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Favorite Summer Camping Spots

Make time to take in the fresh air and natural beauty of the West's campgrounds.

Dorst Creek Campground in Sequoia National Park.

Ian Shive / Tandem Stock

Editor's note: At press time, the United States was still dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic, and some of the attractions mentioned in this section were shut down. As travel restrictions ease and things reopen, please call ahead to confirm the status and hours for any place you plan to visit.

"Dorst Creek Campground in Sequoia National Park, California, is well designed and offers easy access to the General Sherman Tree, the Giant Forest region, and Moro Rock. This is a true wilderness experience, not a cramped campground." —Don Baker

"The campgrounds along the Oregon Coast are all delightful, but I especially like Umpqua Lighthouse State Park. Take a serene walk through a thick forest surrounding a lake for a completely peaceful experience. A visit to the lighthouse itself is a must." —Gregory Bayol

"Cape Blanco State Park in southern Oregon is a wonderful blend of very clean and private campsites with spectacular history, wildlife, and the rugged Pacific Coast." —Jay Banta

"Of all the campgrounds along California's dramatic Big Sur coastline, Kirk Creek is the most stunning, perched on the bluffs overlooking the Pacific. There isn't a bad site on the grounds. You can take a short, easy trail down to the water or hike up to the mountain ridge on the east side of Highway 1 for a real workout." —Emily Miller

"When I was a child, my family often camped at California's Jumbo Rocks Campground in Joshua Tree National Park. I remember befriending the park rangers, learning about the flora and fauna at campfire talks, scrambling up rocks, and making up names for the surrounding formations. Jumbo Rocks gave me the foundation and love for my career in natural resources." —Elona Lathrop

"We like Madison Campground in Yellowstone National Park because of its easy access to the Madison River, West Yellowstone, Gibbon Falls, Old Faithful, and Canyon Village. Both the northern and southern loops of the park road are easy to reach from this prime location in Wyoming." —Sandra Haak

"Just down the road from the Salt Point State Park in Sonoma County, California, is the smaller Stillwater Cove Regional Park and campground. With just 23 campsites, it's a much quieter spot, but the amenities are all there: showers, flush toilets, and electric outlets in the bathrooms. Breathe in the air—a mixture of sea, moss, and redwoods—and feel rejuvenated." —Stephanie Loney

"Fort Stevens State Park campground is what made us fall in love with Oregon. We camped there for several years before moving to Oregon, and leaving got harder each time until it felt more like leaving home than going home." —Bev Heijn