Picking the right location for your next camping trip is what makes the difference between a few uncomfortable days sleeping in a tent and an unforgettable adventure.
It’s important to not only pick a location that fits your camping experience level, but you also want to choose a location with plenty of fun activities and beautiful sights.
If you only have a few days available, you can have a good time camping locally.
However, if you are interested in seeing some truly unique sights, consider putting together a weeklong trip to one of these amazing locations.
1. Yellowstone National Park
Perhaps best known for being the home of the Old Faithful Geyser, Yellowstone National Park is truly a wonder to behold.
The massive park is located mostly in Wyoming with small portions in Idaho and Montana. The park boasts more than 10,000 hydrothermal features including hot springs, geysers, mud pots, and fumaroles.
While visiting the park, you can see large wild animals like the bison, bear, elk, and moose. Since most of the sites are within easy walking distance from your car, this is one of the best places to camp for families.
Yellowstone is extremely popular, so you’ll need to reserve a camping spot several months in advance. If you can’t find a camping spot within the park, there are several private campgrounds nearby that you can book.
2. Zion’s National Park
Zion’s National Park is an oasis hidden in an otherwise barren desert in southern Utah. This is the perfect camping destination for individuals who love to go hiking.
The two most popular hikes are The Narrows and Angel’s Landing. The Narrows hike consists of wading through a riverbed that runs through a gorgeous slot canyon.
Angel’s Landing consists of steep switchbacks followed by a narrow trail with steep drop-offs on either side up to a cliff face with a breathtaking view of the entire park.
If you have small kids, they will be sure to enjoy participating in the Zion’s Junior Ranger program.
You’ll probably find yourself having trouble keeping up with the youngsters as they determinedly chase each destination in their activity booklet.
3. Assateague Island National Seashore
If you’d like to go somewhere near the sea, then one of the best places to camp is Assateague Island National Seashore. This 37-mile-long island sits just off the coast of Maryland and Virginia.
The stars of the island are the approximately 300 wild ponies that run free here. Seeing these wild animals running about is sure to capture the heart of young and old.
Aside from the wildlife, you can enjoy swimming in the ocean and roasting marshmallows over your beach campfire.
This beautiful park is one of the cheapest to visit on this list. A 7-day vehicle pass costs only $25.00.
4. Arches National Park
Also found in Utah, Arches National Park is home to some of the most intriguing rock formations in the world.
Thousands and thousands of years of wind-carried sand has sandblasted holes into the park's rock formations and created naturally forming stone arches.
The most famous of these arches is the Delicate Arch. The soft sand of the region makes for a comfortable place to pitch your tent.
There are even a few places where you can go backpacking if you so desire. The national park has a large campground often fully booked. So, make sure you reserve a spot online a few months in advance.
5. Grand Canyon National Park
Perhaps the most awe-inspiring location on this list, Grand Canyon National Park is a must-see destination.
Peering over the cliff edges into the canyon depths will leave you speechless as you begin to realize just how small you are.
Aside from hiking and sightseeing, there are several other activities to consider at the Grand Canyon. You can enjoy mule trips, helicopter tours, and boating trips. The massive park also has multiple opportunities for camping.
The best places to camp are those with sites near the rim. These campsites offer the most beautiful sunsets and sunrises.
If you don’t live close to any of these locations, make it a goal to save up for a trip. It will be well worth your time and money.
In the meantime, research some of the local sights near you. You will be surprised at the amazing places to camp within a short drive from your home.