Best National Parks for Camping if You’re a Camping Newb

by Holly Riddle

Sep 15, 2019

The United States comes in fifth, with 2,341 wildlife species and 60 national parks. Only Mongolia bested the United States in terms of world’s oldest national park; the United States founded Yellowstone National Park in 1872. © Kalyan V. Srinivas |

Destinations / North America

If you’re new to the world of camping, you likely don’t want your first camping trip within a national park to take you into the backwoods, where you have no cell phone service, no bathrooms or showers, no contact with the outside world and the possibility of coming face-to-face with a bear or two.


No worries. Not all national parks offer exclusively remote, dangerous wildlife-ridden campgrounds. Many give you great spots to stay where you can still be within reach of modern society and where you can feel totally safe.


Grand Tetons National Park

Grand Tetons National Park gives you stellar views at every single turn. The park includes several beautiful, large lakes where swimming and boating are quite popular in case you need a little recreation during your camping trip. The best part? There’s no need to hike into the wilderness or the mountains to set up your tent. There are camping spots that have access to the waterfront, a general store, restaurant, gas and all the facilities you need. And, if you crave some nightlife or shopping, you’re just a 30-minute drive from Jackson Hole, Wyoming.


Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Stay at the campground closest to the entrance of Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota and you’ll be within sight of the visitor’s center, but still close enough to the vast expanses of the park to spot the occasional wildlife — but no worries, there are no bears here. Instead, you’ll spot a cheerful prairie dog or two (or even more — the park has thousands in residence) and the occasional wild horse.


Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve

One of the smaller spots to visit within the National Park System — at least in terms of its driving loop for curious tourists — Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve features a small campground right in the middle of its rugged terrain. The preserve is well outfitted for travelers, though, and you’ll have no trouble navigating this landscape that looks like, well, the moon.


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