Top 10 National Park Campsites In United States (Updated 2024)

Check out the most amazing places to sleep beneath the stars in America’s most stunning outdoor areas this summer.

Why Should We Must Try Camping In National Parks?

Camping in a national park has a certain charm. It’s more crucial than ever to unplug for a spell and spend time in nature in our technologically linked society. Camping satisfies our appetite for adventure, re-connects us with nature, and imparts useful survival and life skills. Camping in national parks is one of the greatest ways to do it! It’s a fantastic opportunity to experience the environment and understand the value of international conservation efforts. In certain places, camping is even free. National park camping offers plenty to offer everyone, whether you’re just learning about camping for beginners or you’re an expert on the greatest hiking paths and camping activities. Remember to educate yourself about national parks before you visit!

Some Essential Tips For Camping In National Parks

Do not forget to research your trip in advance! Always make sure you are outfitted appropriately for both daytime and evening temperatures as well as any planned activities, such as hiking or fishing. While some campgrounds accept first-come, first-served reservations, others do not. Make sure you adhere to the rules and have a fallback option in case your intended camping location sells out. Do your research on the facilities that are available and the laws that apply to campfires, equipment, and permits. The most crucial things are to respect animals, leave no trace, and have fun, a good time.

Acadia National Park: Seawall, Maine

Mount Desert Island’s wealth of evergreen trees, rocky beaches, and ocean views make Acadia the pinnacle of the Pine Tree State’s natural splendor. The most well-known campground is Blackwoods, but we prefer the Seawall, which is near to hiking and bike routes and is in a more tranquil coastal region of the island. The woodland site has flush toilets, picnic tables, and campfire rings, and the ocean is only a short stroll away.

Because summertime is peak season, make appointments in advance. The other two camping alternatives in the park are the secluded Duck Harbor, which can only be accessed by boat, and Schoodic Woods, which is less busy but farther from the park’s main area on the mainland.

Denali National Park: Wonder Lake, Alaska

There is no place like Alaska’s wilderness for a true American adventure. Although it is difficult to go wrong with any of the park’s six campgrounds, Wonder Lake at mile 85 is our top recommendation. The highest peak in North America, Denali, which stands over the campground’s namesake lake, is the nearest to this 28-site campground, which is only open to tents. A two-mile stroll from the campground will take you to Reflection Pond, where you can get picture-perfect views of the mountain.

One of the tips that park rangers want you to be aware of before visiting. A head net is advised because there are lots of mosquitoes close to the lake. There is potable water and facilities, but no fires are permitted, so make sure to pack a camp stove. Although Denali’s campgrounds do not always fill up, reservations can be made in advance.

Grand Canyon National Park: Bright Angel, Arizona

Although its enormous size, the Grand Canyon can be somewhat busy in the summer, especially along the South Rim, where 90% of park visitors travel. There are two major campsites there, with a third on the less visited North Rim. But what if you could camp right inside the canyon itself and enjoy a completely new camping experience?

Yes, you can—believe it or not. Bright Angel, the only permanent campsite in the area, is located at the foot of the canyon, half a mile from the Colorado River and next to Bright Angel Creek’s cold waters, where guests may wade, fish, and enjoy the creek’s babbling sounds. There is water, furniture for picnics, and restrooms, but obtaining permits might be challenging. You must climb, ride a mule, or go river rafting to get there, but those who do are rewarded with one of the life-altering travel experiences you can only have in America.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park: Deep Creek, North Carolina

This national park in the Appalachians, which is split between Tennessee and North Carolina, receives the most visitors in the entire nation. Camping among the waterfalls, wildflowers, fireflies, and ancient structures of the Smokies is a worthwhile vacation, even with the crowds. Options for campgrounds range from the extremely well-liked Cades Cove to the stunning but difficult-to-reach Cataloochee.

Our first choice is the medium-sized, 92-site Deep Creek, which is three miles from lovely Bryson City, North Carolina, for supplies but distant from the main roadways. Additionally, Deep Creek provides quick walks to lovely waterfalls, and mountain biking is permitted nearby. The park’s campgrounds are all equipped with flush toilets, fire rings, and picnic tables, however take note that reservations are not accepted at Deep Creek.

Dry Tortugas National Park: Garden Key, Florida

Beach enthusiasts will not want to miss the beautiful sands and crystal-clear ocean just outside your tent at this magnificent Sunshine State park 70 miles off Key West if they are looking for luxury camping. Take a boat to a beach where you may spend the night in the shadow of Fort Jefferson from the 19th century, then go snorkeling in the morning. The island, which is a stop on the Great Florida Birding Trail, is great for spotting birds. Kayaks can be brought by campers who want to enjoy a paddle in the shallows.

