot of locations, generally Bureau of Land Management or US Forest Service, to which you will not be able to drive your RV. Although we have tried to indicate such locations, you should NOT take our word for accessibility. There are also a number of back-country locations unreachable by any vehicle - you have to hike in, boat-in, paddle-in or raft-in.
Originally the list was intended for use by people who drive to their campsite, either in an RV or their car. But while working on the list we began compiling a list of "off-the-grid" locations that we later started adding to the Project. We've been pleasantly surprised at the favorable response to these types of locations.
Dry-camping simply means camping without using any hookups, such as electric, water or sewer. It can take place in a campground that doesn't provide hookups, or in less-traditional places such as parking lots and dispersed locations such as BLM and USFS lands. In the dispersed locations, it is generally referred to as boondocking. Boondockers are generally totally self-sufficient with no amenities to fall back on. It might be said that boondocking is extreme dry-camping.
Designated camping sites are found in most traditional campgrounds - they are usually numbered and generally have a fire ring and a picnic table. Dispersed camping areas are generally not well-defined and lack amenities. See “boondock camping”.
Most developed campgrounds will have some basic rules posted. Good Common Sense: If you follow the Golden Rule, you will be a good neighbor in the campground. Here’s an excellent article on Campground Courtesy.
There are a number of parks, usually state or national, that contain more than one campground. Since the amenities and fees often differ from one campground to another within the same park, we provide the data for each of the campgrounds.
Our POI list and Apps each include seventeen:
st = state
These are the codes used in Column G of the POI List and for the Filters in the apps.
Both the POI List and our Apps include the following types of camping:
1 = Tent Camping
2 = RV Camping
3 = Rental Cabins
4 = Walk-in Sites (A short distance from the parking area)
5 = Hike-in Sites (Back-country locations requiring hikes of possibly many miles)
6 = Boat-in Sites (Accessible by boat only)
7 = Group (Campgrounds for larger groups of people
8 = Back-country shelters
These are the codes used in Column H of the POI List and for the app Filters.
On our website you can use the "Contact" menu option and then select either "Contact Us" for general questions or comments, or the "Submit CG Info" option if you wish to submit information about a campground.
In our Android app you will find in the Menu a "Contact Us" option. Select that and enter your comment.
If you are using our iOS app, on the main screen tap the "I" button in the upper right. On the next screen, tap the universal "Mail" button in the lower right. You then have a choice of sending a message about data questions to our data meister, or a message about an app issue to our app developer.
For our Mac app users:
- Under the "Help" menu select "Data Website" for concerns about the data or to submit a new campground.
- Under the "Help" menu select "Ultimate Public Campground Project Help" to contact our developer about an issue with the app.
- To submit a correction or ask a question about an existing campground, on the Details page for that campground, click on the circled arrow button at the bottom of the screen.
$$$$$: > $40
Unk: Fee Unknown
Many campgrounds have a range of fees; we show only the highest fee noted.
Our apps provide more functionality that makes finding campgrounds that match your preference much easier. The use of Filters allows you to select those amenities and activities in which you are interested and will display only campgrounds that meet those settings. Additionally there is a capability to save campgrounds to a Favorites list so you can easily find them again. The apps provide URL links to the location’s website and a clickable phone number if you should want to call the park. You can also get routing information from your current location to a campground.
Essentially yes: the campground data is embedded in the app and is always available. However, the tiles for the map background have to be downloaded from the internet. Other features such as going to the campground’s website, seeing pictures of it or getting its weather conditions will not work without an internet connection.
That being said, our iOS app does have a limited offline capability. Here's how to use it:
You can download portions of the map for offline viewing - this is best done right before you are to travel to an area with no Internet connection. Here’s how:
We are well aware of the need for an offline capability for all apps and hope to come up with a solution in the next several months.
All the information that is shown on our website map is included in the apps, along with latitude and longitude and URL's for each location (when available).
The campground data contained in the Android, iOS and Mac applications is identical and we use the same campground icons across all our products. However, there are some slight functional differences due to the different operating systems.
The iOS app can be installed on iPhones, iPads and iPod Touch devices. It requires iOS 6.1 or higher.
The Mac app requires OS X 10.9 or later.
Our Android app can be installed on phones and tablets with Android 3.2 or higher.
Each app contains information on how to use the various features within it.
More detailed tips for using the Mac app can be found here.
The Mac computer (actually any computer) needs WiFi enabled and connected in order to determine your current location.
For more information on enabling WiFi, please read our article at:
And here is the technical info:
If you open the Apple Maps app, and try to determine your current location with Apple Maps, you’ll find the same behavior. In other words, no app that uses Apple Maps (as The Ultimate Public Campground Project does) will be able to determine your current location if Apple Maps can’t.
I'd like to filter for some campsite value such as "Max Length" or "4x4", but there is no filter for that.
Our iOS, Mac and Android apps all include extensive information within the Comments section for each location. Additionally our iOS and Mac apps let you search for the information: on the Locations screen, select "Search Description" and enter a search description such as “4X4” or “RV Length." The resulting list will include only those locations that contain your search criteria.
