Interested in off-the-beaten path and lesser-known camping spots in the US? Hidden gem campgrounds give you a creative alternative to overcrowded and overpriced destinations.
In this post we’ll be exploring some of the best camping spots you’ve never heard of – from secluded parks in Croatia to sun-drenched valleys deep in the Smoky Mountains.
- Hidden gems like the Sierra Vista Campground in New Mexico and Many Glacier Campground in Montana offering beautiful views of mountain ranges.
- Discover adventurous getaways such at The Wall campgrounds located outside of Badlands National Park with its 101 single family campsite, incredible views, and diverse wildlife that await you.
- Make magical memories camping out under the stars on a beach side paradise like Alabama Hills Recreation Area or Split Rock Lighthouse State Park near Minnesota’s North Shore where there is an abundance of outdoor activities to experience.
The Best Camping Spots You’ve Never Heard Of: Hidden Gem Camping Spots in the US
Sierra Vista Campground, New Mexico
- Address: Dripping Springs Rd. Las Cruces, NM 88001
- Contact Number: (575) 525-4300
- Number of Campsites: 6 sites, first come, first served.
- Amenities: none available
- Landmarks: Tortuga and Organ Mountains, Desert Peaks National Monument
- Hiking Trails:
- Sierra Vista Trail – 29-miles
Sierra Vista Campground is a dispersed campground located off Drippings Springs Road, just west of the Dripping Springs Natural Area, in the picturesque Gila National Forest of New Mexico. It’s a great starting point for nature lovers to explore the Organ and Tortuga Mountains. Campers may also encounter wildlife like hummingbirds, lizards, and desert tortoises.
This is a truly backcountry camping experience, meaning that while you’ll have more privacy than at an officially managed camping area, but you’ll also need to pack in and out all essential supplies. Reservations are not required for Sierra Vista, and amenities like drinking water, toilets and showers are not available. If you really need to access water and toilet, you can head to the nearby Ramsey Vista Campground.
Many Glacier Campground, Montana
- Address: Many Glacier Road near Swiftcurrent Motor In
- Reservation Number: (877) 444-6777
- Fees: $10 – $23, depending on the season
- Type of Camping: 109 campsites, mostly tent camping with limited RV
- Amenities: Coin operated showers, potable water, flush toilets and trash station
- Landmarks: Glacier National Park, Continental Divide, Swiftcurrent Creek and Lake,
- Hiking Trails:
Many Glacier Campground is located on the East side of Glacier National Park in Montana, and is unique because it sits on the east side of the Continental Divide. Visitors can behold vistas of icy mountaintops and magnificent glaciers. At an elevation of approximately 4,500 feet, the picturesque terrain include rolling hills full of wildflowers and magnificent peaks dotted with snow. Reservations are required.
“The Wall” in Buffalo Gap National Grasslands, South Dakota
In Buffalo Gap National Grasslands, South Dakota lies the “The Wall” Campground – a unique camping spot that is located outside of Badlands National Park. The Wall geological formation is very close to the campground, visitors also get to enjoy all that nature has to offer with nearby attractions such as Church Cave, a place of worship which is made up entirely natural rocks and formations, or Bear Butte Lake – ideal for fishing! Every July “The Wall Celebration” takes place; a family friendly event full of activities like rodeos, dances parades and more.
Alabama Hills Recreation Area, California
- Address: Bureau of Land Management Bishop Field Office, Bishop, CA
- Reservation Number: n/a
- Type of Camping: 83 dispersed campsites
- Amenities: n/a
- Landmarks: Sierra Nevada Mountains,
- Hiking Trails:
The Alabama Hills Campground offers beautiful rock formations and plenty of secluded, primitive camping. Situated within a few miles of Movie Road, this campground provides access to fun activities like rock climbing and exploring Joshua Trees. Operated by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), this campsite does not require reservations, and is first come, first served. There are no amenities provided at this camp, so campers will need to bring all supplies, including water.
Split Rock Lighthouse State Park, Minnesota
Off the beaten path and with extraordinary views of Lake Superior, Split Rock Lighthouse State Park is located on the North Shore of Lake Superior in Minnesota. It provides stunning views of the Lake Superior shoreline, rolling hills, remote bluffs and islands – making it a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts.
There’s 12 miles of hiking trails for adventurers looking to explore further inland or along the lake shores plus plenty of fishing options too! With so much to offer, this breathtaking state park guarantees a truly unforgettable experience for all who visit.
Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado
This national park offers a unique camping in the midst of towering sand dunes. You can hike, sandboard, and stargaze in this surreal desert landscape.
Channel Islands National Park, California
Accessible only by boat or plane, this group of islands off the coast of California offers a peaceful and secluded camping experience. You can explore rugged coastlines, sea caves, and marine life.
Hidden Gem Camping Spots in Canada
Lake Superior Provincial Park, Ontario
This park offers stunning views of the largest freshwater lake in the world. You can camp, hike, and swim in the crystal-clear waters of Lake Superior.
Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland, and Labrador
This UNESCO World Heritage Site offers breathtaking views of fjords, mountains, and coastal landscapes. You can camp, hike, and even explore a glacier.
Hidden Gem Camping Spots in Europe
Europe may be known for its historic cities and cultural attractions, but it also has some hidden gem camping spots.
Jotunheimen National Park, Norway
This park offers some of the most stunning mountain scenery in Europe. You can camp, hike, and ski in this rugged and remote wilderness.
Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia
This park is known for its cascading waterfalls and crystal-clear lakes. You can camp, hike, and even take a boat ride through the stunning natural landscape.
Saxon Switzerland National Park, Germany
Despite its name, this park is located in eastern Germany and offers stunning views of sandstone cliffs, gorges, and forests. You can camp, hike, and even climb in this unique natural landscape.
Hidden Gem Camping Spots in Asia
Khao Yai National Park, Thailand
This park offers a unique camping experience in the midst of lush forests and waterfalls. You can hike, birdwatch, and even spot wild elephants in this protected area.
Yakushima Island, Japan
This island is home to some of the oldest and largest trees in the world. You can camp, hike, and even soak in natural hot springs in this mystical and ancient landscape.
Lake Toba, Indonesia
This crater lake is one of the largest in the world and offers stunning views of volcanic mountains and lush forests. You can camp, swim, and even explore traditional Batak villages in this unique and remote location.
Hidden Gem Camping Spots in Australia
Karijini National Park, Western Australia
This park offers some of the most dramatic and breathtaking landscapes in Australia. You can camp, hike, and even swim in the stunning gorges and waterfalls of this remote wilderness.
Wilsons Promontory National Park, Victoria
This park offers stunning views of rugged coastlines, pristine beaches, and lush forests. You can camp, hike, and even see wild kangaroos and wallabies in this remote and beautiful location.
Kakadu National Park, Northern Territory
This park offers a unique camping experience in the midst of ancient rock art, wetlands, and wildlife. You can camp, hike, and even take a boat ride through this stunning and diverse landscape.
When it comes to camping, there are a variety of hidden and undiscovered gems that will give you an unforgettable experience. Whether you’re looking for pristine backcountry campsites or secret camping hideaways around the world, there’s a hidden treasure waiting to be discovered.