Pitch a Tent: The Top 10 Campgrounds for Outdoor Adventure Across America
Pitch a Tent: The Top 10 Campgrounds for Outdoor Adventure Across America - Rough It in Style at Luxury Glamping Sites
Glamping has become an increasingly popular way to experience the great outdoors while still enjoying some creature comforts. For those who love nature but don't necessarily want to fully rough it in a tent, glamping offers the perfect compromise. From yurts to treehouses to fully outfitted tents, glampers can sleep under the stars while still having access to amenities like comfortable beds, electricity, wifi, and even luxury bathrooms.
One fantastic glamping option is Under Canvas. This company has locations across the American West, including sites near national parks like Glacier, Zion, Grand Canyon, and Yellowstone. Guests sleep in large, spacious tents outfitted with king-sized beds, plush linens, chandeliers, and wood burning stoves. Each site has a private ensuite bathroom with hot showers and flushing toilets. Other amenities include daily housekeeping, campfire areas, access to activities like fly fishing and horseback riding, and farm-to-table dining options. It's camping in serious style.
AutoCamp is another exceptional glamping choice, with locations in California, Missouri, and soon New York. These Airstream trailer hotels take glamping to the next level with beautifully designed modern interiors. Expect amenities like Tempur-Pedic mattresses, luxury bath products, flat screen smart TVs, and an on-site general store stocked with wine and craft beer. Guests can rent bikes, relax by the pool, or partake in group campfire activities and stargazing. It's glam meets camp in the best possible way.
For a truly over-the-top glamping experience, check out Collective Retreats in Montana, Colorado, and Texas. These five-star outdoor oases feature fully outfitted luxury tents with 1,500 thread count sheets, chandeliers, and custom furnishings. Enjoy farm-to-table culinary experiences, spa treatments, bespoke "adventure curations", and top-shelf drinks from the camp bar. Endless views and secluded locations make it easy to immerse in nature. Just don't be surprised if the tents feel more like palaces than camping.
What else is in this post?
- Pitch a Tent: The Top 10 Campgrounds for Outdoor Adventure Across America - Rough It in Style at Luxury Glamping Sites
- Pitch a Tent: The Top 10 Campgrounds for Outdoor Adventure Across America - Pitch by Waterfalls and Lakes at Scenic Campgrounds
- Pitch a Tent: The Top 10 Campgrounds for Outdoor Adventure Across America - Get Back to Nature in Rugged National Park Sites
- Pitch a Tent: The Top 10 Campgrounds for Outdoor Adventure Across America - Relax Under the Stars at Dark Sky Reserves
- Pitch a Tent: The Top 10 Campgrounds for Outdoor Adventure Across America - Bring the Family to Kid-Friendly Camp Resorts
- Pitch a Tent: The Top 10 Campgrounds for Outdoor Adventure Across America - Go Off-Grid at Remote Backcountry Spots
- Pitch a Tent: The Top 10 Campgrounds for Outdoor Adventure Across America - Sleep in Tents, Cabins, Yurts and More
- Pitch a Tent: The Top 10 Campgrounds for Outdoor Adventure Across America - Discover Hidden Gem State Park Campgrounds
Pitch a Tent: The Top 10 Campgrounds for Outdoor Adventure Across America - Pitch by Waterfalls and Lakes at Scenic Campgrounds
Nothing beats camping beside the shimmering waters of a pristine lake or the rushing cascades of a powerful waterfall. Pitch your tent or park your RV at one of these scenic campgrounds across America and you'll be treated to incredible vistas alongside the comforts of an outdoor overnight stay.
At Cascade Creek Campground in California's Lassen Volcanic National Park, campers are rewarded with the mesmerizing sight and sound of 200-foot Cascade Falls. Set up camp at one of the first-come, first-served sites (no reservations here), then take the 1.3-mile roundtrip hike to the base of the falls. Cool off with a refreshing swim in the chilly waters of Lake Helen, just a short stroll from the campground. With the dark night skies unspoiled by light pollution, stargazing is spectacular.
In Kentucky, Lake Cumberland State Resort Park offers a peaceful lakeside retreat. Book a campsite on the wooded shores of this sprawling 50,000-acre lake and spend your days boating, fishing, and swimming in the clear waters. Hike down to Eagle Falls, where the Eagle Creek tumbles 90 feet into Lake Cumberland. At night, build a campfire and delight in expansive views of the starry skies reflecting on the lake's glassy surface.
