Best Camping in The US: Top 10 Places to Go

The abundance of fantastic camping spots from coast to coast is one of the best things about exploring the United States. On a camping trip, nature lovers can enjoy the fresh air, stunning mountains, and crystal-clear lakes and streams. These are some best places for camping in the US, from serene beaches in Florida to majestic mountains in Alaska to picturesque woodlands in Maine.best camping in us

Choosing the best camping in the United States can be challenging given the varied—not to mention enormous—the landscape that makes up this nation. Every state has a wealth of natural treasures worth arranging an overnight trip around, from Oregon's tranquil alpine lakes to the sandy Atlantic beaches.

A traditional camping trip is hard to top, and the United States is home to thousands of campgrounds in breathtaking locations. There are a lot of options, as we all know. We've whittled the list down to the top 10 campgrounds in America in the hopes that you'll be motivated to visit one of your preferred camping locations. Check out the best camping in the US and our advice on what to take and when to go.  

Top 10 Places to Camp in The US

camping in us

One of the most distinctly American activities is camping. Although it may not have originated in the colonies, wide-open spaces, the expansive prairie ranges,  different temperatures, and fantastic wildlife have turned many regions of the United States into popular tourist destinations. Especially for those who enjoy disconnecting from technology and spending time in nature.   

There is no shortage of fantastic US campsites if you're an outdoor enthusiast who wants to set up a tent and sleep beneath the stars, from a waterfall paradise in New York to the red rock mesas in Nevada's Valley of Fire. There are coastal locations, desert oases, mountain ascents, and arid valleys all represented. One of the top ten camping in the US will be ideal for you whether you enjoy setting up a tent, swinging in a hammock, or relaxing on a bedroll.

1. Denali National Park | Alaska

Location: Parks Hwy, Denali National Park and Preserve, AK

Phone: 907-683-9532

Website: Denali National Park  

When to Visit: May to September

Best Campsites: Riley Creek Campground

Activities: Bicycling, hiking, camping, backpacking, winter sports

Camping in US Denali National Park | Alaska

Alaska's Denali National Park is the wildest, roughest, and most breathtakingly beautiful region on earth. Six million acres of untamed land make up Denali, divided by a single road ribbon. The relatively low-elevation taiga woodland gives way to high alpine tundra, snowy mountains, and North America's tallest peak as one travels along it. One of Alaska's most spectacular views, Denali, soars to 20,310 feet.

Wonder Lake, arguably the place with the most alluring vista of Denali, is a wilderness enthusiast's paradise. This remote tent-only campground is located beside a lake in the expansive Alaskan tundra, surrounded by red dwarf birch plants, and is reachable by a shuttle bus. Many people see Denali as an opportunity to get away into the wilderness and see real Alaska. Backpackers can hike and camp in a section of nature all to themselves in Denali thanks to the tight regulations and permits, even if it's just for a few days. Since there are few approved hiking paths in the park, backcountry hiking over wide-open areas like gravel riverbeds and tundra ridges is the primary method of exploration on foot.

“Denali is amazing at the height of Fall. The colors are stunning but only last a couple of weeks. I went at the end of August, and the colors were vivid. I also saw caribou and a grizzly bear.”

2. Rocky Mountain National Park | Colorado

Location: 1000 US Hwy 36, Estes Park, CO 80517

Phone: 970-586-1206

Website: Rocky Mountain National Park  

When to Visit: November to April

Best Campsites: Moraine Park Campground, Longs Peak, Aspenglen Campground

Activities: Camping, hiking, family activities, wildlife viewing, ranger.

Camping in US Rocky Mountain National Park | Colorado

The breathtaking mountains can be found within Rocky Mountain National Park's 415 square miles. There is something for everyone to discover, from meadows in the montane living zone to shimmering alpine lakes and towering mountain summits. With its 415 square miles of dramatic scenery, tall, craggy mountains, beautiful lakes, 350 miles of hiking trails, and an abundance of animals, Rocky Mountain National Park is one of our country's most spectacular national parks.

You can take tranquil strolls, thrilling treks, breathtaking sunrises and sunsets, picturesque drives, horseback rides, rock climbing, photography, backpacking, and much more while you're here. You might also run into some of the park's inhabitants, including elk, bighorn sheep, moose, marmots, pikas, and several other wild animals. On one of the park's 355 kilometers of hiking paths, take in the splendor of the surroundings. You can choose from leisurely lakeside strolls to strenuous mountain excursions.