First we recommend that you reboot your device and try the download and installation again. That often resolves the problem. If not, you will need to contact the appropriate store from which you are purchasing the app (we have no control over the purchase, download and installation of the apps).
Android users can go to the Google Playstore Help Page:
For purchases made for your iPhone, iPad or iPod, please visit:
Purchases for the Macintosh computer are made through the Mac App Store. For assistance in using the Mac App Store, visit:
This is likely because you are using a stylus with the application. This is a known issue and has to do with the "mouse roll over" code in the Leaflet mapping solution. The work-around for this problem is not to use your stylus while using the application.
With the many various devices out there, at times there could be problems that we have not discovered. When this happens, please contact us at provide the following information:
1. Name of the device. Ex. Samsung Note 4
2. The operation system and version. Ex. Android, 5.0
3. Detailed description of problem
Contact us here.
We usually respond to your inquiry within 24 hours.
Orange dots show traffic
Red dots indicate heavy traffic
You can find more detailed information about Apple maps at:
Note: The Apple Maps app has the (i) button. While The Ultimate Public Campground Project app uses Apple Maps, it does not (yet) have such a button - the traffic always shows.
You will need to follow guidance established by the store from which you purchased the app.
For Android purchases, contact the Google Playstore:
If your purchase was from the Apple iTunes store, here are instructions:
And for Mac App Store purchases:
As a courtesy, we would truly appreciate your letting us know why you are unhappy with the app. We will look at your feedback and see if it is something we can correct or add. Thanks.
On the Home page simply click on the map icon in the middle of the screen and go to our web-based map that covers the lower 48 United States, Alaska and Canada. You can scroll the map or use the Search box to move to another location. Our map uses a clustering method so as not to totally cover the map with icons. As you zoom in, the clusters get smaller and eventually you will see the individual campground icons. The needed zoom level depends on the density of icons in the area of interest. Simply scroll the map or use the Search button to move to another area. Click on campground icons to see the details for that location.
When zoomed far out, you may not be able to scroll to the edge of the map to see all areas. In that case, merely zoom in a bit and you'll be able to get to the edge of the map.
Our web-based campground map is optimized for PC's/Laptops. For your mobile device we recommend our iOS and Android apps, which will provide much more functionality than the web site. Each of our apps is shown on our Applications page.
POI stands for “Points of Interest”. A POI list is merely a list of locations of any particular type. For example, the POI list available on this site is a list of public campgrounds across the US. There are literally thousands of lists available on the internet, lists for Wal-Marts, museums, tourist railroads - you name it and there’s undoubtedly a list for it.
A POI list is NOT a computer program; it does not “open” or “run”. It is merely a file, like any electronic document.
The lists generally come formatted as .csv (comma separated values) files that contain as a minimum the latitude, longitude, name and state for each entry. Additionally the file can contain additional information of nearly any type. The US and Canada Public Campground POI lists you find here contain additional fields with comments about each campground (things such as fees, amenities, season, etc.), the web site for that location, the “type” of campground, such as national park, state park, US Forest Service, etc. and the category of campground, such as RV, tent, hike-in or boat-in.
The principal purpose of the POI list is to be imported into a GPS system that will give you driving directions to each location on the list. Each GPS system has a unique import function, most will accept the .csv format. If your particular GPS does not, there are converter utilities available that will properly format the list for your GPS.
If you want to view the contents of the file, or perhaps even modify it for your particular use, you can open it using Microsoft Excel or OpenOffice Calc.
To learn more please review our Tips on Using the POI List page.
We offer a one-year subscription to our US and Canadian POI lists with a simple payment process using PayPal. There is no need to register on our site or login. Go to our Purchase POI List page to buy either or both lists.
We have two separate POI lists to which you can subscribe. One is for US locations, and the other offers Canadian campgrounds. You can choose which one you want on our Purchase POI List page.
The list is provided in a .csv file, the format used by many GPS systems. We have specific instructions for loading the list into MS Streets & Trips and Garmin. If you have a different system, the file can be converted to the proper format. For more information on how to do this, see our article on POI Resources.
I have imported the list into MS Streets & Trips - how do I get the comments to show in the balloon?
You have loaded a POI file into S&T and you have set the symbol you want to display for that POI set. And now you right click on the symbol on the map and select "Show Information". What the heck? The file you loaded had a lot more information than is showing, where did it go? Well, it's still there and here is how to find and display it. Go to the Pushpin list on the left side of the screen and right click on the POI set you are interested in. Scroll down and select 'Properties'. Now, in the Properties screen look toward the top. You will see headings that say 'General', 'Matching', 'Hyperlink', and 'Balloon'. Click on Balloon. And there you have it, each field that was loaded is listed with a check box to select whether you want it displayed in the 'Infomation' ballon on the map. Select what you want to see and then click on 'OK' and you are done.
That is a function of the algorithms and base maps used by various GPS systems. We are providing only the information for the point to which you want to go. The primary goal of this Project is to provide you as accurately as possible the actual locations of campgrounds. We are not and cannot be responsible for routing issues presented by your GPS system.