Fair weather campers, there’s a good number of them but real campers know it’s not just an activity for the summer months.
No matter what time of year, rustic getaways all over America welcome camping enthusiasts, along with their tents, campers, or RVs, for nights of roasting marshmallows, cookouts, and campfire songs in some of the country’s most amazing settings.
Take a deep breath of fresh air, turn off your cell phone, and plan an off-season excursion to one of these year-round campgrounds.
Ash Grove Mountain Cabins & Camping
Brevard, North Carolina
In western North Carolina, you can find Dupont State Forest, a lesser-known natural sanctuary that is usually optimized for a romantic weekend getaway during the winter. The four charming cabins at Ash Grove Mountain Cabins & Camping are equipped with fireplaces, full kitchens, and satellite TVs – perfect for staying in on an invigorating winter’s eve.
Be on the lookout for Brevard’s white squirrels scurrying about the many trees, creeks, and gorges as they camouflage themselves against the snow. When summer arrives, the most thrilling way to go for a swim is from the ever-popular natural Sliding Rock, a 60-foot rock that is used as a smooth waterfall slide. Ash Grove Mountain has sites available for both tents and smaller RVs. The campground is a small gem in a large forest.
Devil’s Garden Campground
Arches National Park, Utah
Arches National Park contains some of America’s top natural wonders. It is habitat to over 2,000 natural sandstone arches. The arches are formed by erosion from a salt bed below the ground. They highlight the desert landscape, which is best viewed at sunrise, with a majestic orange glow. Devil’s Garden Campground is situated 18 miles into the park and has a 50-person limit for personal tents and some RV lots. The campground requires reservations up to six months in advance for stays from March through October. From November to February, the sites are available on a self-serve basis, but the number of places that are available is limited. The arches, set amidst the La Sal Mountains, provide a very different view at night. The moon’s radiance creates a glimmer between the hollow arches, which creates a mystical setting for evening star gazing.
Fool Hollow Lake Recreation Area
Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest, Arizona
On the eastern edge of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest, you will find the soothing and serene Fool Hollow Lake Recreation Area. This 800-acre recreation area is situated 6,300 feet above sea level. Fool Hollow Lake itself is 150-acres. The recreation area and the lake have long been a cherished location for boating, bird watching, fishing, and swimming. Look to the sky to see bald eagles, red-tailed hawks, and the blue heron soaring over the 100-foot tall pine trees. The campground makes for a welcome retreat with plenty of space for RVs (92 sites and tents) as the natural wonder of the area takes your full attention.
Hot Springs National Park
Hot Springs, Arkansas
The Hot Springs National Park of the Ouachita Mountains is America’s smallest national park. It is known for the thermal hot springs that are concentrated throughout downtown Hot Springs, AK. The natural baths have been sought after for their healing qualities and relaxation effects for 200 years. The Buckstaff and the Quapaw, two historical bathhouses built in the nineteenth century, are located in the center of town. Venture into the Fordyce Bathhouse for a guided tour and learn the history of the springs and the area’s rise in popularity. The low commitment, no pressure campsites at the nearby Gulpha Gorge Campground are available without making reservations.
Joshua Tree National Park
Joshua Tree, California
Natural quirky shapes and unrelenting character sprout from the desert floor throughout the 800,000 acres of the Joshua Tree National Park. Joshua trees are the park’s namesake, and they mark the landscape with their wildly twisted branches topped with thorny blossoms. You must be up before sunrise to watch the ethereal silhouettes of the trees as they take remarkable shapes in the early morning rays of the sun. Mountain biking and hiking are popular activities, as well as rock climbing. There are hundreds of campsites available every night for tents and RVs at the nine campgrounds that are available in the park.
Long Key State Park
Long Key, Florida
Long Key State Park is only one of many gems in the Florida Keys. The Park offers a rare opportunity to camp in a tent on the sandy beaches on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. The 60 campsites in the park are all ocean-side, providing an amazing sunrise to begin each day and sounds of the waves to lull you to sleep each night. Spend a day relaxing in the ocean with kayaks and canoes (available for rent), go swimming in designated areas, do some snorkeling, as well as trying your hand at fishing for dinner (state licenses are required for saltwater fishing). Advance reservations for the sites can be made up to 11 months prior, so be sure to make your plans ahead of time, as they have a tendency to go quickly.
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Watch closely as you get cozy in the comfortably furnished cabins of Namakanipaio Campground as the lava lights the night sky in the distance. This unique campground offers such an exceptional opportunity to enjoy recreational activities as well as relaxation, while you are only steps away from active volcanoes. The petrified lava rock, resembling polished tar, unfolds throughout the park in wild formations that make for exclusive hiking opportunities. Hiking trails throughout the park showcase the natural beauty of the active volcanoes, with several species of orchids growing in the wild such as the red Lehua flowers native to Hawaii. The campground offers ten cabins (with WiFi), tent sites and camping equipment rental, and well as campsites for the DIY set.
Rock Island State Park
Rock Island, Tennessee
Rock Island State Park is a year-round river haven set in central Tennessee, near the tumbling waterfalls of The Caney Fork River Gorge. The river’s whitewater segments are very demanding and quite intense, which attract professional kayakers from all over the world. The dynamic gorges in the Park are met with great hiking trails, nine in total, providing for many opportunities to go fishing, swimming, and even the age-old art of skipping rocks. There are ten cabins on site, which are well-built and well maintained, as well as 60 campsites operated by the Tennessee State Parks Commission.
Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park, Hagerstown
There are 79 Yogi Bear campgrounds in North America, and this destination camping resort in particular is Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park, Hagerstown. It is a camping must for everyone, and its comprehensive offering of family activities are unsurpassed. Introduced to the park this year, a ride on the Yakky Doodle zip line is included with your stay. The Park has unique activities for children, such as the Gaga Ball Pit, a new form of Dodgeball, the Cindy 500 Speedway, a hybrid 4×4 go-kart race track, and the Jumping Pillow, a large vinyl mound built for jumping. These are fun-loving activities that will keep the kids active until their hunger drives them to dinner time. The camping section of the park has RV and tent sites, newly constructed premium cabins with stainless steel appliances are available, along with more simple cabins as well.
Yosemite Pines RV Resort
Yosemite National Park
The Yosemite Pines RV Resort is a multifaceted year-round resort with rustic cabins, plenty of RV hookups, and tent sites. It is located on the western edge of Yosemite National Park. About 30 minutes from the main entrance to Yosemite, in a serene, woodsy campground setting, you will find a playground for children, a swimming pool and a beach volleyball court. The cabins range in quality depending on the price: the finest cabins offering well taken care of wooden dwellings that have modern amenities, such as a full kitchen, TVs, and can accommodate larger families. The Yosemite Pines RV Resort is outstanding for its cleanliness, its selection of lodging options and the picturesque evergreen mountain backdrop.
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