With over 13,000 campgrounds across the country to choose from, the options are endless. If you’re looking for a breath-taking hike, want to see the stars, get in some mountain biking, or hit the beach, here are some of the best campgrounds to pull up to and stay a while.
Dark sky parks are your best bet for catching a nighttime celestial show.
- Chisos Basin Campground, Big Bend National Park, Texas. Surrounded by rocky cliffs at an elevation of 5,400 feet above sea level, the Chisos Basin Campground is the highest point in Big Bend National Park and boasts some superior hiking trails. With the least light pollution of any park in the country, Big Bend offers a stunning view of the night sky.
- Many Glacier Campground, Glacier National Park, Montana. Along the Canadian border and featuring 700 miles of hiking trails, night skies here are amazing.
- Trail’s End Campground, Superior National Forest, Minnesota. For those looking to catch a glimpse of the northern lights (best seen between September and March), Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, the world’s largest dark sky sanctuary, is a good bet. Kayakers and canoers won’t be disappointed either.
For Mountain Bikers:
- Lake George RV Park, Adirondack Region, Lake George, New York. From large parks and off-season ski resorts to individual trails, there are many places to go mountain biking at Lake George for beginners and experienced riders. While you’re there, don’t miss Lake George’s most famous cliff-jumping spot, Calve’s Pen, which is only accessible by boat.
- Mackinaw City, Mackinac Island KOA, Michigan’s Wilderness State Park. Use this KOA as a base camp for easy access to over 26 miles of trails that offer different terrain types and many area attractions. You’re less than 2 miles from a Lake Michigan beach. Gorgeous night skies here as well.
- Peak One Campground, White River National Forest, Frisco, Colorado. For those who don’t mind dry camping, biking enthusiasts will find more than 50 miles of scenic routes along the Summit County Recreation Pathway System. Climb 1500 feet to the top of Vail Pass. There are enough scenic paths to keep you busy for weeks.
- Bullards Beach State Park, Oregon Coast Trail, Bandon, Oregon. The stunning Oregon Coast Trail offers 362 miles of hiking with incredible Pacific Ocean views.
- Yellowstone Trail RV Park, Pinedale, Wyoming. Located on the path to Yellowstone National Park, the Wind River Range, and Grand Teton National Park with access to the Continental Divide Trail and dozens of others. Lots of lakes and lots to do nearby this clean, well-maintained campground.
- Silver Falls State Park, Salem, Oregon. The Trail of Ten Falls’ 7.2-mile route takes hikers not past one but four waterfalls, including a walk behind the famous 177-foot South Falls. Enjoy the shade and serenity under a canopy of old-growth Douglas firs.
- Harpers Ferry/Civil War Battlefields KOA, West Virginia. Harpers Ferry is the mid-way point of the 2,200-mile Appalachian Trail. This makes for an excellent sample for hikers who want a taste of what the AT is like. This KOA has all the amenities you could want to relax after a day on the trails.
For Beach Lovers:
- Leo Carrillo State Park Campground, Malibu, California. Enjoy the sound of crashing waves in this 135-site campground in a canyon behind South Beach. 1.5 miles of beach, tidal pools, and coastal caves and arches are a short walk. Nearby hiking trails offer panoramic views.
- South Beach Campground, Forks, Washington. Inside Olympic National Park, South Beach is one of the best and beachiest RV campgrounds around. You can park your RV on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, enjoy the sound of crashing surf, and spend the day exploring the park.
- Cape Hatteras KOA Resort, Rodanthe, North Carolina. Surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean on one side and Pamlico Sound on the other, you’re at the water’s edge. Lounge on the beach, catch some waves and enjoy some of the best surfing on the east coast.