There are numerous camping grounds in the USA, and deciding where to pitch your tent can be daunting. From the sandy Atlantic beaches on the East Coast to the serene alpine lakes in the Washington Cascades, every American state boasts an abundance of stunning natural wonders worth planning an overnight camp around.
Camping has significantly increased in popularity over the past couple of years, as everyone has to isolate to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus. In addition, many countries have shut their borders, causing holidaymakers to travel within the United States, and most have opted for camping.
Although things are now back to normal, camping remained very popular, and it’s easy to see why. Camping is a fantastic way to relax and unwind in nature while taking up adventures in the great outdoors.
If you’re planning a camping trip and need suggestions on where to go, refer below for a list of the best camping grounds in the USA.
Best Places to Camp
North Rim Campground, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
Official site: https://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/cg-nr.htm
Located on the eastern section of a canyon known as the Transept and less than a mile north of the North Rim Lodge and visitor center, the North Rim Campground is an ideal place to pitch your tent when exploring the Grand Canyon National Park. Shaded with ponderosa pines and aspen trees turning to a vibrant shade of yellow during the fall season, it is one of the most scenic campgrounds in the USA.
Exuding a relaxing vibe, the North Rim Campground consists of three main sections. There’s a section for pitching tents, another for RVs and cars, and the third section applies to groups with tents.
Enjoy hikes along the Transept Trail, which leads to the North Rim Lodge and the visitor center. You can also hike along the Bridle Trail, connecting the North Rim Campground with the other trails in the park. Perched at 8,300 feet, expect snow during spring and possible thunderstorms in the fall when you camp at the North Rim Campground.
Silver Falls Campground, Silver Falls State Park, Oregon
Nestled in the foothills of Oregon’s Cascade Mountains and with over a hundred mixed-use campsites scattered in a densely forested area, the Silver Falls Campground is one of the best places to camp in the US. Aside from the campsites, it also offers the option to stay at cabins and ranches.
The Silver Falls Campground has amenities for your convenience, such as hot showers, flush toilets, a dump station, and drinking water. Aside from exploring the park through its trails, you can also enjoy horseback riding since horse rentals are available. There are more than 35 miles of backcountry trails for mountain biking, hiking, and horseback riding.
Each campsite in Silver Falls comes with a fire ring and a table, and you can purchase firewood from the camp host, allowing you to gather around in the evening and cozy up by the fire.
Emerald Beach RV Park, Navarre, Florida
Nestled along the Emerald Coast in Florida, the Emerald Beach RV Park is one of the best beachside camping grounds in the USA. When camping at this site, you will sleep surrounded by the stunning waters of the Emerald Coast, named after its distinct emerald-green water. It has powdery white sand beaches where you can swim and enjoy water sports while camping.
You can choose from a wide range of waterfront campsites, each having its deck overlooking the Santa Rosa Sound. You can stay in one of the standard sites with enough space to move around. It is only a short walk to the bay, where you can enjoy a refreshing dip. There is also a swimming pool at the end of the property.
With its relaxing vibe, you can guarantee utmost relaxation when staying at the Emerald Beach RV Park. But if you want to explore, you will only be minutes from restaurants and shopping sites.
Trail’s End Campground, Superior National Forest, Minnesota
Nestled in the remote area of Superior National Forest, right beside the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, the Trail’s End Campground is a great place to spend the night surrounded by panoramic views of nature.
Most campsites at the Trail’s End Campground are walk-to sites designated only for pitching a tent. Some overlook the stunning views of the water, while others feature steep drop-offs. Others can accommodate equipment that ranges in size, including 45-foot-long RVs. You can guarantee safety during your stay since the County Sheriff routinely patrols the area.
You can enjoy many fun activities at the Trail’s End Campground, from canoeing to fishing, berry picking, and wildlife viewing. Some incredible bird species you can spot include the osprey, bald eagles, and loons. Enjoy fishing at the lake, where you can fish for smallmouth bass, walleye, northern pike, and lake trout.
Sandy Pines Campground, Kennebunkport, Maine
Offering unique accommodation options, from glamping tents to cottages and sites for RVs and tents, Sandy Pines Campground is one of the best camping grounds in the USA. The camping ground is nestled in a tranquil and secluded area of coastal Kennebunkport, offering a truly relaxing experience. Bordered by a salt marsh, it’s an ideal place for a summer getaway and those who want to reconnect with nature away from the hustle and bustle.
