Best Camping Spots this Spring
Recent studies have shown that merely a walk in the park can calm the mind while changing the way the brain works in ways that improve mental health. According to science, people who spend time in parks cope better with stress, feel happier and have more self-esteem. During National Park Week, ending on April 24, every park is free. Recharge your mind and body with stunning views of wild nature, breathtaking waterfalls, majestic lakes and rivers, red rock landscapes, lavish forests, tall rocky spires and cliffs, to name a few.
1. Great Smoky Mountains in North Carolina and Tennessee
Deep Creek Campground is an awesome place to stay for a few days. The 92-site campground is ideal for all kinds of freshwater activities, some of which are more intense than your usual workout. You are very close to Juney Whank Falls, Tom Branch Falls, Indian Creek Falls. They offer hitch racks for horses and primitive camping facilities.
2. Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, Montana and Idaho
You just can't get enough of Yellowstone National Park in one day; you have to stay several nights as well to experience its adventures. Slough Creek Campground is among the quieter ones - it's hidden about two miles down an unpaved road in the Lamar Valley. Fishing Bridge RV Park is the only campground offering water, sewer, and electrical hookups-50 amp service; it is for hard-sided vehicles only.
3. Rocky Mountains National Park in Colorado
The camp, which is also one of the more popular wildlife-viewing spots in the region, offers some of the best sights of the park, famous for its high peaks and pine forests. Mule deer and elk are a regular presence. You may also get a chance to encounter coyotes, black bears, bighorn sheep and moose.
4. Denali National Park in Alaska
Denali is the highest mountain in North America, peaking at 20,320 feet. Beavers, moose and possibly grizzly bears may be in the vicinity when you go hiking (learn some safety tips). You are allowed to camp a total of 14 days per year in Denali's six campgrounds.
5. Yosemite National Park in California
If you have an RV and want to go on a long camping trip, Yosemite is your destination. You won't see cars or roads in most of the park. Go on a hiking trip to Glacier Point for a stunning view of the famed Yosemite Valley and Half Dome, which is one of the most dangerous places in the region.
6. Arches National Park in Utah
All 50 sites in Arches' campground, Devils Garden, are usually reserved in advance during the busy season, which is March through October, according to NPS. But the views of this red rock wonderland, which makes for one of the best road trips in the country, and the range of activities among the thousands of natural stone arches are worth every bit of inconvenience.
7. Glacier National Park in Montana
You have about a million acres at your disposal and plenty of chances to go deep into the backcountry. With 13 different campgrounds and more than 1,000 sites to choose from, options are abundant. Most campgrounds are first-come first-served with the exception of Fish Creek, according to NPS.
8. Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah
Imagine waking up and the first thing you see are the hoodoos, tall rocky spires. You may feel you are in a completely different park - there are separate ranges with spruce, Ponderosa and Pinyon pines. Some hiking trails can be easily handled by beginners. All sites in the two campgrounds are limited to 10 people.
9. Voyageurs National Park in Minnesota
So if you're looking for peace of mind, isolated camping and a copious number of water activities, consider this park. If you don't have your own vessel, go on a guided boat tour to see the natural beauty of the park. Backcountry camping is also permitted anywhere in the park.
10. Joshua Tree National Park in California
There are nine different campgrounds offering about 500 developed campsites all suitable for people traveling alone or with big families, the NPS says. Campgrounds usually fill on weekend nights from October through May. Most sites are first-come, first-served.
11. Olympic National Park in Washington
All other campgrounds are first-come, first-served, according to NPS. Consider camping at Deer Park, which boasts mountain views worth the climb and starry skies like few other places since it's at 5,400 feet in elevation. If you want to experience secluded tenting, Dosewallips Campground is your spot.
12. Zion National Park in Utah
Zion National Park has three campgrounds. The Lava Point Campground is about one-hour drive from Zion Canyon on the Kolob Terrace Road, according to NPS.
13. Big Bend National Park in Texas
The Cottonwood Campground is characterized as more of a serene and shady site, while the Rio Grande Village Campground, adjacent to the Rio Grande, offers a camp store and showers within walking distance, as well as an RV campground with full hook-ups.
14. Everglades National Park, Florida
There are two drive-in campgrounds accessible from the Homestead entrance of the park: Long Pine Key Campground and Flamingo Campground, according to NPS.
15. Shenandoah National Park, Virginia
There are four campgrounds in Shenandoah National Park but most of the park, including its wilderness, is open to backcountry camping (for which you need a permit).