The popularity of visiting State and National parks across the US has risen rapidly over the past few decades. There has been a record visitation in the past year with people busying hiking trails and filling campgrounds to connect with nature. But don't worry; there's plenty of space for everyone. Here's a list of highly recommended national park campsites across the country, along with reasons why they're special, and potential activities you can enjoy with your loved ones during the visit.
The Great Sand Dunes in Colorado are among the tallest in North America. You can enjoy camping at the Piñon Flats, right at their base. Revel in stunning views of the Sangre De Cristo and the San Juan Mountains with an early morning dash for the top of the 699-foot-high dunes. Beat the heat post your hike by checking out the nearby hot springs that range from luxury to rustic. Snowmelt from mountains in warmer months forms a meandering, shallow, and cold Medno Creek where you can cool off and chill on a typical summer day.
There's no better place than Yellowstone National Park if you're looking to camp among geysers, bison, and natural hot springs. The park boasts quite a few exquisite campsites, but Mammoth is the only one that's open year-round, and it's definitely a site to behold! You'll need to make a travel plan before you leave to avoid jammed-up entrance lines during busy hours. The park is located at the heart of Bluegrass, Kentucky, and is known for protecting the world's most extensive cave system. Several paid tours help access hundreds of square-mile caves. However, many other free walking tours also accommodate people of all abilities and ages. Besides the Kentuckian caves' magnificence, the park offers opportunities for horseback riding, camping, kayaking, and mountain biking.
It would be an understatement to say that the Badlands boast an otherworldly landscape. The glorious sunsets behind the unique rock formations are mesmerizingly colorful, making it worth your time. The larger campground accommodates RVs when offering cliff views, but the tucked-away zones apart from the crowds can be stolen away by going down the unpaved road to the primitive Sage Creek Campground. However, only a handful of sites here are free—available only on a first-come, first-served basis. Therefore, plan a midweek visit for better chances at snagging one.
Camping amongst the quirky Joshua trees and the boulders is an experience you don't want to miss. It's a relatively small drive-in campground with around 30 campsites but with ample availability throughout summers. You can enjoy the best stargazing experience the west has to offer at Joshua Tree, thanks to its dry air and clear weather. Planning a visit on a new-moon night will make the trip with your loved ones even more special.
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