5 Must-Try Adventurous Camping Experiences

Last updated December 5, 2023

Summer is nearly here. That means it is time to heed the call for adventure. For many of us, getting outside again and into the vast wilderness tops our list for summer plans. We hear a call to the wild. And one great way to listen to the call is taking a camping adventure this summer.

Camping adventures come in all shapes and all sizes when considering it for a holiday. Many options exist as they can easily differ by location and activity.  Below are five ideas to consider when planning a camping adventure this summer.

1. National Parks

Ken Burns labeled the US National Park System “America’s Best Idea” and it just might be the best idea for travelers this summer. National Parks provide access to some of America’s best camping adventures.

Complete with unique natural ecosystems, animal (safari) viewing opportunities and also some of the most memorable scenic landscapes available to the general public, the parks seem to have it all.

For beginners, we outlined some of our top US National Parks for the summer, with some of the classics like Yellowstone to appreciate Old Faithful, and even the epic views at the Grand Canyon topping the list.  There is also Utah’s Big 5 with many available from adventures starting in Moab.

Other fantastic locations include scenic drives in Shenandoah National Park or the scenic paddles through the mangrove forests in Everglades National Park. 

Finally, although there are over 60 national parks to choose from, don’t forget to also use local and often less crowded state-level parks wherever you live too.

2. Adrenaline Activities

Camping doesn’t need to be solely an appreciation of nature. We can find camping adventures that don’t require us to be granola girls or adrenaline junkies. The challenge of camping adventures is to put ourselves through a multitude of adrenaline rushes.

From staying in treehouses and spending a day on one of the world’s largest zip-line adventures at Historic Banning Mills in Georgia or perhaps braving the white water rapids on a multi-day rafting trip such as the Babine “River of Grizzles” rafting adventure. Here, campers navigate the scenic waterways in British Columbia.

Challenging ourselves is part of the adventure whether it is the fear of heights or pushing through class IV rapids, we can use camping adventures for a needed adrenaline rush this summer.

3. Hiking

Hiking is practically synonymous with camping. The activity is always available at any level from expert trails to hikes any novice camper can tackle with ease. Trails exist at all levels and duration at most campsites.

Perhaps a 3-hour hike to forest bathe is what you are looking for. Meanwhile, others seek to challenge themselves with all-day affairs. Such as activities that include elevation on multi day adventures.

Hikes allow us all to take in the beauty of the landscape and also give us a sense of accomplishment such as with the Garibaldi Panorama Ridge. On this hike, adventurers will face a challenging 28-kilometer two-day hike. This hike is designed to push physical and mental boundaries with an ulterior goal to clear the mind.

Yet regardless of the selected choice, hikes enable us all to reconnect to nature. Hikes reconnect us through our sense of sight, smell, sound, and touch. Time spent outdoors heightens our senses and appreciation for our Mother Earth. A call to nature can easily further allow the healing process for our souls after the restricted prior year.  So let’s all go for a hike.

4. Stargazing

We often only plan our camping holidays based on daytime activities and desires, yet the evenings can be more than roasting marshmallows and marking s’mores around a campfire (although there is nothing wrong with that).

Evenings can also be filled with views of the Milky Way, constellations and stargazing.

One key element in such an evening adventure is avoiding the moon. Yes, the light from the moon may make sight easier around the campground, but it will also diminish the chance to see the plethora of stars in the sky. Stargazing is best when it’s a new moon on the lunar calendar.

The other key ingredient remains the location. Certain remote places, away from city light along with moderate elevation and cloudless skies top the list to see the stars.

Places in the California deserts around Joshua Tree National Park and also for east coasters one of the best places is Hocking Hills in Ohio. The star-filled sky is often one of the best memories of any camping adventure.

5. Glamping

Don’t care to camp because of the lack of luxury? Don’t feel bad. You know better than all of us that a hot shower is an under-appreciated amenity. Don’t stereotype camping just yet. With “Glamping” (glamorous camping), you can take the amenities of home with you. Many locations offer mattresses and furniture inside each” tent.” These campgrounds/camping sites are in remote locations with impeccable five-star service too.

Of course, the Paws Up in Montana can be considered the pinnacle of luxury camping with safari-style tents and chandeliers. Don’t book your trip just yet. Glamping continues to grow across the U.S. and a multitude of glamping adventure sites are open for business. All have multiple price points and locations across the globe.

For starters places like Canopy Ridge Safari near Pigeon Forge or the Dome Home near Asheville provide close access to civilization for those wanting to ease the camping adventure with more attractions, restaurants and cafes during the day.

But when glamping it’s best to stay onsite and enjoy the unique tent styles and amenities. Luxury is just another way to have a camping adventure this summer.

Let the Camping Adventures Begin

There you have it: five ways to plan your camping adventure this summer.

Search for the National parks that remain on your list, determine the type of outdoor adrenaline-focused activity on your list, determine the type of hikes you want to experience, look for campsites to stargaze and finally select luxury with a glamping option.

But whatever you make the determining factor, one item is certain, the call of the wild awaits us all. Let’s go outside and return to the wilderness. Let’s plan a camping adventure for this summer.

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