National parks always have served as a great place for camping enthusiasts, but due to the Covid-19 outbreak, these once peaceful places have become way overcrowded for calm and relaxing outdoor activities. Not only that, but it seems like our national parks are also suffering as people simply will not clean after themselves, and huge amounts of trash keep piling up, despite the best efforts of the volunteers.
With that in mind, is there a worthy alternative that you can swap your favorite national park with during these rough times? That is what we are about to find out, so stick around to see what are the best campgrounds you can use this summer.
Visit some of the lesser known hiking trails
Hiking trails offer a perfect blend of natural scenery and freedom that every outdoor enthusiast should cherish. Moreover, these places tend to have specific areas intended for campers. While the trails can vary from easy to those intended for professionals, you will always be able to choose an option that matches your fitness levels.
Additionally, even if hiking does not belong on the list of your favorite hobbies, you will be able to enjoy in many other outdoor activities, such as bird watching, star gazing or perhaps swimming, depending on the location of your choice. Hiking trails are usually well-kept, but unlike national parks, tend to have less rules and regulations for the visitors.
Some popular hiking trails can be jam-packed with people, which is not ideal, at least nowadays. If you want to, you can always find a way to practice social distancing, but our advice would be to find a spot that is not so popular among tourists, but still has that special feeling that you can only get upon leaving the tarmac. Besides using the forums to help you with your search, you can turn to one of the apps that are made for campers. Here are some of the locations just outside the national parks that represent a great second option.
Avoid Yellowstone, visit Lassen Volcanic
If you like volcanic mountains, gorgeous wildflowers and incredible panoramic views, Lassen Volcanic presents the best alternative to the more popular Yellowstone. This place is easily reachable by highway, and offers miles upon miles of exciting hiking trails full of wildlife. The Manzanita Lake is also close-by and is a great option for those who are fond of fishing or kayaking. Lassen Volcanic has all the making of a hidden gem, and in times like this, it’s a true blessing that it’s not even more popular.
Have you ever visited the Petrified Forest?
While most people who live close to Arizona have visited the Grand Canyon, only a small number has also taken the time to head down to the Petrified Forest as well, and that’s a shame. This fantastic forest covers a vast area, and gives its visitors a unique chance to marvel at the fossilized remaining of once powerful trees. If this fails to impress you at first sight, know that some of these trees are well over 200 million years old, and that is some serious tradition.
Zion is phenomenal, but so is the town of Hurricane in Utah
Without question, Zion remains one the most popular tourist destinations in the country, and a place that everyone should visit at least once in a lifetime. Unfortunately, the Zion national park tends to be incredibly crowded at this time of the year, and it might not be the best destination for those who are hoping to find some peace and quiet.
On the other hand, who said that you cannot enjoy Utah in a different way? The town of Hurricane is located nearby, and it offers a tremendous natural scenery that’s well worthy of our admiration. Even if mountain biking or hiking are not your favorites, there are several guided trips where you will be able to learn some more details about this beautiful place.