Wandering through wooded trails, breathing in fresh, cool air filled with the typical jungle aroma of leaves, wildflowers and fruits combined, experiencing open blue skies above, playing in the extremely crystal-clear water bodies and streams coming on the way, listening to the amazing sounds of wildlife and getting lost to the nature’s beauty throughout the day, and then pitching a tent, lighting a campfire, enjoying the view of starlit sky relishing food and drinks when night falls again to rise in the orange golden light of the next day – it’s camping! Here are 10 amazing camping locations you should experience.
1. Pine Grove Furnace State Park, Pennsylvania
Sitting on the northern tip of the Blue Ridge Mountains in South Mountain in south-central Pennsylvania, Pine Grove Furnace Park is a home to the halfway point of the Appalachian Trail, the world-famous foot trail. There is also the Appalachian Trail Museum near the midpoint of the trail. There are as many as 70 trailer and tent sites which are available from April to mid-December which you should book before 11 months.
2. Shenandoah National Park, Virginia
D.C. residents are fortunate to have a breathtaking getaway just 75 miles away from them, in the form of Shenandoah National Park! It contains over 500 miles of trails, some of which lead to magnificent waterfalls or vantage points, and some others offer you miles of quiet wilderness. The toughest route is the 8-mile hike to Old Rag Mountain but is rewarding in the end because of the stunning views from the top. Campgrounds are available in spring, summer and fall and reservations are recommended, though some sites are available on the first-come-first-served basis.
3. Denali National Park, Alaska
Looking for acres of open land? You will get it – six million acres! Want incredible wildlife? You will get it! Longing for incredibly beautiful trails? You will get them too! This is Denali National Park in Alaska! The most enchanting spot? Denali itself, named Mount McKinley, the tallest peak of North America. There are trails for pros as well as beginners, most starting near the visitor center, while a few others starting deeper inside the park. Although this is an amazing camping spot, it’s not for the inexperienced, so, research is essential.
4. White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire
Particularly best in the fall with the foliage taking various shades of red, yellow and orange, White Mountains offers you a totally amazing experience. Though this is a quite rugged destination, you will thank yourself for visiting it if you are a healthy camper and hiker. The park has 800 campsites, with 24 drive-in campgrounds and 8 walk-in state park campgrounds! You can even enjoy backcountry tent camping. Plus long lean-tos are available across the forest for a small fee.
5. Acadia National Park, Maine
With 17 million acres of forest, 32,000 miles of streams and rivers and 6,000 ponds and lakes, the state of Maine is a camper’s heaven. Acadia National Park, perched on Mount Desert Island, in this Pine State is an epitome of nature’s beauty and just the right destination for campers of all skill levels. Want to lose yourself to a unique experience? Get to the highest point of the East Coast, the top of Cadillac Mountain, at dawn, and you will be the first person in the country to see the light of the day that morning! Choose among the three campgrounds in the park, Blackwoods (open year-round, permit needed from December to March), Seawall (Late May to September) and Schoodic Woods (late May to Columbus Day). While you can go hiking across the park, you can camp only in these three designated areas.
6. Alice Lake Provincial Park, British Columbia
Perched just north of Squamish, Alice Lake Provincial Park features a world-class network of mountain-biking paths although it’s small in size. Hiking nearby is steep yet spectacular with views up to the ocean! And of course, rock climbing for which Squamish is famous for is a must-do. Not to mention, the refreshing dip in Alice Lake. As if this is less, there is the Wonderland, a 3km roller-coaster ride beginning just outside the campsite. For an intermediate loop, link the ride with Brackendale trails, Cheshire Cat and White Rabbit. A short drive away, there are better trails than the that in the park, in the form of a trek towards the alpine meadows en route to Elfin Shelter, a hike towards the three peaks of the Stawamus Chief and the sheer yet rewarding climb towards Garibaldi Lake in Garibaldi Park.
7. Jasper National Park, Alberta
One of the highest places in the country for car camping, Jasper National Park is a tent-only spot perched just off the Icefields Parkway at an altitude of over 2,000 meters. But the true reason why you should not miss it is that it is located across the road from the fractured tongue of the Athabasca Glacier that rolls down from Columbia Icefield and is surrounded by 11,000-foot snow-clad summits, one of the most famous scenes in Canada. And of course, the park offers the glacier itself and some world-class hikes too.
8. Killarney Provincial Park, Ontario
Killarney is known to most Canadians for its white quartzite hills, the Group of Seven, incredible blue lakes and the twisted jack pines. But it has also got a number of spectacular hikes and great sea kayaking and canoeing. George Lake campground is the best (and only) campground located close to the four lake access points. For an awesome experience, hike the La Cloche Silhouette Trail starting from the campsite to the Crack, a vertical cleft taking you to the top of a granite ridge. Driving 7km east on Highway 637 to parking lot off the road will save you some hours.
9. Sahara Desert, Morocco
No doubt, greenery is essential and refreshing, and desert is man’s own karma. Still, desert has its own charm and beauty, especially at night, with miles of soft, white sand dunes and starry sky above, making it an ideal campsite. And what else can be an ideal desert camping spot than the world’s biggest desert, Sahara? Enjoy a traditional Berber camp along with activities like camel treks and sand boarding. Tents are highly luxurious, equipped with wall-to-wall rugs, handcrafted furniture, solar-powered lighting and en-suite bathroom facilities. You can choose to stay in a cluster of tents or a smaller private tent for more intimacy and privacy.
10. Cotopaxi National Park, Ecuador
Housing one of world’s most active volcanoes and second highest peak of Ecuador, Cotopaxi, Cotopaxi National Park is sure to quench all your thirst for hiking adventure. A tent on the flat grounds will offer you stunning views of the volcano from any side and visits from the friendly llamas of the park. There is plenty of wildlife of other sorts, like foxes, pumas, wolves, bears, condors, rabbits and more, if you are a wildlife-lover. If you want to climb, hike or trek, hiring a professional guide is strongly recommended.