Camping is one of the best ways to truly see the natural world in all of its glory. Camping in some of the most gorgeous areas in the world will give you a new perspective about what is surrounding us in regular life.
But what about in your own “backyard?” What are the best camping spots in the U.S.?
Through all 50 states, there are certainly many amazing areas to explore. Although we cannot get to all 50 in this article, we’ll cover some awesome camping opportunities for you to consider below.
So, without further adieu, let’s cover the best camping locations in the U.S. right now!
Glacier National Park
Glacier National Park boasts not only majestic mountain views, but 13 campgrounds as well.
Located in a gorgeous part of Montana, Glacier National Park is one of the most underrated camping destinations in the country. With incredible mountain landscapes and other natural features, you will be surrounded by beauty.
Over the course of the huge national park, there are 13 campgrounds and hundreds of individual sites to enjoy. So, there is plenty of room for everyone. If you like hiking, there are over 700 miles of hiking trails stretching through many areas and ecosystems.
Overall, this is a quiet, serene location to camp in the United States that has so much opportunity for fun.
Arches National Park, in Utah, is famous for its beautiful natural rock structures and great hiking.
Due to the natural rock structures and mountainous areas, Arches National Park is a site to behold. This is one of the more exclusive camping opportunities as there are only 50 campsites at the Devils Garden campground.
However, Moad, Utah is known for its other camping opportunities, but they will be off the main property. The park gets its name from the natural rock arches that are all over the property. This is a great place to hike and explore while taking in this area’s natural beauty.
The Grand Canyon National Park is an absolute must-see location, but be sure to plan ahead!
No list of the best camping locations in America is complete without mentioning one of the natural wonders of the world. The Grand Canyon is certainly one of the most impressive places in the entire world.
Camping in Grand Canyon National Park can happen in four developed campgrounds. If you would rather rough it, you can enter the backcountry on a permit if you are able to secure one.
Now, all of these opportunities fill up quickly, so the earlier the better in terms of planning.
Joshua Tree National Park has over 100 individual campsites.
Joshua Tree National Park is a great camping destination for a number of reasons. The biggest of which is the location. Located in California, this park is a few hours drive from cities like Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Phoenix.
When you can get away from the big cities easily and access natural beauty like this, it is a game changer.
In terms of parking at the actual park, there is plenty of room. There are over 100 individual sites with a few off-site places offering spots as well.
Temperatures in this part of the country get insanely high in the summer, so plan your trip in the other three seasons to get the best experience possible.
Looking for an island with wild horses… Assateague Island is the place to see! (photo credit: National Park Service)
Located off the coast of Maryland sits Assateague Island. This is a natural paradise with nearly 40 miles of coastline and plenty of beach camping available.
Assateague Island is a place not too many people away from the east coast know about, so it is a bit of a hidden gem, at least on the national level.
A super unique factor of Assateague Island is the population of wild horses that inhabit it. These are gorgeous horses that roam the island and frequent the various campgrounds on the beach. This is a really unique experience that does not happen much in the United States, especially on the east coast.
The Florida Keys may not be the firstthing that comes to mind when considering camping locations, but they are home to the beautiful Biscayne National Park (photo credit: Biscayne National Park Institute)
The Florida Keys is a series of gorgeous islands and land masses connected with one major road down from the mainland. As you work your way down, there is so much natural beauty to enjoy.
One of the focal points along the way is Biscayne National Park. There are not many areas where you can see a large city and also have the natural features such as this park. With downtown Miami off in the distance, you can pitch a tent and enjoy southern Florida life all in one location.
There are two campgrounds in the park, but both are on individual keys and have to be accessed by boats.
Badlands National Park is a great location for backpacking and seeing incredible views like this.
In order to make the Top U.S. Camping Spots list complete, we need an entry or two in the midwest. One of the most impressive of which is Badlands National Park in South Dakota. This is a large park that harbors incredible views and hiking opportunities.
In terms of camping, there are two campgrounds on the property and one of them is only accessible through the backcountry. So, if you would like to do some backpacking, you are covered in areas that cannot be reached by RV travellers and others.
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore has three drive-in campgrounds. (photo credit: Tim Trombley)
Michigan is a very underrated destination when it comes to natural beauty. However, it’s home to the beautiful Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Here, there are three picture-esque campgrounds that are actually drive-in sites. This means that you pull your vehicle into a spot and enjoy the park.
Between the three campgrounds, there are a total of 65 sites and each one requires a reservation to secure the spot. The gorgeous pictured rocks are a short paddle or boat ride away.
One of the best ways to experience nature in a unique way backpacking. Packing up your gear and hitting the backcountry will put you in places that you could only imagine and that pictures just won’t do justice!
So, let’s cover the best backpacking tents in the game right now. Investing in a quality backpacking tent will transform your experience and put you in the best possible position for backpacking success.
Here are the best backpacking tents right now!
Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2 – Best 2-person Backpacking Tent
The Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2 weighs just over 1 lb and can sleep two people comfortably.
No list of the best backpacking tents is complete without the Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2 making an appearance.
