Go Camping Out West: Camping Trips in the West U.S. from Doug Melvin of Boise, Idaho.
Living in Boise, Idaho, and working in a job that is stressed-filled (TSA) Doug Melvin seeks the comfort and peace of nature. Camping in the Eastern and Western regions of the United States are his refuge and he’s been lucky enough to go to a number of nearby western states for camping trips. “We love camping out west to get away from it all and one of our favorite sanctuaries is the unexpected beauty of campgrounds in Idaho, Montana and Oregon,” Doug tells us. “It’s so rugged and natural…you won’t find people driving on a beach in Oregon!”
Once you’ve decided where to camp, review your camping accessories checklist. Your needs will vary based on where you’re going; and you’ll need to be well-equipped for your road trip, too. Many of the campgrounds listed here have nearby camping supply stores where you can pick up last minute provisions, i.e., canned goods, small pots, matches, can opener, etc.; but try to plan to buy before you leave home to save time and money. Bring clothing that you can easily layer; sweatshirts and socks are a must for cool evenings when camping out west. And bring your camera and binoculars.
Whether admiring the Rockies, relaxing in the desert or playing on the beach, there’s a lot of fun to be had in our western United States.
Doug Melvin: Camping Trips Out West that You Can Enjoy with the Whole Family.
- Fall in love with one of our favorite places to camp out west: Sandpoint, Idaho has Idaho’s largest lake and stunning sandy beaches. Round Lake state park is just 10 miles away, a bit more isolated and affords its own beautiful views of a wooded lake. $9-$22 nightly to camp.
- Take a camping trip to Whitefish Lake, Montana and the only camping accessories you’ll need are a tent, sleeping bags and your primitive gear. Visit Glacier Park and enjoy spectacular views of Big Sky country when not jumping into the (sometimes ice-cold) lake to swim, boat and water ski. $15 nightly to camp at a Montana state park.
- Enjoy a camping trip that’s just minutes away from the beautiful Oregon coast when you stay at Blackberry campground. No camping supply store (so be prepared), but it’s located right along the Alsea River and heavily wooded- it’s a charming spot your whole family will love. It’s a few miles away from the closest town, so double check your list of camping accessories and supplies before you go. Located 18 miles east of Waldport, this small site (32 spaces) fills up quickly, so make reservations ahead of time. $15 nightly to camp.
East Coast Camping Trips Your Family will Love from Cissy Petty
Mountain lakes, sandy beaches and acres of wooded land: the eastern states have a lot to offer amateurs and experienced campers too. “When we go camping on the east coast, we like to enjoy the simple pleasures: hiking through the dense woods, fishing in fast-moving rivers or picnicking by a lake,” says Cissy Petty, the Vice President for Student Affairs and Associate Provost at Loyola University New Orleans.
Expect warm summer temperatures, cool fall evenings and temperamental spring weather when you go camping on the east coast, and pack accordingly.
- Go camping in the Adirondacks in upstate New York to see miles of beautiful forests, peaceful lakes and running rivers. The stunning Lake George Islands in the Adirondacks offers hundreds of places to camp, accessible only by boat. $18 nightly to camp at the Adirondacks state park campgrounds.
- Take a yurt camping trip in Belleplain state forest in New Jersey to get a feel for rustic living. The permanent circular tents are limited (and popular), so book in advance. Belleplain offers miles of shaded woods, and plenty of water activities in Lake Nummy. Fees vary.
- Camp at Bradbury Mountain state park in Maine in the fall to watch hawk and eagle migration and to get your fill of the awe-inspiring changing leaves. Stop at the camping supply store before you get into the woods to save time later. Fees vary.
We thank our contributors:
- Doug Melvin Boise Idaho
- Cissy Petty, New Orleans