Getting out of the city and spending a long weekend camping in the woods is something that many people look forward to, but the woods can be a tiring and unforgiving place.
After a long day of trekking, driving, or getting lost, we want nothing more than to come back to a nice cozy campsite, watch the sunset as we cook, and pop open a refreshing beverage.
America has some epic campsites. Some give us a window into the life of wild animals like herds of bison and horses that still roam the forgotten prairies. Others let you sleep in lean-tos under the stars or test your limits in the rocky and wild terrain of Alaska.
Your chosen campsite can make or break your entire trip. Let us take a journey to some of the best campsites in America.
America’s northeast offers a lot of good camping spots. White Mountains National Forest makes the list of best campsites in America for the many different options offered to campers. There are over 800 equipped campsites as well as backwoods primitive camping in many areas of the forest. Another option is to trek deep into the woods and rent a log lean-to.
Plus the White Mountains are stunning all year round. In the autumn, the leaves turn dark red, bright yellow and emerald green and the winter is blanketed with soft, white snow.
Imagine waking up and stepping out of your tent into the chilly South Dakota air. You stretch your legs and rub the sleep out your eyes and then notice you are not alone. In front of you is an entire herd of Bison roaming through the prairie. This is not an unusual experience at Sage Creek Primitive Campground in South Dakota.
However, as the name suggests the campground is primitive with no running water or RV hookups.
A benefit of this campsite is that it is entirely free. Keep in mind, you cannot make reservations in advance so plan accordingly.
If you are looking to camp on the beach, then you are in luck. Nehalem Bay State Park is the perfect place to pitch your tent. There are miles of beaches to walk, hiking trails to explore and several water adventures to enjoy. There are also water huts to rent if you are looking for a unique campsite. Combine all this with beautiful ocean views and it makes Nehalem Bay one of the best campsites in America.
Another beach campsite is Assateague off the coast of Maryland. This campsite is remote and untouched. However, the main attraction, and what makes this one of the best campsites in America, is that wild horses that roam the island. Because this campground is so rare, it is not the cheapest place to camp on the list. Prices can be up to $50 a night depending on the time of year. Also during the spring and summer months, reservations are required.
Camping in Denali is a challenging yet rewarding experience. This massive park is divided into huge sections, and they only let a limited number of people into each section at a time. This means your chances of running into another person are rare, but running into wildlife is not.
I camped in Denali for two weeks and only ran into one other person and that was when I was on my way out of the park. There are no marked routes or paths in Denali. This park wants to give you the ultimate adventure as you blaze your own trail through glacier streams, bear country and rocky valleys.
The landscape is remarkable and on a good day, you can see the peak of Mt. McKinley, the tallest mountain in North America. Denali is cheap and has an entrance fee of approximately $10 that must be paid before reserving your section.
Are you brave enough to camp near active volcanoes as streams of fiery liquid shoot into the air lighting up the night sky? For some people this might sound insane, but it is thrilling and beautiful.
Volcanoes National Park in Hawaii has a strange, yet beautiful landscape with gorgeous rare plants and mesmerizing flowing volcanoes. For those who have the courage, this is one of the most striking places to camp in America.
Ok, let us take a break from the campsites that involve gushing lava and miles of bear and wolves. Instead, let's talk about one the most incredible places to camp in America that is also perfect for relaxing. Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas lives up to its name. The park has a calm and relaxed atmosphere, and you can sit back and treat yourself to your very own natural spa. Hot Springs is a wonderful place to have a rejuvenating vacation.
The diversity of landscapes in America is what makes it such a great place to camp. These campsites each have something special to offer campers. From the flat prairies to the rumbling volcanoes, these campsites will let you experience some of the most stunning spots in America while having a comfortable place to come back to at the end of the day.
Where is your favorite place to camp?
Note: Available plans and coverages may have changed since this blog was published.
Travel insurance for trips to national parks: Why is it
Stephen Schreck is a world traveler, nomad, and adventure backpacker. Knowing a life of aimlessly wandering the globe in search of adventures was the only life for him he set out to make his dream his reality. Currently he is trying to conquer his fears and tackle his bucket list. Follow Stephen's adventures at A Backpacker's Tale or on social media on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.
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