Even though summer always has a more leisurely pace, it also lends itself perfectly to planning an escape from the stresses of city life. Pleasant temperatures and longer days mean getting out into nature is a lot more inviting, and spending a few days off your phone and in the trees can recharge you for the rest of the season. Camping is the perfect way to do it, and the folks at Pitchup — a site where you can reserve campsites nationwide — hipped us to seven campgrounds perfect for a weekend detox.
1. North Country Christian Campground — Oroville, Washington
$6 a night
The name here might have you thinking this getaway will be a little like those uncomfortable day camps your grandma made you go to during summer vacation. But no religious activities are required, just enjoying the peace and quiet of being 15 minutes from the nearest town of Oroville, population 1,600.
Of course, if you want to turn your trip to the Okanogan Highlands into a religious experience, by all means go ahead. It would be pretty easy, given the green, glorious nature you’ll be immersed in. Plus the campsite sits across the road from a small farm, if you want to commune with God’s other creations. The Garden of Eden didn’t have on-site showers, so neither does this place. Though you will find a composting toilet, there’s also a play area for kids complete with games and Wi-Fi so you can let the internet know how you’re getting back to nature.
2. Log Cabin Wilderness Lodge — Tok, Alaska
$39 a night
Getting deep into the Alaska wilderness doesn’t have to mean going all Into the Wild and trying to subsist of salmon and rock moss. You can also do stuff like stay at this remote log cabin lodge, half an hour from the nearest town of Tok. The 11-acre park boasts spectacular views of the surrounding mountains, and instant access to hiking, fishing, and climbing during the summer. Or cross-country skiing and snowmobiling in the winter.
If you’re looking to do some real camping, the lodge offers a scenic tent site, which also gives you access to the main building and its 105-degree hot tub and wood-fired sauna. Just be careful when you step out of your tent in the morning, as moose tend to enjoy an early stroll through the park too. You might also want to pack an eye mask, since you’ll have midnight sun well into the summer. On the flipside, it’s also an ideal place to spot the aurora borealis in the winter.
3. Terry RV Oasis — Terry, Montana
$15 a night
Not so fond of sleeping on dirt and pitching tents? That’s cool, hard-core camping isn’t for everyone, and if you’ve had the fantasy of taking an RV through Big Sky Country this campground near Terry is a must-hit. The word “oasis” has a double meaning here: Not only is this a serene break from the desert of daily life, it also sits on a well which provides all of the campground’s water.
The RV oasis sits inside a 60-year-old park, thick with native trees and plenty of shade for lounging after a long day of fishing on the Yellowstone River or rock hunting through the Terry Badlands. There’s also abundant nearby hunting for things other than minerals, and cleaning areas available on site. And if you feel like taking a road trip, Theodore Roosevelt National Park is only a couple of hours away.
4. 3 Dreamers RV Park — Salome, Arizona
$8.57 a night
If you’re looking for a home base for some hard-core desert adventuring, you won’t find a more welcoming place than this RV park deep in the Sonoran Desert. Here you can get up at sunrise and take your jeep or ATV desert-hopping through cacti, bighorn sheep, and towering sand dunes, then cool off by swimming or boating on a nearby lake. Though the area surrounds you in spectacular desertscape, it also has amenities aplenty with laundry facilities, hot showers, and even a fitness center if the challenges of the desert weren’t enough for you.
But the coolest thing about this RV park isn’t the nature or the facilities, it’s the sense of community it creates. The clubhouse has frequent potlucks, where you can find other rugged travelers with whom to share adventures. There are also karaoke nights, and an on-site bar where you’ll find the liquid courage to get up and sing.
5. East Cape Sable — Everglades National Park, Florida
Free (through November)
Pitching a tent on a remote beach in Florida might seem pretty impossible in 2019, what with the abundance of condominiums lining the Sunshine State’s shore. But if you’re willing to put in some work, that joy can still be found about 11 miles from the Flamingo Marina on the park’s Gulf Coast. Grab a backcountry permit from the Flamingo Visitor Center and then hop in a kayak, paddling 11 miles to East Cape Sable. It’s a magical float through one of the most unique ecosystems in America, paddling by thick mangroves and cypress trees, while egrets soar above and fish jump up from the black water.
Once at the beach, you’ll have the whole spit of powdery white sand to yourself, perfect for watching the sun set over the Everglades. It’s also an ideal locale for spotting manatees and dolphins, completing the trifecta of your natural Florida fantasy. Or, at least, the one you can achieve by camping.
6. Pine Ridge Park and Campground — Franklin County, New York
$28 a night
Fun fact: The largest protected area in the lower 48 isn’t a national park. Nor is it set in some remote desert. It’s the Adirondack Park in Franklin County, New York, clocking in at a robust six million acres, or roughly the size of Vermont. To really get into the thick of it, spend a few days surrounded by boreal forest at this campground, which sits right along the peaceful banks of the Little Salmon River. The river affords guests the opportunity to fish, kayak, or just run along the shore. Or head to the nearby St. Lawrence River for even more fishing action.
Though the park is pretty removed (the nearest town is the thriving metropolis of Fort Covington, population 1,600) you can still find plenty to do once forest bathing gets old. There’s a big outdoor pool and a baseball field, as well as horseshoe pits, a basketball court, and giant Jenga. Plus live music and outdoor dancing at night. Should a little rain fall during your escape to nature, don’t worry; you can head to the indoor recreation center and wait out the storm with board games.
7. Groundhog Lake RV Camp — Dolores, Colorado
$20 a night
Nothing screams summer relaxation like posting up with a fishing pole on the lakeshore with a towering, snow-capped mountains in the background. And that’s exactly what your life will be at this RV park 10 minutes from Colorado’s San Juan National Forest. It’s the perfect base camp to get out and explore the San Juan Mountains, with hikes, mountain bike rides, and fishing aplenty.
It’s also a total removal from anything resembling real life, as the nearest town of Dolores is a full hour away by car. And while the campground management suggests coming well-stocked, should you have an odd hankering for hot pockets and didn’t bring any along, there’s an on-site general store — which is also home to the campground’s only hot showers.
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