There is something undeniably magical about camping in the fall. Sure, you could go camping any time of year. Summer can be a fun time for a camping trip, and winter is a solid choice for rugged, adventurous types who are unafraid of cold, snowy weather. But camping and the autumn season really seem to go hand-in-hand like no other. What better time to sip on hot apple cider, roast s’mores over an open fire, and hear crunchy leaves beneath your feet as you hike through the woods? If you are eager to plan a camping trip this fall, here are a few of the best spots in the United States for autumn camping.
Upstate New York in the fall is full of vivid, multicolored fall foliage, concord grapes, stunning sunsets, and apple orchards galore. The weather is not too hot or too cold, and you can find plenty of prime camping spots in New York, one of which is the Catskills Mountains. A camping trip in the Catskills is perfect for hiking enthusiasts wishing to traverse mountainous ranges and explore valleys with rivers and streams running through them. There are ample spots throughout the Catskills for tent, RV, and cabin camping. Because this region is in the northeast US, make sure to pack plenty of cozy flannel shirts and men’s and women’s thermals to stay nice and toasty when the temps dip at night.
Next door to New York is Pennsylvania, another state with beautiful natural scenery. During the summertime, the Poconos are a great spot to get away and explore nature — although it can be hot and humid. During the winter, the Poconos are a popular destination for skiing, snowboarding, and other winter sports. But the autumn season is also a spectacular time to visit. Like many camping spots throughout New York, Pennsylvania boasts incredible fall foliage along with all the classic signs of fall: crisp autumn air, crunchy leaves, and the natural aromas of the season.
Spend your Poconos trip camped out in the woods near one of the many lakes throughout the Poconos region. Wrap yourself up in a cozy shawl or wrap and enjoy a cup of hot cocoa or warm apple cider as the sun sets over the lake. Plus, the Poconos region is also home to many adorable boutiques, quaint country restaurants, and art galleries. So when you need a break from camping and a quick trip back to civilization, make sure to put some local village visits on your itinerary.
The breathtaking natural landscapes of Utah are something to behold. If you want to beat the heat, avoid planning your visit to Utah during the summer months and instead opt for a fall camping trip. You may not find as much traditional fall foliage, but the beauty you will find in Canyonlands National Park more than makes up for that. Enjoy rugged hikes through the backcountry, which lead to incredible views along the way. Rent a four-wheeler to explore the park when you get tired of exploring it on foot. If you plan to do a lot of hiking through this national park, remember to pack a backpack with all the supplies you need, including snacks, sun protection, and plenty of water. After a long day of exploring, come back to your campsite at the park, be it a tent, camper, or cabin, light a fire and roast some tasty s’mores.
It should go without saying that all the places in this post are worth visiting any time of year, including Acadia National Park. But if you decide to make a trip to this popular Maine park during the fall, you’re in for a real treat. Acadia National Park is home to many natural wonders, so plan to spend at least a few days in Maine so you can get to as many as possible. You can reach the top of Cadillac Mountain in less than an hour by foot, and once you get to the summit, prepare to watch a gorgeous sunset over the water. If you want to tour as much of the park as possible, drive a vehicle around the 27-mile Park Loop Road, a perfect excursion for a fall day. Be sure to put a picnic lunch at Jordan Pond on your itinerary, too, as this is quite the place to relax and soak in the sights, sounds, and smells of surrounding nature.
If you need warmer weather for a fall camping trip, head south to the Great Smoky Mountains. The fall season is the best time to go since the temperatures are comfortable, and it’s the best time to go autumn leaf-peeping. The Smoky Mountains are known for their gorgeous fall leaves, so plan a drive to an elevated area for incredible views of the colorful mountains in Late September or early October.
Planning a camping trip? Be sure to get everything you need at Lands’ End today!