Primitive Camping


Primitive camping is allowed anywhere in Shawnee National Forest except in developed recreation areas, natural areas, developed campgrounds, on lake shores, near streams or on trails. Horse riders are prohibited from camping in designated wilderness areas.

  Primitive camping is free and is allowed at any time of year. Be sure your camp is on National forest land and do not cut down live trees, shrubs or other vegetation. Clean up all personal garbage and make sure all fires are completely put out before leaving your camp.

  Remember the pack in pack out principle.  Campers may stay in one location  up to 14 consecutive days, but no permanent structures may be built.

  You  need to leave your vehicle at an approved overnight parking area such as the backpacker's parking lot at the Garden of the Gods Wilderness area or at a designated trail head or have someone drop you off. There are many camp sites with fire rocks or rings around well traveled trails.  

   Designated trail heads are shown at   the  River to River Trail Guide .  You will not be allowed to leave your vehicle overnight at any designated Day-Use area while you are primitive camping. Remember to Leave No Trace