When people think of going on a camping trip, most think of the summer season, maybe the beginning of fall, but hardly ever the winner months. The truth is, there’s actually numerous excellent camping destinations throughout the United States that are great places to take a camping trip during the winter and early spring. Whether campers are looking to escape the cold weather, experience snow-covered landscapes, or beat the crowds, there’s a winter camping option for just about anyone. This means outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy the great outdoors year-round.
1. Acadia National Park
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Camping in Acadia National Park is one of the best ways visitors can experience everything there is to see and do in the park. Campers can choose from several campgrounds within the park grounds, as well as around a dozen of other private campgrounds nearby. The three inside Acadia National Park are the Schoodic Woods Campground, the Blackwoods Campground, the Seawall Campground, and the Duck Harbor Campground. Schoodic Woods is the only campground on the mainland and offers an uncramped and spacious atmosphere. Blackwoods and Seawall are larger campgrounds with hundreds of campsites, with Blackwoods located near some of the best hiking trails. More places to stay.
Bar Harbor, ME 04609, Phone: 207-288-3338
2. Arches National Park
Arches National Park is located near Moab, Utah and is a fascinating landscape of textures, landforms, and contrasting colors not easily found anywhere else in the world. The park features more than two thousand natural stone arches, as well as massive balanced rocks, giant fins, and countless soaring pinnacles. The Devil’s Garden Campground, about eighteen miles from the entrance, is the red-rock wonderland’s only campground, and while reservations are needed between March and October, campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis from the beginning of November until the end of February. Flush toilets, grills, picnic tables, and drinking water are available.
Moab, UT 84532, Phone: 435-719-2299
3. Big Bend National Park
Big Bend National Park in the state of Texas operates three frontcountry developed campgrounds for visitors to use, with each one including restroom facilities and drinking water. The Rio Grande Village, Cottonwood, and Chisos Basin campgrounds at Big Bend use self-registration, with most of the campsites available on a first-come, first-served basis. In addition to tent campsites, there is also an RV camping area with twenty-five sites featuring full hookups at the park. However, RV campers should not that the Rio Grande Village RV Campground is operated by Forever Resorts. River-use, backpacking, and primitive roadside campsites are possible with a permit. More places to stay.
Big Bend National Park, TX 79834, Phone: 432-477-2251
4. Crater Lake National Park
Crater Lake National Park in Oregon is a place that inspires awe. Fed by snow and rain, Crater Lake is the country’s deepest lake and well as one of the world’s most pristine lakes. Visitors often gaze out in wonder at the gorgeous setting in the Cascade Mountain Range. There are two developed campgrounds in Crater Lake National Park: the Lost Creek Campground and the Mazama Campground. Mazama is able to accommodate both tent camping and RV camping, while Lost Creek is a tent-only campground. Campsites include a metal box for food storage, a grill, a fire ring, and a picnic table.
Crater Lake, OR 97604, Phone: 541-594-3000
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5. Cumberland Island
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Cumberland Island is the southernmost and largest of Georgia’s barrier islands and is home to five different campgrounds, including wilderness campsites at Brickhill Bluff, Yankee Paradise, and Hickory Hill, along with designated campsites at Stafford Beach and Sea Camp. Note that permits are required for camping in any of these campgrounds. Designated campgrounds include a sink for washing dishes, cold showers, drinking water, and flush toilets, and campsites feature food storage, picnic tables, a grill, and a fire ring. The wilderness campgrounds, however, don’t have any amenities and fires are prohibited. Camp stoves can be used though instead for cooking.
101 Wheeler St, St. Marys, GA 31558, Phone: 912-882-4336
6. Death Valley National Park
Death Valley National Park is a basin located below sea level, and with record summer heat and steady drought, it’s a place of extremes. Rare rainstorms bring about fields colorful wildflowers, while towering peaks can be seen frosted with snow. Despite its off-putting name, Death Valley is worth a visit, and can be a great place to escape the cold of the winter season for a camping trip. The park is the lowest, driest, and hottest national park in the country. Visitors will find backpacking, hiking, and camping opportunities here, as well as snowshoeing, off-road vehicle adventures, golfing, horseback riding, and rock climbing.
