The Six (Plus One) Most Scenic American Campgrounds
Sleeping under the stars is always a beautiful experience and spectacular campgrounds exist in every corner of the US. From wild camping to glamping, and from palm-lined beaches to snow-covered mountain peaks, everyone can find their perfect location. Here are six (plus one extra) of our favorites to inspire your own search for the most scenic American campground—and who knows, there might even be a hidden gem closer than you think.
The Northwest: Crystal Lake Campground, Montana
Type: Wilderness camping with amenities (toilets, drinking water)
Fees: $20 per night for single unit
Tip: Limit your stay to 16 days and keep all food stored away as bears are frequent visitors.
Located on the shore of the namesake Crystal Lake, the twenty-eight campsites are hidden among the quiet shade of tall spruce trees in the Big Snowy Mountain range. With plenty of hiking trails accessible from Crystal Lake, and the opportunity for watersport activities, this is the perfect location for a family holiday.
The Midwest: Split Rock State Park Cart-In Campgrounds, Minnesota
Type: Wilderness camping with amenities (picnic tables, fire pits, carts, as well as sanitary units with running water)
Fees: Variable. Contact the State Park staff for details and reservations.
Tips: Most sites are located from 0.5 to 2 miles from the parking lot and there are two wheelchair accessible sites. During winter months, showers, flush toilets and gear carts are unavailable.
Perched nearly halfway along the North Shore of Lake Superior, the Split Rock Lighthouse State Park offers some of the most spectacular camping views in the whole country, making it a sought after location. For the summer season, you might have to reserve your lakeside camping spot as much as one year in advance. If you’re longing for a more extreme experience, winter is the perfect time to go, but only for seasoned adventurists with appropriate gear.
The Northeast: Hermit Island Campground, Maine
Type: Family-oriented camping with amenities, including a snack bar and a grocery store
Fees: $45-$75, discounts on multiple days
Tips: Each site is suitable for a different gear set up (tent or a pop-up trailer, etc), so get in touch to make a reservation. No pets allowed. No RVs.
This rustic oceanfront campsite is perfect for first-timers or families, with a few simple cabins offering a great alternative to tent camping. Its peace and quiet make you forget all about the city hustle—and it is less than three hours from Boston and just over seven from New York.
The Southeast: Beverly Beach Camptown RV Resort, Florida
Type: RV Resort
Fees: $46-$190 per site (based on four adult occupancy)
Tip: Seven cabins make up for the lack of tent camping.
At Beverly Beach Camptown RV Resort, all sites are fully equipped with electricity and there are plenty of amenities available including bathhouses, WiFi, a grocery store, and more. This is the ultimate destination for beach lovers as you park your RV right on the sandy oceanfront. It is also perfect for first-time campers unsure about doing away with the comforts of civilization. However, there is nothing quiet or secluded about Beverly Beach, and wilderness enthusiasts should avoid it.
An alternative can be found on the opposite shore of Florita, at the Anclote Key Preserve State Park. This primitive, free camping spot is accessible only by ferry or private boat, and it rewards visitors with its undisturbed, peaceful views on the Gulf of Mexico. Unlike the Beverly Beach Resort, the Anclote Key is a destination recommended for confident, self-sufficient campers only.
The Southwest: Lost Dutchman State Park Camping, Arizona
Type: Wilderness camping with amenities
Fees: $7 day use fee to enter the park, waived for campers ($15/night)
Tips: Make your reservation in advance and avoid booking during the hottest weeks of summer.
The Lost Dutchman State Park near the Superstition Mountains is the perfect choice for those who want to experience everything that the outback has to offer while enjoying the comfort of their RV on a hook-up site. Simpler, tent-only sites are also available, and everything is well spread to allow for a peaceful stay.
The spectacular views of the mountains invite visitors to just kick back and enjoy the setting, but plentiful hiking and single track trails call for a more active adventure.
The West: Kite Lake Campground, Colorado
Type: Primitive camping with vault toilets
Fees: $20 (including $5 parking fee)
Tips: No running water. No reservation (first come, first served). Bring your own firewood, take away your trash.
Located in the Pike National Forest, this high-altitude campground is open to visitors from May until the snow cuts it off from the rest of the world. Licensed anglers can fish in the clear waters of the Kite Lake, and many trails lead past its shores to the summits of the surrounding fourteeners. It’s a beautiful picnic spot, but the weather conditions can be tough due to high winds and very cold nights. Experienced campers will be rewarded with spectacular views and a peaceful mountain atmosphere.