Within Oregon's gorgeous Crater Lake National Park lies Mazama Campground, situated on the banks of the clean, rushing waters of Annie Creek. The campground is surrounded by forests of pine, fir, and hemlock, with the deep blue waters of Crater Lake glittering just a couple miles away. Hike the Annie Creek Canyon Nature Trail to take in breathtaking waterfall views as the waters cascade toward the creek below.
In upstate New York, visit majestic Taughannock Falls State Park to set up camp near the tallest waterfall east of the Rocky Mountains. At 215 feet high, Taughannock Falls is truly a sight to behold as it plunges into the gorge below. The park offers tent and trailer campsites with electric hookups, as well as rustic cabins and yurts. Hike to the falls via the Gorge and Rim Trails, then relax back at your campsite on the shores of Cayuga Lake.
Pitch a Tent: The Top 10 Campgrounds for Outdoor Adventure Across America - Get Back to Nature in Rugged National Park Sites
America's national parks offer some of the most spectacular and rugged wilderness areas on the planet. These protected lands allow travelers to immerse themselves in unspoiled natural environments and enjoy outdoor recreation to the fullest. Camping in national parks takes you right into the heart of these untamed landscapes, bringing you face-to-face with nature in all its majesty.
In Alaska's Denali National Park, intrepid campers can pitch a tent on the tundra against the breathtaking backdrop of Mount McKinley, North America's highest peak. Denali is revered for its pristine wilderness and abundant wildlife like grizzly bears, caribou, moose, and wolves. Backcountry campsites let you trek deep into this six million acre wilderness, while developed campgrounds like Riley Creek offer excellent access to hiking trails. Experience Alaska's glory by camping under the midnight sun with endless mountain vistas surrounding you.
Campers flock to Utah's canyon country to stay amid the otherworldly rock formations of parks like Canyonlands and Arches. The family-friendly Squaw Flat Campground in Canyonlands National Park sits on the banks of the Colorado River, perfectly positioned for whitewater rafting or exploring the maze of towering canyons by foot. Further north, Devils Garden Campground in Arches National Park places you steps away from hiking to the park's namesake sandstone arches and soaring fins. The campground's remarkable natural scenery makes it clear why Arches is a dark sky preserve.
On the East Coast, Maine's Acadia National Park beckons outdoor enthusiasts with its rocky coastline and pine forests waiting to be explored. Blackwoods Campground hosts tents and RVs on forested terrain near the historic seaside town of Bar Harbor. Early risers can hike up Cadillac Mountain to catch the first sunrise in the U.S. or enjoy kayaking and fishing along the pristine shoreline. Acadia's rugged natural beauty is best appreciated by camping right within the park boundaries.
Pitch a Tent: The Top 10 Campgrounds for Outdoor Adventure Across America - Relax Under the Stars at Dark Sky Reserves
Stargazing is one of life's simplest yet most profound pleasures. When we look up at the limitless expanse of the night sky, illuminated by countless shimmering stars, we gain perspective on our place in the vast universe. Unfortunately, the proliferation of artificial lighting has made it increasingly difficult to experience truly dark skies in developed areas. Light pollution washes out all but the brightest stars, depriving us of our view of the cosmos. This is where dark sky reserves come in. These designated areas provide sanctuary for unspoiled night skies, giving people the opportunity to witness the heavens in all their natural glory.
One of the best places in the continental U.S. to relax under the stars is Cherry Springs State Park in Pennsylvania. Far from the bright city lights, Cherry Springs offers some of the darkest skies east of the Mississippi. Nighttime stargazing programs give visitors a chance to gaze in wonder through professional telescopes at celestial highlights like the rings of Saturn, nebulae, and distant galaxies. Bring your own telescope or binoculars and scan the Milky Way as it brilliantly illuminates the park's deep black skies. The exceptional darkness makes Cherry Springs a favorite of amateur astrophotographers eager to capture rare sights.
