There are no easy picks when it comes to finding the best summer camping locations in the US. These must be national treasures that are accessible to everyone, but not too easy to reach. No one needs to remind them that the Great Smoky Mountains are a must-visit for 11 million people annually. There are plenty of other parks that are also great.
Before you book that summer getaway, it’s important to consider various factors such as availability, recreation, and bookability. To find the perfect mix of both criminally and widely acclaimed campsites, we’ve rounded up nine of the best summer camping locations in the US.
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore – Michigan
The magnificent views of Lake Superior that are presented in the national park known as Pictured Rocks are made all the more enticing by the mineral-rich cliffs that rise above the lake. Aside from these, visitors can also enjoy other natural attractions such as shipwrecks, waterfalls, and sand dunes.
One of the park’s drive-in campsites is Twelvemile Beach, which features 36 sites. This area is also known for its campsites that are equipped with picnic tables and fire pits. Another popular site is Hurricane River, which has 21 campsites that are close to the lighthouse and shipwrecks.
Aside from camping, you can also enjoy a wide range of recreational activities such as hiking, fishing, and swimming. There are also various trails that can be explored through the park. Also, since this area is pet-friendly, all animals are welcome to stay at the campsites.
Dead Horse State Park – Utah
If you’re planning on visiting Moab during the summer, then you might want to consider camping at Dead Horse State Park. Although it’s less crowded than some of the other national parks in the area, this slice of Utah’s wilderness still offers a unique experience. The park’s western boundary is approximately 2,000 feet above the Colorado River. From campsites along the West Rim Trail, visitors can enjoy the river’s views.
If you’re planning on visiting this area during the summer, then you might want to consider camping at the Kayenta campground. This site has 21 campsites that are equipped with modern restrooms and shade. Although it’s located near the park’s most popular trail, newer campers might want to explore the visitor center for additional services.
The new and larger Wingate campground is also a great option for people who are looking for a variety of campsites. This facility has 31 sites that can accommodate various types of campers. For those who are more into the camping lifestyle, the park also has four yurts that are equipped with air conditioning and heaters.
Channel Islands National Park
The Channel Islands are a group of eight islands that are located off Southern California’s coast. Five of these are part of the Channel Islands National Park. This region is known for its unique marine life and endemic flora. Aside from being a great summer camping destination, visitors can also enjoy various recreational activities such as whale watching, sea kayaking, and swimming.
The campsites in the Channel Islands are rugged and must be reserved in advance. Although they’re usually open year-round, campsites in the region are a special treat during the summer season. One of the most popular campsites in the park is the Santa Cruz Scorpion campground, which has 25 sites that are located right on the beach. Although this facility has plenty of facilities, it doesn’t provide much else.