There is no better way to experience pure wildness than by camping in Rocky Mountain National Park. Fortunately, there are numerous options for how to spend the night in these beautiful places, including backcountry campsites, tent villages, and a few RV sites, so no matter how you want to camp, you can still feel at one with nature.

We don't usually travel to the same place more than once as this is a big world. We had, however, enjoyed our first visit to RMNP so much that we decided to come back a second time. The park is breathtaking!

3. Bahia Honda State Park | Florida

Location: 36850 Overseas Hwy, Big Pine Key, FL 33043

Phone: 305-872-2353

Website: Bahia Honda State Park  

When to Visit: March to May, December

Best Campsites: Buttonwood Campground, Sandspur Campground, Bayside Campground

Activities: Hiking, camping, bicycling, fishing, picnicking

Camping in US Bahia Honda State Park | Florida

The uninhabited island of Bahia Honda Key became a popular tourist destination thanks to Henry Flagler's audacious plan to construct a train to Key West in the early 1900s. The Bahia Honda park is renowned for the mild sea breezes that caress the coasts year-round, in addition to its iconic Florida beauty, which includes palm-lined beaches, gin-clear waters, and breathtaking sunsets. The park introduces nature enthusiasts to the island's flora and fauna and is a great site to watch wading birds and shorebirds.

Bahia Honda State Park, located at mile marker 37 in the Florida Keys and with an award-winning beach and historic bridge, has grown to be a popular spot for visitors to our island paradise. Shorebirds and wading birds can be seen in great numbers at Bahia Honda. On the island's ocean side, there are shallow sand flats where birds can feed and rest during low tide. Because boaters may access the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, boating is quite popular in Bahia Honda. There are primarily three campgrounds, and each can hold a range of camping equipment, from big RVs to little tents. Gravel sites with electricity, water, grills, and picnic tables are available.  

“Great beaches and park. This place is wonderful. The water was refreshing; the beaches were perfect. Clean bathroom facilities. We liked the Sandspur beach the best.”

4. Long Key State Park | Georgia

Location: 122 Cloudland Canyon Park Rd, Rising Fawn, GA 30738

Phone: 706-657-4050

Website: Cloudland Canyon State Park  

When to Visit: Spring, Summer, Fall

Best Campsites: Cloudland Canyon Park Campground, West Rim Campground

Activities: Hiking, camping, biking, fishing, golf, horse riding

Camping in US Long Key State Park | Georgia | Florida

One of the state's biggest and most beautiful parks is Cloudland Canyon, situated on the western slope of Lookout Mountain. The park offers many outdoor activities due to its thousand-foot-deep canyons, sandstone cliffs, wild caverns, waterfalls, cascading creeks, lush forests, and plentiful wildlife. The park's height ranges from 800 to 1,980 feet, and it is situated on each side of a wide gorge that Sitton Gulch Creek carved into the mountain. You may see the most breathtaking view into the canyon near the picnic area parking lot.

Hiking and mountain biking trails are popular here. The recently constructed Five Points Recreation Area and the Cloudland Connector Trail offer mountain riding opportunities. Also, the park provides picnic areas, horseback riding routes, fishing ponds, disc golf, and viewpoints. The walk-in campsites offer great solitude for tents, while the cottages are situated close to the canyon's edge. The breathtaking environment in this park is a must-see for nature lovers.

“This is an amazing place to visit. The views are simply stunning. The trails are well-signposted and easy to follow. We did the west rim trail, 5 miles, moderately challenging.”

5. Waianapanapa State Park | Hawaii

Location: Waianapanapa, Hana, HI 96713

Phone: 808-248-4843

Website: Waianapanapa State Park  

When to Visit: Summer

Best Campsites: Maui-X Campground

Activities: Camping, hiking, biking, backpacking, swimming

Camping in US Wai' anapanapa State Park | Hawaii

Its name, Wai'napanapa, translates to "glistening seas," Paola is known for its famed black sand beach and breathtaking coastal views. Excellent, nearly 360-degree sweeping panoramic vistas are available. On land, the green jungle's hills and valleys give way to a striking, rough coastline made of black basalt lava. The white cresting waves and the deep blue ocean out at sea are violently blasted into spray and mist as they crash on the sharp rocks.

