Camping is usually thought of as a summer-only activity, but early fall camping trips can bring the delights of changing foliage, cooler weather, fewer crowds, and quiet nights in nature. What’s not to love?
Autumn weather in the U.S. is about as diverse as the landscape itself, so there’s no shortage of shady campsites or bumbling brooks to choose from. Here are five of our favorite picks for a new spin on family camping trips.
White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire
If the reds, yellows, and oranges of fall foliage are what you’re after, there’s no better place than the Northeast. White Mountain National Forest in New Hampshire boasts parts of the famed Appalachian Trail with stunning panoramic views of the changing leaves. Come in late September for the best colors, but bundle up!
Denali National Park, Alaska
Camping, in fall, in Alaska? It’s more accessible than you may think. The brief season in this massive northern state is surprisingly beautiful. Denali encompasses over six million acres of land with the tallest mountain in the U.S. You don’t have to be a mountaineer to travel here, though: there are shady campsites near easy walking paths for every level of hiker.
Cedro Peak, New Mexico
The number of hiking and biking trails around Cedro Peak in New Mexico, just outside of Albuquerque, are enough to keep any adventure lover busy for weeks at a time. Cibola National Forest offers paths to the neighboring Sandia Mountains as well.
Shenandoah National Park, Virginia
Campgrounds vary in terms of how much they cost and when they’re open in this vast and beautiful park, so be sure to do your research before you go. No matter where you stay, you’ll be sure to find the best colors here in late October.
Joshua Tree National Forest, California
This forest is one of the most unique places on earth, thanks to its namesake tree. Warmer daytime temperatures make this an excellent location for year-round exploration, but remember that deserts also tend to get very cold at night, too.
Just because it’s after Labor Day doesn’t mean that you have to tie up your hiking boots. Some of the most exciting outdoor adventures happen in autumn. You just have to go looking for them! See this link for more.