Enjoy a wide array of amenities and family-friendly activities during your stay. Aside from having spacious ground, the Sandy Pines Campground is only a mile from the most stunning beach in Kennebunkport. Visit Dock Square, only a few minutes from the campground, and dine at some of Main’s best restaurants.
Each accommodation can only accommodate a maximum of two guests. As an adults-only campground, no children are allowed to ensure that everyone will have a peaceful and tranquil experience.
Odetah Camping Resort, Bozrah, Connecticut
Considered Connecticut’s premier camping ground, Odetah Camping Resort is tucked in the woods of Mystic Country and has a lake and beach, offering numerous water activities. You can engage in various sports during your stay since the campground has a basketball court, mini golf course, volleyball, and tennis court. Other onsite amenities include a movie theatre and resort-style pool offering pool parties in summer.
Aside from offering hook-ups for RVs, Odetah also offers primitive tents to sleep up to eight guests. These tents include a water connection about 50 feet from every site, picnic tables, fire rings, and free access to Wi-Fi. For a more luxurious way to camp, you can stay in one of the cabins with a full bathroom and a small kitchenette. There are also yurts for a unique way to camp. Like the tents, these yurts have access to electricity and water.
Rushmore Shadows Resort, Rapid City, South Dakota
If you’re planning a visit to the iconic Mount Rushmore, one of South Dakota’s most famous landmarks, stay in the Rushmore Shadows Resort, one of the finest camping grounds in the USA. Located only 16 minutes from Rapid City, Rushmore Shadows offer cabins, full hook-up RV sites, and tent sites.
Set at the foothills of the Black Hills of South Dakota, Rushmore Shadows Resort is only minutes from Mount Rushmore, making it an ideal base for sightseeing. There are countless other attractions nearby, such as Deadwood and Custer State Park, the largest and first state park in South Dakota.
Enjoy fun family activities on site, such as hiking and golf. Other amenities include a swimming pool and bicycle rentals. After a fun-filled day, relax in your tent and soak up the serene and peaceful surroundings.
Kirk Creek Campground, Big Sur, California
In Big Sur, along the central coast of California, you’ll find the Kirk Creek Campground, which has camping sites offering fantastic views of the Big Sur coastline. It’s a lovely place to pitch your tent, where you sleep to the relaxing waves of the Ocean Pacific and wake up to a glorious sunrise.
Nestled just above the ocean, you are guaranteed breathtaking views when camping at Kirk Creek Campground. It offers numerous opportunities for recreation and relaxation, with various scenic hiking trails leading you toward the Los Padres National Forest, past majestic Redwoods, majestic waterfalls, lush meadows, and streams.
Aside from enjoying the incredible panoramic views, you will also have access to a beautiful, secluded cove and rocky beach. You can also visit Sand Dollar Beach, about five miles away, famous for having the longest stretch of powdery sands along the Big Sur Coast.
The Ridge Outdoor Resort, Sevierville, Tennessee
Located only a few minutes from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Ridge Outdoor Resort is one of the best campgrounds in Tennessee and the USA, offering accommodations for traditional campers and glamping enthusiasts. It’s the best place to enjoy a more luxurious way of camping as you explore the Smoky Mountains. Choose from Premiere pet-friendly RV camping sites, luxury tiny home cabins, or canvas glamping tents.
As one of the most upscale camping sites in the US, The Ridge has a long list of top-notch amenities, including a golf simulator, concrete pads, a zero-entry pool, and a catch-and-release pond. Some RV sites have access to a grill, TV, private hot tubs, and an outdoor fireplace.
The Ridge also offers daily jeep rentals if you wish to explore the Smoky Mountains in a jeep. On some days, the resort offers fun activities like movie nights, kid’s crafts, and more.
Catherine’s Landing, Hot Springs, Arkansas
Catherine’s Landing is an upscale RV and camping site surrounded by gorgeous views of Lake Catherine. It has waterfront RV parking sites with concrete pads, full hook-ups, a cable, and a 30/50-amp service. There are also fully furnished cottages and yurts.
Catherine’s Landing is one of the best camping grounds in the USA, providing everything you need for a comfortable and fun-filled stay. It has a community lodge, game room, boat ramp and dock, fitness center, saline pool, boat rental facilities, hiking trails, and a zip line.
Aside from exploring the Hot Springs National Park, check out other nearby attractions like the Magic Springs Crystal Falls, Ponce De Leon Golf Course, and Crater of Diamonds State Park, the world’s only diamond mind that’s open to the public. After enjoying the activities on offer, relax at the resort’s sun terrace, where you can admire the lovely views.
