Summer brings plenty of sunshine, clear blue skies, and good weather, making it a perfect time to go for a camping trip. As much as you will be forced to forego some luxuries, camping provides an opportunity to explore different ecosystems, exercises your body, rejuvenate your mind and overcome new challenges. Whether you are seasoned adventurer or you are someone who recently took up camping as a hobby, your options are almost endless when it comes to camping destinations. With that said, here are some of the best places around the globe.
Glacier National Park
With over 700 miles of hiking trails traversing glacier-carved peaks, lush alpine meadows, and deep valleys, Glacier National Park remains one of the best camping grounds for outdoor adventurers. Even if you go for a backpacking trip, you can spend the entire summer in this place and you will not explore all the beautiful sites that this site offers. As much as weather conditions vary from year to year, the best time to visit the Glacier National Park is from July to September. It’s important to note that the backpacking season in this national park is quite short since most of the high elevation trails are filled with snow almost the entire year. If you want to enjoy the glaciers up close, then you should visit during the last weeks of summer, which is late August or early September. With 65 campgrounds and more than 200 campsites, you will have plenty of options to choose from. What makes this park one of the best campsites in the world is its enchanting beauty. Besides, you can engage in activities like rafting, cycling, hiking, and backpacking. Hiking provides one of the best ways of exploring this park. Whether you are going alone, with your family or with friends, you can rest assured that you will have a great time camping in the Glacier National Park.
Valle De Cocora
Cocora Valley or Valle de Cocora, as it’s locally called is a renowned coffee growing region in Salento Colombia. It’s also one of the most stunning places for hiking and camping in Colombia. Here, you will find unique wax palms, which are over 60 meters high, nestled in its lush, rolling hillsides. You can rent a car or a public jeep from Salento to Cocora Valley. You can also opt for a private car, depending on your preferences. As much as Cocora valley might not offer you a multi-day trek, camping for several days will give you an opportunity to explore this area more. You should check out the Finca Primavera – a private mountain hut, where you can have a meal as you explore the surroundings. Camping and hiking in the Valle de Cocora will give you a chance to enjoy the beauty of nature and discover lots of waterfalls, beautiful trees, rivers, and lakes. The landscape itself is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful that you will ever lay your eyes on. Considering that this area is more of a cloud forest, it tends to be rainy almost the entire year. The best time to visit is from June to September and December and February when the trails are less muddy.
Renowned for its world-famous wildebeest migration, Masai Mara is a popular camping destination, featuring sprawling savanna grasslands, plenty of rivers, and lots of different wildlife. The best time to visit this park is from mid-June to October, during the wildebeest migration. The high season is from November to February while the shoulder season runs from March to May. As much as the March to May season is quite rainy, you will not encounter as many people as you would, if you visit during the peak season. The Masai Mara triangle has 3 public campsites and several private ones. The public campsites are allocated on a first come first serve basis. However, it’s important to note that there are no facilities in the public campgrounds. Therefore, make sure you carry your own supplies, including firewood. Regardless of the season that you visit, you can always catch the big cats, antelopes, hyenas, and zebras. If you’ve always wanted to go for an adventure camping safari, then a trip to Masai Mara should be in your bucket list.
Lake District National Park
With its sparkling blue lakes, shadowy ridges and shimmering meadows, the Lake District National Park offers a scenic and beautiful landscape, making it one of the most popular national parks in the U.K. Every year, this park attracts over 15 million visitors, who come to camp, hike, backpack and explore the region’s beauty. In 2017, it was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as recognition of its one of a kind, hill-farming culture. When camping in the Lake District National Park, make sure you check out the following areas:
- Scafell Pike: If you intend to do some hiking during your camping trip, then you should plan to tackle this mountain. Most people start hiking at Wasdale Head. As much as the route is hard and steep, it should be within your reach if you are a moderately fit hiker. Make sure you carry proper gear, including a map, a raincoat, water, enough food, and high-quality hiking boots.
