North America is home to several spectacular camp sites in diverse environments. Some sit amid rainforests while others are on the slopes of magnificent mountains, and others offer uninterrupted views of the ocean or starry night skies free from light pollution from big cities.
No matter what your preference is, North America has a camping site that can satiate your need to spend time out in nature, and here we highlight 10 of the best ones you can visit.
What Is A Camp Site?
Also known as a camping pitch, a camp site is an outdoor spot where campers can pitch their tents and enjoy an overnight stay. There are two kinds of camping sites:
- Impromptu sites, where people may stop and rest in while hiking or backpacking
- Designated sites, where plots are set aside to for use only by campers
Facilities In Camp Sites
Most camping sites offer certain basic facilities, some of which are as follows.
- Fireplaces or fire pits for campfires
- Road access for vehicles
- Picnic tables
- Reservations to ensure there will be space to camp
- Utilities like electricity, water, and toilets
- Raised platforms to set up tents
- Piped potable water
- Showers, with or without hot water
The 10 Best Camping Sites
If you’re a camping enthusiast who lives in North America or even if you’re visiting from overseas, you’ll be glad to know the continent has some of the best camping sites in the world. They’re all unique in their own distinct ways, and each camp site has something inimitable to offer you.
1. Jumbo Rocks Campground, California
Joshua Tree National Park has several camp sites, but none is as popular as the Jumbo Rocks Campground. Some of the coolest rock formations and boulders in this area are only a short hike away from this ground, and these provide the camp sites some much-needed shelter from the winds that sweep through these grounds. The park has around 124 camp sites available on a first-come-first-serve basis.
2. Crater Lake National Park, Oregon
The central attraction of this national park is Oregon’s Crater Lake, which formed after a violent volcanic eruption more than 7,000 years ago. The lake is a little less than 2,000 feet deep and is encircled by steep cliffs and pine trees.
The national park has two camp sites: Lost Creek Campground, which is a 16-site, first-come-first-served, tents-only camp site located around 4 miles from the rim of the lake, and Mazama Campground, which has around 200 sites surrounded by forests.
3. Assateague Island Campgrounds, Maryland
With more than 140 camp sites and other primitive camping options, the Assateague Island Campgrounds in Maryland deliver a wonderful twist to conventional camping. The campgrounds also include six backcountry camp sites, of which four are only accessible by canoe or kayak.
The ocean along this ground stretches out for around forty miles, offering campers opportunities to swim, surf, bike, kayak, or even go paddle-boarding. Another attraction at these camp sites is the herd of wild horses that call the area home. They are descendants of horses brought by European colonists in the 17th century.
4. North Rim Campground, Arizona
Located in the Grand Canyon National Park, the North Rim Campground is open from the middle of May to the end of October. It offers breathtaking views of the Grand Canyon that you’ll remember forever.
North Rim is perfect for travelers who are interested in winding down amid nature, and though it’s a bit harder to access than the South Rim camp site, the views more than compensate for the effort.
5. Chisos Basin Campground, Texas
Often touted as one of the lesser-known national parks in America, the Big Bend National Park has its fair share of camp sites. The Chisos Basin Campground is the most popular one in this national park, primarily because of the breathtaking views it offers and the pure mountain air you get to breathe in.
The camp site is located at an elevation of over 5,000 feet, right in the middle of the green Chisos Mountains. It has also won an International Dark Sky Award, making it one of the best places to stargaze against a deep, dark sky.
6. Olympic National Park, Washington
This national park in Washington is a wonderful choice for outdoor enthusiasts who love camping. Like all the other camp sites worth their salt, this campground also offers you exceptional hiking trails, clusters of dense trees, and an endless stretch of natural scenery, but there’s more to this region than just hiking and camping.
Olympic National Park is home to three varying ecosystems, including North America’s only rainforest, which receives over 200 inches of rain annually, and if you go there during the right season, you might even get to see some whales migrating.
7. The Adirondack Park, New York
If you thought the best camp sites are tucked away in far-off regions, think again. In the heart of New York the Adirondack Park offers happy campers around six million acres of land to explore. It’s like your very own personal island where you can enjoy activities like boating, sailing, canoeing, climbing, and hiking.
You can even take long, endless walks among the trees in the park, or mingle with the locals in one of the small towns nearby. There are thousands of camp sites and hundreds of campgrounds throughout the park.
8. Sandspur Campground, Florida
In the Bahia Honda State Park, the Sandspur Campground is the perfect place for the hybrid camper who doesn’t want to leave the luxuries of modern civilization too far behind. The grounds have 23 camp sites, all of which come with a water supply, a grill, and even a picnic table.
Fifteen of these camp sites are also equipped with electricity, and eight of the camp sites in the Bahia Honda State Park offer uninterrupted views of the ocean.
9. Badlands National Park, South Dakota
Folks in and around South Dakota have reason to rejoice because one of North America’s best camp sites is located in the heart of the Badlands National Park. The best thing about the two camp sites in this region—the Cedar Pass Campground and the Cedar Pass Lodge—is that they’re open throughout the year.
The impressive views include endless stretches of the prairie grasslands, immense rock formations, fossils and other residues from the bygone eras, and even painted rocks.
10. Jedediah Smith Redwoods Campground, California
Another must-visit camp site in California is the Jedediah Smith Redwoods camping ground, which is located amid seemingly endless rows of impressive redwood trees. With the idyllic Smith river flowing across the grounds, the scene gives the camp site an air of mystery despite its ready-made fire pits, restrooms, and hot showers.
Here you get to enjoy the best of both worlds while soaking in some great natural sights without having to rough it too hard. A night at this camp site is something you’ll remember for years to come, because the sun playing peekaboo with the stately redwoods isn’t a sight to forget.
How To Pick The Best Camping Site For You
Deciding on a camping site can seem like a challenge, particularly if it’s your first time going camping. However, with a little help and a few tips and tricks, you’ll find that it gets easier to choose a camp site. Here are pointers that can help you pick the best camping site.
Take The Size Into Account
Think about the size of your camping site and assess whether it’s large enough to accommodate your tent and gear. If you also plan on enjoying a campfire, ensure that you pick a site that’s large enough to accommodate it but still far enough away from your campsite that there’s no danger of it catching fire.
Remember Shade Is necessary
Camping can get uncomfortable during the day if you’re put up in a spot that’s directly under the glare of the sun. So, choose a spot is in the shade of a large tree. However, if it gets too windy, you must be careful about falling twigs or branches.
Assess The Ground Surface
It’s best to choose a place where the ground level is flat, because this way, you can sleep comfortably. However, if you’re having a hard time finding a level spot, pick a segment where the slope isn’t too steep, and lie down with your feet on the downward side.
Know Of The Amenities
Before you head to a camp site, ask about the amenities that the site offers. This will help you prepare properly for different situations and emergencies you may encounter on your camping trip.
Above all, remember to pick a camping site that has a view you’ll love. There are many breathtaking camp sites in North America, and you can find sites that offer just about every kind of natural experience you can think of, so take your time and plan your camping adventure right.
Look up the months when your favorite camp grounds are open to the public and take the necessary measures to take time off, and you’ll be out enjoying nature before you know it!