To plan the ultimate getaway, you need the best location. For those of us that enjoy the solitude and peace that comes with camping excursions, finding the top USA location for a camping trip can prove to be slightly difficult without the inside scoop. In this article, we highlight what have been the top 5 USA locations for a camping trips as rated by other campers. There is a spot everywhere in the country, so you have no excuses not to get packed and moving.
Acadia National Park, Maine
Maine, otherwise known as the Pine Tree State features more than 17 million acres of a lush forest landscape. In addition, it has 32,000 miles worth of streams and rivers and 6,000 lakes. This makes it the ultimate destination for any camper.
Acadia National Park is located on the Mount Desert Island. If you want some adventure, take the time to hike Cadillac Mountain at sunrise for a breathtaking view. Inside the park, you have a choice of three distinct campground settings. Blackwoods is close to Bar Harbor while Seawall is in a quiet, rustic environment. There is also the Schoodic Woods campground which is surrounded by water thanks to its location on the Schoodic Peninsula. Hiking can be done from anywhere in the park, but camping is only permitted at these three locations.
While some of the camping is open year round, the best time to visit is from May through September. You’ll experience a mild summer perfect for letting your outdoor spirit go wild. Nearby, you can also explore the Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge.
Shenandoah National Park, Virginia
If you need a break from the busy, D.C. life, there is a majestic getaway just a little over 70 miles away. Shenandoah features over 500 miles worth of trails; some with their own waterfalls. Many people take on the eight-mile hike up Old Rag Mountain as it is the toughest around. If you are able to make it, you’ll see views that others only dream of.
There are four campgrounds within the park and they are open all year except during the winter. You can also choose to do some backcountry camping, but you’ll need a permit.
While in the area, you may also desire to visit one of the local wineries or breweries. Nearby to the Thornton Gap entrance, there is also another popular site to explore; the Luray Caverns.
Badlands National Park, South Dakota
If you can make it through the rough climate located in the Badlands, you are in for a real treat. The short and tall-grass prairies nestled between rock formations make the journey one to remember. Some people have even spotted fossils along the way.
Out of all the parks on our list, this one features one of the best views of the nighttime sky. In fact, they are host to an annual astronomy festival each August. There are two campgrounds located within the park: Cedar Pass and Sage Creek. Cedar Pass features amenities for those that don’t want to brave the wilderness while Sage Creek is completely primitive. You might even spot some bison wandering through the park.
You can opt to camp out in the backcountry and you won’t need a permit. Just be sure you register before setting up. When you camp at locations such as these, it is always wise to prepare yourself with the best pocket knife. This is important for the jobs you’ll need to perform as well as to protect yourself from danger.
If you enjoy the prairie lifestyle, be sure to check out the nearby attraction, the Prairie Homestead Historic Site.
Glacier National Park, Montana
Glacier National Park is a hiker’s dream come true. With over 700 miles of trails winding their way through meadows, over mountains and into forests, hikers of all skill levels will find their serene retreat. Some of the best trails include Many Glacier and Logan Pass. If you enjoy taking leisurely drives, head out on the 50-mile Going-to-the-Sun Road that heads up through the mountains.
You are going to find an astounding 13 campgrounds that are developed plus over 1,000 sites to choose from. You could also participate in backcountry camping if you prefer, but a permit is necessary and you can only do this in designated areas.
While camping is available year-round, the best time to visit is anytime from late May through early September. Just east of the park is the Blackfeet Indian Reservation which many people find an interesting stop as well.
Everglades National Park, Florida
When you are looking at park size, you’ll find that the Everglades National Park is the largest of the lower 48 states. That’s because it covers a whopping 2,400 square miles. With all this space, you’ll find yourself wishing there was more time to explore.
With a wide range of campgrounds and trails, you’ll find plenty of spots worth biking or hiking. Many people also take along a kayak or canoe to explore the mangrove forests, marshes or the Florida Bay. The Everglades also offers some guided tours which are great for spotting the native species of the land such as alligators, manatees, dolphins and the endangered Florida panther.
Inside the park, you’ll find a selection of two campgrounds: Long Pine Key or Flamingo. If you prefer to go backcountry camping, there is a permit required and many of the areas require the use of a boat, kayak or extensive hiking to reach.
The campgrounds are open year round but it can get awfully sticky and humid there during the summer months. Many people find the best time to explore is during the mild winter months.
One of the best attractions outside the park is the Alligator Farm. This privately owned demonstration features alligator shows and educational events that are great for the entire family.
This list just touched the surface of the many spectacular places to camp throughout the United States. There are more national parks and campgrounds that are worthy of your exploration, so we encourage you to branch out and find new sites that spark your sense of camping adventure. Who knows; you might just find one that tops our list of the best five!
Leave us a comment telling us what your favorite location for a camping trip is. We would love to hear about it.
Adam Turner loves outdoor activities. He thinks that they’re one of the best way to reduce the stress of our ‘city’ lives. Outdoor sports and camping are some of his favorite activities. Now he shares his passions writing for the outdoor section of asmartertip.com.