Voyageurs National Park in Minnesota and Carson National Forest in New Mexico offer free campgrounds, as of 2015. Campers should visit the parks' websites for information on free camping, as parks may restrict free camping by permit, location, reservation or time of year.
With numerous lakes throughout, Voyageurs National Park is 40 percent water, and its 220 free campsites are only accessible by water. A number of North American forest animals, including bald eagles, gray wolves, black bears, beavers and moose, inhabit the park, and the lakes contain native species, such as walleye, lake trout, sturgeon and northern pike. The park is popular for water activities and hiking in warmer weather and winter activities, such as skiing, snow-shoeing and ice fishing, in colder weather.
Carson National Forest offers 35 campsites and also permits backcountry camping. The park is home to the highest mountain in New Mexico, Wheeler Peak, and hiking trails are available to the top. Visitors can also enjoy hiking, biking and horseback riding on over 330 miles of trails throughout the park. The park’s forests are home to deer, elk, mountain lions, bighorn sheep, and a variety of songbirds and other smaller fauna. The state’s game department stocks the park’s streams and lakes with local trout for fishing. The park is also open year round, and alpine skiing is available on multiple slopes in the park.