Planning the perfect family camping vacation? The first thing you need to do is find a beautiful destination! If you are having difficulty deciding, the National Parks and other historical sites offer incredibly beautiful and exciting camping adventures for you and your family. With these camping destinations, you should do your best to reserve spots early, especially if you are planning to visit during the summer, which is tourist season for these parks. During the busy season spots tend to fill up pretty quickly on a first come first serve basis. Don’t let this deter you- these spots are well worth a little foresight and planning!
Here are ten great family camping destinations that you might want to consider when you’re planning a family camping vacation.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is located between North Carolina and Tennessee, and encompasses the Great Smoky Mountain Range. This National Park offers a number of unique camping locations to check out. One of these is the Abram’s Creek Campground. This campground is in a remote area, and is good for visitors looking to avoid the crowds. The campground is located at 1,125-foot elevation, which provides visitors with moderate climate year-round. It is named for Abram’s Creek, which flows directly next to the campground.
The Abram’s Creek campground is a traditional tent only experience. The campsite offers toilets and drinking water for the visitor’s convenience. There are easily accessible hiking trails and fishing streams from the area. The campsites are available for $17.50 per night, and can be reserved in advance through the national parks website.
Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park is located in Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho, and is one of the most visited national parks. The scenic location offers many different campsites. One of these is the Bridge Bay Campground, located near Yellowstone Lake at a 7,800 foot elevation. Yellowstone Lake is one of the largest fresh water lakes in North America in high elevation. The draw of this particular campground is the exceptionally beautiful views of Yellowstone Lake and the Absaroka Range, which rises above the eastern shore of the lake. This campsite can be booked through the national parks website.
Crater of Diamonds State Park
Crater of the Diamonds State Park is a beautiful park located in Arkansas. There are camping opportunities in the park, which includes a campground surrounded by trees, equipped with water, electric, and sewer hookups. They have tent pads and five walk in tent sites. There are also two bathhouses with showers and free Wi-Fi! This park offers a slightly less rugged, but no less enjoyable, camping experience.
Grand Canyon National Park
Grand Canyon National Park is located in Northern Arizona, and is one of the most awe-inspiring sites in the country. There are camping opportunities offered on both the Northern and Southern Rims. The Mather Campground is located on the Southern Rim. Mather Campground is open year round, and offers both tent and RV camping. Their campsites and restrooms are accessible, and they allow leashed pets. Mather Campground is a large facility, with 327 campsites. Each site includes a campfire ring with a cooking grate, picnic table, parking space and room for up to three tents. The campsite is a mere one mile from the rim of the canyon, leading to incredibly spectacular views. There are also hiking opportunities nearby.
Everglades National Park
Located in Florida, the Everglades National Park is the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States. Camping in this environment should be on everyone’s bucket list. One of the campgrounds offered in the park is the Long Pine Key Campground. This campground is advertised as a way to get yourself in tune with nature. They offer restrooms, cold showers, a dump station and fresh water for campers. The campground is located a few miles from the Anhinga Trail at Royal Palm, and is adjacent to the Long Pine Key Trail. It is also near a beautiful fishing pond. The campsites are first come first serve, and can be reserved for between $25 and $35 dollars a night.
Denali National Park
Denali National Park is located in Alaska. One of the camping opportunities provided by the park is the Savage River Campground. The campground sits at 3,000 above sea level, a few hundred feet below the tree level. Denali is visible from the area on clear days by taking a short walk away from the campground. This is one of two campground in the park that boasts this view. The campground is located near the Mountain Vista Rest Area and the Savage Rest Area, which offer multiple recreational activities, including hiking and picnicking. Many different animals make their home in the park, and some of them can be seen in the immediate area. These include small animals like red squirrels and snowshoe hares. Some birds also make their nests in this area. Each campsite can host up to eight people. There is water available, but no laundry, shower or electrical hookups.
The Appalachian Trail
The Appalachian Trail is one of the most prestigious hiking trails in the country, and it also offers camping opportunities for you and your family. There are approximately 100 designated campsites for backcountry camping along the Trail. Camping is also allowed near most of the 250 shelters. They are first come first serve, and you cannot count on space. It is very important to carry a map with you when you go to this camping location, as distance between shelters and campsites varies greatly. The designated campsites along the trail are fairly straight-forward. They are made up of relatively flat areas where you can pitch your tent, and wooden platforms can be provided on steeper terrain. A natural water source such as a spring or creek is usually nearby.
Yosemite National Park
Yosemite is a breathtaking national park in Central California, located in the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. One of the campgrounds found in the park’s perimeter is the Upper Pines campsite. This is the largest of the three reservation campsites in the valley, and has paved roads, parking spurs, flush toilets, and drinking water. Each of their campsites offers a picnic table, fire ring, and food storage locker. The site is in the heart of the valley, and visitors can hike, picnic, or simply enjoy the beautiful scenery during your camping trip. The sites can be booked through the national parks website, and can be reserved up to give months in advance.
Glacier National Park
Glacier National Park is located in Montana. One of the campsites found in the park is the Rising Sun Campground. This campsite is found west of St. Mary, halfway along St. Mary Lake. It is described as being located where “the mountains meet the prairies”. This site is famous for the sunrises, with the Red Eagle Mountain as a backdrop to the rising sun. It is located in a convenient place for many day hikes. The site offers potable water and restroom facilities with flush toilets and sinks. In the evening, rangers will offer nightly evening programs- be sure to tune in!
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is one of the nation’s most gorgeous parks. One of the campgrounds found in the park is the Nāmakanipaio Campground, which is operated by the Hawai’i Volcanoes Lodge Company. The campground is located south of Hilo, and is a beautiful open area with tall eucalyptus and ‘ōhi’a trees. They have restrooms, water, picnic tables, and barbeque pits. Visitors are permitted to stay up to 7 days.