If you have dreamed about getting away from it all, there is nothing more satisfying than going back to nature. It’s like stepping back in time, awe inspired by mountain vistas, babbling brooks, and breathtaking canyons.
Far from the sirens, honking cars, spreadsheets and the 9-5 day, wilderness camping lets you forget all of it for the weekend. I’ve gotta tell you, the backwoods and the solitude it bring stays with you for a lifetime.
Make your next outing a wilderness camping adventure. Follow along and discover some of the greatest wilderness camping spots in the United States.
Once you get the itch you will discover you are already planning your next trip.
1. Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah
A high, rugged and remote region, the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument needs to be on your wilderness camping bucket list! This spectacular park is divided into three regions: the Grand Staircase, the Kaiparowits Plateau and the Canyons of the Escalante. With almost 2 million acres to explore, the Monument will provide virtually endless discoveries of southern Utah canyons, cliffs and plateaus.
2. The Frank Church-River of No Return, Idaho
Boasting one of the deepest gorges in North America, The Frank Church-River of No Return is a wilderness retreat not for the faint of heart. Be prepared for a wilderness of steep, rugged mountains, deep canyons, and wild, whitewater rivers.
3. John Muir Trail, California
With some of the finest mountain scenery in the US, the John Muir Trail includes thousands of lakes, canyons, and granite cliffs. The trail is 211 miles long and runs from Yosemite Valley to Mt Whitney, in California.
4. Everglades National Park, Florida
Forget the car, the 47 back country campsites are only reachable by kayak, canoe or motorboat. The “river of grass” will place you among the habitat of turtles, herons, alligators, crocodile, manatee, and the elusive Florida panther!
5. Glacier National Park, Montana
Open year-round, Glacier National Park has many backcountry opportunities, boasting over 700 miles of trails. Straddling the border between British Columbia and Montana, experience spectacular mountain ranges, numerous lakes and streams, abundant wildlife. Did I mention glaciers? The hardest decision will be whether to go in the summer or winter!
6. Pisgah National Forest, North Carolina
Often call the “Land of the Waterfalls”, the Pisgah National Forest, offers hundreds of trails to whet your wilderness appetite. At 500,000 acres, the Pisgah National Forest is divided in 3 regions. The Pisgah District includes Sliding Rock, Looking Glass Rock, and Graveyard Fields. The Appalachian District includes the Appalachian Trail. The Grandfather District encompasses Linville Falls, and the Linville Gorge Wilderness Area.
7. Denali National Park, Alaska
Denali, also known as Mt McKinley and “The Great One” is the true draw of this incredible National Park. Wildlife is nothing like you see anywhere else, including grizzly bears, wolves, Dall sheep, caribou and moose. Over 6 million acres in size, Denali will continue to offer new exploration opportunities every day. There are 6 main park campgrounds, 3 that are for tent camping only, Sanctuary, Igloo Creek and Wonder Lake.
8. Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Michigan
The old growth forests, pristine rivers, and amazing waterfalls make up one of the few remaining large wilderness areas in the Midwest. Nicknamed the “Porkies”, the Porcupine Mountains located on the shores of Lake Michigan support black bear, deer, timber wolves, river otters and even moose. Visit all year round and travel back in time through this untouched national beauty!
9. Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
What would a top wilderness list be without including Colorado and the Rocky Mountains? From easy day hikes to extended wilderness camping, Rocky Mountain National Park has it all. Around every turn you will be greeted by spectacular scenery, including wildlife, majestic mountains, and beautiful waterways.
10. Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
If Wyoming makes you think cowboys, it’s time to broaden your horizons! Grand Teton National Park has hundreds of hiking trails, so you are sure to find the best spot to be in awe of the scenery. Chains of crystal clear lakes hug the mountain ranges and are home to moose, elk, deer, beavers, trumpeter swans, sandhill cranes, Canada geese, and ducks.
11. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
Best known for Old Faithful, Yellowstone National Park has a wilderness adventure for everyone. Sitting on top of active volcanic ground it is home to a large wildlife population. 1200 miles of hiking trails and over 300 backcountry campsites allow you to explore nature untouched and pristine.
Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
Likely the most recognizable natural tourist attraction, Grand Canyon National Park is beyond spectacular. The canyon is 277 miles long and is often considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The park has three backcountry campgrounds: Bright Angel, Cottonwood, and Indian Garden. Only accessible by trails, you will need to bring everything with you, there are no facilities whatsoever. This is primitive wilderness camping at its best!