Zion National Park in Utah with tent camp site at Watchman Campground by rock

10 Most Scenic Camping Sites In The United States

Whether one is hiking or backpacking long-term to set up tent every night, or getting away in solitude or with loved ones for a camping trip, there is never lack of opportunity in the United States to do it in a picturesque spot of the country. These are the most scenic camping sites to add to a life-time bucket list of avid camping aficionados looking to get away.

Arches National Park, Colorado

Arches National Park camping
Campground in the Arches National Park.

Known for the most intriguing rock formations in the world, the Arches Park of Utah puts on a display of natural stone arches that formed upon wind-carried sand has blasted holes in rocks over thousands of years’ course. Pitching a tent on the soft sand of the region gives access to wander around for days-long, spectating the nature's hand at work, including the most famous of these arches, the Delicate Arch. Cacti, including the edible prickly pear, and a whole range of spring wildflowers make for some unbelievable desert sightseeing.

Set at 4,000 to 5,600 feet (1,200 and 1,700 metres) above the sea level on the northern edge of the Colorado Plateau, the wind-eroded red sandstone into unique pinnacles, windows, and arches, includes one of the longest natural freestanding spans of rock on Earth at some 290 feet (88 metres), the Landscape Arch. Backpackers can also have their adventure walking though the forests of scattered juniper and piñon pine trees, cottonwoods, box elders, Russian olives, and tamarisks. 

Assateague Island National Seashore Campground, Maryland

Assateague island national seashore
A female camper enjoying the sight of wild horses and the sea at the Assateague Island National Seashore.

This shoreline-set campground where dreams come true is inclusive with falling asleep to the sound of crashing waves and the sight of wild horses galloping on the beach. The absolutely magical location is set along a 37-mile stretch of a barrier island, just off of Maryland’s eastern coast. Offering only basic camping services and little amenities, only amplifies its uniqueness and wilderness of the spectacle around, while one can always engage in crabbing, clamming, swimming or kayaking.

Being a designated National Seashore with a state and a national park, this slice of heaven on Earth is well-maintained and pristine, with flawless sands for miles around. Although always in high demand, the scarceness of trees on the island offer open views of the vast ocean from almost any location, where one is guaranteed to get a perfect shot or some solitude without interference. Open year-round, one will never forget the sight of the shifting sands from the constant wind and strong waves, where the kind, free animals roam upon them, for just $25 a night. 

Atlatl Rock Campgrounds, Nevada

Atlatl rock campground
Campground in dramatic landscape of the Valley of Fire State Park.

Located only an hour’s-worth drive out of Las Vegas, the surrounding 40,000 acres of the crimson Aztec sandstone rock formations of the Valley of Fire State Park will let one know that they arrived. It is composed out of two camping grounds that together make up 72 units, primitively, but essentially equipped. Each site comes with a shaded table, a grill and a fire pit, and no bugs to break one's concentration. What more might one desire when their eyes will be constantly wandering around at the unusual scenery around?

Being the less populated, the Arch Rock Campground is the quieter option for those seeking closeness to their loved ones, or some time alone within the dramatically secluded walls made of bright red sandstone. Adding to that is the fact that each site is artfully tucked in behind individual sandstone formation, making them very private. The site fee includes the park entry fee, for a complete experience of the full exploration of the Earth's elements at work. 

Bartlett Cove Campground, Alaska

Battle cove camping
Kayaking is one of the many activities that can be enjoyed by campers at the Battle Cove Campground.

One might not expect an idyllically-set beach campground in the state of Alaska, yet, the Bartlett Cove, sits right on the edge of the crystal blue glacier waters, as part of the iconic Glacier Bay National Park. The seclusion of the site is coupled with ample opportunities to hike into unexplored territories behind, while kayakers can have their outings day to night in the waters. The scenic location, back-dropped by a thick forest, this remotely-set ground has free-access, while the long days of sun will stretch the adventure for that much longer for most memories. 

Seemingly perfect from all sides, prior to heading out, one must plan to pack the right clothing and equipment, particularly if camping during the off-season, when the already cooler temperatures of the state drop further, especially during the night. Nevertheless, even the chilly waters, can provide a refreshing bath on a warm summer's afternoon. Set way off the main road, another reward for reaching this strip of paradise through wolf- and bear-territory, are the waters that are inhabited by humpback whales.

Caladesi Island, Florida

Caladesi Island
Campgrounds at Caladesi Island offer scenic view of the turquoise sea lined by white sand beaches.

This lesser-visited camping spot is perfect for those seeking a combination of activities for an off-time, along with some solitude. Offering opportunities of major sightseeing, beaches galore, and off-the-beaten path hiking trails, epic views are guaranteed on this Florida's west coast getaway camping site. Being only accessible through a boat trip, the Caladesi Island remains one of the only untouched Gulf Coast areas void of the beach crowds. 

Spending some quality time on this well-maintained and protected island equals for an incredible opportunity to watch wildlife, meander the beach-front trails, as well as swim and kayak for the water-sports lovers within the crystal clear ocean waves. While off-the-water camping is prohibited, there are water and electricity hook-ups for boaters available, for the most unique overnight opportunities. The rich marine flora and fauna make for some of the most romantic spectating for the scenery-driven campers. 

