The Best Camping In The United States: 4 Beautiful Campsites To Try In 2021

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Part 3 Of The Series: The Best Camping Around The World

If you are into wild and rugged places, you will love this list of the best camping in the United States.

And if you are into accessible campsites near major cities, we have included that too.

With the variety of landscapes and landmarks, the continental United States is a lot of ground to cover.

That’s why we have incorporated some help here. Each of these recommendations are written by some of the best outdoor-loving travel writers today.

So if you are looking to get outside and explore the great outdoors in Canada’s only land neighbor, read on for some inspiration.

We will start with one of the most difficult campsites to get into. This one deserves to be on the list of the best camping in the United States because of the sheer beauty of it.

However, that has created a high demand requiring limited access. You may have to wait for years for a reservation at this campsite, but you’ll see why it is worth the wait.

Havasupai Falls Campground

by Sam from My Flying Leap

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Photo credit: Sam from My Flying Leap
***This site may contain affliate links. Certain links lead to products or services that pay me a small commission at no extra cost to you. These are hand selected and I never suggest a product that I wouldn't recommend to my mom. Especially since she is the only one reading my blog. Hi Mom!

One of the best camping spots in the world is the Havasupai Falls Campground in Havasu Canyon, Arizona. This slice of paradise is in a remote section of the state you can only get to by hiking, but it’s well worth the effort to see these gorgeous blue-green falls.

To get to the campground, you need a permit from the Havasupai Native American tribe. They’re not easy to get but you’re on this sacred ground with their permission, so it’s required.

It’s a 10-mile hike from the trailhead to the campground. Head out first thing in the morning to enjoy the vibrant colors of the canyon on the hike down. It’s steep switchbacks to the canyon floor, then fairly level from there.

You’ll pass through the Supai Village and you’ll see the first two falls. They’re beautiful, but just a teaser for the real show to come. Hike two miles further to the campground and the magnificent Havasu Falls. It’s nearly 100 feet high, spilling from brilliant red rock into a gorgeous turquoise pool.

Half a mile further is Mooney Falls, which is equally beautiful. You can go down to the base of the falls if you’re feeling daring. You’ll climb in a narrow path carved through a rock, then hold onto metal footholds to climb the rest of the way down. 

If you decide to continue on, you’ll hit Beaver Falls a few miles later. They are much smaller than Havasu and Mooney Falls, but few people go that far so you may have them to yourselves.

Hiking to the Havasupai Falls is an incredible experience not to be missed if you visit Arizona.  

Sam

Follow Sam on Instagram (haha, that rhymes!)

Next we will head somewhere that is just the opposite of Havasupai Falls. This gem near a major U.S. city is easily accessible.

But you’ll see why it is worthy of the vote as some of the best camping in the United States.

San Francisco

by Ali Richards from Diary of a Detour 

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Photo credit: Ali Richards from Diary of a Detour

If you’re travelling around California and fancy somewhere secluded to camp then Kirby Grove Campground is perfect.   Set at the historic site of Battery Kirby it is nestled on the beach, at the bottom of a canyon overlooking San Francisco, and has stunning views of the Golden Gate Bridge.

The campsite is accessed via the parking area at Battery Spencer on the North side of the bridge (which itself is a great stopping point for a photo opportunity!).

You can drive down the trail which winds around the hills, to the campsite.  It’s a great spot for picnicking, walking, and getting back to nature.  

There are many species of birds that you’ll spot including hawks and falcons, as well as cypress, eucalyptus, and pine trees.  Raccoons have been known to stalk the site looking for food so look out for them!

The site is right on the beach, and it’s highly recommended you book in advance as spaces sell out quickly.  There are only five overnight pitches available, and the car park can accommodate just three vehicles.  You can book a day spot though, to take in the views and make use of the picnic facilities.  You’ll find pit toilets, barbecue pits, and fire rings, but no potable water. 

