20 of the best campsites in the US, whether you want to pitch a tent, park your RV, or sleep in a cabin with a view
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- Camping and visiting off-the-beaten-path locations look to be a continuing travel trend this summer.
- Whether you plan to park an RV or pitch a tent, there’s no shortage of US campsites to choose from.
- From a horse farm in Kentucky to a bluff overlooking the Pacific, we found the best US campsites.
According to a 2021 Kampgrounds of America (KOA) report, camping is on the rise and looks to be a continuing trend this summer. The proportion of campers who camped for the first time in 2020 was five times greater than what was observed in 2019, and 62% of all first-time campers in 2020 plan to camp the same or more nights this year.
If you’re among the outdoor lovers ready to pitch a tent and sleep under the stars, there’s no shortage of amazing US campsites, from a waterfall paradise in New York to the red rock mesas in Nevada’s Valley of Fire.
Many campgrounds are located in our near national and state parks and can be booked via the National Park Service website. Additionally, sites like Campspot, The Dyrt, and PitchUp make it easy to search for and book campsites across the US.
We chose the best campsites in the US based on the following criteria:
- I’ve camped extensively across the US and have personally been to several of these campsites, but I also got input from trusted colleagues and outdoor enthusiasts who have been camping for decades.
- Additionally, we considered reviews from trusted sites like The Dyrt, and PitchUp.
- Camping is fairly affordable once you have all your gear, and these campsites range from being completely free to $56 per night for those loaded with amenities.
- We looked for a wide range of campgrounds across the US, but every campsite is in a beautiful location where it’s easy to enjoy nature, whether its overlooking the Pacific Ocean, close to waterfall hiking trails, or right near a stunning vineyard.
Browse all of the best campsites in the US below, or jump to a specific area here:
- The best campsites in the Northeast
- The best campsites in the South
- The best campsites in the Southwest
- The best campsites in the Midwest
- The best campsites in the West
- FAQs: What to pack for a camping trip
- More great outdoor vacations
Here are the best campsites in the US, sorted by region and then by price from low to high.
Hancock Campground — New Hampshire
Book Hancock Campground
Typical starting price: $12
Location: Lincoln, New Hampshire
With 56 drive-to campsites, including 21 walk-to sites along the Pemigewasset River, Hancock Campground sits at the western end of the Kancamagus National Scenic Byway and is an excellent launch pad for exploring White Mountain.
Campers will enjoy its close proximity to the mountain, as well as the abundance of nearby swimming spots and picnic areas.
Letchworth State Park Campground — New York
Book Letchworth State Park Campground
Typical starting price: $24
Location: Leicester, New York
Considered to be the “Grand Canyon of the East,” Letchworth State Park is famous among campers for its scenic locale along the Genesee River.
Roaring with three major waterfalls and set within cliffs as high as 600 feet, campers can choose between campsites or secluded cabins. Amenities include showers, food concessions, picnic tables, pavilions, playing fields, a playground, and a swimming pool. Many areas are pet friendly.
Surrounded by lush forests, hikers can wander among 66 miles of trails, with more available for horseback riding and biking. Letchworth also offers nature and history programs, guided walks and tours, whitewater rafting, kayaking, hot air ballooning, and a museum.
Assateague Island National Seashore Campground — Maryland
Book Assateague Island National Seashore Campground
Typical starting price: $30
Location: Berlin, Maryland
If wild horses roaming the shoreline and falling asleep to the sound of crashing waves sounds absolutely magical then Assateague Island National Seashore Campground is for you.
Set along a stretch of a 37-mile long barrier island located off the eastern coast of a peninsula in Maryland, it offers basic camping on a first-come, first-served basis. Book early, but be aware this isn’t a place teeming with amenities. However, there’s no shortage of things to do from crabbing and clamming to swimming and kayaking.
Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park Luray — Virginia
Book Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp Luray
Typical starting price: $43
Location: Luray, Virginia
Nestled between the Blue Ridge and Allegheny Mountains, the Shenandoah Valley region is a favorite for families, couples, and solo adventurers alike. Great in every season, the area is particularly spectacular in the fall when red, orange, and yellow foliage dot the rolling mountains.
Adults can reward themselves after an early-morning hike in Shenandoah National Park with a glass of wine at a nearby winery. Meanwhile, kids will love the splash zone, water park, 18-hole mini-golf course, arcade, laser tag, outdoor movie theater, and more found at this amenity-packed campsite.
Sandy Pines Campground — Maine
Book Sandy Pines Campground
Typical starting price: $56
Location: Kennebunkport, Maine
One of Maine’s most venerable camping locales, Sandy Pines Campground in Kennebunkport offers everything from glamping tents and cottages to kitted-out airstreams and covered wagons, as well as traditional RV and tent sites.
Easily one of the most beautiful campsites along the New England coastline, a stay at Sandy Pines also includes amenities ranging from a heated saltwater pool, kids’ camps, and lawn games to bike rentals, paddleboards, and laundry facilities.
River's End Campground & RV Park — Georgia
Book Rivers End Campground & RV Park
Typical starting price: $0
Location: Tybee Island, Georgia
Yes, starting at $0 per night.
Just 16-miles outside of Savannah, Georgia, Tybee Island’s River’s End Campground & RV Park offers a unique camping experience that is fully immersed within nature. Choose from RV and tent sites or stay in budget-conscious cabins. A communal pool, beautiful beaches, a charming general store, and its idyllic island locale draw campers back to Tybee time and again. Best of all, it’s completely free if you want to camp at Tybee Island — just bring your own tent to pitch.
Just south of Tybee and only accessible by kayak or by boat, Little Tybee Island is an uninhabited nature preserve that often goes overlooked by those visiting the area. It’s a great place to post up for a picnic or set up camp away from the crowds.
Fall Creek Falls State Park Campgrounds — Tennessee
Book Fall Creek Falls State Park Campgrounds
Typical starting price: $15
Location: Spencer, Tennessee
Fall Creek Falls State Park Campgrounds offers 222 campsites across five different scenic areas. Spread across 26,000 acres, this is a great place to bring a tent or an RV, but it also offers plenty of backcountry campsites for more serious hikers.
Campsites come with tables, grills, water, and electricity and are served by six bathhouses. Hike through unique rock formations, cascading waterfalls, and tranquil watering holes.
Kentucky Horse Park Campground — Kentucky
Book Kentucky Horse Park Campground
Typical starting price: $35
Location: Lexington, Kentucky
Book a stay at the 1,200-acre Kentucky Horse Park Campground, which offers 260 spacious sites for tents, RVs, and trailer campers. It also features two bathhouses and tennis and basketball courts.
All sites are 55-foot paved back-ins with fire rings and picnic tables, making it ideal to enjoy your meals outside. With plenty of activities ranging from painting, journaling, and outdoor fitness, to observing the park’s majestic horses, this is a great option for families, especially since the campground is pet friendly. Campers shouldn’t miss the Legacy Trail, a 12-mile paved walking and biking trail.
Emberglow Outdoor Resort — North Carolina
Book Emberglow Outdoor Resort
Typical starting price: $40
Location: Blue Ridge Foothills, North Carolina
Set on 72 acres in the Blue Ridge Foothills just outside of Asheville, North Carolina, Emberglow Outdoor Resort is an adventure-lovers paradise. One of the biggest perks for campers is that you can pick your own memorable lodging experience (or bring your own). Yurts, airstreams, and treehouses are all available, or you can BYORV or pitch your own tent.
The site is located within a beautiful private valley complete with spring-fed creeks and an unpolluted night sky for stargazing. The campground also features a resort-style pool, sand volleyball, community fire pits, private bathrooms, nature trails, a dog park, and sports fields.
