Lately, I’ve been wandering far and wide. At least in my mind. After too much time between four walls, Mother Nature is calling me in a seriously big way. The first thing I’m going to do as soon as it’s possible is launch myself into the great outdoors to soak up some fresh air and even fresher scenery.
With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of some of the most beautiful places to go camping. From stunning national treasures to remote sites on the other side of the planet, you’re sure to find at least a couple of places you’ll want to put on your bucket list.
To all of you restless souls and nature lovers out there, here are some spectacular sites that make it well worth putting some miles between you and civilization.
Maroon Bells, Colorado
Amidst the spectacular beauty of the Colorado Rockies, you’ll find Maroon Bells. These 14,000-foot mountains tower above the beautiful Maroon Lake and are some of the most photographed peaks in all North America.
Silver Bar, Silver Bell and the Silver Queen campgrounds sit in the shadow of the mountain and make the perfect place to set up base camp for those wishing to hike into this amazing wilderness setting.
Oh, and if you need supplies, Aspen is not too far!
Haleakala National Park, Hawaii
This diverse national park on the island of Maui includes stunning coastlines, subtropical forests and stark volcanic landscapes. Haleakala is named for its dormant volcano and means “house of the sun.”
Many visitors choose to take an early trek up the peak and catch the sunrise as they summit. And if you really want to get away from the crowds, the park has two backcountry campsites that are only accessible by trail.
Jasper National Park, Canada
Although nearby, many Americans have yet to explore the amazing beauty of Canada. And this UNESCO world heritage site is one of the best places to start.
Located in the Rockies, the park has lakes, waterfalls, hot springs and hundreds of miles of hiking trails. And when you’re not just kicking back enjoying the scenery you can also kayak, swim or go fishing.
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Mount Cook National Park, New Zealand
Named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in1986, this park on the South Island of New Zealand has over 22 peaks over 3,000 meters. Chief among them is the imposing Mount Cook.
Visitors will be wowed by the contrasting views of meadows covered in wildflowers against the backdrop of the icy upper slopes. It’s no stretch to say that this is one of the world’s most enchanting places.
Big Sur, California
Big Sur is on many people’s bucket lists with good reason. The views are spectacular in this haven nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the towering Redwood Forest. Hikers will be in absolute heaven.
And the ancient trees will fill you with reverence. If you haven’t been much of a tree hugger up to now, this magical forest may change your mind about wrapping your arms around an enormous trunk at least as far as they can go.
Loch Lomond & The Trossachs, Scotland
You’ll find everything from caravan camping to remote backcountry sites in this gorgeous area in Scotland known as the “highlands in miniature.”
Something about the picturesque lochs, valleys and remote peaks brings out the romance in your soul. You may want to bring a notebook to jot down a spontaneous poem.
Zion National Park, Utah
The red sandstone cliffs and awe-inspiring rock formations of Zion make for one of the world’s most unique and beautiful settings to pitch a tent. The most popular campgrounds are Watchmen and South.
But if you’re looking to escape the madding crowd, you can get a permit to stay at less populated sites in the park’s interior.
Zakouma National Park, Chad, Africa
Chad is one of the world’s least visited countries, but you may want to get in on this well-kept secret. Under the management of the African Parks organization, Zakouma has recovered from brutal poaching and now has a rapidly growing elephant population.
The park is also home to giraffes, buffalo, cheetahs, leopards and over 400 species of birds. Tinga Camp is open from mid-November to May. It’s an adventure you definitely won’t forget.
Denali National Park, Alaska
Alaska is one of America’s and the world’s last bits of untamed wilderness. And Denali National Park is a great place to launch your adventure. Other than being home to Mt. McKinley, North America’s tallest peak, it also boasts six million acres of spectacular scenery and abundant wildlife.
Its six established campgrounds feature 291 sites to pitch your temporary home. In other words, you’ll never run out of room or natural wonders.
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Ae!Hai! Kalahari Heritage Park, Southern Africa
For stargazers this park is an absolute dream as it is one of the few International Dark Sky Sanctuaries on the planet. With virtually zero light pollution and hardly any cloud cover, you’ll be able to gaze deep into the heavens.
Best time to go: August through September.
San Isabel National Forest, Colorado
For campers seeking a remote and tranquil experience, this thickly wooded forest three hours from Denver makes a great escape.
Check out the secluded and very rarely crowded Angel of Shavano Campgrounds. The site is situated on the Colorado Trail. Nearby you’ll find plenty of places to hike, fish and soak up the silence amidst gorgeous surroundings.
While crowds of sun worshippers flock to the Costa del Sol, Asturia offers a less traveled and unexpected venture into Spain. Situated in the northwest region of the peninsula, you’ll find an array of stunning campsites along the rugged coast.
With friendly people and delicious food, it’s a great place to get off the beaten trail.
Crater Lake National Park, Oregon
The mesmerizing deep blue waters of Crater Lake plum to a depth of nearly 2,000 feet, but this national jewel is also home to a sleeping volcano.
There are a couple of well-established camping sites within the park. But if you really want to get away from it all, apply for a backcountry camping permit to soak up the gorgeous views.
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Gros Ventre Wilderness, Wyoming
Located in the Yellowstone Ecosystem, Gros Ventre is an important habitat for many species of wildlife. Among its many amazing geological features you’ll find Alpine peaks as well as red, purple and yellow rock slopes.
It’s also the home to multiple wild rivers and offers miles and miles of trails for hiking and horseback riding. Nature lovers definitely shouldn't miss out on this truly wondrous national treasure.
Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
For truly incomparable views, there’s no place like the Grand Canyon. This jaw dropping geological marvel dates back 1.8 billion years.
The canyon’s South Rim is more accessible. But for more secluded camping you’ll want to visit the North Rim. Experienced hikers will be especially excited by the Nankoweap Trail, a North Rim to river route.
But wherever you roam within this natural wonder, you’ll be blown away by its sublime beauty.