Be aware that the parking spaces are a decent walk to the camping area so be prepared to carry your gear.

The campground is only open from Spring to Autumn/Fall, so do check ahead if you’re not sure of the opening dates.

Ali 

Learn more about Ali at Summerley Digital

We have to admit this next one has a special place in our hearts. RMNP was our very first backpacking trip.

And because we weren’t attacked by a bear (as I thought we were), nor woken up surrounded by deer checking our tent out (it was squirrels dropping pine cones), we still consider this park to be the best camping in the United States.

Rocky Mountain National Park

by Meg from Fox in the Forest

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Photo credit: Meg from Fox in the Forest

As one of the most beautiful places in Colorado, camping at Rocky Mountain National Park is the ultimate way to truly experience what this gem of an alpine setting has to offer. Offering break-taking mountain scenery, unbelievable wildlife encounters, and an endless array of hiking trails, camping at Rocky Mountain is an experience of a lifetime.

Aside from getting the chance to sleep under a billion stars, camping at Rocky Mountain gives you the chance to fully soak up the beauty of the area. 

While visiting, make sure to kick off a few of its beautiful hiking trails, check out some alpine lakes, drive down two of Colorado’s most scenic drives (Trail Ridge Road ·andPeak to Peak Scenic Byway) or hire a guide and go on a rock climbing adventure you’ll never forget.

There are five camping spots inside Rocky Mountain National Park. Three of them take reservations in advance (Aspenglen, Glacier Basin, and Moraine Park), and two work on a first-come, first-serve basis (Timber Creek and Longs Peak Campground).

 For the first three, try to reserve well in advance to ensure you can snag a spot! Moreover, there is wilderness camping available as well if you’re feeling up for a backcountry adventure (permit required).

-Meg

Follow Meg at Fox in the Forest

While we have camped in some of the most beautiful parks in the United States, this next one remains on our bucket list. A tragedy that we intend to rectify.

Especially after reading Aaren’s recommendation as the best camping in the United States.

Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

by Aaren Prody from What Do You Sea

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Photo credit: Aaren Prody from What Do You Sea

In the heart of Wyoming lies one of the United States’ most prized National Parks that is home to some of the best camping spots in the WORLD, Grand Teton National Park. Often outshined by other iconic parks such as Zion or Glacier National Park, Grand Teton brings crystalline lakes, granite peaks, dense pine forests, and wildflower fields to all of the campsites near or far from the park. 

This Inland Northwest park is a famous hub for hikers, backpackers, climbers, and mountaineers alike. From summiting the Grand Teton, backpacking the Teton Crest Trail, or hiking to any of the picturesque lakes, you’ll always be accompanied by incredible views and an abundance of wildlife. Visiting this park gives hikers the opportunity to see the famous bear, Grizzly 399, and her cubs, elk, moose, black bears, marmots, and many other animals in the alpine wilderness. 

The BEST camping spots are all along the Teton Crest Trail backcountry tent sites, but Atherton Creek Campground, Signal Mountain Campground, Colter Bay Campground, and Jenny Lake Campground are the best camping spots in and outside of the park. Most if not all other campsites have iconic views of the Grand Teton mountain range, so no matter what site is chosen, it will come with a memorable view!

Aaren

Wrap Up of the Best Camping in the United States

Although this is a small sampling of the best camping in the United States, it is enough to get you started.

We want to thank the guest writers for their contributions. Check out each of their websites for more on their suggested locations.

But you can do that later. For now, check out more in this series.

Part 1 was the Bucket List Camping, a where’s-where of the ultimate places to camp.

Part 2 dialed into the best camping in Canada.

And we will continue this series as the week goes by, so stay tuned.

Also, be sure to check out our Iceland camping guide. This is about our favorite place to hike and camp in the world. We wrote our guide to show you how easy it is to plan and pack for an Iceland camping trip.

And if you would like a checklist, be sure to click on our Wild Camping checklist post.

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