Top 5 summer camping spots in the U.S.

Camping season is here and the great outdoors are calling! We know you’ve received some awesome gear in past Cairn collections, and now it’s time to put it all to use. If you’re looking to change up your camping scenery this summer, we’ve got five epic camping destinations that you’re definitely going to want to include on your bucket list. So stop what you’re doing, call up your adventure buddies, and start planning!

1. North Rim of the Grand Canyon (Arizona)

You’re going to need to make your reservations early for this spot, but boy is planning ahead worth it! Campgrounds at the North Rim are open from May 15, through October 31. Less accessible than the South Rim, the North Rim requires a bit more effort to get to, but as soon as you’re there, you’ll see why it is referred to as the canyon’s “best side.” You can hike, bike or even catch a ride on a mule into what may be the most scenic destination you’ve ever laid your eyes on.

2. Bartlett Cove, Glacier Bay National Park (Alaska)

Ok, adventurers! This one is accessible by foot only. Bartlett Cove in Glacier Bay National Park will get you off the grid and into a pristine wilderness experience. The park itself is mostly water, making it a sport-fisherman and sea kayaker’s paradise. There are also three hiking trails in Bartlett Cove of varying lengths that will require you to get your feet a little muddy, but are totally worth the scrub. Camping permits are free, but are required from May to September. All campers are required to attend a 30-minute camper orientation at the Visitor Information Center to get a permit, and once completed can hike into the campground.

3. Acadia National Park (Maine)

Acadia National Park is located on Mount Desert Island in Maine and is one of New England's greatest gems. In the morning you can get out and hike on one of the many trails in the surrounding mountains, and then take a kayak or canoe out on the water to explore the sea in the afternoon. If you’re a botanist at heart (or in real life), or an avid bird watcher, take a stroll through the Wild Gardens of Acadia where you can experience native plants and birds. Camping reservations are recommended May-October to get a spot at one of the five campgrounds in the Park.

4. Natural Bridges National Monument (Utah)

You don’t have to be an architect to appreciate the beauty of Natural Bridges National Monument. You also don’t have to be an extreme hiker to see these natural formations up close and personal. 👏

Only a short hike in, the Natural Bridges Monument is a must see, and is great for families with small children who don’t quite have their endurance hiking stamina built... yet. You can choose from 13 campsites to stay at year-round, all within a short distance of the natural bridges, making it easy to access these scenic wonders multiple times throughout your stay.

5. Joshua Tree National Park (California)

Yes, we are recommending you to go camp in the desert, but not just any ‘ol desert! Joshua Tree National Park is the meeting place for two very specific desert ecosystems; the Mojave and the Colorado. The park stretches nearly 800,000 acres and encompasses some of California’s most fascinating geologic displays of rock and granite. The 9 campgrounds can be claimed on a  first-come first-served in the off-season of the summer months (June-September), but some do close for the summer months. Remember to double-check online before you go to be sure of which campsites free to use.

Where are you going to make your next camping vacation? Share with us on our Facebook Page or Instagram--and tag #GetCairn or #CairnRocks! Happy adventuring.