The Best Autumn Camping Destinations in the US
Once the summer heat dissipates, cooler breezes start to drift in, and the leaves begin to paint land in warm hues, it’s time to pack up your gear and get out to the top destinations for camping. One of the most special aspects about the US is how diverse its landscapes are, boasting a vast range of premier camping destinations no matter where you live or what kind of atmosphere you’re craving to escape to. Whether you're seeking a mountain getaway or some serenity in the forest this fall, we’re here to help. There are endless stunning locations throughout the country for camping, but we’ve listed a few that you might want to consider, each one with its own unique appeal that will make your autumn camping experience one for the books.
Napa Valley, California
Napa Valley is the infamous wine country in California, but it also happens to be a remarkable camping destination. Napa Valley turns into a breathtaking canvas of autumn splendor as the foliage and grape vines throughout the landscape transform into vivid shades of red and gold. The moderate temperatures of the season make it an ideal time to set up camp, start a fire, and breathe in the superbly crisp air.
Bothe-Napa Valley State Park, which contains the farthest inland coast redwoods in a state park in California, is a fantastic destination for a Napa Valley camping getaway. Another favorite spot is Sugarloaf Ridge State Park, situated in the Mayacamas Mountains and amongst the rushing headwaters of Sonoma Creek.
If you enjoy a nice glass of vino, one of the best parts about camping in Napa Valley during this season is the opportunity to indulge in wine tasting at any of the remarkable vineyards in the region. You can savor the rich flavors of local wines while enjoying the cool evenings by the campfire. Camping in Napa Valley during autumn offers a one-of-a-kind experience filled with stunning natural surroundings and delicious wine, making it an unforgettable and fun-filled adventure.
Michigan’s Upper Peninsula
Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is an utterly enchanting destination, especially during autumn, and camping here during this time is bound to be incredible. Michigan as a whole is bursting with beautiful natural scenery, so when the leaves change and create a tapestry of red, gold, and orange across the landscape, it’s the perfect time to get out there and set up camp.
You really can’t go wrong with where you decide to camp in the vast wilderness that is the Upper Peninsula, but we have a few suggestions in case you can’t decide! Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is situated on the shores of Lake Superior, featuring magnificent cliffsides, beaches, forests, waterfalls, and inland lakes. Tahquamenon Falls State Park is another exceptional destination, with 50,000 acres of waterfalls, mountains, and forests to explore during your stay. Whether you want to spend your days hiking, kayaking, fishing, or simply relaxing at your campsite, the scenic beauty of the Upper Peninsula is unparalleled and will allow you to connect with nature in a profound way.
Acadia National Park, Maine
Acadia National Park truly comes to life and makes for an undeniably breathtaking destination to camp at during fall. Located on the rugged coast of Maine, Acadia is filled to the brim with pristine landscapes, vibrant foliage, and a tranquil atmosphere that makes for the perfect setting for an unforgettable camping getaway. What makes this season so special compared to the rest, which are equally special in their own way, is how Acadia's dense forests burst into symphony of colors. This is one of the top places to visit in the country for leaf peeping for a reason! The park's deciduous trees, including maple, oak, and birch, create a picturesque setting for hikers, campers, and photographers alike.
The autumn weather is an ideal time to enjoy activities such as hiking, biking, and birdwatching, with fewer crowds compared to the bustling summer months. The park's numerous campgrounds each offer a peaceful retreat where you can experience the serene sounds of nature and the cool evenings by the fire. Camping here in autumn allows you to deeply connect with the natural surroundings and make cherished memories in one of America's most treasured national parks.
Port Angeles, Washington
The astounding beauty of the Pacific Northwest paired with the magic of the fall season makes Port Angeles, Washington a fantastic location for your next camping trip. Located on the Olympic Peninsula and home to Olympic National Park, Port Angeles has an abundance of coastal charm, pristine wilderness, and glorious colors when fall rolls around that make it a wonderful place for camping. The varying ecosystems around Port Angeles are a huge part of why this destination is so special. You’ll have the chance to discover rugged mountains, stunning coastal scenery, and dense forests that feel like stepped right into a fairytale.
Throughout autumn, the region’s forests transform into a kaleidoscope of colors, providing a spectacular backdrop for camping, hiking, photography, and wildlife watching. Port Angeles has a variety of camping options, from oceanfront to forested campsites to forested sites in the national park. The area tends to have fewer crowds this time of year, creating an even more laid-back environment for visitors to explore tide pools, go kayaking, and try their hand at fishing. Camping in the Pacific Northwest during the fall is a sure-fire way to fully immerse yourself in the endless beauty of the season.
Fall Creek Falls State Park, Tennessee
What could be better than camping amongst Tennessee’s fall foliage and 6 major waterfalls? That’s exactly the experience you’ll get when you make your way to Fall Creek Falls State Park, Tennessee’s largest state park. The park is situated in the Cumberland Plateau and is known for its cascading waterfalls, lush forests, beautiful hikes, and plentiful wildlife, all of which are enhanced by the colorful transformation of the landscape during the fall months.
If you’re looking for adventure, you will find a wealth of activities to enjoy here, from hiking the trails of varying difficulty to fishing in the park's many lakes and streams. The park has over 200 campsites, and the crisp fall air makes enjoying a campfire under starry skies somehow even more perfect. Fall Creek Falls State Park during autumn is simply magical with its colorful foliage, outdoor activities, and stunning waterfalls.
Having Memorable Camping Adventures This Fall
There’s just something extra special about getting out into nature and camping during the autumn season, when everything is transitioning from the energizing days of summer to the quiet winter months. From the vibrant tapestries of foliage to the crackling campfires under starry skies, camping at these destinations during fall is bound to bring peace and complete appreciation for our natural world. New adventures await this autumn, whether that be hiking, paddling, wildlife viewing, or just spending your days at camp enjoying the simple pleasures of cooking and breathing in the fresh air. As the days grow shorter and the nights become cooler, embrace the magic of camping this autumn and create heart-warming memories in the golden embrace of the season.