What campgrounds are the greatest in my area, you may be asking. The abundance of picturesque camping locations from coast to coast is one of the best things about seeing the United States. On a weekend (or longer) camping excursion, nature enthusiasts may take in the crisp air, stunning mountains, and crystal-clear lakes and streams. In addition to offering extensive picnic sites, hiking paths, and chances for outdoor recreation in the vast wide wilderness, these scenic locales are also ideal places to pitch a tent. These are some of the most picturesque spots to camp in the United States, from serene beaches in Florida to magnificent mountains in Alaska, to picturesque woodlands in Maine.
If you’re considering a road trip, several of these parks provide distinctive, developed campsites with amenities like running water and electricity for RV parking. There are several locations for backcountry camping where more seasoned campers and outdoor enthusiasts may truly rough it in the woods. In any case, be sure to pack a sleeping bag and check the website to confirm that the campsite of your choice is available before you go; after all, many of these locations are only accessible during certain times of the year.
Be advised that the majority of the national parks and campsites on this list are home to wild bears, including black, brown, and grizzly bears. Always be alert of your surroundings, educate yourself on bear safety before you visit, and take additional measures while you’re there by storing up your food safely and carrying bear pepper spray.
Acadia National Park, Maine
The natural gem of the Pine Tree State is Acadia National Park, which is on Mount Desert Island. The park offers a picturesque setting for all of your experiences with its over 50,000 acres of woodlands, 24 lakes and ponds, and 158 miles of hiking trails. Additionally, there are five campgrounds where you can pitch your tent: Blackwoods (near Bar Harbor), Seawall (less touristy), Schoodic Woods (on the Schoodic Peninsula), Duck Harbor (on Isle au Haut, only accessible by mailboat from the mainland), and Wildwood Stables (only for visitors with stock animals). Online camping reservations may be made up to 60 days in advance. All campsites have a seasonal closure period throughout the winter, although they reopen in May for the camping seasons of spring, summer, and autumn.
White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire and Maine
The northernmost portion of the Appalachian Valley, which is close to the beginning (or finish, depending on which way you’re trekking) of the Appalachian Trail, is the place to go if you’re ready for a challenging walk. The autumn, when leaf-peeping season is at its height, is a particularly lovely time to visit White Mountains National Forest. Several campgrounds and cottages are available here, ranging from built campsites ideal for families to bleak backcountry locations better suited for people who love wild camping. Both the Barnes Field and Hancock campsites are open all year long; group sites at the Barnes Field campground may be requested at any time, while sites at the Hancock campground must be scheduled in advance from mid-May to mid-October.
Minnewaska State Park Reserve, New York
Minnewaska State Park Reserve is located on Shawangunk Ridge, more than 2,000 feet above sea level, and is surrounded by mountainous terrain while being just 94 miles from New York City. That is a large area to walk, ride, and — most importantly — take in the scenery. Since it closed during the winter, reservations for the Sam F. Pryor III Shawangunk Campground may be made online beginning each year in March. There are five vehicle camping sites and 50 tent sites (24 walk-in and 26 drive-in), as well as facilities including WiFi, coin-operated showers, community fire pits, and picnic pavilions.
Shenandoah National Park, Virginia
Shenandoah National Park, which is about a 90-minute drive from Washington, D.C., has more than 500 miles of trails, including the well-known but challenging 9.4-mile trip up Old Rag Mountain, which is a must-do for experienced hikers (reserve your day-use ticket online ahead of time). This magnificent park, which spans 199,200 acres, provides many vistas of lush woods and waterfalls. There are five campsites to select from, and its amenities are accessible throughout the spring, summer, and autumn. Although you may register the majority of campsites online up to six months in advance, you must actually show there to get one of the first-come, first-served campsites. People often schedule long weekend stays beginning on Thursday or Friday, so make travel arrangements accordingly. For the most recent information on first-come, first-served campground availability, text SHENCAMP to 888777.
