Feel like sprucing up your outdoor getaway? The prominence of swanky camping digs far from the crowds and the pit toilets of public parks has skyrocketed in recent years. San Francisco-based Hipcamp takes the lead when it comes to quality and variety. Many sites are a perfect pandemic solution, too; with top recreational areas canceling reservations to adhere to ever-changing restrictions, private campgrounds remain legally open. Whether you’re looking to haul your own gear to a secluded riverfront spot or snuggle into a chic cabin with a view, these are our favorite Hipcamps for exploring America’s “best idea.”
Acadia National Park, Maine
Off-Grid Oceanfront A-frame Cabin (from $79)
Gaze out at electric pink skies and the occasional bald eagle sighting as the sun sets beyond Taft Point in this wooded, ocean-view cabin, just steps from the rocky shore. Located a quick 15-minute drive to Acadia’s stunning but less-traveled Schoodic Peninsula and 45 minutes from infamous Mount Desert Island, this secluded A-frame has the best of both worlds: solitude and access to the town of Bar Harbor.
Arches National Park, Utah
Cyrus and Atticus Getaway (from $59)
Rise to epic views of Moab’s famous red rocks, plus your very own fire ring and picnic table at this conveniently located tenter’s paradise in eastern Utah. Only nine miles away from the main entrance to Arches, this rustic gem has showers, toilets, and even horseback riding available (for a fee).
Badlands National Park, South Dakota
Camp Red Bear (from $60)
Located in the heart of the Pine Ridge Reservation, 20 minutes from Badlands National Park, this grassy, tree-lined locale is run by a member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe and full of opportunities for cultural learning. Pop your tent or bring a van and enjoy traditional Lakota meals, swimming holes, and guided tours of the reservation.
Big Bend National Park, Texas
Eco-Ranch Sustainable Living Center (from $25)
Marvel at some of the darkest night skies in the world just 25 miles from the entrance to Big Bend. This off-grid, working poultry, goat, and aquaponics ranch has dozens of well-spaced sites gazing out at the vast arroyo, a bathhouse/kitchen with hot showers, and fresh eggs and produce available for purchase. Supernatural seekers won’t want to miss a drive out to the Marfa lights.
Biscayne National Park, Florida
Goats and Ducks (from $40)
Bed down in an orchard of jujube and coconut trees at this quaint family farm that’s perfect for tenters and RVers alike. After hitting Biscayne National Park (a mere 15 miles away), settle into the balmy Florida heat and watch the sunset at camp while playing with the owners’ many baby goats.
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Colorado
Black Burro Ranch (from $35)
Pitch a tent among piñons and junipers, dine al fresco at the wooden picnic table, then gaze up at the night sky from the provided chaise loungers at this rustic, view-filled retreat. A short, 17-mile drive will take you into the craggy Black Canyon of the Gunnison, one of the hidden gems of the Park Service.
Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
Ranchito Feliz (from $40)
With endless views of rust-colored mesas, it’s hard not to fall in love with Ranchito Feliz. Nestled in the middle of Grand Staircase Escalante, these well-spaced sites each have a fire ring and are ideal for tent campers who want solitude while taking in the spiraling hoodoos of Bryce Canyon.
Canyonlands National Park, Utah
View of the Needles Campsites (from $28)
You’ll feel like you’re camping on Mars at this striking, desert campground that’s mere minutes away from the Needles District of Canyonlands. Scramble or hike onto colossal red rocks right out of camp, enjoy the communal bathhouse, and take a hike in the bizarre, maze-like pinnacles inside the national park before cozying up to a crackling campfire. Glamping options also available on site.
Capitol Reef National Park, Utah
Wild n’ Free at Blue Valley (from $15)
Float the Fremont River, explore the Giles ghost town, and enjoy live music on summer evenings. This spot is rustic, dry camping at its finest. Wake up to beige buttes as far as the eye can see before cruising the 27 miles over to Capitol Reef. Red rock fanatics will also want to check out nearby Goblin Valley.
Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico
A True Cold War Relic—Missile Silo (from $85)
If you’re going to get weird in New Mexico, why not kill three birds with one stone? This campsite is literally on the grounds of a 186-foot-deep missile silo and includes an underground tour. It’s also right down the road from freaky Roswell, and convenient enough for a day tour in Carlsbad Cavern’s infamous caves.
Channel Islands National Park, California
Go Back in Time 48 Clipper Trailer (from $145)
Snuggle into a storybook Airstream trailer just a 30-minute drive from the ferry terminal for Channel Islands National Park. This Santa Barbara charmer features not only a kitchen and bathroom, but also a private deck with a gorgeous mountain view. Plus, it’s just five minutes from Hendry’s Beach.
Congaree National Park, South Carolina
HomeStay RV Park and Camping (from $30)
Whether you’re in a tent, an RV, or a van, this grassy, family-run slice of South Carolina charm is the perfect base camp for checking out Congaree (a scant 24 miles away). Fish in their pond, hike the piney trails, or lounge in your hammock among the trees before checking out the park and its 26,276 acres of intact old growth bottomland hardwood forest.
Crater Lake National Park, Oregon
Cozy Mountain Cabin Near Ashland (from $125)
Did someone say outdoor claw-foot bathtub? Soak up some much-needed R&R in this woodsy, tiny cabin that’s about an hour outside Crater Lake. Once you’re done exploring the park’s 90-plus miles of hiking trails, cool down in the creek or kick back on the front deck and warm your mitts by the fire on a pair of crimson Adirondack chairs.
Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio
Shelters at Heritage Farms (from $35)
Ditch the tent and cowboy camp at one of these immaculate, wooden shelters surrounded by a fifth-generation Christmas tree farm. Each structure comes with a matching picnic table, to make food prep a snap. Once you’ve settled in, rent a bike and cruise down the Towpath Trail or meander down the 1.5-mile Brandywine Falls Trail in historic Cuyahoga Valley.
Death Valley National Park, California and Nevada
Death Valley Stargazing Camp (from $42)
Just west of Death Valley’s park boundary are some of the darkest night skies in the country. Far from any big city, this 80-acre desert gem has killer views of Surprise Canyon, spectacular sunsets, and well-spaced sites with fire rings and picnic tables. If you’ve got time, check out the spooky Ballarat ghost town, a short drive away.
Denali National Park, Alaska
Camp in Alaska’s Last Frontier (from $30)
Rather than a traditional B&B, this “full-service lodge in the middle of nowhere” offers a “C&B” special (camp and breakfast), where tenters can sleep on the ground and chow down in the dining hall when morning comes. Though it’s an 80-mile drive to Denali’s entrance, you’ll get to enjoy a slice of real Alaska during your stay here: moose watching and blueberry picking.
Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida
Island Time (from $200)
If you’re a vanlifer or RVer hoping to camp in the notoriously booked-up Florida Keys, then Island Time is the perfect solution. With both 30- and 50-amp hookups, potable water, and campfires allowed, it’s a great spot to relax and soak up some sun before driving down to Key West for the ferry to Dry Tortugas.
Everglades National Park, Florida
Freshgardens (from $50)
Camp in a tropical grove of fruit trees just a ten-minute drive from Everglades National Park’s south entrance. Pick your own electric orange starfruit and pet the owner’s friendly pups before heading into the park to spot alligators and exotic birds. Looking to cool down? The legendary Robert Is Here fruit stand makes the best shakes in town.
Gates of the Arctic National Park, Alaska
Sunny Spruce Homestead (from $15)
Since Gates of the Arctic is surrounded by miles of federal land, you’ll likely be taking a bush plane out of Fairbanks to get there, and this rural homestead full of working sled dogs is a great base camp before a big trip above the Arctic Circle.
Gateway Arch National Park, Missouri
Rustic Roots Sanctuary and Farm (from $15)
Who says you can’t camp in the city? Located only 20 minutes outside downtown St. Louis, this small organic farm is full of friendly animals, picnic tables, and an adorable bathhouse with hot, running water. Be sure to book your tram ticket early if you want to soar to the top of Gateway Arch—they sell out quickly on weekends and during summer months.
Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska
Fort Camp (from $29)
Most tourists begin their journey to Glacier Bay from cruise ship-centric Juneau, but nearby Haines is far artsier and more scenic. At Fort Camp, marvel at striking vistas of the glaciated Chilkat Range, enjoy hot showers and a charging station, and warm up next to a bonfire at night. To get to the park, hop onto the DHC-2 Beaver at Mountain Flying Service and get a bird’s eye view of the enormous rivers of ice.
Glacier National Park, Montana
The Mooseshroom (from $69)
Pitch your tent (or lounge in their tipi) just ten minutes from the west entrance to Glacier National Park. The Mooseshroom is an amenity-rich, adults-only haven for nature lovers who want to enjoy clean, hot showers, a communal kitchen, and s’mores by the campfire after a day spent hiking in the northern Rockies. Be sure to grab a slice of huckleberry pie in town if you visit during the summer.
Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
Cozy AF Transforming Tiny Cabin (from $125)
Cozy AF is the only apt description for this adorable A-frame located 45 miles from the Grand Canyon. An ideal getaway for couples, guests here will enjoy a 100-square-foot tiny house with wraparound wooden deck, stargazing chairs, solar shower, and composting toilet. The property also features tent sites and glamping yurts, well-spaced for all the wild solitude you seek.
Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
Historic Cabin with Pastoral Views (from $110)
Forty minutes from the uber-hip tourist hub of Jackson Hole is a real-deal split log cabin with remarkable views, horse pastures, and a sizzling wood sauna, perfect for those who want to explore Grand Teton but don’t want to stay in the middle of town. Kick back, relax, and enjoy the scenic best of rural Wyoming.
Great Basin National Park, Nevada
Camp on the Range (from $10)
The area surrounding Great Basin is rough, rugged open range with panoramic views of mountains all around, and this dry camp outside tiny Milford, UT is the platonic ideal of the area. A great basecamp for travelers wanting to visit both Zion and Great Basin, campers here can soak up the great, wide open of America and wind down with a campfire after dark.
Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado
Rabbit Hole Ranch (from $36)
Take in 14er Mount Blanca and the tallest dunes in North America from this primitive site that welcomes tent campers and RVers alike. The Sangre de Cristo Range towers over these flatlands, only 40 minutes outside Great Sand Dunes, and while the amenities aren’t many—firewood bundles and a pit toilet—the sunrises and sunsets will have you feeling like you’re on a different planet.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina and Tennessee
Rusty Acorn Farm (from $35)
Sprawl out on 30 acres overlooking the Smokies at Rusty Acorn Farm, a working vegetable and poultry homestead perfect for car campers making their way to Great Smoky Mountains National Park and its 800 miles of trails. Enjoy pristine mountain sightings from the fire pit, a composting toilet, and an outdoor sun shower throughout your stay. If you’re lucky, the hosts might just surprise you with a basket of farm fresh eggs!
Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas
Pristine Chihuahua Desert Plateau (from $28)
Hunt for Texas horned lizards and enjoy the star-spangled bathhouse at this magical, pet-friendly desert wonderland. Though it’s about an hour from Guadalupe Mountains, it earns its spot with unparalleled sunsets and stunning night sky shows.
Haleakalā National Park, Hawaii
9th Wave #OffGrid (from $150)
Tucked into the volcanic slope of 10,023-foot Mount Haleakalā, 9th Wave OffGrid offers nearly everything a Maui camper could ask for: easy access to the national park, enchanting ocean vistas, glamping options, freshly blended smoothies, showers, and wifi. Contact the host to tailor-make your own perfect Hawaii experience.
Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii
Luxury Bamboo/Wood Fired Hot Tub (from $99)
After a day spent hiking and watching the Kilauea eruption at Hawaii Volcanoes, soak those tired bones in a wood-fired hot tub and chill out on the enormous california king bed at this rustic bamboo cabin on the Hilo side of the Big Island. Then, spend a day at the nearby black sand beach, Pohoiki.
Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas
Erwin Estate High Point (from $100)
Simple doesn’t necessarily mean undesirable. This high-in-the-sky tent platform, with a wooden swing and fire pit, offers one of the prettiest views in all of Arkansas, nestled in the foothills of the Ouachita Mountains. An easy 15-minute drive takes you to the national park and its famed Bathhouse Row.
Indiana Dunes National Park, Indiana
Luxury Tiny Beach Cabin (from $100)
This itty-bitty cabin that’s just a block from Lake Michigan is almost too good to be true: a comfy sleeping loft, well-stocked kitchenette, outdoor shower, pillows that say merde, and even a wood-fired hot tub. Oh, and did we mention that Indiana Dunes is just 13 miles away?
Isle Royale National Park, Michigan
The Copper Cabin (from $125)
It’s not only the drool-worthy décor and year-round accessibility that made this cabin our first pick Hipcamp for Michigan, though it has those in spades. Rather, it’s the opportunity to have a true wilderness experience in a comfortable setting that’s amenity-rich, a mile hike in from the nearest road. When visiting the national park, just be sure to book a fare on the Copper Harbor ferry.
Joshua Tree National Park, California
The Desert Pensione (from $79)
By now, it’s a thing of hipster lore to rent a weird little cabin in Joshua Tree, scramble around on nearby boulders, gaze up at the stars, and have a transformative experience. The Desert Pensione offers guests the opportunity to do just that—with a flush toilet, shower, and fire pit to round out your stay.
Katmai National Park, Alaska
Lake Front Mountain View Glamp (from $75)
So much of Alaska is federal land that it can be hard to find a good glampsite. When visiting Katmai, most guests day trip or stay in the park at Brooks Camp, but their base camp before and after the trip is Anchorage. This lakefront Saharan tent is the perfect place to enjoy a warm bed, stunning views, and a bit of classic Alaskan hospitality near town.
Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska
Thumb Cove Campground (from $45)
Though the town of Seward (the hub for all things Kenai Fjords) is severely lacking in traditional Hipcamps, this mountain-lined, boat-in campground just out of the city puts visitors smack dab into the dramatic beauty of Alaska’s southern fjords.
Kings Canyon National Park, California
Downer Ranch Animal Sanctuary (from $54)
Camp among six horses that have free reign of the property (the host will provide you with sugar cubes to win them over) at this idyllic, central California spot that’s only a 30-minute drive from Kings Canyon. Amenities include an enclosed outdoor shower, composting toilet, al fresco eating area, and a BBQ for communal use.
Kobuk Valley National Park, Alaska
Las Cabañas (from $60)
Catch the aurora borealis from your private deck at one of these quaint dry cabins just outside of Fairbanks before catching a bush plane out to Kobuk Valley, the country’s least visited national park. Each casita is situated with a private outhouse, double loft bed, and futon for two.
Lake Clark National Park, Alaska
Tulchina Adventures (from $65)
You won’t find any official Hipcamps in the 200-person town of Port Alsworth, but Tulchina Adventures has all the charm of the best of ‘em. Just a short walk from the airstrip, these four tent platforms are fenced in with mosquito netting and are the perfect basecamp for kayaking around the national park’s massive, namesake lake.
Lassen Volcanic National Park, California
Camp Right Outside Lassen NP (from $30)
Take a polar plunge in Mill Creek, hang your hammock, and gaze out at spectacular sunsets from the adjacent meadow at this tiny, 17-site campground located only 11 miles outside Lassen National Park’s volcanic wonderland. There’s also an adorable, vintage trailer to rent, if you’d rather glamp. Pro tip: sites 6, 9, 10, and 12 do not have grills or fire rings, so plan accordingly.
Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky
In the Corn Fields by the Lake (from $20)
Lay your head to rest at the back of this 60-acre Kentucky farm on the banks of Barren River Lake. Perfect for swimming, paddling, and fishing to cool down on a humid summer’s day, this totally private campsite is a brief, 17-mile drive to Mammoth Cave’s enormous caverns.
Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado
Camp Kush – Tent and Vehicle Sites (from $30)
An ideal spot for vanlifers and car campers alike, Camp Kush is full of rustic, throwback amenities that feel like an adult summer camp: think horseshoes, group bonfires, a community kitchen, and large, outdoor eating area, all just six miles from Mesa Verde. They also put a high priority on radical inclusion. Their motto? “Hippies, freaks, and queers are all welcome here!”
Mount Rainier National Park, Washington
Lake Scanewa Get Away (from $80)
So, it’s a little pricey for a campsite, but this secluded, views-for-days lakefront space is practically perfect in every way (and did we mention it’s pet friendly?). Fish, swim, and boat in the shadow of Mount Rainier before curling up by the fire, feeling a million miles away from anyone else.
National Park of American Samoa, American Samoa
Hipcamp does not currently serve this area.
New River Gorge National Park, West Virginia
The Nut House (from $53)
Snuggle into this tiny wood cabin on a full-sized bed and time travel back to the West Virginia of yore, snoozing on the rustic Adirondack chairs, listening to the crackling of the campfire, and watching herds of sheep saunter by on the adjacent working farm. Not only is the location only 24 miles from New River Gorge, it also boasts a “to-die-for” outdoor hot shower. Tent sites available as well.
North Cascades National Park, Washington
BelFish Farm (from $35)
Deep in the foothills of the Cascades lies a magical, woodsy permaculture farm with epic tent sites and views of Whitehorse Mountain. Want a locally foraged, chef-prepared meal delivered to your tent or a fire-season-safe smores kit? Your wish is their command. Add in the composting toilet and shower and the fact that the campground is about half an hour from the national park, and you’ll be in heaven.
Olympic National Park, Washington
Wild Coast Lookout (from $75)
Tucked underneath the moss-lined trunks of enormous spruce trees are two secluded campsites overlooking the ragged Pacific coast of the Olympic Peninsula. Sunsets are sure to stun here, as are the simple but necessary amenities: fire pits, picnic tables, a toilet, and buy-on-site firewood. Oh, and the Quinault Rainforest is just a short drive away.
Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona
Painted Desert Ranger Cabin (from $43)
After getting transferred away from the park in 2015, Ranger Ross has been letting backcountry campers rent out his off-grid, corrugated metal cabin in the painted desert of Arizona and making them smile ever since. Either a four-mile hike or bumpy, 4WD journey brings travelers to the front door of this completely unique escape, with a queen bed, bathroom, kitchen, and fire pit ripe for star seeking.
Pinnacles National Park, California
Camping in the Meadow (from $50)
The Bar SZ Ranch is a working family ranch just minutes away from Pinnacles National Park in sunny central California. While more stylish glamping options are certainly available on the property, these four grassy meadow tent sites will get you closer to nature and still have access to the property’s seasonal activities, like pig walking, archery, foosball, and roasting s’mores.
Redwood National Park, California
Otter Space Riverview Yurt (from $200)
Set in the verdant Klamath River Valley amidst a backdrop of orchard trees and the blue swerve of the river itself lies a homey, two-story yurt perfect for a fairytale family vacation. The downstairs serves as a kitchen and dining room, while the upstairs offers a lounge area with beds and instruments to play. As if there wasn’t enough to do at camp, the site is a mere hour from the national park. Tent sites are also available at this location.
Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
Bliss Camp Glamping in Shimza (from $150)
Hit snooze in this hand-crafted wooden Gypsy circus wagon situated in the heart of the Rockies. With a comfy bed, seating area, and room for four, the Shimza is just a bit more lux than her cousin next door, the Sapphira. Both have access to a fire pit, communal kitchen, and bathroom and are just 19 miles from the national park.
Saguaro National Park, Arizona
Sadie’s Retreat (from $55)
Convenient to the more scenic western section of Saguaro National Park, Sadie’s Retreat is an excellent family-friendly place to hang your hat in Tuscon, without feeling stuck in urban sprawl. Guests can enjoy yard games under the twinkling fairy lights, cozy outdoor seating areas, a playground, and a soak-worthy hot tub.
