12 Greatest Locations to Camp in State Parks Across the US


You could dream of seeing the geysers of Yosemite or the overwhelming greatness of the Grand Canyon, however likelihood is you will have a handful of little wonders in your individual yard. State parks like Goblin Valley in Utah maintain their very own towards the neighboring Arches Nationwide Park (or Canyonlands, for that matter), whereas Maine’s Baxter State Park is arguably simply as wild because the well-known Acadia Nationwide Park (Baxter does not even have working water!). Plus, state parks are typically much less crowded and extra reasonably priced, two issues that bode properly for in a single day visitors.


It does not matter if you happen to’re in search of a well-developed RV website with all of the bells and whistles or a wooded tent spot removed from any kind of street or growth, there is a state park campsite for you. To help — there are over 10,000 state parks, in any case — we have curated a listing of a number of the greatest campsites in state parks which can be identified for his or her reputation and sweetness. Earlier than we dive in, take a second to evaluate the next state park tenting suggestions.




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State Park Tenting Suggestions

State parks could not see the heavy site visitors of nationwide parks, however normally, you will nonetheless need to plan forward to safe your tenting spot. Every state runs its personal reservation system, which can be on-line, by way of cellphone, and even in-person. And a few parks — like Valley of Fireplace State Park in Nevada — are first-come, first-served, so you will not need to present up too late within the day.


Earlier than you pack up and head out, ensure that to analysis what facilities can be found — some state park campgrounds are extraordinarily primitive, requiring you to pack in your individual water and pack out your trash, whereas others have full RV hookups, scorching showers, and shops.


And eventually, make sure to respect any wildlife you encounter, handle your campfire responsibly (you do not need to be that man or gal), and comply with the ideas of Go away No Hint.



Goblin Valley Campground, Goblin Valley State Park, Utah

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Visually, it does not get extra spectacular than Goblin Valley State Park. The Mars-like terrain is dotted with rock hoodoos, and if you happen to’ve ever dreamed of mountaineering in a slot canyon (a la Antelope Canyon), you will be pleasantly shocked with what Goblin Valley has on faucet. After a day of exploration, retire to one of many park’s 25 campsites (together with 14 RV areas and a gaggle website). Simply remember there are not any electrical hookups.



Metropolis of Rocks Campground, Metropolis of Rocks State Park, New Mexico

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Think about parking your rig or establishing your tent in a literal metropolis of rocks. That is the vibe at Metropolis of Rocks State Park, a spot the place big, rounded volcanic rock formations (some as tall as 40 toes) come out of the Chihuahuan Desert. You can also make your method by the community of roads and trails chopping amongst the rocks to seek out your house for the evening, or safe your spot properly prematurely (there are each reservation and non-reservation websites). Both method, you will have entry to showers, loos, and water.



Southend Campground, Moran State Park, Washington

It is all about getting out on the water at Moran State Park, which is ready within the Puget Sound on the beautiful Orcas Island. With over 5,000 acres of terrain, the actions are limitless and the surroundings unbeatable (do not miss a journey up Mount Structure for views over the San Juan archipelago). The perfect spot to put your head is Southend Campground, the place each campsite is positioned proper alongside the shoreline. You will have entry to showers and loos, however if you wish to glam it up a bit, you possibly can e-book one of many campground’s canvas tents with actual beds.



Hen Creek Campground, Chugach State Park, Alaska

The enormous (like 495,204 acres, big) Chugach State Park has slightly little bit of all the pieces — from oceanfront shoreline to glaciers and icefields. And once you’re within the nice wild of Alaska, you will need to see all of it, which is why it’s best to arrange camp in Hen Creek Campground. Along with 24 campsites, bathrooms, water, and RV accessibility (for automobiles as much as 35 toes in measurement), Hen Creek is famend for its in-camp whale watching (paired with glimpses of bald eagles and moose).



