Reader’s Picks: The Best Campsites in America

It turns out you like to camp just as much as we do.


What makes a great campsite is the people you’re sharing it with, and the experiences that you have when you’re out there in the wilderness. But some aspects of a great campsite aren’t as subjective, like a great view, access to outdoor adventure and the surrounding scenery. We asked Gear Patrol readers to weigh in on our list of favorite campsites in America and submit favorites of their own.

We enjoyed reading everyone’s responses, and while we wish we could include them all here, space simply doesn’t allow. As for the three readers who won a copy of Gear Patrol Magazine, Issue One: Congratulations, Kenny Kaiser, Mike Relova and Howard Amundsen. We’ll be in touch shortly.

Bahia Honda, Bahia Honda State Park, Florida Keys

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“Bahia Honda offers modern and primitive camping at the only natural beach in the Florida Keys. It also has one of the last remnants of the old Overseas Highway and one of the deepest natural channels in the Keys.” – Steven Smith

Price Per Night: $38.50
Facilities: Restroom, showers, water hookups
Nearest city: Big Pine Key, FL

Learn More: Here

Staircase Campground, Olympic National Park, Washington

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“Staircase Campground is a few minutes’ drive from Crescent Lake, which is a quintessentially clean, beautiful Pacific Northwest lake. It also has a popular rock jump spot, The Big Rock, a few minutes away, and it sits along Lincoln Creek among old-growth pines.”
Ryan Gil

Price Per Night: $20
Facilities: Flush toilets and potable water late May-late September; pit toilets and no water in off-season
Nearest city: Shelton, WA

Learn More: Here

Great Basin National Park, Wheeler Peak, Nevada

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“At about 10,000 feet elevation and in a remote part of Nevada/Utah, Wheeler Peak is situated in a spectacular setting. The remoteness of Great Basin makes it one of the least visited of the NPs, and frequently this high camp is not full. Try and camp near the spring that runs through the site, which is beautifully relaxing. It is one of the best places in the US to observe the night sky, which you can see best by hiking to the top of Wheeler Peak (13,000+ feet) and to the Wheeler murrain (10,600 feet). It also has the Lehman Caves for seeing stalagmites and stalactites. I could go on, but it is my favorite place to camp, and worth the drive from Lake Tahoe where I live.” – Howard Amundsen

Price Per Night: $12
Facilities: Water
Nearest city: Baker, NV

Learn More: Here

Frisco Campground, Cape Hatteras National Seashore, North Carolina

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“This rarely full campground has campsites scattered throughout the dunes of Hatteras National Seashore with views overlooking rollers coming in off of the Atlantic and Cape Hatteras Lighthouse standing in the distance. It also has direct access to secluded seashore — a rare find on the East Coast — and a plethora of wildlife (deer, rabbits, and geckos wander freely) make this the ultimate Outer Banks experience!” – Christopher Murphy

Price Per Night: $28
Facilities: restrooms, shower, water
Nearest city: Buxton, NC

Learn More: Here

Great North Mountain, Virginia

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“This campsite is secluded in the woods and has a beautiful creek running alongside while offering easy access to multiple breathtaking day hikes, one of which is the six mile climb up to Mount Cammerer. If you are feeling dangerous, then you can take a dip in the creek late at night. You just have to be cautious of the bears!” – Steven L.

Price Per Night: Free
Facilities: Primitive
Nearest city: Wardensville, WV

Learn More: Here

Small Wild Camp, Fiery Gizzard Trail, South Cumberland State Park, Tennessee

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“It has everything. Foster Falls is a nearby waterfall and swimming area as well as some of the best rock climbing in the Southeast. The Small Wild area also offers a great stream right by the campground with abundant clean water. The views are amazing in that area of Tennessee!” – Ben Johnson

Price Per Night: $8
Facilities: Fire ring, pit toilet
Nearest city: Tracy City, TN

Learn More: Here

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