Some of the most impressive vistas you'll ever see are at Waianapanapa State Park, situated off Hana Highway at the end of Waianapanapa Road. You can encounter a black sand beach next to the ocean because it is one of Maui's volcanic-sand beaches. The breathtaking environment includes hiking trails, leisurely strolls, a blowhole, a beach with black sand, ocean caves, sea arches, islets, cliff diving, freshwater pools, camping, cabins, and more. Unquestionably one of the top campgrounds in Maui is Wai'anapanapa. We strongly advise an overnight adventure because it offers excellent swimming, hiking paths, and breathtaking morning views.  

“We go for the lava tube and the cliffs. The lava tube has a low entrance, but you can stand up once inside. It's short but ends at the ocean entrance where you can watch the small waves roll in.”

6. Garden of the Gods Recreation Area | Illinois

Location: Herod, IL 62947

Phone: 618-658-2111

Website: Garden of the Gods Recreation Area  

When to Visit: April to October

Best Campsites: Pharaoh Campground

Activities: Camping, picnicking, hiking, horse riding, hunting

Camping in US Garden of the Gods Recreation Area | Illinois

The Garden of the Gods Wilderness is protected as a wilderness area in the US. Sandstone cliffs and rock formations from millions of years ago can be found in the Garden of the Gods Recreation Area. Today, a lush forest and picturesque surroundings surround the unusual constructions. The quarter-mile observation route allows access to particular areas and panoramic views of the neighboring Garden of the Gods Wilderness.

Garden of the Gods' breathtaking natural beauty makes it one of the state's most popular tourist destinations. You can picnic, hike, camp, and observe wildlife in the recreation area. Unique sandstone rock formations and expansive views of the neighboring Garden of the God Wilderness may be seen on the Observation Trail. The geological past is explained by interpretive signage. It takes roughly an hour to traverse the natural sandstone 1/4-mile trail. There are several opportunities to locate rock formations and give them unique names independently. Additionally, several breathtaking vistas provide a good view of the Shawnee and the surrounding environment.

“This place is spectacular if you're looking for a nice hike with beautiful scenic views. As I remember, our trail was mostly paved and easy to navigate.”

7. Natural Bridge State Park | Kentucky

Location: 6477 S Lee Hwy, Natural Bridge, VA 24578

Phone: 540-291-1326

Website: Natural Bridge State Park  

When to Visit: Early May to September

Best Campsites: Middle Fork Campground

Activities: Camping, lodging, hiking, backpacking, sightseeing

Camping in US Natural Bridge State Park | Kentucky

Cedar Creek chiseled a valley in the limestone that is the 215-foot-tall Natural Bridge. The park is more than simply the bridge; lovely woodlands and rolling meadows highlight the region's karst environment, and views of the nearby mountains and the James River valley reflect the beauty of nature. The Monacan Indian Village and Lace Falls, with its 30-foot Fall, are accessible by seven miles of hiking paths, including Cedar Creek Trail, which runs from the park's Visitor Center beneath the bridge.

The Monacan Village is a living history demonstrating how aboriginal people lived in 1699 and usually is open from April 1 until the Thanksgiving holiday. Observe reenactors preparing meals, tanning skins, erecting buildings, weaving fishing nets and baskets, cooking, gardening, and creating pottery. A brand-new Children's Discovery Play Trail offers engaging entertainment to inspire even more wows. A half-mile hike leads to a vista with views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and pollinated fields. An international dark sky park is Natural Bridge, State Park. Many visitors from urban areas don't have the opportunity to see the night sky.

“This was my first visit here, and I was blown away by the majestic nature of the bridge. Nature is truly awesome and awe-inspiring. We did the one-mile hike to the waterfall after the bridge, which was beautiful.”

8. Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore | Michigan

Location: P.O. Box 40, Munising, MI 49862

Phone: 906-387-3700

Website: Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore  

When to Visit: Late Spring to Mid-Autumn

Best Campsites: Chapel Beach Campground, Pictured Rocks RV Park

Activities: Hiking, camping, sightseeing, family activities, boating

Camping in US Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore | Michigan

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore entices visitors with its sandstone cliffs, beaches, waterfalls, dunes, inland lakes, dense woodland, and wild shoreline. Every park's ecosystem is impacted by Lake Superior's power, which also influences the park's coastal characteristics, resulting in a unique environment. One of Pictured Rocks Park's most incredible vistas may be at Grand Portal Point. Suppose you opt to sail past Grand Portal leisurely and the point it makes along the lakeshore. In that case, you will feel startlingly small because of the abundance of tunnels, unusual formations, a suspended archway, and a large rock wall. 