Sequoia National Park, California
Vintage Rainbow Garden (from $40)
A self-described “artist/writer/shamanic/Hipcamp retreat,” this 11-foot aluminum trailer for two is one of the coziest ways to hit the hay after a long day’s hike in Sequoia. Campers here have access to a grill and toilet, plus fun extras like a swimming hole (weather permitting) and outdoor reading nooks.
Shenandoah National Park, Virginia
Shenandoah Riverfront Campsite (from $45)
Simplicity is the name of the game at this waterfront, tents-only site that can host up to ten, only seven miles from Shenandoah National Park. You’ll find no real amenities, other than a fire pit, grill, and an epic location. The host also rents kayaks for paddlers looking to splash into the South Fork of the Shenandoah River.
Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota
Quiet Cattle Ranch (from $20)
Take in the colorful sunsets and say hello to a few friendly horses and dogs at this rural retreat set right in the midst of eastern Montana’s grasslands. The sites here are plain, but what they lack in amenities, they make up for in solitude and national park access.
Virgin Islands National Park, Virgin Islands
Hipcamp does not currently serve this area.
Voyageurs National Park, Minnesota
Camping with the Critters (from $25)
Animal lovers, rejoice! These tent and van-friendly campsites sit on a working family farm, where visitors can play with alpacas and do their morning yoga surrounded by playful baby goats. Just under an hour from stunning Voyageurs, the sites also have access to a toilet, fire ring, picnic tables, and a real-deal tire swing.
White Sands National Park, New Mexico
Quail Run Tiny Guesthouse (from $75)
With wild west-inspired design, like rugged wood, corrugated metal, and even a steer skull, this little guesthouse near Alamogordo is just a stone’s throw from White Sands, one of the country’s newest national parks. Nestle into the lofted bed or rinse off with a hot shower after a sunset in the park or toasted marshmallows by the fire.
Wind Cave National Park, South Dakota
Plenty Star Ranch—Tent Camping (from $38)
This adults-only (no children under 12) plot of land in South Dakota’s southern Black Hills is home to shady pines, grassy tent sites, and picnic tables to spare. Though the property has full RV sites and log cabins available, even the simple tent spots have access to refreshing amenities, like a multi-stall shower house, wi-fi, toilet, and communal fire pit. With Wind Cave only nine miles away, you’ll feel like you’re in paradise.
Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, Alaska
Salmon Grove on the Klutina River (from $30)
Cast a line for some famous Copper River Salmon, right from camp, at this small but well-apportioned campground near Wrangell-St. Elias, the largest national park in the country. Coin-operated showers, an outhouse, dump station, picnic tables, and a tackle shop round out the creature comforts here, and guests can avoid the notorious McCarthy Road and shuttle into the park right from Copper Center, if they’d rather avoid the flat tires and bumpy ride.
Yellowstone National Park, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming
The Diamond P Campgrounds (from $35)
Only ten minutes from the west entrance of Yellowstone, this affordable tent and van-friendly campground is set on a working dude ranch and aims to offer a true Big Sky Country experience—mountain vistas, grazing horses, and sites out on the open range. Though it’s not a forested or highly private space, the Diamond P can’t be beat for its ultra-clean porta potties and superior access to the park.
Yosemite National Park, California
Wilderness Bridge (from $130)
Fall asleep under metal arches from a Korean War-era arctic hut just a few miles from Yosemite at this Instagram-worthy salvaged wood cabin. Guests here have access to a composting toilet, hot showers, and a gorgeous dining area near the property’s main farm. Glampers beware: the site requires a 15-minute approach hike before you can snuggle in.
Zion National Park, Utah
Zion on the Green—Bell Tent (from $140)
Have hot breakfast delivered right to your canvas tent door at this spacious bell tent surrounded by striking red rock views. The space is BYOB (bring your own bedding), but the rest of the site’s amenities are truly lux. We’re talking hammocks, hot showers, a swimming pool, and an on-site speakeasy. And, if you’re truly looking for the opposite of “roughing it,” the property also offers plush glamping tent options just nine miles from Zion.