Camping is one thing I have to do at least once a year. Even if it is just for two days, getting away from the concrete and traffic does a body and mind good. A great thing about the United States is the number of state parks and forests it has to camp in. With so many to choose from it was tough to settle on only 10. Here are some you outdoors types should check out if you haven’t yet.


Arches National Park, Utah

Where else will you find nature made arches? Well, in Arches National Park, of course.  There are 50 campsites to choose from if you decide to head to the Moab area. The park has multi-colored lizzards romping around and the beautiful peregrine falcon.

(flickr/Kirk Y.)

Sahale Glacier Camp, Washington

The Sahale Glacier Camp is one site campers won’t leave disappointed. The fields of glacier lillies during the summer or the mountain blueberries in the fall are only part of what attracks hikers and campers alike. The unofficial mascots, the marmots, seem to be unfazed by humans’ presence and actually seem to put on shows for them.



Joshua Tree National Park, California

Sure. Camping in a desert probably isn’t anyone’s first choice. But, the Joshua Tree National Forest is more than just a desert–it’s the intersection of two: The Colorado and Mojave Deserts. Also, hundreds of fault lines intersect throughout the property give you an opportunity to see fractured rock fragments which form underground dams.

(flickr/Jen’s Art and Soul)

The Adirondack State Park, New York

The bustle of New York City is great but to the north lies the state’s better aspects; the Adirondacks. These mountain ranges house pristine waterways and boreal forests. You can even claim and island to camp on all by yourself. That’s the way to do it.


San Juan Islands, Washington

Just a ferry ride away from Washington’s mainland sits the San Juan islands. There are little villages, bookstores, and, of course, camping sites amok. On your ride to the islands you may pass a pod or two of Orcas.


(flickr/Emily Rachel Hildbrand)

Glacier National Park, Montana

The park’s most well-known attraction is the Going-to-the-Sun Road. It’s a 50 mile road that winds around through the mountains of the park’s interior. But, since you won’t be there for a car ride, there are many campgrounds to choose from. You can choose from primitive to vehicle accessible.


Green Mountain National Forest, Vermont

Green Mountain National Forest is home to the oldest long-distance trail in the United States. The trail runs along the ridge of the mountains through Vermont and the border of Massachusetts into Canada. Oh, did I mention that it is incredibly beautiful along the Long Trail? Well, it is.

(flickr/Mrs. Gemstone)

Assateague Island National Seashore, Maryland

Wild horses? On the beach? Yes, and you can see it all at Assateague Island National Seashore in Maryland. There are salt marshes, coastal bays, and forests for your exploring pleasure. You can even pitch your tent right on the beach.


Zion National Park, Utah

Hike the Kolob Canyons like the pioneers of times’ past. There are two trails; one is five-mile and the other is 14 miles. The longer of the two leads you to the Kolob Arch, which is one of the largest natural arches in the world. Once you make it to the arch choose one of the many primitive campsites nearby.


Pisgah National Forest, North Carolina

The Pisgah National Forest has over one-hundred hiking trails running through it. There are four long-distance trails in which one of those is a leg of the Appalachian Trail. If you’re near Brown Mountain look out for the strange lights that have been sighted for more than 800 years.


Josh is a freelance writer based in Nashville, Tennessee.

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