Daniel is a copywriter who has well and truly been bitten alive by the 'travel bug'. After ticking off several North American National Parks and exploring Europe by train, his sights are now set on South East Asia. Usually with at least one camera locked and loaded, you'll find Daniel wherever there are mountains, lakes or beaches.
Embrace the call of the wild as we take you on a journey through America’s premier camping destinations. From the refreshing cliffside views of Kauai’s Kalalau Beach to the hiker’s paradise of Montana’s Glacier National Park, we explore some of the best spots to pitch a tent.
Whether you’re a seasoned camper or a first-time adventurer, prepare to discover the thrilling blend of natural beauty and outdoor relaxation these campsites have to offer.
Glacier National Park, Montana
Home to over 700 miles of hiking trails, this park is a paradise for camping enthusiasts. Amidst high alpine lakes, jagged snowy peaks, and breathtaking waterfalls, campers can find unique spots to set up their tents and enjoy evenings under scenic sunsets. Backpackers seeking to immerse themselves in nature have plenty of backcountry options, with Quartz Creek Campground standing out as a tranquil choice. Located on Quartz Lake, this remote spot is perfect for those looking to unwind around a campfire and enjoy some stargazing.
Kalalau Beach, Hawaii
For camping enthusiasts, the island of Kauai is filled with remarkable sites, yet the standout is undoubtedly the campsite at Kalalau Beach. Nestled in Na Pali Coast State Park, it serves as a perfect resting spot after a breathtaking 11-mile hike. Unwind by a waterfall, bask on the beach, and finally, set up your camp on the cliffs with awe-inspiring views of Kauai’s renowned coastline.
Arches National Park, Utah
Moab, Utah serves as an extraordinary camping destination, boasting a vibrant landscape encompassing everything from mountains and canyons to rivers. Arches Campground is a standout, offering dramatic red stone formations, irresistible trails for hiking enthusiasts, and picture-perfect spots at every turn. While the number of campsites is limited, the thrill of backpacking through this park is endless.
Shenandoah National Park, Virginia
Just a 90-minute drive away from Washington, D.C., the campsites in Shenandoah National Park are a dream come true for outdoor adventurers. The park, covering 199,200 acres, features over 500 miles of trails and five distinct campgrounds. While Shenandoah National Park is a spectacle of lush forests and waterfalls, its main allure for campers is the varied camping options. Open from spring through fall, you can reserve most campsites online up to six months in advance.
Ludington State Park, Michigan
Spanning over 5,000 acres with sand dunes, ponds, marshlands, and shoreline vistas, Ludington State Park in Michigan is a dream spot to camp during the summer months. The main campgrounds are well-equipped with electricity, showers, and bathrooms, and there’s also an amphitheater set amidst the trees with beach access for group activities. For the adventurous, remote campsites offer a chance to embrace more rugged camping. To truly soak in the park’s charm, consider the Pines Campground. Not only will you be near the park’s iconic lighthouse, but you’ll also have access to toilets, showers, and an RV hookup for ultimate camping comfort.
Treebones Resort, California
Treebones Resort in Big Sur offers a bunch of unique camping experiences, with options ranging from yurts to a luxury solar-powered tent. However, it’s the ‘human bird nest’ that earns them a special mention. This one-of-a-kind accommodation, fashioned from eucalyptus branches, is accessed by a private ladder, leading you to a bird’s-eye view of the coast stretched over 180 degrees.
Big Bend National Park, Texas
If you’re looking for a great place to go rafting, canoeing, or kayaking before camping under the stars, Big Bend National Park in Texas is an excellent choice. There are also trails along the park’s desert, mountain, and river landscapes for hiking or backpacking. You’ll find three developed campgrounds, Chisos Basin, Rio Grande Village, and Cottonwood, an RV camping area, and plenty of opportunities for backcountry camping.
Catskills Mountains, New York
Kittatinny Campground is an inviting retreat hidden in the heart of the Catskills Mountains, providing 350 secluded camping spots. Choose between settling down amidst dense forest or immersing yourself in a piece of history by camping along the Delaware River — the very one that George Washington is said to have traversed during the Revolutionary War. For a dash of adrenaline, simply cross the river to reach Kittatinny’s Adventure Center, home to thrilling attractions like zip lines and paintball.
Sawtooth National Recreation Area, Idaho
Nestled within the steep Smoky Mountains, the 756,000-acre Sawtooth National Recreation Area offers a stunning camping experience that will have you feeling like you’ve stepped into a Bob Ross painting. With dozens of campgrounds scattered throughout the vast expanse, you’ll be spoilt for outdoor activities, including hiking, fishing, and boating. Visitors can make online reservations ahead of camping season, which runs from late May to mid-September, or opt for one of the first-come, first-served sites.
Crater Lake National Park, Oregon
Crater Lake National Park, famed for housing the deepest lake in the U.S. and a dormant volcano, offers an awesome blend of camping and breathtaking views. You’ll have two campgrounds to choose from on your adventure. Mazama Campground, accommodating both RVs and tents, operates from June until late September. Lost Creek Campground, dedicated solely to tents, is typically open from July to mid-October, although it remains closed in 2023. Adventurous campers can also embark on a backcountry camping trip with the proper permit.
Baxter State Park, Maine
Baxter State Park, located in the heart of Maine, serves up a feast for camping enthusiasts. The park’s premier camping spot, the South Branch Pond Campground, offers an array of options, including 12 lean-tos, 21 tent sites, and an 8-person bunkhouse, complete with vault outhouses. Beyond the campsite, 200,000 acres of enthralling backcountry and the climbable terrain of Mount Katahdin await, promising wild adventures for all.
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