- Grizedale Forest: This forest has seven cycling trails and nine hiking trails that you can explore. Some trails are easy while others are technical. Therefore, ensure you choose one that suits your skills and capabilities. Along the way, you will come across over 40 outdoor sculptures concealed in the undergrowth. These sculptures have been around since 1977.
- Dove Cottage: Located in Grasmere, the Dove Cottage is a creeper-clad, tiny cottage, which was previously a pub known as the Dove & Olive Bough. Its tiny rooms are filled with artifacts belonging to William Wordsworth, who stayed at this cottage between 1799 and 1808.
Apart from the above 3 locations, you should also check out the Honister Slate, Borrowdale, and Buttermere, the Hilltop as well as the steam yacht gondola in Coniston. Just like its name suggests, this area is full of lakes such as the Wast Water, which is the deepest lake in England, Lake Buttermere, and Ullswater, Derwentwater, just to name a few. The Lake District National Park has some of the best hiking trails in the world. Choosing which one to explore is not always easy since you will have so many options to consider.
Also known as, Itsukushima, Miyajima is a beautiful island in the western part of Japan, famous for the floating Torii Gate. It’s a great place to spend your holidays, where you can camp, hike, eat delicious food, or just relax and enjoy this beautiful island. During your stay on this island, make sure you check out the Itsukushima Shrine, the Daisho-in Temple and the Five-Story Pagoda. You can also explore some hiking trails around Mount Misen. As much as you can visit this island at any time of the year, spring and autumn are usually the best time to visit. Temperatures are comfortable, whether it’s summer or winter. However, the trees are bare in winter, which means you might not experience the whole island ambiance during this time of the year. Cherry blossoms are plentiful during spring while autumn is filled with colorful trees. There are plenty of restaurants around the area, where you can enjoy a delicious lunch or dinner.
Haleakala National Park
If your idea of fun includes spending a day in the wilderness, watching stars, and interacting with nature, then you should go for a camping trip in the Haleakala National Park. You can either opt for the drive-up camping locations or wilderness camping. The drive-up camping locations are equipped with picnic tables, BBQ grills as well as pit toilets. However, there is no gas, showers or food. Therefore, ensure you prepare accordingly and carry the necessary supplies. You don’t need any permits to use the drive-up camping locations. For wilderness camping, you will have 3 sites to choose from. Permits will be required for the wilderness camping spots. While camping at Haleakala National Park, make sure you explore Summit district and Kipahulu district. The Summit district offers scenic sunset and sunrise observation points. Also, there are several hiking trails that you can tackle. Kipahulu district, on the other hand, features plenty of waterfalls, rainforests, as well as ancient Hawaiian cultural sites. If you are lucky, you might see some humpback whales, dolphins and sea turtles as they frolic in the surf. If you are an RV camper, you should leave your rig on the mainland and then take a flight to the islands. Once you are there, you can then choose how you wish to spend your time.
Corcovado National Park
Regarded as one of the most diverse areas in the world, the Corcovado National Park is home to 13 different ecosystems, from palm groves and mangrove swamps, lowland forests to rainforests. This park is also home to over 1000 species of animals and plants, making it a great outdoor destination for nature lovers. It encompasses over 8,200 marine acres and 105,000 acres, making it the largest national park in Costa Rica. Permits go for $15 per person for non-citizens and they must be reserved in advance. Also, visitors to this park must be accompanied by a licensed guide. The best time to visit this park is between January and April – during the dry season. Some of the most common animals that you might come across during your camping excursion include sea turtles, anteaters, jaguars, sloths, over 220 species of butterflies, snakes, tapirs, and monkeys, just to name a few. From kayaking to hiking, bird watching to swimming, the Corcovado National Park is without a doubt a hiker’s dream.
From golden sandy beaches to rolling savannah grasslands, huge mountains to enchanted islands, there is a world of beautiful and unique wilderness areas for you to explore. Regardless of whether you choose to go for your camping trip in Asia, Africa, Europe, or South America, always make sure you are adequately prepared, obtain the necessary permits, and most importantly, take good care of those ecosystems.