It’s acclaim and reputation is why it landed in the top spot on our list. Weighing just over a pound and being able to fit two people comfortably, it is hard to go wrong with this one.
This tent compacts down super well and is one of the best backpacking tents for two people. It covers pretty much any situation in which you would need to bear the conditions and hold up for a night.
There are doors on both sides with vestibules created by the rain fly to provide ease of use for everyone.
Pros of the Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2:
Plenty of space for two people
Lots of built-in storage
Lightweight despite the size
Cons of the Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2:
Small foot taper
Can be considered pricey to more budget-conscious backpackers
REI Co-op Passage 2- Best Backpacking Tent on a Budget
The REI Co-Op Passage 2 is great for the budget-conscious backpacker and is very user-friendly.
REI is one of the leading outdoor retailers in the game, and over time, they have developed a great deal of their own equipment. The REI Co-op Passage 2 is one of the best backpacking tents on a budget.
Coming in at 5 pounds 7 ounces, this is a steady option for those who cannot spend a ton of money on a tent that is lighter and pricier. If you fall into the middle of the road in terms of wants, needs, and budget, this is an excellent option.
There are just two poles and two doors that open all the way up. Overall, the user experience with the Passage 2 is incredibly consistent and user friendly.
Pros of REI Co-Op Passage 2:
Roomy enough for two people, with doors on both sides
Cons of REI Co-Op Passage 2
Does have cheaper, more mass-released materials
Has a heavier weight than some backpacking options
The Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL2 is perfect for the backpackers who are looking to shave every ounce possible off the weight, yet have a high ceiling.
As one of the best lightweight backpacking tents, the Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL2 is an awesome option for those who really want to trim the fat on the pack’s weight.
Once again, Big Agnes makes its appearance on the list as the product is of extremely good quality.
Coming in at just 2 pounds, 9 ounces, this is the best lightweight backpacking tent listed today. Outfitted with a tall ceiling and a very compact size when packed down, this tent is a great option for the hardcore backpackers who fret over every ounce.
Pros of the Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL2:
Super lightweight and compact to allow weight ot be dispersed in other ways
The Nemo Dragonfly 2 is lightweight, comfortable and durable.
One of the most balanced and well-rounded options is the NEMO Dragonfly 2. With a light weight, high comfort and great durability, you really have it all. Now, this will come at a higher price, so keep that in mind.
This is the tent that probably has the best vestibule setup. When you get the rain fly affixed correctly, you will have a good amount of covered room to get ready before hitting the elements outside. The pole design also is there to provide a ton of durability in high wind.
Pros of the NEMO Dragonfly 2:
Very well-rounded and covers all the bases
Super durable to withstand many situations
Build creates for the maximum water and weather resistance
MSR Hubba Hubba NX1 – Best 1-Person Backpacking Tent
The MSR Hubba Hubba NX 1 weighs just under 4 lbs and is spacious and durable.
The best 1-person backpacking tent today is the MSR Hubba Hubba NX 1. Coming in at just under 4 pounds, you are getting a very durable tent that is for those who know they don’t need to waste effort on extra space.
The design is unique in the sense that it is made to maximize the space given. 1-person tents are known to be very tight, but the Hubba Hubba is known to be quite spacious. Plus, there are doors and vestibules on both sides for ultimate ease of use.
Pros of the NSR Hubba Hubba NX1:
Lightweight and spacious
Very durable and outfitted with dual vestibules to escape the elements
Sea to Summit Telos TR3 – Best 3-person Backpacking Tent
The Sea To Summit Telos TR2 has extra headroom and high quality craftsmanship.
Sea to Summit has been a steady brand in the outdoor space for a long time. So, it is only fitting that it makes today’s list of the best backpacking tents.
The Telos TR3 is a fantastic tent that is one of the best backpacking tents for three people. With the extra room and relatively low weight, you really get a good value with this one.
One aspect that makes it a great 3-person backpacking tent is the high ceiling. The pole structure allows for some extra head room, which is a really nice perk. Although the price is high, the space and quality are of a really high caliber
Looking to go off-road and give mountain biking a shot?
Mountain biking is an exciting hobby and a great way to not only get and stay in shape, but also a fantastic way to have fun and enjoy some amazing trails.
Besides biking being an adventure, mountain biking it’s a killer workout and boosts your fitness levels, both mentally and physically.
Before you set out on your mountain biking adventures, be sure you have some key items for your journey...
Items you’ll need to get started mountain biking
Once you have a quality mountain bike, here are some items that will help you ride safely and more comfortably:
When it comes to biking, having items of clothing that adapt to your body movements so that little or no friction is created is key.
Biking shorts are no different.
Mountain biking shorts work best when they are slim, have pockets and breathable.
The design process for biking shorts takes into account whether the rider is male or female, as well as the type of weather you will be biking in (so that they can be ideal for cold conditions, if needed). This helps ensure a comfortable ride.
Be sure you buy biking shorts with breathable materials. This is especially helpful during Summer riding. Shorts should have have plenty of pockets, a slim silhouette, and an inseam to prevent bunching when biking.
The main idea with biking shorts is to give you a comfortable feel. Men have biking shorts with a special wide gusset in the crotch section. This protects the male organs from friction.
