20 Most Scenic Places To Go Hiking and Camping in the U.S. For Labor Day

Kayaking on Crescent Lake

Labor Day is just around the corner, and if the idea of breathing in fresh air stirs up joy, you’re reading the right article. Here are 20 beautiful places to go hiking and camping across the U.S.

1. Assateague, Maryland

Wild horses of Assateague Island National Seashore

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You’ll find wild horses aplenty in this Maryland national seashore. The site offers over 30 miles of shoreline as it is Maryland’s only oceanfront national park. Enjoy fishing, crabbing, kayaking, and suntanning while wild horses keep you company.

2. Badlands National Park, South Dakota

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Rock formations jet thousands of feet into the sky, and buffalo roam through the park, unaware and inattentive toward the human visitors hiking and setting up camp.

Stargazing in the middle of a South Dakota park with fewer people around you leaves you in a more spiritual zone and meditative state.

3. Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada

Amazing colors and shape of the Fire Wave rock in Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada, USA

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Similar to the Badlands, bright red rocks grace the scenery, evoking wonder in visitors. However, this park isn’t reduced to just red rock.

Green limestone and white rock share the space, along with the infamous red-orange sandstone, and throughout the park, the rocks split into various formations, doubling as the perfect spot for pictures. Keep an eye out for coyotes, eagles, and bighorn sheep as they navigate the premises.

4. Denali National Park, Alaska

Early morning view of Mount Denali, the tallest peak in continental North America. One of those rare moments when the peak is not covered in clouds.

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Alaska hosts some of the most stunning scenery and wildlife in the United States. From bears catching their salmon for lunch to Moose wading through water, you won’t run out of eye-catching scenery while camping in Denali. The expanse of land offers acres for camping, hiking, and camping.

If you want to catch a glimpse of the northern lights, schedule camping between August and April.

5. Caladesi Island, Florida

Island. Panorama of Caladesi Island State Park or Clearwater Beach Florida. Blue-turquoise color of salt ocean water. Gulf of Mexico. Spring break or Summer vacations in USA. Aerial view

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Caladesi Island sits about 30 miles West of Tampa and is accessible only by boat. Here visitors will find crystal-clear water and dazzling white sand beaches.

6. Grand Canyon, Arizona

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You can’t have a hiking or camping list without one of the natural wonders of the world. The spectacle attracts millions of visitors annually. Besides a spectacular sunrise and sunset, the Grand Canyon offers white water rafting, mule rides, hikes, and rock climbing.

7. Jedediah Smith Campground, California

A man passing a bride in Jedediah Smith Campground.

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Looking for a redwood reserve spanning acres of land? Look no further than Jedediah Smith Campground. The California campsite encompasses 45% of all California’s redwoods and invites visitors to marvel at the tranquility of the outdoor world. Admire the redwoods or take a look underwater while snorkeling in the Smith River.

8. Adirondack Mountains, New York

Beautiful Lake Placid in New York State’s Adirondack Mountains

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Breaths of crisp mountain air fill your lungs every day in the Adirondack mountains. Head over in the fall to witness the transformative stages of the trees changing colors, drive up in the winter to speed down the slopes, or hike up the mountain in the summer. Camp year-round in the six-million-acre mountains.

9. Catskill Mountains, New York

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The Catskill Mountains lie in southeastern New York State. This area is known for its rich wildlife and hiking and biking trails. It also offers opportunities for rock climbing and abundant lakes, ponds, creeks, and streams for those with water adventures in mind.

10. Boundary Waters Canoe Area, Minnesota

Boundary Waters Canoe Area

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On the border of Minnesota and Canada sits the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. One commenter says this campground is “absolutely the most beautiful park I have ever been to.”

A major positive is that no motorized vehicles are allowed, so the park is as it was one thousand years ago. They add, “The water is so clean you can drink straight from the stream.”

11. D.L. Bliss Campground, Lake Tahoe, California

Lake Tahoe

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D.L. Bliss Campground is located on the southwest side of Lake Tahoe in California. According to one avid camper, it has fantastic campsites that offer tons of shade and excellent bathrooms. In addition, it is just a 15 minute drive from town and has a decent lake view.

12. Panther Flat Campground, California

Smith River NRA California

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Panther Flat is the largest and most popular campground in the Smith River National Recreation Area (NRA), with 38 campsites. It is located on a flat about 50 feet above the Middle Fork of Smith River in California.

One happy camper claims they are “pretty fond of” this place and have gone several times.

13. Kalaloch Beach Campground, Washington

Kalaloch Beach Campground

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The perfect Kalaloch getaway is different for everyone. Some prefer the coziness and sense of community in the Main Lodge. Others prefer the relative privacy of the cabins – perfect for family outings or romantic getaways. You can find pristine Pacific beaches, a marine sanctuary, miles of hiking trails, and the lush, temperate rainforest that makes the Olympic Peninsula in Washington so special.

