Fresh air, natural beauty and ample opportunity for adventure. What more could anyone want? Top ten USA camping destinations. For this list, we’re looking at some of the most highly regarded places that you can pitch a tent across the United States. We’re not including any privately owned campgrounds and are endeavoring to cover a wide range of options within the contiguous United States. Alaska and Hawaii have some undeniably incredible camping, but our goal is to provide you with camping spots that can be reached from anywhere in the lower 48. So without having to take a flight or having to cross international borders, Please note our focus here is on the quality of the camping itself. In the surrounding environment, not necessarily major landmarks, so Grand Canyon National Park will not be featured on this list.
10 Shenandoah National Park Virginia
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The located in the state of Virginia. This parks proximity to the nation’s capital makes it a great choice for anyone living in the Washington DC area. Boasting 500 miles of trails, Shenandoah is paradise for travelers with a passion for hiking. The park has a total of five campgrounds with facilities available three seasons of the year. Winter camping can be done with a year round Backcountry permit, but only experienced winter campers. Should consider it regardless of the season. Shenandoah is a sight to behold with numerous waterfalls and scenic lookout points to be discovered and impossibly peaceful space. The park is the perfect place to just reconnect with nature for those who seek a sense of accomplishment. However, all drag mountains, eight mile hike is a worthy undertaking.
9 Acadia National Park Maine
A trip to America’s North Eastern most state is always a good time. Maine is famous for its quaint fishing villages, lighthouses, beaches and mouthwatering seafood. And wouldn’t you know it, camping in Acadia National Park encompasses all of the above, but with the added appeal of mountain views islands, dense pine forests and arguably the state’s most breathtaking views at almost 50,000 acres of land, Acadia National Park gives more. Adventurous campers plenty of room to explore, but with one of its three campgrounds being so close to the tourist friendly town of Bar Harbor, you can also get as many towering plates of seafood as your heart desires. If personal space is your priority, pitch your tent at the less crowded seawall campground. We’re trying to book one of five spots in Idaho’s isolated Duck Harbor Campground.
8 Sawtooth National Forest Idaho.
Come for the forests stay because you’re lost and can’t find your way out. Just kidding, but covering over 2.1 million acres of land, this National Forest is absolutely massive. Thankfully, that also means there are dozens of camping options to choose from across the forest, complete with facilities at last count, there were actually over 80 campgrounds. Not only are there numerous hiking trails to keep you busy during your time here, but the park is also known for its Hot Springs, which are open to the public. Of course, all jokes aside, if you are a rugged, experienced, survival minded camper who prefers back country, there are free permits available that will allow you to venture into the very heart of this pristine wilderness. However, you approach it, sawtooth is a great choice.
7 Gunnison National Forest Colorado
You can’t list great camping destinations in America without talking about Colorado when you venture beyond the state, cities and towns, the state sample wilderness often makes it feel like one big camping destination, but even amongst steep competition from the likes of Rocky Mountain National Park and Great Sand Dunes, Gunnison stands out encompassing over 1.6 million acres of land. Gunnison is a strikingly diverse landscape of forests meadows. Valleys, lakes and mountains, and with over 30 campsites spread throughout the area, the biggest question becomes which environment do you want to choose as home base? And to that, the fact that Gunnison boasts roughly 3000 miles of hiking trails and you’ve got a camping destination that demands return visits. Of course, if you’re the sort of traveler who likes big natural attractions, the neighboring Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park makes for a great day trip.
6 White Mountain National Forest
New Hampshire, welcome to the Appalachian Valley. A terrain of dense forest and towering peaks just waiting to be admired. And if you’re feeling up to it, scaled well, summer might be the more popular time to go camping. In most households, White Mountain is actually at its most glorious in the fall, when the forest is transformed into a colorful living work of art. As the leaves change color, it’s worth noting that the hiking in White Mountain is notably challenging. The paths are at every level of difficulty a bit. More rugged than most of the camping destinations that appear on our list today. But when you reach a lookout point and gaze over the trees at their most colorful, you won’t have a single regret, no matter how challenging the journey was getting there.
5 Crater Lake National Park Oregon
With only 183,000 acres to its name, this National Park might seem small compared to some of the other destinations on our list today, but let’s be honest, you don’t need millions of acres of land to find a quiet trail or a campsite and lose yourself in nature. And though its footprint maybe a fraction of that of the Afor mentioned, national forests, Crater Lake makes up the difference. With character, the namesake body of water is remarkable in many ways. Not only was it formed by a volcano, but is the deepest. Lake in America and because of its explosive geological past, the lake is ringed by steep slopes on all sides. The park has two main campgrounds, one of which is tent only and the other can accommodate RV’s. But both serve as a great home base from which to explore the lake and surrounding landscape.
4 pictured rocks National Lakeshore Michigan
More like picture perfect. Michigan’s oddly named National Lakeshore is among the state’s greatest national treasures, spanning 42 miles of waterfront along the edge of lake MI. This roughly 73,000 acre stretch of protected land takes its name from its eye. Catching sandstone cliffs. Not only are they colorful and impressively tall, reaching up to 200 feet in height, but countless years of erosion have given rise to elaborate natural rock formations, arches, turrets, caves. Pictured rocks has got it all. There are even some sections of Cliff that look like the profile of a human face, the shoreline and the surrounding area are a true pleasure to explore. Between the Afor mentioned cliffs, the waterfalls and sand dunes pictured rocks feels utterly unique, but be warned, campsites are limited so be sure to reserve well ahead of time.
3 Assateague Island National Seashore Maryland
We’ve got two words for you wild. Horses, this national seashore, which runs along the East Coast of EU S through Maryland and South into Virginia, is a pristine beach paradise. The fact that this barrier island and its ecosystem has remained largely unaffected by development is nothing short of miraculous. When you visit it yourself, you can’t help but feel very, very grateful from the sand, sun and sea to the ample opportunity for activities, including surfing, fishing or Wheeling and hiking. Assateague has. A lot to offer, but arguably its biggest claim to fame is the herd of wild horses that call the island home and roam freely within the park. There are 148 available campsites, so as with pictured rocks, you’ll want to plan ahead, especially if you want an oceanfront spot.
2 Badlands National Park South Dakota
Don’t let the bad in its name fool. The camping at this National Park is great. In fact, it’s very hard to come up with anything to criticize about it apart from the climate. Because the weather can be unforgiving, it necessitates some careful packing, but that’s a small price to pay for the stunning natural beauty of this park encompassing just under a quarter million acres of land, Badlands is characterized by prairies, rock formations, a wide assortment of wildlife and a staggering number of visible fossils you haven’t really seen the night sky until you’ve gone stargazing in the Badlands. The park actually hosts an astronomy festival every August. That being said, with campgrounds usually open year round. You can always prioritize personal space and go in the offseason. Cedar Pass Campground offers more established facilities while Sage Creek is perfect for those who prefer to rough it.
1 Yosemite National Park California
This 748,436 acre stretch of the Sierra Nevada is unlike any other place on Earth. You can look at pictures and posts of it all day, but it needs to be experienced first-hand to really be appreciated. And understood a lush valley of green surrounded by towering granite, cliffs and mountains. It’s like discovering a lost world. What makes Yosemite so special is that it’s not just centered around one big natural landmark. Being entire park is the attraction. Everything about it feels surreal. From the deer who wander through the campsites to the surrounding waterfalls, booking in the offseason means you can avoid most of the crowds, and even if you choose to forego hiking one day and just stay at your campsite, you’re utterly surrounded by magnificent. American wilderness, do you agree with our pics?