Assateague Island National Seashore, Maryland
The Assateague Island National Seashore campsites provide 37 miles of beaches for camping, swimming, surfing, paddleboarding, crabbing, bicycling, kayaking, and seeing wild horses. They are located approximately nine miles south of Ocean City, Maryland. Despite being situated in both Maryland and Virginia, Assateague Island National Seashore only offers camping on the Maryland side. Firewood from outside of Maryland cannot brought in by campers, and if you’re bringing any animal pals, you’ll need to make sure they have all of their vaccines current and sign a pet policy agreement. From mid-March to mid-November, camp sites may secured in advance online; the majority include picnic tables and a fire ring.
Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida
When you go camping at Dry Tortugas National Park, which situated just off the coast of Key West in South Florida, you may enjoy one of the biggest barrier reefs phrazle in the world right outside your tent. Renting snorkel gear, lounging on the beach, or visiting Fort Jefferson, a 19th-century fort that the Union army used to blockade Confederate commerce lanes during the Civil War, are all options for campers. Bring a pair of binoculars since this region is excellent for bird viewing during the day and stargazing at night. It strongly recommended that all campers make a plan, pack everything they’ll need (including tents, fresh water, ice, food, and fuel), take out all waste, and reserve your boat transportation from Key West as early as possible since tickets sometimes sell out months in advance.
Big Bend National Park, Texas
Big Bend National Park in Texas, which is located along the Rio Grande, is a fantastic option if you’re searching for a terrific location to go rafting, canoeing, or kayaking. For hiking or backpacking, there are numerous paths around the park’s desert, mountain, and riverscapes. There three constructed campgrounds—Chisos Basin, Rio Grande Village, and Cottonwood—as well as a large number of backcountry camping options. For river excursions and authorized backcountry usage at the park’s rustic campgrounds, reservations in advance are necessary for everybody.
Ozark–St. Francis National Forests, Arkansas
Arkansas has a lot of beautiful landscape that sometimes ignored. Nine beaches, several lakes and streams, and more than 1,000 miles of hiking trails may all found on the 1.2 million acres of recreational land that make up the Ozark-St. Francis National Forests. There are several constructed campsites available for RV and tent camping, some of which are open all year round, such as Cove Lake, Redding, and the Blanchard Springs Recreation Area. The seasonally open months of May through October when other campsites including Long Pool, Storm Creek, Shores Lake, and Lake Wedington are available.Primitive camping also allowed inside the five wilderness zones; just keep in mind to pack some water (or a water filter system) and to leave no trace.
Badlands National Park, South Dakota
Don’t undervalue the Badlands’ splendor. Despite the phrazle challenging weather, the area is still stunning. at addition to the many rock formations at Badlands National Park, there are also plains and locations where you may look for prehistoric fossils. In the park, there are two campsites. First up is Cedar Pass, which has 96 campsites, lovely views of the numerous rock formations, and conveniences like power and running water. The other, Sage Creek, is a smaller campsite with 22 sites available on a first-come, first-served basis and no running water, however bison often seen roaming the area.
Sawtooth National Recreation Area, Idaho
Views from the rugged Smoky Mountains are breathtaking, like something from a Bob Ross painting. In this 756,000-acre forest, there are hundreds of campsites, but Sawtooth National Recreation Area is one of the greatest. A great way to reconnect with nature is to go hiking, camping, fishing, canoeing, rafting, boating, trekking, or cycling there. Camping season runs from late May to mid-September each year, and although half of the sites are first come, first served, reservations may be made online in advance.
Glacier National Park, Montana
There are more than 1,000 sites and 13 constructed campsites where you may stay and take in the stunning views of Glacier National Park in Montana. More than 700 kilometers of paths winding through forests, meadows, and mountains are available for hikers to explore. Some of the campsites in Glacier National Park are first come, first served, while others need reservations in advance. If you want to do any winter wilderness camping, check the website to determine which of them will be open; otherwise, the major camping season is from spring to autumn each year.
Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
The Rocky Mountains may seen just to the north of Jackson Hole, along with a variety of animals and lakes. In addition, Grand Teton National Park is close to the National Elk Refuge, where, depending on the time of year, you may be able to see hundreds of elk. Although there are six campsites within the national park where you may stay, Signal Mountain gets the greatest recommendations. If you want anything other than standard tent camping, there is also an RV park and a town with tent cottages. Whatever you do, book as long in advance as you can since camping internet bookings open up to six months in advance and often sell out. Be on the lookout for wandering moose, bison, and mule deer as well as the odd bear.