Top 5 US States for Camping

If you’re ready to do some camping in 2021, you may be excited to find that you don’t have to go far to find a great campground. While most folks think that camping means they have to head west and go up to the mountains, there’s great camping in the Midwest and on the east coast as well.

Colorado

Whether you are in an RV or looking for some primitive tent camping, Colorado is an ideal destination. There are four national parks you can enjoy, including

  • Mesa Verde
  • Gunnison
  • Great Sand Dunes
  • Rocky Mountain

and more than 40 state parks, so finding a spot likely won’t be difficult. If you’re not used to camping at elevations, make sure you hydrate well during your stay in Colorado to stave off altitude sickness.

Rampart Reservoir, Woodland Park, Colorado

Utah

Zion National Park, Utah

Utah offers 45 state parks and access to 5 different national parks. There are many Utah state park campsites that offer showers and full baths. You can even rent a safari-tent setup and just enjoy the beauty of this remarkable state. You can also tap into your inner pioneer and load up your pack so you can hike in to find a truly rustic site.

Bring your hiking shoes on your trip to Utah. The topography here is widely varied and extremely interesting to explore slowly as you check out the different trails. Finally, remember to layer up and bring your sunscreen; it can get chilly here at night and you will certainly get some sun on your trip into Utah.

Missouri

There are more than 90 state parks in Missouri. The “Show Me” state is a great spot to hike, fish, swim, climb, or just hang out. You’ll find electrical hookups at a lot of Missouri state parks, and the water is generally on from April 1 through October 31. Be sure to check out the rules for each campsite and follow the Leave No Trace rules.

Generally, pets are welcome on your camping trip to Missouri, though again it’s a good idea to confirm with the park when you make your reservation. The Missouri State Parks organization is offering a contactless check-in to make your vacation even simpler. Summers in Missouri can get quite warm, but at higher elevations, you should plan for warm nights. Bring your bathing suit!

Blue Springs Lake, Kansas City, Missouri

New Mexico

Jemez Mountains of Santa Fe, New Mexico

New Mexico is another state that offers a remarkable variety in topography. From desert scrub to mountains and from the City of Rocks to waterfalls, you can find amazing places to disappear and disconnect in New Mexico. The elevation of most campgrounds in this state is quite high; be prepared for cold nights, especially if you’re camping in the off-season.

Study up on the stars and enjoy some Dark Skies camping at Clayton Lake State Park. If you prefer a bit more company, camp near Ghost Ranch and travel into Santa Fe. Finally, don’t forget to stop in Albuquerque and view the region from the Sandia Park Tramway.

New York

When people hear New York, they think of the city that never sleeps. While NYC is a great vacation spot, campers will be delighted to enjoy the wilder areas of this remarkable state. From an oceanside campground on Long Island to time in the canyons of the Finger Lakes region, you can find amazing views and plenty to do in New York State.

While peak season runs from the end of June to the last Sunday before Labor Day, there is great camping and hiking to be enjoyed in New York State. Be certain that you properly gear up, including bug spray, sunblock, clothing you can layer, and fleece for cool nights. The humidity in New York State is generally high, so you can expect mosquitoes during the summer months. You’ll also find many lakes and great birding to enjoy.

Adirondack Mountains, Upstate New York

Many of us skipped vacations in 2020 to follow shelter-in-place guidelines. If you’re ready to bust out and see some country, a camping trip to a new state is a wonderful chance to enjoy new scenery, get some fresh air, stretch your legs and celebrate the natural wonder available in the United States. Enjoy!

Sydney Moore

Sydney Moore is a poet turned freelancer who takes a special interest in wellness and sustainability. She currently lives in Seattle where she is working towards her MFA.

    All Trails Lead to Riches!

    All season long, I am outdoors testing new products and consider them for reviews, some I keep, many I don’t. For the ones I don’t keep, once reviewed and photographed, I give them away to followers of The Outdoor Life blog who have subscribed to my newsletter! Products are typically for Biking, Hiking, Backpacking, Kayaking, Camping, and other outdoor activities. Once I accumulate 3-4 items, I use an online random picker and select a name for each item, email you for your address and send it on its way. No strings attached!