Grand Canyon North Rim Campground, Arizona

Grand Canyon camping site
View of the stunning landscape of the Grand Canyon from inside a tent.

The North Rim of the Grand Canyon has a spectacular campground with fantastic views of the other side and overlooking a different perspective for within the infamous gorge of America. The red rock, stretching for miles, the river coursing its way through the heart, and the surrounding fauna and flora of the high desert biosphere are just some of the sightseeing opportunities that await campers. Upon setting up tent on the plateau near the North Rim Transept Trail, visitors get a chance to sleep between the Roaring Springs Canyon and Transept Canyon.

Only open from mid-May through mid-October, and with most heat-sparing temperatures during the fall, the campsites are always in high demand. Those, lucky enough to pay a few-nights visit to this unearthly setting, will be rewarded with early sunrises, where the sunlight begins to stream through the canyon, as well as the rouge sunsets, and the night sky that calls out to avid stargazers, couples, and romantics. Being less developed than the South Rim, one may also get some thought-after solitude, connecting with the natural wonder one-on-one. 

Mather Campground, Arizona

Mather campground
Mather Campground in the Grand Canyon National Park.

This campground, set scenically within the Grand Canyon National Park, is one of the top-rated camping spots in the United States, offering 327 sites, ready and waiting to fit up to three traditional tents, as well as equipped for RVs. There are also fire rings with cooking grates, picnic tables, and parking available at all, as well as a free shuttle service to a visitor's center. Located within a must-see destination of the country, this awe-inspiring location for camping is tucked in the woods, with thousands of walking and hiking trails to peer off the cliff's edge into the heart of the Grand Canyon. 

Set along the canyon's South Rim, the far spacing between the sites will be appreciated by solitude-seekers, while those looking for alternatives to hiking, can actively engage in mule trips, helicopter tours, and boating trips. It is recommended to set camp nearest to the rim, where the most unbelievable views of sunsets and sunrises over the Canyon awe-spire and leave one breathless. Feeling incredibly small within the surrounding vast natural wonder is also a great opportunity for self-reflection.  

Mount Pisgah, North Carolina

Mount Pisgah
The scenic view of landscape in the Mount Pisgah region.

When paying a visit to this campsite, the adventure and sight-seeing begins right on the drive, with awe-inspiring views on the road at every wheel’s turn. Known as the “America’s favorite drive," reaching Mount Pisgah, involves taking the Blue Ridge Parkway within the walls of blue spruces reaching all the way into the sky. The mountains peaking to impose their height and make one feel even smaller and more secluded, along with the bright rugs of wildflowers opening up from time-to-time, make for an unforgettable ride, with more adventure waiting ahead.

Located in close proximity to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, although not remote, offers visitors the opportunity to skip spending the night within the crowds at the sites, but choose to set up their tent at the spot of their personal choosing of preference in the woods. The dozens of well-traversed trails for hiking have been optimized to offer the best sightseeing opportunities and stops for scenic views within the region’s most beautiful wilderness. Set just below the 5000f-feet mark, the surrounding Appalachian scenery makes even the cooler temperatures worth it.

San Juan Islands, Washington

San Juan Island
Campsite in the San Juan Islands.

This campsite is idyllic for those seeking solitude in a scenic setting. Taking a boat out to these camper-friendly islands located between Canada and the United States is optimal from Seattle's shore, being the closest state in proximity. Also accessible by a float plane, the mere fact that the San Juan Islands are unreachable by road, as well as their comparatively large expanse to other camping sites, already guarantees more alone time, or time treasured with friends, family, or for lovers, without interruptions or sightings of others. 

These heavenly specks of the Pacific Northwest, are an ultimate outdoor adventure, as well, the scenic beauty of which cannot be beat due to their off-the-mainland setting. Inclusive with miles upon miles of virtually untouched coastlines and the skies opening into the wide expanse of the ocean, one can do some major sightseeing of orcas plummeting out of the waters and of the bald eagles soaring. The Friday Harbour is most populated and accessible, while the islands also offer the 188-acre Marine State Park for more scenic views.

Watchman Campground, Utah

Watchman Campground
Watchman Campground in the Zion National Park.

Zion National Park, known for the iconic sandstone cliffs and featuring the Virgin River meandering through it makes the Watchman Campground one of the most scenically majestic sites in the United States where one can spend a few memorable days at. Open year-round, the campground got its name from the rocky peaks towering above as if guarding one's peace, and sleep during the night. As classic camping experience sites, set in a hidden oasis within the park, perfect for hiking, the surrounding southern Utah desert environment also calls out to backpackers.

The Narrows and Angel’s Landing, are the most traversed hiking routes, where the first, is for extremists and involves descending into a picturesque slot of a canyon only to wade through a riverbed. The Angel’s Landing hike lead one onto a narrow trail with steep drop-offs from each side for gorgeous views of the park, that is, upon conquering some major up-and-down hills. The famed Watchman is easily trekked to by foot from the park’s visitor’s center, for the first-class spot to hike-up a tent. 

If one is looking for more than setting up a tent for a few nights and spend quality time near it, working the grill and pitching back a few beers, these are ideally-set for exploration of diverse terrains to see, conquer, and immerse in. Already considered a wilderness experience, a camping site is made even more scenic, when the nature's hand has been hard at work creating its various textures and colors. 


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