Since the creation of the National Park System in 1916, millions of outdoor enthusiasts have conquered trails, waters, and peaks, and rested their heads amid these preserved wilderness areas.
Because each park has so much pristine beauty and adventures to be enjoyed, camping for a few nights, enjoying morning coffee brewed with a great camping coffee pot, can give visitors more time to explore the natural wonders surrounding them.
Though there are some terrific high adventure hiking trails in America, here are five of the best national parks for camping.
Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas
Best known for its healing thermal waters, Hot Springs National Park is camper’s paradise.
As one of the nation’s most unique parks, countless notables such as Babe Ruth and Al Capone have vacationed here to soak in the water and explore the various park features. Enjoy various hiking trails along the banks of Gulpha Creek or head to the Mountain Tower for a surreal view of the park. Of course, one can soothe their aches away and receive various healing spa treatments in the Historic Bathhouse district. Set up camp at Gulpha Gorge campground, where 44 develop sites await adventurers in Hot Springs.
Yosemite National Park, California
Yosemite National Park is a coveted haven for campers year round. Famed for its enormous sequoia trees, fascinating wildlife, incredible rivers, 800 miles of trails and massive granite cliffs, this park has something for everyone. The most popular attractions include El Capitan and Half Dome. While El Capitan is a long, risky journey for even experienced rock climbers, Half Dome can be walked via a cabled trail.
Those seeking water can view several spectacular waterfalls including the three-drop Yosemite Falls and iconic Bridalveil Fall. Want to get in the water? Take on the challenges of two scenic and wild rivers: Merced River and Tuolumne River. Campers can choose from 13 campgrounds, 10 of which are RV suitable and some of which are horse-friendly.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee and North Carolina
By far, one of the best national parks for camping is the serene wilderness areas of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This world renown park spans across 800 miles within the Appalachian Mountains of Tennessee and North Carolina. Due to its superfluous natural resources and biological diversity, this unique habitat is a designated International Biosphere Reserve just teeming with flora and fauna—including 1500 bears. Hundreds of miles of hiking trails traverse the park. There are even several campgrounds to choose from including backcountry, front country and horse camps.
Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
As one of the most famous gorges in the world, Grand Canyon National Park is a must-see for all nature enthusiasts. The Grand Canyon is World Heritage site that showcases two million years of geologic wonders,. It is also surprisingly filled with a diverse array of wildlife including plants, mammals, reptiles birds and fish. Visitors can river raft and take donkey tours into the canyon. They can also hike hundreds of trails. They can even get a bird-eye view of the gorge from the glass bridge known as The Skywalk. Camping is available at the Mather Campground at South Rim’s Grand Canyon Village and on the North Rim Campground.
Glacier National Park, Montana
Brimming with adventures galore, Glacier National Park beckons to campers from around the world. Within the park is glacier carved terrain which is melded into alpine meadows, lakes, valleys, and mountains. This gives visitors access to over 70 species of mammals and 265 bird species. After a long day of exploring amid this one-of-a-kind park, campers choose from 13 campgrounds. These campgrounds have over a 1000 camping spots. However, even though campsites are pet friendly, pets are not allowed on park trails.
Looking for a camping adventure and need more advice? Contact a local outdoor professional before your next outdoor journey.