The growth of people outdoors over the past two years has been tremendous. People everywhere are going outside and finding the joy that the outdoors can bring. While it has been amazing to meet many new people outdoors, it has made it increasingly difficult to find an open campsite on last minute weekend trip. Here are some tips to help you find a home base while in the great outdoors:
- Plan ahead: The sooner the better for reserving a campsite. High travel weekends get snatched up quick but the sooner you lock in your dates the better. There are a variety of sites to help you along in your dream escape like recreation.org, KOA.com, and campspot.com, which help you identify opportunities.
- Consider the backcountry: Formal sites and electricity are not needed here. Register in advance for the best hikes and selection of sites with the ranger station or the visitor center at the park you are looking to explore
- Check state sites for cancellations: Plans change all the time. Know before you go by checking your local state park reservation systems for anyone that has left you a last-minute opening. A few example state park systems below:
- Get some apps to help you map it out: Hiking is one of the most popular activities to do while you are out exploring. Checkout maps like AllTrails and Gaia to navigate you once your out there and apps like onX Backcountry even have campsites listed out in them.
- Be Prepared for timed entry and fees: Parks had to adapt to the large influx of visitors and a timed entry systems at Acadia (Cadillac Summit Road), Arches National Park, Haleakala National Park, Glacier National Park, as well as others have implemented this. Tickets are very affordable, just be smart and plan ahead.
If you haven’t already considered it, think about a trip in the off season as well. This can open you up to all of the same places, fewer crowds, and a whole new way to see your favorite places outside.
Either way getting outside to see the wonders around you is the best thing you can do this year.