For equally impressive night skies, venture to Natural Bridges National Monument in southeastern Utah. This was the first designated International Dark Sky Park in the U.S. National Park system. With virtually zero light pollution, Natural Bridges provides mind-blowing 360 degree views of constellations, planets, and streaking meteors. Local astronomers lead informative stargazing events, while the visitor center screens astronomy programs on its digital dome. Natural Bridges' remoteness far from any major city creates ideal conditions for picking out celestial objects not visible under most night skies.
Pitch a Tent: The Top 10 Campgrounds for Outdoor Adventure Across America - Bring the Family to Kid-Friendly Camp Resorts
Camping as a family is one of the best ways to bond and create lasting memories together. While pitching tents and cooking over a campfire can be rewarding, it also comes with challenges that can be difficult for little ones. This is where kid-friendly camp resorts shine. These campgrounds cater to families, offering comfortable lodging, modern amenities, and fun activities the whole crew will love.
At Jellystone Park camp resorts across the U.S. and Canada, Yogi Bear comes out to play! Kids will be delighted by appearances from Yogi, Boo Boo, and other favorite Hanna-Barbera characters. Enjoy movie nights under the stars, wagon rides, splash pads, jumping pillows, and interactions with the lovable cartoon gang. Stay in everything from primitive campsites to deluxe cabins with fireplaces and Jacuzzi tubs. With fun planned activities and amenities like game rooms, Jellystone takes the headaches out of camping with kids.
On the shores of Lake George in upstate New York, Lake George Escape makes camping easy with an entire team dedicated just to entertaining kids. Counselors lead campers in arts and crafts, scavenger hunts, tie dye parties, and outdoor exploration. Families stay in spacious cabins with electricity, heat, private bathrooms and bedding provided. Onsite amenities include kayak and stand up paddleboard rentals, a game room, gaga pit, and nightly family campfires with s'mores. The kids are sure to sleep soundly after days packed with fun.
At Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground in Florida, the magic of Disney meets rustic camping vibes. Families stay in wilderness cabins with homey interiors or fully equipped campsites with special pads designed for RVs. Disney characters make surprise appearances and the resort offers classic Disney entertainment and attractions. Kids join in the Chip 'N Dale Campfire Sing-A-Long then cool off at the sprawling resort pool. Teens enjoy archery lessons and the resort arcade while adults sample wines at the campground tasting room. As far as family camping goes, it doesn't get much better than this.
Westgate River Ranch Resort in central Florida takes glamping to the extreme with amenities like a petting zoo, horseback riding, waterslide, kids rodeo, and mini golf. Families stay in camping cabins or covered wagons with AC, heating, and deluxe bathrooms. Onsite restaurants like the Chuck Wagon Diner serve up hearty family meals to keep campers fueled for non-stop activities. With so much to do steps from your accommodations, the kids will have a hard time ever leaving the campground. This ranch-style resort makes camping wildly fun.
Pitch a Tent: The Top 10 Campgrounds for Outdoor Adventure Across America - Go Off-Grid at Remote Backcountry Spots
For the ultimate outdoor escape, head to the most secluded parts of the backcountry. America’s vast wilderness areas allow campers to live off the land and find tranquility away from the trappings of modern society. Disconnecting from WiFi and electricity to exist in harmony with nature is deeply rewarding. Backcountry camping reconnects us with what really matters – the simple gifts of watching the sunrise, breathing fresh mountain air and gazing up at untainted night skies.
Venture into California’s Lost Coast, among the most remote and untouched shorelines in the state. The King Range’s rugged terrain limits road access, creating an 80-mile stretch of coastline reachable only by foot or boat. Intrepid backpackers make the challenging trek to camp along deserted beaches that feel worlds away from civilization. Watching the sun dip into the Pacific as the sound of crashing waves echoes through otherwise total stillness is magical beyond words.
Alaska’s Brooks Mountain Range epitomizes wild, wide-open spaces. Fly into Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve by bush plane, then hike out into 1.5 million acres of unspoiled wilderness, home to Alaska native villages that have existed for centuries. With no established campsites or trails, you have the freedom to explore valleys, tundras and forests at your own pace, crossing rivers and streams to reach vantage points with not a soul around for miles. Camp above treeline to witness the ethereal glow of the northern lights dancing across the night sky.