Your heart will soar as you explore, from the blossoms of spring to the warm weather and sunshine of summer to the color explosion of leaves in Fall to the blankets of snow and ice formations in winter. There are several choices for backcountry camping if you're feeling daring. Park camping is a simple affair—a regular campground at Pictured Rocks with an upper and lower portion. The distance from your campground to the coast of Lake Superior can be as little as a minute in the lower area.

“The Pictured Rocks Cliff area was a great spot. Easy walk to the high overlook and downhill with steps to the lower overlook. Both were easy walks. Highly recommend.”

9. Great Basin National Park | Nevada

Location: 100 Great Basin National Park, Baker, NV 89311

Phone: 775-234-7331

Website: Great Basin National Park  

When to Visit: Summer

Best Campsites: Wheeler Peak Campground

Activities: Camping, hiking, horseback riding, rock climbing, cross-country skiing

Camping in US Great Basin National Park | Nevada

Great Basin National Park contains a taste of the enormous diversity of the larger Great Basin region, ranging from the 13,063-foot top of Wheeler Peak to the sage-covered foothills. There are many other things besides only desert. Nevada is known for its numerous breathtaking vistas, but Great Basin National Park demonstrates the Silver State's geographic diversity all in one location. The state's lone remnant glacier, cascading mountain streams, alpine lakes, and the ancient bristlecone pine can all be found on some of the tallest peaks in Great Basin National Park.

You can do several outdoor activities in the Great Basin besides camping and hiking. This park truly offers a variety of activities, including horseback riding, rock climbing, cross-country skiing, fishing, and wildlife viewing. Scenic Drive is a proper name for the most popular driving route in Great Basin National Park. Beginning in Baker, Nevada, Scenic Drive ascends 4,000 feet and travels through so many different habitats that the 12-mile journey's elevation change is comparable to driving from Nevada to the Yukon.

“Love this not-crowded national park! Lehman Caves were awesome. Hike to the bristlecone pine trees was challenging but worth it. Wheeler scenic drive was very nice.”

10. Adirondack Mountains | New York

Location: 1002 Adirondack Loj Road Lake Placid, NY 12946

Phone: 518-523-3441

Website: Adirondack Mountains  

When to Visit: May to August

Best Campsites: Lake George Campground, Park Mountain Campground

Activities: Hiking, biking, camping, lodging, winter sports

Camping in US Adirondack Mountains | New York

Northeastern New York's Adirondack Mountains are a massif whose borders closely match those of Adirondack Park. Within a half-drive day of New York City lie the Adirondack Mountains in northern New York State. The Adirondacks, which cover an area of more than 2.4 million hectares, offer mountains for trekking, lakes for boating, and countless chances for adventure in the state's vast wilderness. Visit towns and villages that have played a significant role in the history of New York State and the USA to learn about the Adirondacks' riches.

The Adirondack region in northeastern New York provides camping to reconnect with nature while staying relatively close to civilization. Refresh your senses by taking in the calming sounds in the woods, the crackle of a campfire, or the trilling call of loons. There are thousands of campsites and hundreds of campgrounds in this six-million-acre park. Going camping is the best way to unwind after climbing one of the 46 Adirondack High Peaks. Island camping is one of the numerous ways to take advantage of the Adirondack Mountains' amenities. Sail peacefully around the stunning coastline while you go off to sleep.

“The Adirondacks have gone to great lengths to keep a natural, quaint atmosphere everywhere you look. No strip malls or conglomerate hotels - just beautiful lakes, forests & rivers with raging rapids.”

Camping in US Essentials

One of the most distinctly American activities is camping. Nothing compares to going camping. Many people fantasize about the experience of gathering around a campfire, roasting marshmallows, and sharing tales. You do need a few things, though, to have fun! For more details, see this list of camping must-haves guides. Camping is available in the US at county, city, state parks, national parks, state forests, state recreation areas, and private campgrounds. You should therefore be ready for camping in the US initially.  

- Campsite Essentials: tent, sleeping bag, table & chair, flashlight, firewood;

- Portable Power Generator: Jackery Solar Generator 1500, Jackery Solar Generator 1000 Pro

- Camp Cooking Essentials: cooking grill, stove, knife, cutting board, coffee maker, food

- Camping Clothes: water-proof jacket, hiking pants, boots, gloves

- Cleaning Essentials: hand sanitizer, toothbrush, shower kit, suncream, towel

- First Aid Kit: personal medication, bandages, finger splints, eye drops

>> Download Camping Essentials Checklist PDF

A portable solar generator is necessary to pack when camping in the US. A portable solar generator is a great way to guarantee power wherever you need it, even if there is no nearby power grid. If you're camping or off the grid, the Jackery Portable Solar Generator can keep your electronic devices running for hours or even days. It is about the size and weight of a compact microwave and provides a steady stream of electricity without the noise or exhaust of a portable gas-powered generator.

