Sleeping Bear Dunes

sleeping-bear-dunesLocated in Empire, Michigan, Sleeping Bear Dunes is a great place for a weekend of camping, nature exploration, and fun with the entire family. Not only does it offer rustic-style camping right by the crystal clear and beautiful Lake Michigan, but it also offers campgrounds with modern restrooms, electricity, and paved roads. Camping can also be done on the Manitou Islands.

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is comprised of a multitude of different activities. Swimming, kayaking, canoeing, and tubing are all possible on the various lakefronts and rivers, such as Glen Lake and the Platte River. Biking is also a great family friendly activity for the outdoors. Of course, many visitors intend to visit the dunes, and the Dune Climb is highly recommended for everyone! A strenuous climb to the top, it is exhilarating to run and roll back down to the bottom

Yosemite – the Infamous!

yosemiteYosemite is one of the most infamous national parks in the United States. It also has one of the most infamous mispronunciations of all time. Contrary to popular belief (and my personal long-held one) the word does not rhyme with “hose-might”, and rather is pronounced “yo-sim-it-tea”.

But let’s not limit this magnificent piece of nature to its name. Yosemite is a buffet of the various spectacles of nature: waterfalls, mountains, rivers, you name it.

A classic visitor stop is the Merced River. A beautifully blue, bright body of water, it is an aquatic resource important to Yosemite and the ecosystem it supports within. Certain points along the river offer clear views to the mountains that rise in the distance, a feature that satisfies the most avid photographers. But the river is not limited to sightseeing: it is also a popular spot for rafting, especially in the summer. Swimming through the clean, clear water is enjoyable as well. But be careful, the water is often cold and the currents can be fast and dangerous.

The river and various lakes aren’t the only aquatic beauties of Yosemite. The waterfalls located in Yosemite are stunning, and some of the lesser known ones serve as a real treat for those looking to wander in solitude. A few to put on your list of potential destinations include Illilouette and Chilnualna Falls.

A visit to Yosemite would not be complete without a visit to one of the stony marvels along the Sierra Nevada. The most popular include El Capitan and the Half Dome, both situated in the Yosemite Valley. But there are other worthwhile peaks, such as the Sentinel Rock and the Cathedral Rocks and Spires.

One of history’s legendary photographers, Ansel Adams photographed Yosemite often. His photographs capture Yosemite’s sites at their most beautiful, and if you visit the gift shop, be sure to pick up a few copies of his pictures!

The Best Campsites Collection #5 -Bartlett Cove Campground

Camp where a glacier once stood. Bartlett Cove Campground in Alaska’s Glacier Bay National Park is off the beaten path, though worth every bit of effort it takes to get there. With endless trail to hike, waterways to kayak, and wildlife to watch (humpback whales, elk, grizzly bears, wolves, to name a few), you’ll quickly realize why Alaska still remains The Last Frontier.

bartlett-cove-campground

The Best Campsites Collection #4 – Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park offers visitors a rare opportunity to be humbled by nature in an extreme landscape that exists in total opposition to with what is generally regarded as typical U.S. geography. Walking among the dunes with sand as far as the eye can see feels like being on a alien planet—it’s entirely foreign and amazing. Whether your avenue of exploration is by horse back, on foot, or by car, the experience is one not to miss.

death-valley

The Best Campsites Collection #3 – Crater Lake National Park

Created by a violent volcanic eruption some 7,700 years ago, Oregon’s Crater Lake is a 1,943 foot deep crystal clear lake surrounded by sheer cliffs and old growth ponderosa pine. Crater Lake National Park offers a great many outdoor activities—in addition to simply gazing across the 6 mile wide crater—including swimming, exploring Wizard Island and hiking a portion of the legendary Pacific Crest Trail.

crater-lake

The Best Campsites Collection #2 – Jumbo Rocks

Located toward the western border of California’s renowned Joshua Tree National Park, Jumbo Rocks Campground is just a short hike from some of the area’s coolest rock formations. With just 124 first-come, first-served sites you’ll have to arrive early, as Los Angeles is just over 2 hours away.

jumbo-rocks

The Best Campsites Collection #1 – Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon is a true bucket list destination. It’s unlikely a list about camping has ever missed this American treasure, though that doesn’t discount its awe inspiring nature. In fact, views from the North Rim are in effect the very definition of breathtaking. The area’s most accessible campground features tent and RV camping and is the kind of place you’ll still be talking about months later.

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