Venture deep off-grid into the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness in central Idaho. At over 2 million acres, it’s the largest contiguous wilderness area in the lower 48 states. Experience solitude and tranquility floating down the salmon river, then set up camp on the unspoiled shoreline. With endless options for exploring rugged peaks, evergreen forests and crystalline lakes by foot, kayak or raft, completely disconnecting is easy in this remote sanctuary known as the “Himalayas of North America.”
Pitch a Tent: The Top 10 Campgrounds for Outdoor Adventure Across America - Sleep in Tents, Cabins, Yurts and More
America's campgrounds offer much more than just pitching a tent on the ground. From rustic cabins to luxurious yurts, unique glamping options let you sleep in comfort while still enjoying the beauty of the great outdoors. Choosing the right lodging can make or break your camping vacation.
Cabins provide shelter from the elements along with amenities not found in tents. Expect rustic wood construction, electricity, indoor plumbing, cozy bedding and sometimes even kitchens and WiFi. KOA Campgrounds dot the country with cabin rentals that sleep from 4-6 people comfortably. Perks include picnic tables, fire rings and access to campground activities. Or splurge on a luxe cabin at Virginia's Sherwood Forest Resort, with whirlpool tubs, stone fireplaces and loft sleeping areas.
Yurts offer a circular shape with a domed roof for excellent ventilation. Sturdy wooden frames hold up weather-resistant canvas. Yurts found at parks like Yellowstone provide hotel-style beds and furnishings along with electricity and heat, but shared bathrooms. For a truly glamping experience, stay in a premium yurt at Patagonia Lake State Park in Arizona, with posh interiors, private bathrooms and front porches overlooking the lake.
Conestoga wagons recall the covered wagons of pioneering days. Resorts like Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park haveStation wagons outfitted with bunk beds and electrical outlets that make camping in a piece of living history fun for families. Or experience the American West at Dunton Hot Springs in Colorado, where luxe wagons integrate modern bathrooms and gorgeous mountain views.
Safari tents are another spacious lodging option that provide protection from the elements while maintaining an outdoorsy ambiance. Equipped with plush queen beds and wood stoves, they can be booked atsites like Snow Mountain Ranch in Granby, CO. Or really treat yourself to a stay at Montana's Paws Up resort, whereclimate-controlled safari tents include chandeliers, rainfall showerheads and hot tubs right on your private deck.
Pitch a Tent: The Top 10 Campgrounds for Outdoor Adventure Across America - Discover Hidden Gem State Park Campgrounds
Beyond the headliners like Yosemite and Yellowstone lie hundreds of state parks with campgrounds that offer outdoor escapes minus the crowds. Venture off the beaten path to pitch your tent or park your RV at one of these under-the-radar gems for an idyllic camping experience.
According to Mighty Travels reader Mark S., “one of my favorite hidden gem campgrounds is Watkins Glen State Park in New York’s Finger Lakes region. Situated on the shores of Seneca Lake, it has spectacular waterfalls, gorgeous gorges and peaceful wooded sites.” Campers rave about the stellar swimming holes carved out by the glen's stream. The easy Gorge Trail takes you past over 800 stone steps traversing rock walls towering as high as 200 feet.
Journey to the Pacific Northwest and you’ll find campers singing the praises of Cape Disappointment State Park, located on the Long Beach Peninsula of Washington. “I love camping there because of the huge expanse of peaceful beach,” shares reader Susan D. “Watching the sun set over the Pacific Ocean from my campsite was unforgettable.” The park offers two campgrounds with beach access, as well as miles of coastal hiking trails.
Florida’s Hugh Taylor Birch State Park draws visitors to Fort Lauderdale seeking a serene escape. “The tropical atmosphere with shady oak hammocks, freshwater springs and over a mile of beachfront made this feel like my own private paradise,” gushes Leslie C. The park’s campground has over 100 sites nestled within a lush coastal preserve.
Kentucky’s Carter Caves State Resort Park is hailed as an underrated gem by Mighty Travels readers. “Staying in one of their camper cabins gave me quick access to the caves without having to pitch a tent,” shares camper Devon L. Above ground, the park wows with forests, natural bridges, waterfalls and stellar trails prime for hiking. Rent a cabin or pitch your own tent to experience both Carter Caves’ subterranean and outdoor offerings.