Death Valley, CA 92328, Phone: 760-786-3200
7. Dry Tortugas National Park
The Dry Tortugas National Park offers an incredible camping experience at Garden Key, along with opportunities for some stunning sunset viewing, snorkeling, and star gazing. Visitors need to be well-prepared to camp at the remote location. The primitive campground at Dry Tortugas is still only a short walk, however, to the public dock. Each campsite includes a grill and a picnic table, but campers will need to bring any food, ice, fuel, fresh water, or tents they may need and all trash must be taken upon leaving the campground. The campground can be reached by ferry of private boat.
40001 SR-9336, Homestead, FL 33034, Phone: 305-242-7700
8. Grand Canyon National Park
The National Park Service operates three campgrounds within the Grand Canyon National Park, with advance reservations available for two of them. The Mather Campground is open year-round in the Grand Canyon Village along the South Rim, while the North Rim Campground is open from the middle of May through the end of October. Also located along the South Rim is the Desert View Campground with first-come, first served campsites that fill up quickly during the summer. For campers with an RV, there is the year-round Trailer Village, also situated in the Grand Canyon Village, including sites with full hookups.
Grand Canyon, AZ 86023, Phone: 928-638-7888
9. Great Sand Dunes National Park
There aren’t that many places where people can lay on a sandy beach and peer up at mountain peaks covered in snow. Fortunately, Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve in Mosca, Colorado is one such place. The park is home to the continent’s tallest sand dunes and offers a variety of activities, including camping. The most adrenaline-pumping experiences at the Great Sand Dunes National Park, however, is sandboarding and sand sledding on the dunes. Campers can also hike six miles up to the Star Dune summit. There are also alpine lakes and forested trails, and plenty of spot to put up a tent. Details & Photos
11999 State Highway 150, Mosca, CO 81146, Phone: 719-378-6399
10. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is home to one of the world’s most unique campsites, just a few miles past the Volcano House. Tucked away within a eucalyptus grove, about four thousand feet above sea level, the Namakanipaio Campground provides a unique and rustic camping experience. The campground includes a bathhouse with toilets and hot showers, and toilet paper and soap are provided. Campsites include one tent, an air mattress with linens, a lantern, two camping chairs, and a cooler. There are also ten one-room, rustic wood cabins at the campground, with each including a grill and outdoor firepit.
1 Crater Rim Dr, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, HI 96718, Phone: 844-569-8849
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11. Hot Springs National Park
Located in Hot Springs, Arkansas, the Hot Springs National Park is part of what is often referred to as “The American Spa,” attracting visitors with its soothing thermal waters. Situated within the park is the Gulpha Gorge Campground, which offers campsites of various sizes and is able to accommodate both RVs and tents. Every RV site features full hook-ups, including sewer, water, and both 30 and 50-amp electric connections, and all campsites include water, a pedestal grill, and a picnic table. There are no pull-through RV sites. The campground also includes modern restrooms, however, there are no showers.
101 Reserve St, Hot Springs, AR 71901, Phone: 501-620-6715
12. Joshua Tree National Park
Joshua Tree National Park in Twentynine Pines, California is located within the Mojave Desert, the only place on Earth where Joshua Trees grow, making it a truly unique camping destination. These trees grow among springtime wildflowers, otherworldly rock formations, and yucca. With more than one hundred miles trail for hiking and over eight thousand climbing routes, climbers and hikers will never get bored. Joshua Tree National Park is also home to nine different campgrounds, with the first-come, first-served campgrounds filling up quickly between October and May. Winter is ideal for camping here, as some of the park’s campgrounds close during the summer.