Apgar Campground, Glacier National Park, Montana
Located close to Glacier National Park’s west entrance in the village of Apgar, Apgar Campground is the perfect base for exploring the most famous lake in the park, Lake McDonald. At ten miles long and almost 500 feet deep, Lake McDonald is the largest lake in Glacier National Park and a perfect spot for canoeing and kayaking. With the peaks of the Continental Divide at its tip, Lake McDonald is very picturesque, appearing in several Hollywood films.
While Apgar can get crowded sometimes, it’s an ideal place to camp if you want to be surrounded by breathtaking scenery. Offering various fun activities for all ages, Apgar Village is best suited for families. In fact, it’s one of the most family-friendly camping grounds in the USA.
The campground is surrounded by trees, providing campers with shade and privacy. Potable water is accessible in the campground, and they have restroom facilities with flush toilets and a sink. Enjoy sunsets on Lake McDonald and watch the evening programs at the Apgar Amphitheater.
Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, California
If you want to sleep under the stunning giant redwoods of California, head to Jedediah Smith Campground, a lovely campground in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park. It’s the perfect spot to relax and enjoy the incredible natural beauty of the coastal redwoods. Due to its secluded location and ample space, you can enjoy solitude despite sharing the site with other campers.
There are 89 sites in Jedediah. Each site has a fire ring, table, and cupboard, and some can accommodate motorhomes or trailers about 36 feet. Campers will also have access to nearby restrooms. If you don’t want to sleep in a tent or don’t have an RV, you can stay in one of the furnished cabins, which has lights and heaters.
When camping at the Jedediah Smith Campground, you could spot some amazing wildlife, from back bears to coyotes, bobcats, mountain lions, and more. It also has several miles of hiking trails, including the scenic Stout Grove Trail loop, which takes you through the pristine forest of ancient trees.
White River Campground Mount Rainier, Ashford, Washington
Nestled at the base of Washington’s Mount Rainier, White River Campground is a picturesque campground overlooking the park’s most spectacular views. It’s the closest campground to Sunrise Point, a popular viewing point for some of the most breathtaking sunsets at Mount Rainier National Park. Whether you’re an avid hiker wishing to explore numerous trails or a climber wanting to conquer the high alpine air, the White River Campground is an ideal base camp.
Since it’s perched at an elevation of 4,232 feet, the snow here melts a bit later. So, try to schedule your visit for late July or early August. It is also the perfect time to explore Mount Rainier when the park shines beautifully as the colorful wildflowers bloom. Book the campsites close to the river since they are the most spacious and offer incredible views of the towering mountain overhead.
Most sites are well-placed to offer privacy to the campers. You can choose from four main camping loops, with most sites positioned far from the entrance. There are washing facilities and restrooms stationed in each camping loop.
Salmon River Campground, Stanley, Idaho
Aptly named for its spectacular location along Sawtooth National Forest’s Salmon River, the Salmon River Campground is an ideal base for exploring Sawtooth National Forest. Located only a few miles from the town of Stanley, it’s one of the most easily accessible camping grounds in the USA. With the rugged Sawtooth Mountains looming overhead, Salmon River is a playground for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers.
With the campground’s location beside the Salmon River, you can enjoy many fun water activities when staying at the campground, such as fly fishing and rafting. You can also enjoy horseback riding, hiking, and mountain biking. Stay at the riverside loop if you want direct access to the river. But if you prefer to enjoy some privacy and have more shade, the upper loop area would be ideal. You can also enjoy wildlife viewing and spot elk, deer, bears, wolves, and other wild animals.
Haena Beach Park, Kauai, Hawaii
Famous for its natural beauty, with gorgeous mountains, majestic waterfalls, and white sand beaches, Kauai is one of the most beautiful islands in Hawaii. The best way to appreciate and soak up the island’s natural beauty is to camp at Haena Beach Park. For only $12 per night, you can pitch your tent at the beach, which sits at the edge of the incredibly stunning Na Pali Coast, renowned for its extraordinary natural beauty, surrounded by emerald-hued cliffs, and home to some of the world’s most beautiful waterfalls.
Wake up to the soothing sounds of the ocean water and marvel at the glorious sunrise over the sea. While the beach is not ideal for swimming or snorkeling due to its giant waves, you can walk to the nearby Tunnels beach to enjoy some water activities.