The snow is finally melting. The flowers and trees are in full bloom. The days are longer and the sun sits higher in the sky.
Springtime is here, which means you can stop hibernating and start planning this year’s camping adventures. Kick off your spring camping season by exploring one of these ten amazing destinations.
Grand Canyon National Park – Arizona
The Grand Canyon always makes the top of the list for prime spring camping. Springtime adds a splash of color to the Canyon, blossoming with pink, white, red, and yellow wildflowers.
Visit March through May to enjoy less crowds, cooler weather, and longer hikes. It’s easier to get a reservation in one of the developed campgrounds earlier in the season, and the park is quieter and more secluded. Less people means a better opportunity to capture your own iconic photos of this natural marvel.
Buena Vista – Colorado
The snow run-off marks the start of the camping season in Buena Vista, Colorado. Known for its world-renowned whitewater rafting, Gold Medal fishing waters, off-roading, and stargazing, Buena Vista is the adventurer’s paradise.
Enjoy the mild climate as early as April, exploring some of most the scenic campgrounds on Chafee County’s public lands. For a truly Western experience, check out Buena Vista’s natural hot springs and historic mines.
Bryce Canyon and Arches National Parks – Utah
Southern Utah is such a spring camping mecca that it’s hard to narrow your visit down to just one park. Fortunately, with only a four-hour drive between them, it’s easy to plan a camping trip to see two of Utah’s natural wonders. Bryce Canyon National Park and Arches National Park are two parks that consistently top travel lists as must-sees.
Spring is a great time to plan a family road trip through Utah’s magnificent parks. The cooler temperatures provide smaller crowds, reduced camping and hotel fees, better campsite availability, and nicer hiking conditions.
Visit in March and April to reap the benefits of early season camping before the crowds rush in. Outfit your car or truck with a complete camping setup to enjoy the calm of the mountains and some of the best stargazing in the country.
Joshua Tree National Park – California
March and April are two of the best months to visit Joshua Tree National Park in California. Mild temperatures, crisp nights, and low humidity provide the perfect conditions for long hikes and sightseeing.
Joshua Tree is known for its beautiful sights wherever you look, from its abundant wildflowers blooming on the ground to the sparkle of stars littering the night sky.
In May, the family-friendly Joshua Tree Music Festival descends upon the park, featuring local artists, musicians, and positivity workshops. Although it may be tougher to find camping in the park, there are many outside options that allow you to cross this destination off your bucket list.
Yosemite National Park – California
Yosemite National Park in Northern California gets a later start on spring, but is well worth the wait. When winter activities end on March 31st, park rangers start working on opening the park for its shoulder season.
April and May are the best months to see the biggest waterfalls and flowing rivers, and enjoy pristine whitewater rafting, thanks to the huge snow-melt. Dogwood trees start to bloom, providing beautiful photo-ops and opportunities to stop and smell the wildflowers.
There are less visitors in the spring, allowing you to enjoy undisturbed hiking trails that have just opened after the winter. Most campgrounds open in April, and you can reserve your site up to five months in advance.
Harriman State Park – New York
Harriman State Park in New York is another great late-spring camping destination, usually open in April. This park is just an hour away from the city, providing an easy escape for northern adventurers.
This park is known for its 31 lakes and reservoirs, and offers amazing, uninterrupted spring fishing and boating. Later in the season, enjoy a hike through the park’s 200 miles of trails, or just relax on one of its popular beaches.
Be aware that with its proximity to New York City, the park’s campgrounds fill up fast.
Myrtle Beach State Park – South Carolina
Myrtle Beach State Park is a great camping destination for those who want to experience the city while being able to come back to a quiet, secluded white sand beach campsite. Known as a popular spring break destination, Myrtle Beach provides many recreational opportunities in the city, from music festivals and art shows, to fairs and attractions.
Spring provides mild weather to enjoy camping along the beach’s shorelines, tucked under the trees. Beach camping is popular with fishermen, who get the best bite early in the morning while watching the sun come up off the coast. Bird watchers flock to Myrtle Beach in the springtime to catch the magnificent sight of migratory birds heading north.
Blue Ridge Parkway – Virginia and North Carolina
The Blue Ridge Parkway is well-known for its beautiful color changes in the fall. If you’ve never been there in the spring, it’s truly a sight to see. Everything becomes green again, a lush landscape set against a beautiful mountain backdrop.
Many of the roads in the Blue Ridge Parkway open as early as March, making it a great destination for your first spring camping trip. There are far less crowds than in the summer, the weather is milder, and you have the opportunity to see young wildlife. Spring is a great time to enjoy undisturbed freshwater fishing and the best access to Parkway campgrounds.
Fort De Soto Park – Florida
Florida is the ultimate place to spring into an early camping season. Fort De Soto Park near Tampa boasts one of the most diverse ecosystems in the state. With milder weather in the spring, Fort De Soto is the perfect place for fishing, paddleboarding, and boating. If you’re an avid bird watcher, you have a chance at a glimpse of over 300 species on the islands.
Fort De Soto has over 200 onsite family camping areas, complete with picnic tables and facilities. Spring is one of the best times to visit, after the winter tourists leave and before the heat of summer rolls in.
Bahia Honda State Park – Florida
Head down to Bahia Honda State Park in the Florida Keys for an even earlier start to your camping season. Enjoy milder temperatures than in the summer and less crowds than in the winter.
The park offers kayak and paddleboard rentals, and features some of the best snorkeling in the country. Bring your boat and launch into stunning crystal clear waters from one of two well-maintained boat ramps. This quiet park fills up quickly, and you may have to reserve your campsite up to a year in advance.
Join the discussion!
Have you camped at one of these amazing destinations? If so, what helpful tips and must-sees can you share with other readers? What are your favorite places to camp in the spring?