An outdoorsman that highly recommends it here says, “I appreciate that they’ve designated a bunch of sites as non-reservation walk-up sites,” before adding that it has a downside. “It’s a typical national park-developed campground.”

14. Bruneau Sand Dunes, Idaho

Bruneau Sand Dunes

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With one of the longest camping seasons in the Idaho Parks system, Bruneau Dunes State Park offers camping opportunities throughout the year. Explore the dunes in your hiking boots or rent a sandboard from the Visitor Center, but off-road vehicles are only permitted on the main road.

Doesn’t sandboarding sound fun?

15. Big Basin Redwoods State Park, California

Big Basin Redwoods State Park

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Established in 1902, Big Basin Redwoods is California’s oldest state park. Its biggest attractions are its ancient coast redwoods. It is just one and a half hours from San Francisco. The park also offers spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean, many babbling brooks, and fascinating natural history.

16. Mount Tamalpais State Park, California

Mount Tamalpais State Park

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Just north of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, one of the most visited national parks in America, Mount Tamalpais State Park is in the heart of Marin County, California. Its deep canyons and sweeping hillsides are cloaked with cool redwood forests, oak woodlands, open grasslands, and sturdy chaparral.

This state park has great cycling, hiking, and walking trails and is close to Stinson Beach. No reservations are allowed, however, so be aware of that.

17. French Broad River Campground, North Carolina

French Broad River near Asheville

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The French Broad River Campground is located in Asheville, North Carolina. Several campers say it is a small, family-owned business with attentive and responsive customer care. The campsites are right on the French Broad River and are roomy and clean.

18. Buffalo National River, Arkansas

Buffalo National River

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Hailed as one of the last undammed rivers in the U.S., visitors can camp and hike in the remote wilderness areas of the Ozark Mountains. There are a lot of cool things to do outdoors in Buffalo National River, which is managed by the National Park Service.

19. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

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Check out the Thurston Lava Tube, Hōlei Sea Arch, or Pu’u Loa Petroglyphs. If you live on “The Big Island” or are visiting for vacation, exploring this national park should be high on your list. There are two campgrounds visitors can drive to.

20. Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee and North Carolina

A single shaft of golden dawn sunlight illuminates autumnal ridges and valleys in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

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The best part about Tennessee is the scenery. Sure, the food is excellent, and the activities are endless. Still, nothing beats waking up to the possibility of a black bear strolling through your yard, blossoming trees dotting your land in the spring, or peering out from your cabin and seeing families of deer frolicking through the snow.

You can’t beat a Smoky Mountain sunrise either; the sun splashes through each tree, casting a serene purple, pink tone through the mountains and painting the sky with majestic hues. The sunsets are even better.

Nature Lovers Love These 15 Best National Parks in the U.S.

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It’s such a long list of sites; how do you decide which ones to see or which is the best national park for your specific trip? We’ve got you covered with a list of the most visited national parks, why you need to visit, and what to expect when you do!

Nature Lovers Love These 15 Best National Parks in the U.S.

Once is Not Enough: 15 Destinations Travelers Want to Visit Again

Tourist man with hat riding on camel background pyramid of Egyptian Giza, sunset Cairo, Egypt.

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Even though there are 193 countries and two independent nations, some destinations keep calling us back time and time again. Whether because of the people, the food, or the beautiful views, there are some places travelers always return to.

Once is Not Enough: 15 Destinations Travelers Want to Visit Again

A Guide to National Parks in Utah: An Adventure of a Lifetime

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With their beautiful red rocks and flowing blue rivers, the national parks in Utah have made names for themselves as some of the most stunning landscapes in the country. Hike, mountain bike, whitewater raft, or simply drive your way through the state’s five beautiful national parks – also known as “Utah’s Mighty Five.”

A Guide to National Parks in Utah: An Adventure of a Lifetime

Travel Experts Share the 27 Best National Parks in the USA For Your Next Road Trip

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We’ve rounded up the best national parks in the USA from travel experts who share the top things to see and do at each destination. Read on to start planning your next national park road adventure.

Travel Experts Share the 27 Best National Parks in the USA For Your Next Road Trip

15 of the Weirdest Things People Have Ever Eaten While Traveling

shocked woman stunned wow

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There are many weird and wonderful things to experience while traveling, especially regarding food.

It’s always good to try something new, and below are 15 foods that travelers have tried and tested.

15 of the Weirdest Things People Have Ever Eaten While Traveling

Where indicated, some images courtesy of Depositphotos.com.

Source: Quora

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Gabrielle Reeder and Tessa Smith

1 Comment

  1. William B Randall on June 19, 2023 at 12:04 pm

    These scenic places are incredible…I’ve been

    to a few.

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