74485 National Park Dr, Twentynine Palms, CA 92277, Phone: 760-367-5500
13. Mt Baker-Snoqualimie National Forest
The Mt. Baker-Snoqualimie National Forest provides several beautiful areas for camping that vary from forest to riverside and from high to low elevation. Located just below the Canadian border, the forest boasts some of the state of Washington’s most amazing scenery. Guests can choose from nearly thirty campgrounds throughout the Mt. Baker-Snoqualimie National Forest or stay warm during the winter in one of the cabins along Suiattle River Road. There are also RV hookups in some campgrounds. While in the forest, campers can explore the hiking trails, do some birdwatching, go river rafting or fishing, or even ski or snowshoe.
2930 Wetmore Ave, Everett, WA 98201, Phone: 360-856-5700
14. Mt. Hood National Forest
Oregon’s Mt. Hood National Forest is home to numerous camping opportunities, ranging from developed campsites with accessible features to primitive camping areas. In fact, there are seventy-one different campgrounds throughout the forest, as well as backcountry camping, with camps and hike-in sites available. For backcountry camping, campers will need a wilderness permit between the middle of May and the middle of October. Visitors will find a wide array of outdoor recreation activities possible in the Mount Hood National Forest, including biking, hiking, fishing, boating, paddling, swimming, whitewater rafting, wind sports, OHV, snow sports, climbing, horseback riding, and wildlife viewing.
595 NW Industrial Way, Estacada, OR 97023, Phone: 503-630-6861
15. Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument
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The Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument in Ajo, Arizona provides to campgrounds for visitors to stay overnight on a first-come, first-served basis. These two campgrounds offer different amenities and allow campers to choose between a camping experience in the rustic wilderness or one with modern comforts. The Twin Peaks Campground consists of 174 RV campsites and 34 tent sites. There are no hookups available, however, the campground offers restrooms, solar showers, potable water, and a dump station. The Alamo Campground is a primitive camping area with only four tent campsites surrounded by the quiet and peaceful desert landscape.
10 Organ Pipe Dr, Ajo, AZ 85321, Phone: 520-387-6849
16. Padre Island National Seashore
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Campgrounds at the Padre Island National Seashore in Corpus Christi, Texas are open throughout the entire year, making the destination a great place for a winter camping trip to escape the cold weather up north. Camping here is on a first-come, first-served basis and no reservations are possible. All campers must also have a permit that can be obtained from kiosks near the entrance to each campground. While no hook-ups are available for RVs anywhere at the Padre Island National Seashore, there is a water filling station and a dump station. Ice is available from the Malaquite Visitor Center.
20420 Park Rd 22, Corpus Christi, TX 78480, Phone: 361-949-8068
17. Patagonia Lake State Park
Patagonia Lake State Park is a gem of the Southern Arizona desert and an excellent place for a camping trip during the winter months. Located around 12 miles away from the town of Nogales, the park is home to a man-made lake measuring approximately 265 acres, one of the most beautiful desert lakes in the state. The scenic state park also boasts many outdoor recreation activities, including camping, hiking, fishing, water skiing, bird watching, and picnicking. There are two developed campgrounds in the park with 34 campsites with hookups for electric and water, along with 12 sites with boat access.
400 Patagonia Lake Rd, Nogales, AZ 85621, Phone: 520-287-6965
18. Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
Campers at the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Munising, Michigan can choose from three drive-in rustic campgrounds: Twelvemile Beach, Hurricane River, and Little Beaver. These campgrounds don’t have any hook-ups for sewer, water, or electric. The campgrounds themselves, however, do offer well water and vault table, and campsites do include a tent pad, a fire ring with a grill grate, and a picnic table. Little Beaver Campground is the smallest of the three and provides one wheelchair accessible campsite. Visitors should keep in mind that there typically isn’t any cell phone reception in the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore campgrounds.
