Top Camping Destinations Across the Nation

The word “camping” may be defined differently depending on your own personal traveling style. The good news is you can find an experience to fit your preferences—whether you’re headed out on a front country camping trip (parking beside your campground), backcountry (backpacking some distance to a more remote spot), or a rustic lodge where you can snuggle down in a bed instead of a tent and sleeping bag.

National Parks offer some of he most spectacular camping locations, and today we take a closer look at a few of the most popular.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

More people visit this national park every year than any other. If you want the convenience of running water and flush toilets, the park maintains developed campgrounds at 10 locations—Abrams Creek, Balsam Mountain, Big Creek, Cades Cove, Cataloochee, Cosby, Deep Creek, Elkmont, Look Rock and Smokemont. For those heading into the backcountry, a permit and advance reservations are required.

Grand Canyon National Park 

There are three campgrounds here operated by the National Park Service. Two of them offer advanced reservations—Mather Campground on the South Rim and the North Rim Campground. The south rim is easier to get to and as a result, more popular. The north rim offers a more secluded experience. The third campground, the Desert View Campground, is offered on a first come, first served basis only.

Yosemite National Park 

Planning ahead is the name of the game at Yosemite. There are 13 popular campgrounds here that fill rapidly. Seven are on a reservation system and the others on a first come, first served basis. Of course, you can “camp” in luxury here too by booking a night at The Ahwahnee or the Yosemite Lodge at the Falls and Wawona.

 Image courtesy Shutterstock/Kotenko Oleksandr