Hammonasset Seashore Campground, Hammonasset Seashore State Park, Connecticut

Connecticut’s largest public seaside park has all the pieces you’d anticipate from a waterfront park — miles of shoreline for swimming and sunbathing, strolling trails, picnic areas, and a campground with 550 grassy campsites. Simply understand that tenting is just accessible in the summertime months (often Memorial Day by mid-October). If you happen to’re hitting the seaside out of your RV, the campground additionally has electrical and water hookups.



Samuel F. Pryor III Shawangunk Gateway Campground, Minnewaska State Park Protect, New York

Simply two hours north of New York Metropolis is the dreamy Minnewaska State Park Protect, a hefty chunk of land on the Shawangunk Mountain ridge with waterfalls, lakes, and 50 miles of trails for mountaineering and biking. The tent-only campground contains 24 drive-in spots, 26 walk-in websites, a cooking space, and pavilion (no RV tenting is out there). Earlier than you pack up and head north, remember the campground is just open between mid-Might and mid-November, climate allowing.



Atlatl Rock Campground, Valley of Fireplace State Park, Nevada

Courtesy of Nevada Division of State Parks

With crimson arches carved out of rock, petroglyphs, and slot canyons, there’s greater than sufficient to see and do in Nevada’s Valley of Fireplace State Park. And when it comes time to place up your toes, the Atlatl Rock Campground is the place you will need to be. The campsites are close to the Atlatl Rock petroglyphs and embody RV spots (with energy and water) and showers. Simply understand that all campsites (besides group websites) are first-come, first served.



Goose Creek Campground, Goose Creek State Park, North Carolina

It is all about water and wetlands at Goose Creek State Park, a coastal spot with strolling trails crisscrossing the wetlands, boating, fishing, and, in fact, loads of tenting. You’ll be able to head to the park’s RV tenting space (providing 22 websites with full hookups) or proceed on to the 14 tent tenting websites. Every spot has its personal hearth ring, picnic desk, and entry to loos and water.



Middle Lake Campground, Custer State Park, South Dakota

Courtesy of South Dakota Recreation, Fish and Parks, Custer State Park

Set amongst the long-lasting Black Hills of South Dakota is Custer State Park, an enormous swathe of land (71,000 acres) with slightly one thing for everybody. With granite spires nestled in thick forest and clear mountain lakes ripe for swimming, you possibly can spend the day mountaineering, biking, fishing, or horseback using (or all the above!). When it is time to retire for the day, head to Middle Lake Campground, which is — you guessed it — proper subsequent to Middle Lake and has a mixture of tent and RV spots with showers and loos.



Colorado Bend Campground, Colorado Bend State Park, Texas

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You by no means know what you will bump into in Colorado Bend State Park, which is understood for its caves, springs, and sinkholes set amongst a lush, wooded panorama. The park is a straightforward two-hour drive from Austin and has a wide selection of campsites, together with hike-in choices, spots that may accommodate RVs, and group websites. Simply understand that Colorado Bend manufacturers their in a single day choices as “back-to-nature tenting,” so be sure you pack alongside all the pieces you want for the evening — for instance, their “hike-in” websites haven’t got water or loos.



Roaring Brook Campground, Baxter State Park, Maine

The whole lot’s slightly wilder in Baxter State Park, a 200,000-acre piece of land providing guests a really distant tenting expertise (the park has no on-tap water, paved roads, or electrical energy). Meaning tenting on the beautiful Roaring Brook Campground is primitive (and solely an possibility in the summertime), so ensure that to pack alongside loads of water, meals, and headlamps. When you’re settled in, you will have quick access to the Chimney Pond and Katahdin hikes out of your campsite.



Emerald Bay Boat Camp, Emerald Bay State Park, California

Courtesy of John Palmer/2022, California State Parks

With a fascinating location simply 12 miles north of Lake Tahoe, Emerald Bay State Park encompasses each an island, a 38-room mansion, and underwater shipwrecks. Campers will need to head to Emerald Bay Boat Camp (open in the summertime solely), the place you possibly can dock your boat and camp on the picturesque lakefront. Simply remember websites e-book rapidly, so you will need to log on and reserve your spot the advisable six months earlier than your arrival.



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