The Jackery Solar Generator 1500 is a fantastic option for camping, fishing, or other outdoor excursions. It includes 4 SolarSaga 100s (simplified versions of 2 SolarSaga 100X) and 1 SolarSaga 100 in the included bundles. The bundle, designed especially for these activities, is ideal whether you're camping for a weekend or extended time. The Explorer 1500 has a sizable 1534Wh capacity and 1800 operating watts (3600 peak watts). It also has 3 AC Pure Sine Wave outlets, 1 PD 60W USB-C port, 1 Quick Charge 3.0 port, 1 USB-A port, and one 12V car port. It can run up to 85% of the equipment in your RV, including microwaves, refrigerators, lights, power tools, household appliances, and other major power users.

Additionally, you can select the Jackery Solar Generator 1000 Pro if you're outside. It is ideal for individuals who want the most excellent solar generator because it has an upgraded solar panel and battery. Four units of ground-breaking SolarSaga 200W solar panels, which are three times faster than Solar Generator 1000, allow for a complete charge in 1.8 hours. You can enjoy limitless green power wherever you go with a quick and easy 60-second setup. It just requires 1.8 hours to complete an entire wall charge. It offers consistent power for necessities like phones, iPad, computers, and drones through its two USB-C and 100W PD connectors. It contains numerous ports, including three 1000W AC output connectors, two USB A connections, and a DC vehicle port.

Products

Bundles

Capability (wh)

Input & Output Ports

Outdoorsy

Jackery Solar Generator 1500

Explorer 1500 + SolarSaga 100W

1534Wh

3*AC Pure Sine Wave AC outlets, 1*PD 60W USB-C Port, 1*Quick Charge 3.0 Port, 1*USB-A Port, 1*12V car port

Mini Cooler(60W) 21H, Ice Shaver (700W) 120Mins, Toaster(650W) 130Mins, Microwave Oven(1000W) 68Mins, Electrical Grill(900W) 75Mins, Blender(500W) 130Mins, Coffee Maker(500W) 130Mins, Pressure Cooker(1000W) 90Mins

Jackery Solar Generator 1000 Pro

Explorer 1000 Pro + SolarSaga 80W/200W

1002Wh

2* USB-C, 2* 100W PD ports, 3* 1000W AC output ports, 2* USB A, 1* DC car port

Refrigerator(520W) 1.6H, CPAP(10W) 80Times, Coffee Maker(550W) 1.5H, Microwave Oven(700W) 1.2H, TV(60W) 13H, Tower Fan(45W) 17H, Laptop(65W) 9Times, Electric Blanket(55W) 14H, Kettle(850W) 1H

Camping in US Tips

If you've ever thought about camping at one of the well-known national parks in the US, the procedure could seem tricky. In-park camping is available at many national parks, although the spaces that require reservations are frequently taken months or even a year in advance. Others must consider additional rules, such as that camping is only permitted during specific months of the year.  

  • If possible, reserve your space in advance—even a few months. The best campground nearest to your point of interest will have space available for you. The reservation may be canceled, just in case.
  • Campgrounds are frequently found in convenient yet distant areas of National Parks. You should not be startled if your phone loses signal. These are typically excellent locations to observe the night sky or the next lunar eclipse.
  • Most campgrounds are conveniently accessible by automobile. Most of them are challenging to reach by public transportation. Compare rental vehicle pricing for your trip if you still need to reserve one.

Final Thoughts

Camping is a fantastic, rejuvenating way to spend those vacation days in the US, whether pitching a tent in the far-off woods or glamping closer to civilization. Camping is available in many locations around the US for those who like the great outdoors. Camping is a pleasant way to enjoy nature and get away for a time, but choosing a location may be challenging. The post recommends the best camping in the US, camping in the US essentials, and camping tips.

A portable generator can enable you to live more comfortably outside while camping. The Jackery portable solar generator converts solar energy into electrical power and then stores it for later use. As a backup power source in case your electricity goes out for RVs and campers. A solar generator offers a dependable and eco-friendly power supply for camping in the US.

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