A campground is assured once you get on the island, but you must book your space on the boat to get there (often months in advance, especially during the busy winter season). There are picnic tables, composting toilets, and barbecues available, but campers must provide their own water and other supplies.

Yosemite National Park: Lower Pines, California

In the park, Yosemite Valley is undoubtedly the most picturesque section, making it also the busiest. But among the four campgrounds in the valley, Lower Pines comes highly recommended because of its unbeatable position. The tiny Lower Pines campground, in contrast to the larger Upper Pines, has 60 sites tucked away along the Merced River with breathtaking views of the Half Dome rock structure. The campsite is located to Half Dome Village (formerly known as Curry Village) and has hiking paths nearby.

All of the campgrounds in the valley feature clean toilets, drinking water, and space for RVs; make reservations for your site in Yosemite Valley in advance to get a position in the top RV parks.

Great Sand Dunes National Park: Piñon Flats, Colorado

This unique park’s sole campsite resembles a huge sandbox or an isolating beach. The Sangre de Cristo mountains and the highest sand dunes in North America, at 750 feet, are just two of the breathtaking sights. Sandboarding and sand sledding are popular activities for visitors of all ages, and the area’s broad space and beautiful skies are ideal for stargazing and night hiking.

Late May and early June are popular times to go since Medano Creek is at its highest flow at this time due to snowmelt in the mountains above, converting the sand into a playground of rivulets ideal for splashing, skimboarding, and floating in. During the busy season, campsites may be rented in advance and are equipped with amenities including drinking water, restrooms, picnic tables, and fire rings. Dogs are permitted, so it is a fantastic area to practice camping with animals, according to the site.

Voyageurs National Park: Minnesota

This little-known national park, which is 40% made up of a maze of interconnecting canals and lakes, is a must-visit destination for water enthusiasts. Visitors must either bring their own boat or rent one as entrance to the camping area is exclusively via boat. The nicest thing about the campgrounds is that they are far apart, some of them even on their own private island, so once you choose your location, you are completely by yourself.

Bring your kayak or fishing gear if you want to go kayaking or fishing in style. Keep an eye out for bald eagles whether you choose to walk on land or explore the area by sea like the French voyageurs of the 18th century. Additionally, you may lease a houseboat and “camp” on the water. Campsites and houseboats both need permits. They each include a fire ring with a cooking grate, a picnic table, bear-proof lockers, and a vaulted toilet. Before you travel, make sure to read up on the National Park Pass.

Big Bend National Park: Chisos Basin, Texas

The Trans-Pecos region of Texas, United States, includes the Big Bend area, which is home to the Chisos Mountains, also referred to as the Chisos. The mountain system is the only one wholly enclosed within a national park in the United States, covering 40 square miles (104 square km) entirely within the confines of Big Bend National Park. The southernmost mountain range on the American mainland is the Chisos Mountains. During the Eocene Epoch, 35–44 million years ago, volcanic activity produced the Chisos Mountains.Emory Peak, which rises 7,825 feet (2,385 meters) above sea level, is the highest peak in the Chisos Mountain range.

This go-big-or-go-home national park has it everything, from canyons and mountains to desert and rivers, and with a recent increase in tourists, campsites are in higher demand. In addition to its amazing setting under intimidating peaks and rock formations, Chisos Basin offers 26 of its 60 available sites for reservations. While still being near to the visitor center, general shop, and restaurant, the campsite is close to some of the park’s greatest trails and attractions, including the breathtaking panoramic panorama across the mountains known as the Window. There are flush bathrooms, drinking water, picnic tables, barbecues, and lockers for storing food.

Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park: Nāmakanipaio, Hawaii

Where else is there camping close to two erupting volcanoes? Despite the fact that a large portion of this Big Island park was forced to close in May 2018 owing to heightened volcanic activity, this year’s tourists may still enjoy the park thanks to an enormous rehabilitation effort. The park now displays an otherworldly scene as proof of its ever-evolving topography, without its former lava glow.

The park’s only two campgrounds, Nmakanipaio provides tent camping or small cottages, which tourists may wish to use considering that the area is cool and damp; this is not the Hawaii of beaches and temperatures of 85 degrees. The nearby historic Volcano House hotel, which features restaurants, Wi-Fi, and stunning views, is also available to campers.

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