Quality biking shorts have blended spandex material which is known for its stretch and tear resistance. This is especially useful if you crash or get entangled bushes or come in contact with trees.
These are mostly made of blended nylon, spandex, and wool. The material is stretchy and incorporates the best features of the named materials.
However, although the material is stretchy, it retains its original shape.
A rider can wear padded undershorts multiple times without washing by simply hanging them in a cool place to dry. The padded undershorts are lightweight and incorporate multi-density foam.
Mountain biking can be tough… you’re going to sweat! Be sure you have a top that will wick moisture away from your body.
If you mountain bike, you’re going to sweat. So, wear a shirt that can withstand perspiration during your mountain biking trails. A mountain-biking top is ideal for intense rides and easily wicks away moisture and sweat.
Much like biking shorts, biking tops are stretchy and lightweight. You can wear them for other outdoors pursuits, as they don’t retain odors like most synthetics (where scent control is important).
You might be biking in an area with a natural cool-off like this, but you will still need fresh drinking water, so be sure you have a hydration pack with you!
Always remember how critical water is. You need it to stay hydrated. So, be sure to always carry water with you.
Choose a pack with a water bottle holder and space for stashing your snacks. This will really help you on longer biking trails. A hip pack may even be more suitable, as it keeps the weight closer to your body’s center of gravity, giving you a more balanced and comfortable biking experience, even when hitting sharp turns or making small jumps.
For safest riding, a bike helmet is a must for all ages young and old when mountain biking.
Ensure your helmet has good ventilation and fit. This will ensure that your head will remain relatively cool on those hotter rides. Additionally, the bike helmet should have an internal bug mesh to keep insects at bay.
Ensure that the helmet has a formidable lining on the inside to reduce dangerous impact to your head and brain in case of a fall or crash.
Mountain biking gloves should be flexible enough to allow for good grip and it always is helpful to be able to change music or operate your phone when needed without removing.
Get a fitting and comfortable full-finger glove. Check the knitting technology to ensure it’s comfortable and similar to that of footwear. This ensures you have a comfortable biking experience even on longer trails.
The gloves should be comfortable and flexible enough to allow you to receive phone calls or change your music without needing to take them off.
Pick sunglasses with reactive lenses. These lenses change with the lighting conditions. This protects your eyes while giving you a comfortable biking experience.
Wearing reflective lenses allows you to ride any trail, whether in shady areas or sunny, without necessarily taking off or putting on your sunglasses. The design should keep away bugs and wind while offering you enhanced eye protection.
Shoes with soles that will grip are very helpful in maintaining pedal contact on your mountain biking adventures.
Wear shoes with sticky rubber soles. This will provide for better contact with your mountain bike’s pedals. These shoes also give you excellent stability and are relatively stiff. Be sure they have tongue and heel tabs that allow you to put the on and off with little effort.
Whether your bike’s tires are tubeless or tubed or have puncture-proof tires, you need a mountain bike pump. If you’re far from home and get a flat, you’ll wish you had made #9 here a priority!
A good pump will have reliable valves and a high-volume barrel that fills up your flat tire quickly, as well as a flexible hose. This is a simple piece of equipment that can be a difference maker on your ride.
Be sure to choose a pump that fits nicely on the bike without having to switch any internal bike parts.
Eventually, you will need to do some spot repair or maintenance on your mountain bike. Be sure you have a multi-tool handy so you can address these on the fly.
It’s inevitable. At some point, some of the parts on your mountain bike will fail. A multi-tool ensures you are prepared to make adjustments and repairs on the fly.
Pick a pocket-size multi-tool with several different wrenches such as hexes, Torx, phillips heads, and tire levers to name a few. A multi tool with a chain breaker feature is helpful as well.
Now that we’ve covered some essential items for mountain biking, let’s cover some basic tips that will ensure you will havea comfortable and safe biking adventure. Observe the following for maximum ride safety.
Now that we’ve covered items you need to go mountain biking, be sure to be mindful of these tips when out riding…
Always wear the right biking gear
There is a reason for wearing biking gear like a bike helmet, sunglasses, shorts, and carrying a hydration pack. They are necessary for biking trails to keep you safe. Items like breathable biking shorts and tops, that we covered above, will help ensure you have a more comfortable ride.
Look ahead when riding
Keep your eyes on the trail and other approaching obstacles so that you can avoid crashes. Looking ahead will help you pick the right trail and adjust your speed where necessary.
Maintain level pedals
Maintain level pedals when coasting to keep them from clipping rocks, stumps, and other obstacles.
Always get low when negotiating bends in the trail. Keep your elbows and knees bent with your hips above your saddle to give you greater shock absorption.
Always anticipate climbs
Get into the right gear when approaching a climb. Sit and spin in easy gear as you climb at a steady pace. This is more efficient and ensures you don’t lose traction. It’s better than if you stand and climb in a larger gear.
Take a cautious approach
Bombing down every descent is risky. You have nothing to prove. Instead, focus on improving your bike handling skills. Safety should be your primary focus.
Now you’re ready to get out there and explore on your own mountain biking adventure. Ride safely!