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21 Incredible Spots For The Ultimate Camping In Winter Experience: USA.

 

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winter camping

Camping in Winter? Winter Camping in the USA? Are you crazy?!! Well….read on.

If you love camping, don’t let the thought of snow-covered tents, frosty weather, and the idea of spending your days crouched inside a thermal sleeping bag deter you from going camping. Head South and you’ll find absolutely perfect spots to bask in the great outdoors. But then again, maybe you’re not like me and the thought of three feet of snow and temperatures in the single digits doesn’t deter you from enjoying outdoor winter activities. Either way, here we’re highlighting the best spots for camping in Winter in the U.S.

The first thing you need to do is decide what kind of camping experience you want – warm or cold? We have you covered for both, read on for our top picks for winter camping. I’ll tell you now that I’m not a huge fan of cold weather and winter conditions in general. Maybe because I’m from Nebraska and have had enough cold and snow!! Cold temperatures and deep snow aren’t to my liking. So the best places to me for winter camping are where it’s warm: Florida, California and Arizona — that’s why you’ll see a lot of those states below!

 The Everglades National Park, Florida

With temperatures rarely below 50 degrees here, the Everglades is a super popular destination for winter camping and a good option for those colder months up north. Just head south!. And because the park is so large (over 1.5 million acres!), popular doesn’t necessarily mean crowded. Check out Long Pine Key or Flamingo Camp Ground within the park for tent and RV camping. Join a kayaking expedition and paddle your way along slow-moving rivers as you take in breathtaking views of the lush forest, shallow waterfalls, and mangrove jungles. If you are a wild camper, you will need to get a backcountry camping permit.

 Joshua Tree National Park, California

Just two hours from Los Angeles, this national park attracts a lot of campers during the winter season because of it’s perfect warm weather. That alone makes it a perfect spot for camping in the winter. Don’t expect to find much snow here. You’ll be spending your camping moments under the open skies as there is very little vegetation, save for the spiky trees that gave the park its name.

 Grand Canyon, Arizona

Camping in winter is not for the faint of heart, that’s true! But if you’re up for an adventure, camping in the Grand Canyon in the winter offers a lot of fun and adventure. Specifically, the South Rim is open and you’ll experience all the wonders of the Grand Canyon without the crowds! Enjoy peace and tranquility in nature’s beauty here. The Grand Canyon is a little slice of winter heaven. Just make sure to bring your cold-weather camping gear and a good heat source. Also make sure you have good base layers of clothing and an extra pair of gloves and boots.

woman sitting on rock camping in winter

Catalina Island, California

The rocky Mountains, jugged cliffs, sprawling landscape, and serene, isolated beaches that are characteristic of Catalina Island will lure you into a unique world of outdoor beauty. Check out Two Harbors Camp Ground on the island for tent and cabin camping in a beautiful spot overlooking the Pacific. With average highs in the 60’s, Catalina Island is a perfect December camping spot.

 Padre Island, Texas

Just 30 miles north of the Mexican border lies this 70 miles expanse with campgrounds that operate throughout the year. If you want to go camping in the winter season but don’t want to deal with cold conditions hand melting snow, book your spot in advance. Padre attracts a lot of people looking for fun in the sun…plus the beach isn’t bad either

Just 30 miles north of the Mexican border lies this 70 miles expanse with campgrounds that operate throughout the year. If you want to go camping in the winter season here, book your spot in advance as the place attracts a lot of people looking for fun in the sun and beach activities!

grand teton national park, wyoming, america

Monument Valley, Arizona

The Monument Valley Navajo tribal park is another amazing winter camping destination for outdoor lovers who are looking for warm weather. It stretches for 92,000 acres, straddling the borders of New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah. You’ll find campgrounds scattered across the park. If you want to go primitive camping, you can obtain a permit and find a spot to pitch your tent.

San Diego, California

San Diego also experiences mild weather during winter months, making it a popular camping destination. The coastline is full of outdoor beauty and plenty of scenic drives await if you want to get away from the camp site for a while. Many campers like the Santee Lakes recreation preserve which offers amenities. From here, you can explore Balboa park or visit other popular attractions in San Diego.

 Clearwater, Florida

I love Florida! Gulf or Atlantic, I’ll take either. Clearwater, on the Gulf side, is home to beach camping at its best. Take a stroll on the beach before breakfast and catch some rays after lunch. Fort DeSoto Park offers prime beach camping with over 100 campsites equipped with water and electricity. The resort also offers super cool hitch top tents for rent — for an elevated experience!! This is my kind of camping.

Carlsbad, New Mexico

While the weather in New Mexico in winter isn’t exactly warm, it’s much better than many areas of the United States. I consider the weather to be warm-ish and it’s ok for a camping trip! December highs average in the 50’s, so as long as you’re layered up, you’ll be fine! At Brantley Lake State Park you’ll be minutes away from Carlsbad so you can enjoy exploring the caverns. The park itself is one of the premier state parks in New Mexico and offers a ton of activities including great camping and magical night skys!

winter camping rv

Mojave National Preserve, California

Located between Las Angeles and Las Vegas, this 1.8 million park offers desert serenity amongst the backdrop of the canyons and mesas. Winter camping here, and particularly camping in December is an opportunity to relish the quiet beauty of the wilderness. Try the Hole In The Wall Campground for modern camping.

