Sometimes just getting out of your house and hitting the road is enough to get any camper’s juices flowing. Sleeping under the stars and building your own campfire can make for a glorious getaway. However, whether you have been camping a long time or if you are a novice, the experience can be dramatically improved when you go to some of America’s greatest camping and hiking locations. Here are 5 of the best places to camp and hike in the United States.
White River Campground, Mount Rainier National Park, Washington
If you are a fan of the great mountains in this country, you will enjoy yourself thoroughly by going to Mount Rainier. The views are breathtaking and when you hike the trails on the mountain, you will get some of the most memorable vacation thrills you have ever had. The banks of the White River make for one of the best places to observe Mount Rainier. You can see spectacular colors on the mountain at sunrise. There are 112 camping sites, all with running water, toilets and fire rings. Mount Rainier National Park, 55210 238th Avenue East, Ashford, WA 98304Park Headquarters. 360-569-2211.
North Rim Camp Ground, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
This is the trip of a lifetime for many campers. The North Rim of the Grand Canyon often is THE destination for campers who want the most spectacular memories and views they can have. The camping sites afford plenty of privacy as well, but you will have to reserve your spots up to six months in advance. Take the trail to Bright Angel Point at dawn for a real memory maker. Grand Canyon National Park, Grand Canyon, Arizona. (928) 638-7888.
Bartlett Cove Campground, Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska
Many serious campers want to make it to Alaska on one of their vacations because the combination of wildlife and the natural beauty of the region is too much to consider passing on. The campsites at Glacier Bay National Park are “bear-proof,” and there are vaulted toilets and warming facilities. You can also take guided boat tours of Glacier Bay. Glacier Bay National Park: PO Box 140 / 1 Park Road, Gustavus, AK 99826. (907) 697-2230.
Memaloose Campground, Memaloose State Park, Oregon
In addition to the spectacular mountain views, you will be right in the middle of huge blackberry vines and you will have access to them. Additionally, you will be right next to the Columbia River and that will give you access to wind surfing and fishing. The skies are incredibly clear and you will have a chance to see shooting stars most nights.
Memaloose State Park: c/o Oregon Parks and Recreation Department State Parks 725 Summer Street NE, Suite C, Salem, OR 97301. (503) 986-0707.
Grayson Highlands State Park, Virginia
For hikers who want great exercise and the most spectacular views of the surrounding mountains, you will want to walk the Grayson Highlands. The best view is the one you get when you walk towards Mount Rogers, which is the tallest peak in Virginia. The best time to hike in Grayson Highlands State Park are the summer months from June through August. The average temperature at that time is between 50 and 70 during the day and it can get down to the 30-degree range at night. The park may have snow as late as May and as early as September. Grayson Highlands State Park: 829 Grayson Highland Lane, Mouth of Wilson, VA 24363. (276) 579-7092.