Mather Campground — Arizona
Book Mather Campground
Typical starting price: $18
Location: Grand Canyon Village, Arizona
One of the top-rated campsites in the country according to the US Campground review platform, The Dyrt, Mather Campground in Grand Canyon National Park offers 327 campsites equipped for both traditional tents and RVs. Each one comes with a campfire ring with a cooking grate, a picnic table, parking space, and room for up to three tents.
The campground is nestled in a wooded area that has access to thousands of miles of nearby hiking trails and canyon views. Located on the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park in northern Arizona, campers looking for a more isolated spot will appreciate the wide-open spaces and more than adequate spacing between each site amongst the pine grove of trees. Free shuttle service to the nearby visitor’s center is an added bonus.
Atlatl Rock Campgrounds — Nevada
Book Atlatl Rock Campgrounds
Typical starting price: $20
Location: Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada
Just an hour outside of Las Vegas and surrounded by 40,000 acres of bright red Aztec sandstone rock formations, Valley of Fire State Park is the type of location that camping lore and legends are made of.
With two campgrounds and a combined total of 72 units, Atlatl Rock Campgrounds comes equipped with shaded tables, grills, and fire pits. In addition to the ethereal scenery, campers will love exploring the ancient, petrified trees and petroglyphs dating back more than 3,000 years. As an added bonus, there’s little to no bugs or humidity.
Camping is available on a first-come, first-served basis and tends to be more on the primitive side, so read up to make sure this is the best spot for you.
Watchman Campground — Utah
Book Watchman Campground
Typical starting price: $30
Location: Zion National Park, Utah
Zion National Park is one of the most majestic parks in the US, and at Watchman Campground, you can sleep surrounded by its famed sandstone cliffs and the Virgin River.
Watchman Campground is a perennial favorite for those looking for a tried-and-true, classic camping experience. Named for the rocky peak that rises above it, Watchman is open year-round. Due to its popularity, it’s best to make reservations far in advance as campsites tend to book up quickly.
Basecamp 550 — Colorado
Book Basecamp 550
Typical starting price: $48
Location: Ridgway, Colorado
Nestled in the San Juan Mountains of Western Colorado, Basecamp 550 is a mom and pop owned campground with a steady mix of lodging options that range from tiny homes and RVs to van camping, canvas tents, and cabins. This is a great spot for campers of all stripes and experience levels because it truly provides a little something for everyone.
Campers here also enjoy extra perks that include a community bathhouse and canteen area, as well as sweeping views of the surrounding mountain range.
Platte River Campground — Michigan
Book Platte River Campground
Typical starting price: $22
Location: Empire, Michigan
Platte River Campground in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is one of Michigan’s most illustrious camping destinations. Within walking distance of the Platte River, there are 147 sites with accommodation types including tents, trailers, and RV spots, as well as primitive backcountry sites.
In addition to access to the Platte River and hundreds of miles of trails, one of the coolest features of camping here has to be the sand dunes, which rise 450 feet above Lake Michigan. Fronting 65 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline, the park is a wonderfully water-oriented destination, so don’t forget to bring a paddleboard or kayak.
Camp Lakewood Campground — Illinois
Book Camp Lakewood Campground
Typical starting price: $35
Location: Effingham, Illinois
Set on the north shore of beautiful Lake Pauline, Camp Lakewood offers everything from primitive tent sites to rustic cabin rentals. Amenities include a camp store, recreational playground, community gas grill, showers, and laundry facilities.
A peaceful getaway roughly 3 hours drive from Chicago, campers can fish, kayak, or canoe on the lake, or opt for a scenic picnic down by the water’s edge.
Wild West Campground & Corral — Wisconsin
Book Wild West Campground & Corral
Typical starting price: $35
Location: Amherst, Wisconsin
Get your cowboy or cowgirl on at this campground set on a working horse ranch from the 1850s. Pitch a tent, park your RV, or opt for one of their cabins that comes complete with a mini-fridge, microwave, and TV.
Beyond exploring the surrounding scenic countryside and going for hikes, visitors can also go for horseback rides and hayrides. Several state parks and wineries are also right nearby.