Munising, MI 49862, Phone: 906-387-3700
19. Red Cliffs Campground
The Red Cliffs Campground near Hurricane, Utah is one of the St. George area’s great campgrounds. There is beautiful scenery in nearly any direction and abundant activities available right from the campground. Several hikes start from the grounds, as well as rappelling and rock climbing opportunities, dinosaur tracks that can be reached by a short hike, and several nearby historic sites of both pioneers and Native Americans. While the campground inside the Red Cliffs National Conservation Area is close to the freeway, it still retains a secluded atmosphere. Campsites, which include two ADA-accessible sites, are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Hurricane, UT 84737, Phone: 435-688-3200
20. Red Rock Canyon State Park
The Red Rock Canyon State Park boasts amazing rock formations, buttes, and scenic desert cliffs, providing a picturesque setting for a winter camping experience. The only place to camp in the park is the developed sites of the Ricardo Campground, tucked away at the base of the desert cliffs. This campground features fifty primitive sites, picnic tables, fire rings, pit toilets, and potable water. Campers will need to bring their own firewood or buy it from the Visitor Center. No reservation system is available at the Red Rock Canyon State Park and campsites are offered first-come, first-served.
37749 Abbott Dr, Cantil, CA 93519, Phone: 661-946-6092
21. Tettegouche State Park
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Located around Silver Bay, Minnesota, the Tettegouche State Park features waterfalls, beautiful natural scenery, and plenty of recreation opportunities, including camping, wildlife viewing, hiking, cross-country skiing, rock climbing, and more. Camping in the park is possible throughout every season of the year. Visitors can hike along the park’s lakeside cliffs to reach soaring views at Shovel Point over Lake Superior, hike the riverside Cascade Trail to see the rushing water of the Cascades Waterfall, and much more. The Baptism River Campground features both drive-in and walk-in campsites, as well as flush toilets and showers. Backpacking sites are on the Superior Hiking Trail.
5702 Highway 61, Silver Bay, MN 55614, Phone: 218-353-8800
22. White River National Forest
The White River National Forest in Glenwood Springs, Colorado is located right in the heart of the scenic Rocky Mountains. There are several developed camping facilities suited well for all campers, from the lone wolf to large groups, and the water and air purity in the forest is especially refreshing. The White River National Forest is a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts, boasting hundreds of miles of hiking trails. It is also one of the country’s most visited national forests, and for good reason, offering more than 2.3 million acres full of land conservation and possibilities for adventure.
900 Grand Ave, Glenwood Springs, CO 81601, Phone: 970-945-2521
23. Wild River State Park
The Wild River State Park encompasses more than 6,800 acres and stretches along an 18-mile stretch of the scenic and wild St. Croix River. The state park is particularly well known for offering excellent, camping, cross-country skiing, horseback riding, hiking, and canoeing facilities. Wild River State Park includes a year-round campground with nearly one hundred campsites, including thirty-four electric sites, Camp Cabins, a Guest House, a group camping area, canoe sites, backpacking sites, and approximately thirty-five miles of trails. There is also the McElroy Visitor Center and the Nevers Dam Overlook on the grounds as well.
39797 Park Trail, Center City, MN 55012, Phone: 866-857-2757
24. Yellowstone National Park
The first national park established in the United States and the world, Yellowstone National Park is home to some of the most incredible geysers, wildlife, and vistas in the world and provides a perfect destination for a fun-filled adventure. The park also contains more than two thousand campsites throughout the grounds across twelve different campgrounds, with seven run by the country’s National Park Service. Campers can also explore Yellowstone Lake, North America’s largest high altitude lake. For information about the campgrounds and the park in general, visitors can stop by any of the nine visitor centers in Yellowstone National Park.
25. Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park in the Sierra Nevada Mountains is well-known by climbers throughout the world, thanks to its granite rock formations known as El Capitan and Half Dome. The professionals also that camping in Yosemite is either a willingness to just “wing it” for a same-day reservation or a need for advance planning. The national park offers thirteen different campgrounds with various availability. A reservation is required at car campgrounds year-round, and they often fill up months out. This probably due to the stunning natural beauty of Yosemite. There are also a handful of first-come, first-served campgrounds.
Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190, Phone: 307-344-7381
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