North America, Travel

5 of the Best Campsites in the U.S

Good news, nature lovers: Camping season is finally upon us. Here are five of the best camping spots in the continental United States to inspire you to grab your tent and sleeping bag and venture into the great outdoors.

Yosemite National Park, California

After seeing its breathtaking backdrop, you’ll understand why Yosemite National Park is a popular destination for campers. If you are looking for a more solitary camping experience, backcountry camping is allowed with a free permit. For a camping spot you’ll never forget, hike the River Trail from Agnew Meadows to Thousand Island Lake. The lake is a stunning place to set up camp for the night, with crystal clear water and dramatic granite peaks in the background.

Carson National Forest, New Mexico

Located in Northwest New Mexico, the lush spruce and pine forests of Carson’s mountainsides make for an ideal Southwest camping adventure. There are 35 camping areas in the 1.5 million acre park, but because it is a national forest, you can really camp anywhere. A great basecamp for a visit to Carson is Langua Larga, which has four designated camping spots right on the lake. From your campsite, you can take advantage of the area’s many summer activities. Fish the lake, hike or horseback ride on one of the numerous trails, or go plinking with an airsoft gun in approved areas. (Unlike national parks, hunting and shooting is legal on National Forest land.)

Bahai Honda State Park, Florida

Florida’s southernmost state park, Bahai Honda State Park on Bahai Honda Key, has campsites right on its white sandy beach. From your campsite, you can swim, snorkel, kayak and bird watch. And in the evening, enjoy the unbelievable sunsets over the crystal clear ocean water. Make sure to reserve one of the spots early because they book up quickly.

Cutler Coast Public Reserve, Maine

For campers looking to experience Maine’s rugged coastline in solitude, Fairy Head campsites along the Bold Coast trail offer dramatic views without the crowds of Acadia. The trek to Fairy Head passes through a varying landscape of peat bogs, dense spruce and fir forests, coves and craggy viewpoints overlooking the Atlantic.

Olympic National Park, Washington

From Olympic National Park’s Ruby Beach, you can see rainforests, mountains and glaciers — a sight that makes this a one-of-a-kind outdoor experience. The park has 16 diverse campgrounds and also offers backcountry camping with permit. If you’re looking for views of the Olympic Mountains, choose the Deer Park campground, which will give you gorgeous panoramas and star-filled skies. For ocean views and amazing sunsets, choose Kalaloch. The campground is set on a bluff along the Pacific Ocean. For solitude and access to a unique rainforest, check out the remote Queets campground. Or if camping on a serene lake, near waterfalls and mountain hikes sounds nice, reserve a spot at Fairholme.