June is National Camping Month and that means it’s time to bust out the camping gear and head out for breathtaking views, pristine air, the sound of nature, and all the marshmallows and beer handle around the campfire. Got any amazing camping spots to add? Let us know.
8. Caprock Canyons State Park and Trailway, Texas
Hiking, biking, fishing, wildlife watching, boating, swimming, and horseback riding await you here. It’s also home to descendants of great southern plains bison who, in 2011, were released to roam the park’s grasslands to dine on its fine greenery, and repopulate their kind.
7. Conundrum Hot Springs, Colorado
Aspen isn’t just a skiing destination – it’s also near one of the few remaining undisturbed natural hot springs in America. Depart for a strenuous 8.5 mile trail and reward yourself with a rejuvenating soak in 100-degree pools of liquid happiness amid the refreshing alpine air and beneath towering mountain summits of Castle and Conundrum Peak. Campsites are available near the hot springs.
6. Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park, California
A dense grove of towering redwoods shroud campers in natural solitude and comforting shade at the Jedediah Smith Campground. All campsites here are close by Stout Grove trail loop, an easy-going hike-stroll that meanders through more ancient, gargantuan trees. 18 miles of hiking trails and around 100 sites total are available to pitch a tent or roll up in a small RV.
5. Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
If you’re going to the Grand Canyon, you may as well aim to camp in the presence of one of the best views you’ll ever see. The North Rim Campground, in particular, is a comparatively private non-touristy area that offers spectacular views (may we recommend sunrise and sunset?) to Bright Angel Canyon. Day hikes, mule trips, scenic drives and more await.
4. Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida
When camping in Southern Florida, make the most of your surroundings and spend the night on the beach. Or even better, on an island beach. The remote Garden Key Campground on the island of Garden Key features immaculate stargazing, snorkeling and of course, beach bonfire opportunities. Check out Fort Jefferson, the enormous coastal fortress, while you’re there. A ferry or seaplane out to Garden Key can be arranged from Key West.
3. Arches National Park, Utah
Over 2000 natural sandstone arches stand proud at Arches National Park. But these ancient arches aren’t the park’s only draw. Open skies, dark from the absence of light pollution, make for an astronomer’s’ dream. So bring that telescope. In addition, rocky pinnacles, giant balanced rocks and inspiring hiking trails are available for maximum adventure-age.
2. Matanuska River Park, Alaska
In the vast Matanuska-Susitna Valley sits the Matanuska River Park, with incredible views of the river, and the inspiring presence of the Matanuska glacier. This is the largest accessible glacier in Alaska. It comes down from the soaring Chugach Mountains and is four miles wide where it terminates into the Matanuska River. The glacier is within walking distance for ice trekking, ice climbs, or just an up-close view of its beauty. Other nearby activities includes river rafting and horseback riding.
1. Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky
Cavers, spelunkers and the like need not look anywhere else; Mammoth Cave National Park is the caving capitol of the world. Said to be a “grand, gloomy, and peculiar place” by an early cave guide, the park preserves the world’s longest known cave system, with over 400 explored miles. Venture underground with a guide and a sense of adventure, or above for hiking, biking, and all the Kentucky hill country you can take without busting out a banjo and jamming out Deliverance-style.
Conundrum Hot Springs image: Zach Dischner, Flickr
Conundrum Hot Springs image: Chris Bartle, Flickr
Dry Tortugas National Park image: Bruce Tuten, Flickr
Mammoth Cave National Park image: Peter Dutton, Flickr