Cranberry Lake Campground — Washington
Book Cranberry Lake Campground
Typical starting price: $12
Location: Deception Pass State Park, Washington
Deception Pass State Park in Northwest Washington State has long been revered by campers and outdoor enthusiasts for its beguiling views within the Puget Sound. It also happens to be one of Washington’s most-visited state parks and has a little bit of everything, including rugged mountains, forest hiking trails, and a beach at Cranberry Lake Campground where you can fish, swim, or go boating.
With three campgrounds in the vicinity, campers especially love Cranberry Camp due to its reasonable price point and beautiful waterfront location. Don’t miss the lookout point at Deception Pass Bridge. Connecting Whidbey Island with Washington State, this 180-foot tall bridge offers incredible views of the surrounding area.
Bridalveil Creek Campground — California
Book Bridalveil Creek Campground
Typical starting price: $18
Location: Yosemite National Park, California
There’s no shortage of incredible camping in Yosemite National Park, however, Bridalveil Creek Campground offers truly spectacular views.
Situated on Glacier Point Road at an elevation of 7,200 feet, this is a favored spot for campers of the world looking for a picturesque place to enjoy everything from hiking and rock climbing to horseback riding.
Northern Nights Campground & RV Park — Alaska
Book Northern Nights Campground & RV Park
Typical starting price: $28
Location: Glenallen, Alaska
There’s nothing like a night spent under the stars in the Alaskan wilderness, and despite dozens of campgrounds to choose from, Northern Nights Campground and RV Park in Glennallen is a local favorite.
Just a stone’s throw from the Wrangell-St Elias National Park & Preserve, the campsite offers breathtaking views of three of Alaska’s major mountain ranges.
Spend long afternoons fishing for salmon in the Copper River or hiking in the Wrangell-St Elias National Park and Reserve. Campers can embrace the wilderness and great outdoors without sacrificing comfort or everyday amenities like Wi-Fi, laundry facilities, and shower houses.
San Elijo State Beach Campground — California
Book San Elijo State Beach Campground
Typical starting price: $35
Location: Cardiff, California
Set in what is undeniably one of California’s coolest beach towns, San Elijo State Beach Campground in Cardiff is beloved for its scenic views over the Pacific Ocean and close proximity to local restaurants and shops.
Just off the 101 with 157 campsites in total, San Elijo is a great spot for families and avid surfers alike due to its beachfront access and world-famous surf break.
What should I pack on a camping trip?
Once you know where you’re going, you’ll need a good camping checklist — after all, many of the best campsites are in harder-to-reach locales where you may not have great service or easy access to a local store, so you’ll need to be overprepared. Luckily, we’ve got your essential camping packing list covered, though you can also opt to rent camping gear from companies like Arrive Outdoors.
What should I look for in a campsite?
You should always consider what kind of camping you want to do and who you’ll be camping with. If you’re going with kids, you may want to look for campsites with more amenities, whether that’s a pool or just hot showers and laundry facilities.
If you’re a more seasoned camper and want to try your hand at free camping, you’ll have to look beyond national parks and developed campgrounds. Dispersed camping is available for free on most Bureau of Land Management (BLM) or United States Forest Service (USFS) land; check out their websites for how free dispersed camping works.
And if you’re eager to bring your four-legged friends with you, be sure to check out our tips for camping with dogs and pet-friendly campsites.
Everywhere is booked! Where can I find a last-minute camping reservation?
Keep in mind that with the increased demand, many campgrounds are booking up fast for summer weekends. It’s wise to book a spot as far in advance as you can. However, you may also want to consider alternative sites to book camping reservations that go beyond the usual federal campgrounds, such as Airbnb or Tentrr.
More great outdoor vacations
- The best glamping destinations in the US
- The best hotels near US national parks
- 6 of the top road trips in the US and where to stay along the way
- The best camper van rentals
- The best RV rentals
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