The United States is blessed with acres upon acres of beautiful camping and outdoor destinations. Tourists and residents can choose from a variety of national, state, and regional parks, as well as many wilderness areas and preserves.
Although each state has a unique appeal, readers of About.com were polled and revealed their favorite camping states.
Colorado – The natural beauty, breathtaking landscape, and rugged mountains puts Colorado on the top of the list among camping and outdoor destinations in the United States. Campers can choose among four national parks–Rocky Mountain, Great Sand Dunes, Mesa Verde, and Gunnison–and 42 state parks, which means the state has no shortage of camping areas. The state is also ideal for mountain adventurers, as it has 54 mountain peaks taller than 14,000 feet.
Missouri – This Midwestern state boasts hundreds of conservation and natural areas and 49 state parks. Its most popular go-to places include the Mark Twain National Forest, the Ozark National Scenic Riverway, and the 225-mile Katy Trail. Campers can enjoy numerous outdoor recreation activities including hunting, fishing, and boating. Missouri is ideal for water sports enthusiasts. The Lake of the Ozarks alone offers 1,150 miles of shoreline–more than the entire coast of California–as well as the state’s namesake river.
Montana – Most of Montana’s natural land remains untamed and wild. No wonder it is called the Big Sky Country, as only the majestic Rocky Mountains could block your view of the vast sky. Its two national parks, Yellowstone and Glacier, are among the most popular in the country. Tag along its 51 state parks and you have vast choices on where to pitch your tent. Outdoorsy people can enjoy fishing, river rafting, rock climbing, hot spring soaking, bird watching, and hunting.
New Mexico – Its landscape has been an inspiration to many artists, so it is not a surprise why campers cannot resist the state’s charm. It provides many opportunities for camping, recreation, and sightseeing. New Mexico is home to Carlsbad Caverns National Park, as well as two historical parks and a number of state parks. Road trip adventurers would love driving along the historic US Route 66 or one of 25 scenic byways.
New York – The state’s true beauty lies beyond its urban landscape. With over 4 million acres of natural preserves, New York is home of state parks from A-W, such as Finger Lakes, Lake Placid, Hudson Valley, the Adirondacks (pictured), the Catskills, and Niagra Falls. Its diverse scenery varies from beaches, mountains, lakes, streams, and even historic battlefields. The upstate is ideal for a weekend camping trip, many of which are just a short distance from the city.
Photo credit: Adirondack Regional Tourism Council/ Camp CONY