There are few things more important to a camper than the surrounding wilderness, including trails to explore and beautiful bodies of water to relax in. But, if you're looking for the most scenic camping spots in the country, here are nine to get you started.
Tucked into the gorgeous Uinta Mountains, campsites here are surrounded by thick groves of pine, fir and aspen trees. Explore the beauty of the Uinta Mountains, with cascading streams and alpine lakes dotting the trails. Or, drive through the mountains on the Mirror Lake Scenic Byway and get out to hike along the way.
Camp Here: Soapstone Campground
Cumberland Falls State Park
If Niagara Falls is too far, come visit the next best thing. Cumberland Falls is what many call the "Niagara of the South." This natural wonder at 125-feet wide, is breathtaking and majestic in its grandeur. But that's not all; this scenic camping spot is home to the "moonbow," a lunar rainbow that is found nowhere else in the Western Hemisphere.
Camp Here: Cumberland Falls State Park
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park
Known as one of the most beautiful stretches on the California coastal highway, Big Sur is truly magnificent, and this scenic camping spot is the perfect place to take in the views. If you can score the right campsite you'll wake up to breathtaking views of the turquoise Pacific Ocean crashing below you. Then, head toward land and hike through the picturesque mountains, too.
Camp Here: Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park
At an elevation of 6,000 feet, this scenic camping spot is a perfect stop. The banks of the North Fork and Shoshone Rivers sit at the base of surrounding mountains, painting the ultimate wildlife picture for you to enjoy. When relaxing at the campsite, bask in the shade and beauty of majestic douglas firs and juniper trees that cover the entire campground.
Camp Here: Clearwater Campground
This scenic camping spot sits deep in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, where sparkling clear lakes and looming pine trees take you out of real life and into a wildlife dream. Experience a piece of history as you walk down the Ice Age National Scenic Trail, or explore in your car on the 3,600 miles of back roads.
Camp Here: Eastwood Campground
Highlands Hammock State Park
Despite what the name suggests, this is not a scenic camping spot where you want to lay around in a hammock. Untouched hardwood forests present beauty often unfound. Nine separate nature trails offer a variety of wildlife and scenery, and don't forget to explore the cypress swamp. Not sure where to start? Take a guided ranger tour to be sure you catch all the best sights.
Camp Here: Highlands Hammock State Park
Burning Bear Campground
Don't forget your camera because this scenic camping spot should be taken home with you. Settle into the valley campground, where Ponderosa Pines line the campsites. But don't get too comfortable; with Mount Evans Wilderness access, you'll be hiking through spectacular trails all day. Be sure to take a drive on the Guanella Pass Scenic Byway, as well.
Camp Here: Burning Bear Campground
A clear lake and dense forest trails make this scenic camping area a must-see. Though there is shopping, art and music venues nearby, you may never want to leave the campground, with its views of looming peaks and mystical waterfalls. Explore the wilderness on bike or foot through miles of trails.
Camp Here: Lake Powhatan
Swan Creek Campground
Located within the Gallatin Canyon, there's nothing but beauty at this scenic camping spot. Look up between the majestic spruce and fir trees to catch a glimpse of bald eagles; you may also get the chance to see mountain goats, moose, grizzly bears and more.
Camp Here: Swan Creek Campground
Jessica Sanders is the Associate Online Editor for ReserveAmerica.com. After many years of camping and hiking in the Northeast, she's exploring what the West has to offer and sharing all of her knowledge with you. She's a s'mores master, campsite connoisseur, writer, runner and lover of all things outdoors. Follow her on Google+.