6 Great Destinations for Spring Camping

  • 01 of 07

    Six Places to Camp This Spring

    Spring Camping Destinations
    Kraig Becker

    After a long winter, one of the best ways to get back outside is to go on a spring camping trip. But, if your favorite campsite isn't quite ready yet, or you're simply looking for new options on where to pitch your tent, we have six destinations that are perfect for that first outdoor escape of the season.

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  • 02 of 07

    Enchanted Rock State Park (Texas)

    Enchanted Rock, Texas
    Texas Parks and Wildlife

    Camping in the heat of the summer in Texas isn't always comfortable, but the spring is still a great time to head outdoors and reconnect with nature. One of the best places to spend a few nights outdoors is at Enchanted Rock State Park, home to one of the largest granite batholiths in the entire U.S. The park is worth visiting just for the views from the top of this rock slab and there are excellent hiking trails that circumnavigate the granite dome. But wander further into the backcountry and you'll not only leave the crowds behind, but discover some remote and quite campsites as well. There you'll have a chance to experience Texas Hill Country in all of its glory and sleep under a massive sky filled with stars. 

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  • 03 of 07

    Yosemite National Park (California)

    Yosemite Valley, California, USA, elevated view
    Daniel Viñé Garcia/Getty Images

    Let's face it, Yosemite National Park is a great destination all year round, but there are a couple of reasons why it is especially fantastic in the spring. For starters, the large crowds that arrive in the park during the summer months haven't begun to trickle in just yet, so the campsites are often peaceful and quiet. On top of that, the spring thaw allows Yosemite's famous waterfalls swell to epic proportions, making them even more spectacular than they are throughout much of the rest of the year. As if that wasn't reason to visit enough, when the dogwood trees blossom the Yosemite Valley is a sight to behold, making one of the best outdoor playgrounds on the planet even better. Just be sure to book your campsite in advance and don't be afraid to wander out of the valley. You might find some hidden gems that you didn't even know existed. 

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  • 04 of 07

    Oh Be Joyful Campgrounds (Colorado)

    Crested Butte, Colorado
    Kraig Becker

    After a long winter, the warm spring temperatures bring new life to the mountains of Colorado, which have plenty of amazing campsites sprinkled throughout the state. One of the best however, is the Oh Be Joyful Campground located just outside of Crested Butte. The site sits beside the Slate River and features utterly spectacular views, not to mention great fishing, and wonderful hiking as well. In the summer months this is a favorite spot for locals and visitors alike, but in the spring it is relatively quiet and peaceful. Just be sure to bring a warm sleeping bag, as the Colorado nights can still be a bit chilly at times. 

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  • 05 of 07

    Great Smoky Mountains National Park (Tennessee/North Carolina)

    Spring in The Smoky Mountains
    Images by Cecil Holmes/Getty Images

    Home to more than 1500 different flowering plants, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is an incredible place to be in the spring, when many of those species go into full bloom. The park comes alive with colors and fragrant smells as the warmer temperatures arrive on the scene. Traditionally, this is the most visited national park in the U.S., and in the summer it can become quite crowded at times despite its massive size. But during the spring it is still relatively quiet and campsites are easy to obtain. Go before June however, as by then many of the flowers have gone dormant for the year and the crowds that come with summer travel are starting to ramp up. 

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  • 06 of 07

    Death Valley National Park (California)

    Death Valley National Park
    National Park Service

    Death Valley National Park is another destination that you wouldn't dare go camping in during the summer, when temperatures routinely exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit. But during the spring it is pleasantly warm there, offering a nice respite from the chill of winter. The park is seldom very busy, even during the peak travel season, which means solitude is plentiful throughout most of the year. If you happen to be in Death Valley during a spring rainstorm, you might even be lucky enough to witness the park's fabled wildflower "super-bloom," during which thousands of flowering plants sprout from the ground, creating a multicolored sea across the landscape. It is a sight that is spectacular to behold, although it is also fleeting. The fragile flowers don't last long in the intense warmth found within the park and many of the blooms peak and disappear within just a few days. 

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  • 07 of 07

    Iron Gate Campgrounds (New Mexico)

    Sun and Aspen grove
    Alan W Cole/Getty Images

    Located near Santa Fe at an altitude above 9000 feet, the Iron Gate Campgrounds are nestled in between the aspen and the pine trees, making it a sheltered place to set up camp. It serves as a gateway to the Pecos Wilderness, which is an excellent place for both hiking and horseback riding. Both the wilderness and the campsite come alive with wildflowers in the spring, adding to the elegant beauty of the place. Backpackers and campers will also find themselves enthralled with the clear, open skies overhead which make for great stargazing after sunset.