From lakeside vistas and coastal shorelines to desert valleys, national parks, and vastly wooded forests, camping across the United States takes many shapes and forms. Whether you’re an avid camper that enjoys getting dirty while immersed in nature, or you want a little more comfort being out in the wild, the scenery and ambiance of your campsite provide an experience that you will likely never forget. If you’re looking for a picturesque adventure, these are the 15 most beautiful campsites across the United States.
Hidden Valley Campground, Joshua Tree National Park, California
For campers looking to enjoy a unique experience in the desert, sleeping under the starry skies and surrounded by cacti and rock formations, Joshua Tree National Park is the answer. Named after the slow-growing and twisted Joshua trees, the park is situated between the Colorado Desert and the Mojave Desert and is a rugged, picturesque camping spot. Hidden Valley Campground puts campers at the center of the park, encompassed by beautiful desert landscapes while also being close to popular hiking and climbing trails. The campgrounds and park become even more breathtaking at sunset when the colors of the sky are visible against the vast terrain.
Nāpali Coast State Wilderness Park, Kauai, Hawaii
Recognized as one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world, Nāpali Coast, along the northwest of Kauai island, is a breathtaking destination. The Nāpali Coast State Wilderness Park offers incredible scenery, and camping here is equivalent to camping in a remote paradise. Misty cliffs, deep valleys, tumbling waterfalls and flowing streams all meet at sea surrounding this photogenic island. Adventure seekers and campers have the option of spending their nights at the Hanakoa campsite, Kalalau, or camp at Milolii, which is only accessible from the ocean. Hiking the famous Na Pali Coast Hike, kayaking, stargazing, and admiring the waterfalls are just some of the top activities to do near the campsites.
Hither Hills State Park, Montauk, New York
Located just three hours from New York City at the farthest tip of Long Island, Montauk is the go-to getaway for sun worshippers and beach-goers. But Montauk is also an idyllic place to pitch a tent and enjoy oceanfront camping right in New York. Hither Hills State Park in Montauk offers a scenic camping area complete with two miles of sandy beach, a freshwater lake, sand dunes, and oceanfront sunrises. Campers can enjoy all types of water activities such as boating, fishing, and swimming, as well as hiking the woodlands, biking, horseback riding, picnicking, and campfires with the beachy backdrop of Montauk.
Echo Park Campground, Dinosaur National Monument, Colorado
Situated at the base of towering cliffs along the banks of the Green River, the Echo Park Campground provides a camping experience like no other in Dinosaur National Monument. Steamboat Rock dominates the view. Fremont petroglyphs are located on the canyon walls. Bighorn sheep and mule deer frequently roam through the campground. Unimproved hiking trails lead to the confluence of the Green and Yampa Rivers. Nearly every campsite in the Echo Park Campground has sweeping views of Steamboat Rock and surrounding cliffs. Campers can soak up the natural landscape and archeological history in this Colorado destination.
Watchman Campground, Zion National Park, Utah
Located a quarter-mile from the south entrance of Zion National Park in Utah, Watchman Campground is surrounded by massive sandstone cliffs, tall rocky peaks, and woodlands of juniper, piñon pine, and sagebrush. Adjacent to the campgrounds runs the mighty Virgin River, allowing campers access to bike trails along the riverbank plus hiking to a nearby archeological site. Camping in Zion, Utah’s first National Park, offers a full range of dynamic geological history, and epic sunsets that turn the peaks bright orange and red.
Tahuya Adventure Resort, Belfair, Washington
Travelers looking for a glamping experience can instantly book a plush and fully-furnished safari tent at Tahuya Adventure Resort on Pitchup.com and explore Tahuya State Forest’s 23,000 acres of woodlands, over 300 miles of trails and freshwater fishing in between relaxing evenings back at the resort. Groups can have their own freestanding tents nestled deep in the forest of the northwest, all surrounding outdoor activities like hiking, fishing, horseback riding, and ATVing. Travelers that prefer to glamp have log cabin and deluxe tent options that come with additional amenities to add an extra layer of comfort. Whether camping or glamping, enjoy the greenery of Washington’s forests and admire the wildlife that inhabits it.
Log Cabin Wilderness Lodge, Tok, Alaska
While the legendary John Wayne once visited this site deep in the Alaskan wilderness, there’s more to these log cabins than an old Hollywood claim to fame. Located on a remote 11-acre park, the wilderness lodge is ideal for glampers looking to witness Alaskan wildlife and natural phenomena, including the Northern Lights in the wintertime. Guests can also partake in a slew of activities, like cross country skiing, snowmobiling, and snowshoeing (and there’s plenty to do in the summertime, too, like hiking, fishing, and bird watching). No matter the season, campers can take in the mountain views and frequent wildlife sightings in this Alaskan wilderness, 300 miles northeast of Anchorage.
