From the marshy waterways of the Louisiana bayous to the soaring snow-tipped peaks of the highest Rockies, the abundance of natural wonders in America is well known, much-loved and always talked about. But, for families looking to experience the wilder side of this wild nation, it’s sometimes hard to find the perfect place to stay. Often, just a few of the campsites or RV parks near the mountains, gorges, beaches and lakes of America offer enough of the family fun activities and suitable facilities for them to be a viable option. Here, we’ll take a look at some of the best wholesome campgrounds in the country; perfect spots for adventurous and intrepid groups to go into the wild.
There are perhaps no wild areas in America more astounding than Yosemite’s patchwork of lakes, peaks, forests and primeval fir trees, not to mention the park’s famous array of dramatic waterfalls, from the gushing two-tiered Yosemite Falls, to the pink glow of the wispy Horsetail. With so many picture-perfect angles at the Yosemite National Park, it’s perhaps not surprising that the 13 campsites, RV parks and cabin complexes within Yosemite’s borders have been a long-time favorite with every type of camper in North America.
From hiking in the wild Kentucky forests, to canoeing on the Cumberland River, outdoorsy and family friendly pursuits abound on the banks around the shores of Lake Cumberland itself. From the State Resort Park camping ground, it’s possible to spend a holiday sampling the local culture, exploring the natural wonders around Wolf Creek Dam or fishing on the serene reservoir waters. The facilities are second to none too, with indoor and outdoor swimming pools, tennis courts, games rooms and a number of playgrounds for the kids.
Jutting out into the marine wilds of the Atlantic Ocean, the Island spit of Assateague offers camping families a remote and supremely beautiful stay on the very eastern edges of North America itself. Here, kids can wander their way up the vast white sand stretches, while parents wallow romantically over the evening sunset, choosing between one of the four bay-side and two ocean-side campgrounds on the Island. Guests enjoy drive-in facilities from both sides of the spit, and campsites come complete with drinking water taps, on-site toilets and cold water showers.
The Sawtooth National Forest occupies more than 700,000 acres of wooded terrain in the Rocky Mountain sub ranges of western Idaho. Its vastness encompasses rivers, valleys and soaring peaks where hikers, cyclists, photographers and fishermen have come for decades in search of wild and wonderful escapism. For campers, the array of sites within the region’s borders allow unparalleled access to the wholesome outdoorsy activities on offer, while the Salmon River Campground northeast of Stanley town is hailed amongst the best fishing accommodations on the continent.
Take a closer look at the Sawtooth National Forest:
In the winter the Green Mountain National Forest is one of the most celebrated ski destinations in all of North America, attracting winter sports fans for its abundance of Nordic trails and cross-country routes through the hills. The summer thaw opens up all the 400,000-acre area’s nooks and crannies, allowing kids and parents the run of a land where exploration opportunities abound. What’s more, many of the campsites are within easy reach of New York State, making them something of an accessible option for those driving or coming by bus.
This one boasts perhaps the best location in Utah for families looking to explore the awe-inspiring rock formations of the appropriately-named Arches National Park. Around the well-equipped campsite, which comes complete with fresh water taps, picnic spots and barbeque facilities, the winding trail of Devils Garden takes visitors past no fewer than seven of the state’s most stunning natural protrusions, from the long, thin, gravity-defying Landscape Arch, to the wide, thick, pin-hole of Tunnel Arch.
This one needs no introduction, surely? There’s no gorge in the world that could match the grandeur and majesty of Arizona’s most visited geological wonder, and now it’s possible for families to camp right in its heart, nestled neatly in one of the cultivated campgrounds on the north or south rims. These are noted for their accessibility, and the sites of Mather, Desert View and Tuweep in the north are worthy of note as the only RV-friendly, car-friendly campgrounds on offer in the whole region.
The Bayou Segnette State Park is one of Louisiana’s most famous all-in-one family friendly recreation areas, open for all sorts of visitors, from hikers and bikers, to swimmers and laid-back sunbathers looking to gather a tan. Picnic spots abound, and the park comes complete with a large wave pool, an abundance of freshwater fishing spots, boating routes and plenty of fun-filled playgrounds for the kids. Fees start at around $20 a night, and the on-site ground comes with a capacity of just under 100 tents.
More intrepid families will love the rugged landscape and unbridled adventure offerings of the Glacier National Park. Strewn over the soaring, snow-tipped peaks of Montana State, it is home to over 700 miles of marked mountain trail and a seemingly endless swathe of truly breathtaking American backcountry, where kids and adults alike can find their inner explorer. There are more than 1000 campsite spots available over the Glacier’s 13 grounds, most all of which are organized on a first-come, first serve basis.
This sprawling campground is among the largest in all of North America, encompassing two individual freshwater lakes and a great section of the Oregon coastal seaboard. This all means that its recreational offering is both varied and broad, and it’s possible to do activities like water skiing in the morning and blackberry picking in the afternoon (that is, if the season’s right!). Park facilities include playgrounds and marked out hiking trails, while touring families without the proper equipment are free to rent one of the quirky on-site yurt accommodations.