Wide Open Roads
Open Search form

When Does Camping Season Start Anyways?

Camper looks out of their tent.

Campers across America are wondering when to make camping reservations at their favorite state and national parks. Thanks to handy online reservation systems, great camping spots sell out faster each year. This guide will help you get the jump on the tent camping and RV sites you’ve been eyeing during the off season.

When Does Camping Season Start?

While some people claim camping season starts Memorial Day weekend and ends around Labor Day, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Believe it or not, there’s no official beginning or end to camping season in the United States. In fact, some of the busiest destinations for camping trips will let you check-in any time of year.

The best way to figure out when your favorite campgrounds open is to check .gov websites like nps.gov and those dedicated to the various state parks. There’s always private campgrounds, dispersed camping, and boondocking to consider as well.

When Does Camping Season End?

Dispersed campsite set up in the backcountry.

RELATED: 10 National Parks & Places to Visit on Your Next June Vacation

Camping season never truly ends, especially if you’re the adventurous type.

While some parks and grounds close due to harsh seasons and serious weather, others remain open all year. But just because some park campgrounds are open year-round doesn’t mean you’ll want to take them up on the offer. As such, it’s no wonder that the Summer months are the preferred choice for most campers, closely followed by Spring and Fall.

When’s the Best Season for Camping?

Since a lot of parks are open year round, there’s really no off-season for camping. Where and when to camp is up to you. What you want to keep in mind are the things you want to do on your trip and how you want each hour to unfold.

If you imagine yourself eating s’mores around a fire pit, Spring or Fall camping might be the thing for you. On the other hand, if you’d like to sleep under the stars in nothing but a light sleeping bag, you’re probably more of a Summer camping type. Meanwhile, trips that include outdoor activities like ice fishing, snow shoeing, or cross country skiing obviously have to be planned for the winter months.

No matter when or where you choose to camp, make sure you do your research beforehand and pack appropriately.

When and where do you get your camping done? Give us the rundown on our Wide Open Roads Facebook!

READ MORE: The Perfect 10-Day Colorado Road Trip