Kentucky Horse Park Campground, Lexington, Kentucky
The 1,200-acre Kentucky Horse Park Campground in Lexington, Kentucky, offers campers the ultimate camping experience. At the Kentucky Horse Park, visitors, exhibitors, and campers have diverse opportunities to engage with, learn about, and be enchanted by horses. On the campgrounds, spacious sites with electric, water, and Wi-Fi are just the basics. Campers also have access to two bathhouses, tennis and basketball courts, an Olympic-size swimming pool, and a grocery store and gift shop. Hiking and biking are also popular activities among campers, and of course, experiences with the horses.
Dunton River Camp, Dolores, Colorado
Located on a former cattle ranch from the late 1800s, Dunton River Camp is a luxury compound in Colorado that offers an adventure that is more “glamping” than camping. Intended those who want to immerse themselves in nature without sacrificing modern comforts, the ranch allows campers their own mountain bikes, access to hiking trails around the property, and the opportunity to get “dirty” but freshen up in their en-suite bathroom with soaker tub and shower—best of both worlds. A large portion of the land is still used for cattle grazing, while the rest is home to tent sites, and the original farmhouse spread out across fields on the West Fork of the Dolores River.
Letchworth State Park, Finger Lakes, New York
Considered the "Grand Canyon of the East," Letchworth State Park is a majestic area to camp, centered around the Genesee River, which roars over three major waterfalls, with cliffs as high as 600 feet in some places. Campers can choose between campsites or cabins in secluded areas, with access to amenities including showers, food concessions, picnic tables, pavilions, playing fields, a playground, and a swimming pool. Many areas are pet friendly. Surrounded by lush forests, hikers can choose among 66 miles of hiking trails, with more trails available for horseback riding and biking. With plenty of activities all in one location, Letchworth also offers whitewater rafting, kayaking, hot air ballooning, and a museum.
Huttopia White Mountains, White Mountains, New Hampshire
Covering more than a quarter of New Hampshire, the White Mountains are a natural haven for all outdoor enthusiasts, including the highest elevation point in the North East! Travelers yearning for the vast mountains, lakes, and beautiful forests of New Hampshire can head to Huttopia White Mountains for full-comfort glamping accommodations. Located on the banks of a lake near North Conway and less than 2.5 hours from Boston, Huttopia White Mountains provides a peaceful “camping” experience with a full range of activities including hiking, canoeing, fishing, and roasting marshmallows on the campfire.
Assateague Island National Seashore, Assateague Island, Maryland
A long barrier island off the coast of Maryland and Virginia, Assateague Island National Seashore is known for its Atlantic beaches, marshland, dunes, and pine forests. The island is home to bald eagles, seabirds, and, perhaps most famously, wild horses that are descendants of late 17th-century stock brought over by colonists attempting to avoid livestock taxes. The herd now thrives among the wildlife. Camping in the Assateague Island National Seashore includes two campsites for horse camping or oceanfront and bayside camping, where travelers can soak up the breathtaking views of the Atlantic ocean with wild horses in the backdrop.
North Rim Campground, Grand Canyon, Arizona
Camping in the famous Grand Canyon, with its layers of million-year-old red rock, is a bucket list item for many—it is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, after all. The North Rim Campground, located on the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park, offers sweeping, rustic views of the canyon, shaded by towering Ponderosa pines and is home to vast wildlife including wild coyotes and deer. While hiking the Grand Canyon is undoubtedly the most popular activity, campers can also enjoy biking, picnicking, and rafting.
Apgar Campground, Glacier National Park, Montana
Glacier National Park is a vast array of pristine forests, alpine meadows, lakes, and rugged mountains. Adventurous visitors and campers visiting Montana enter a hiker’s paradise when coming here. Located under three miles from the famous Going-to-the-Sun Road, a scenic mountain road through the Rocky Mountains, Apgar Campground, the largest in the park, is situated amongst the trees and wildlife that ranges from mountain goats to grizzly bears. With day hiking and sunsets on Lake McDonald, guided horseback riding, and kayak rentals, campers will relish in nature.
Orchard Beach State Park, Orchard Beach, Michigan
Situated on a bluff overlooking Lake Michigan, Orchard Beach State Park is a picturesque campsite in Manistee County, Michigan, with a stairway that leads directly from the campground to the beach. Manistee, historically a lumbering settlement that has preserved its Victorian atmosphere, is a quaint town with a unique history. A must-do: take the trolley on a historical tour of Manistee and get acquainted with the city. Campers can also enjoy the self-guided hiking trails that are adjacent to the park (perfect for casual hikers), fishing off the two piers, charter boats, or enjoy the beaches along the lakeshore.