Siesta Key, Florida

Located off the southwest coast of Florida, near Sarasota, Siesta Key is a near perfect spot to do some winter camping. The mild temperatures don’t get much better than those you’ll find in Florida. Even December camping is comfortable with average highs in the mid 70’s. Try Turtle Beach campground for a great spot with direct beach access! I think Florida in February or March is the best way to experience camping – you’re just not going to run into many harsh conditions. And, I really like the idea of Siesta Key because there’s so much around to do and you can take a lot of day trips.

Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Arizona

Located on the Mexican border, this Sonoran desert gem is loaded with hiking trails, scenic views and the peace of the desert. Here you can relish in the perfect peace and tranquility that the winter months offer. It goes without saying that you’ll have much fewer people to deal with and can roam around the park to your heart’s content. The park service went all out in their design of the Twin Peaks Campground with equestrian trails, beautiful campsites and different ranger programs that allow you to learn about this beautiful area.

best winter camping arizona

Death Valley, California

The largest national park outside the state of Alaska, Death Valley is probably not the best place to go when Summer temperatures hover near 120 degrees, but Winter weather is nearly perfect for camping in Death Valley. Try Furnace Creek Campground for tent camping inside the park. Death Valley is a perfect winter camping spot!

Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada

Nevada’s oldest state park, Valley of Fire is only 50 miles from Vegas but feels like a whole other world. Get ready to be wowed by the rocky wilderness of this southwestern U.S. state park. Valley of Fire is world renowned for its geological wonders and is not to be missed. The park offers two campsites and RV camping.

Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Mesa Verde is the place for stunning southwest scenery and to check out the history of the Pueblo Indians who inhabited the are for hundreds of years. A visit in early winter will be super comfortable and way less crowded than the Summer months. You’ll have decent weather but could still definitely have cold nights and cold days for that matter! Make sure you take the right gear to be comfortable and safe! And it’s always (obviously) a good idea to check the weather forecast. Morsefield Campground, within the park is a good place to camp and has over 250 campsites and is open thru early October.

colorado, mountains, landscape

Key West, Florida

For spectacular Winter camping, head south to the Florida Keys. We like to drive the entire overseas highway and eventually end up in Key West. In Key West, you can have the best of both worlds. Spend your days exploring the outdoors and then hit the streets of Key West if you want a little night life. Try Boyd’s Key West Campground for awesome tent and RV camping.

Cumberland Island, Georgia

Winter camping isn’t only reserved for the states of California and Florida. Venture to Georgia and Cumberland Island for something different this winter. The largest barrier island off the Georgia coast, Cumberland Island offers pristine campground in a gorgeous setting along with one of the very few places to see wild horses in the United States! Temperatures in winter months, including December, are mild, with highs in the 60’s. You’ll find camp sites throughout the island and wilderness camping is also allowed.

Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida

Florida seems to be the haven for winter campers and the Dry Tortugas is another amazing winter camping destination for warm weather lovers. Dry Tortugas offers one of the absolute most unique camping experiences in the country and camping there in winter is a perfect time. The waters are crystal clear and incredible.

Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

It won’t be warm, but it will be beautiful! The Grand Tetons will offer secluded and unspoiled nature during the winter months but you better be prepared for cold weather and probably heavy snow! In a place like Grand Teton during the winter you’ll need to be ultra prepared for adverse winter conditions. So make sure you have all the essentials including plenty of layers and extra everything. You’ll need really good, waterproof outer layers, too. Camping in the backcountry is allowed, but you have to get a permit. If this is your first rodeo, take extra precautions to make sure you have all your gear and know what you’re doing! Maybe try car camping or van camping. Or, you can opt for plusher accommodations within the park like at Jackson Lake Lodge and you’re pretty much guaranteed a good night’s sleep.

Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

It won’t be warm, but it will be beautiful! The Grand Tetons will offer secluded and unspoiled nature during the winter months but you better be prepared for cold weather! Camping in the backcountry is allowed, but you have to get a permit. If this is your first rodeo, take extra precautions to make sure you have all your gear and know what you’re doing! Or, you can opt for plusher accommodations within the park like at Jackson Lake Lodge.

grand teton national park campingwyoming, america

Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado

Believe it or not, this park in Colorado is actually home to the tallest sand dunes in North America! Located in the southern half of Colorado, just 35 miles north east of Alamosa, Great Sand Dunes National Park offers camping in a truly unique atmosphere. The Pinon Flats campground within the park is open through October.

Hot Springs, Arkansas

Don’t overlook the state of Arkansas for great winter camping. Hot Spring National Park, the oldest national park in the country, offers pristine camping, even in the month of December! Gulpha Gorge Campground offers year round campingand mild temperatures. If there is a chill in the air, you’ll have the heavenly springs nearby so you can take a soak and warmup! Also, take in the more than 30 miles of hiking trails through the glorious Ouachita Mountains, scenic drives, and picnic areas.

Patagonia Lake State Park, Arizona

Head to Southern Arizona where the weather is warm, even in winter, for some great winter camping. Patagonia Lake State Park, south of Tucson, is a winter camper’s paradise. The lake is huge, at over 265 acres, and is stocked with rainbow trout, crappie and catfish for your fishing delight. There are more than 70 developed campsites, a camp store for necessities; and the visitor center is open every day except Christmas Day.

I think camping in winter is just fine as long as you’re in the southern U.S. where the weather is mild. You’ll have so many fewer people around and can have peace and serenity!

Now you have options for winter camping in the U.S. You might even find that you prefer camping in the cold weather months as opposed to camping in the warmer months.

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As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

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