The Best Time To Plan Your Camping Trip: A Season-By-Season Guide

If you’re like most people, you probably haven’t had the time or inclination to plan a camping trip in the last few months. 

But as the weather warms up and summer rolls around, it’s time to look ahead and start planning your next adventure into nature. 

You might have some questions about when to go, where to go and what kind of trip suits your needs best. We’ve compiled information from several sources on how active each season is for camping and hiking. Here are our results:

When To Go Camping (Best Season!)
Key Takeaways
Plan your camping trip based on the season and your personal preferences.
Choose a family-friendly campground with amenities and activities for kids.
Prepare and pack carefully for a safe and enjoyable camping experience.
Consider the weather and the best time to go camping with kids for an optimal experience.
Research and choose the best camping spot according to your interests and preferences.

Spring: Late March-Early May

In spring, you can expect to be camping in a less-crowded environment. The weather is still cool, but temperatures are starting to rise, and the most important thing: flowers are blooming! 

This means you’ll get to enjoy the many shades of green and blossoms that aren’t normally visible during winter months. It’s also an important time for wildlife like birds and animals that migrate from colder climates.

When it comes to planning your trip, check out our guide on what to know before going camping in springtime!

Planning a camping trip with kids can be overwhelming, but with the right preparation, it can be a fun and rewarding experience. Check out our guide on how to plan the perfect camping trip with your kids for helpful tips on packing, safety, and activities to make your trip enjoyable for the whole family.

Summer: Mid May-Late August

Summer is the best time to go camping. Hot days and cool nights make for a comfortable camping experience, and the campground is less crowded as well.

With so many things to do in summer, it’s easy to plan out your vacation! You can go swimming at the lake or have fun on the water slide at the beach. You can even take a hike through a state park! Summer is also a great time to fish or swim in one of our many lakes around here.

Best Time to Go Camping: Summer Season

Camping ActivityBest Brands
TentColeman, REI, The North Face, Big Agnes
Sleeping BagKelty, Marmot, Big Agnes
Inflatable MattressIntex, SoundAsleep, Lightspeed Outdoors, Etekcity
CoolerYeti, Engel, Igloo, Coleman
StoveEmberlit, Primus, Jetboil, Coleman
Camp ChairKijaro, Alps Mountaineering, Helinox, GCI Outdoor

Fall: Late August-Early November

Fall is the best time to go camping. In fact, it’s not just good; it’s great. The weather is pleasant, the leaves are changing colors, and you’ll be able to get out of your house before they fall off the trees and on top of you.

Here are some reasons why:

Fall is relatively warm. The temperature can vary quite a bit during this time—it could be as low as 40 degrees or high as 80—but it’s usually nice enough for camping without having to worry about frostbite or hypothermia.

Fall foliage viewing is amazing! After all that rain from summer thunderstorms (which we’ll get into later) comes a drier period that ensures beautiful coloration in the trees. There’s nothing like seeing reds, oranges and yellows dominating an otherwise green landscape for several weeks in October and November.

It’s not too hot or cold yet! In other words: there won’t be snow everywhere blocking access roads or making them unsafe for driving with four-wheel drive vehicles; however, if you’re like me then getting around campgrounds during winter might prove difficult because everyone else has already gone inside when temperatures drop below freezing at nightfall (which happens pretty quickly)

Choosing the right campground is crucial for a successful and enjoyable camping trip, especially when traveling with children. Check out our list of the best campgrounds for families in the USA to find family-friendly campgrounds with amenities and activities for kids.

Winter: Mid November-Mid March

Winter is the best time to go camping in the mountains. It’s also a great time to go camping on blacktop, but this guide is about backcountry winter camping. 

If you don’t know what that means, it means no electricity and no running water—just you and nature. You need to be prepared for that!

Winter camping can be very cold, so make sure you have adequate clothes, blankets and sleeping bags. Do not forget to bring food and water with you as well!

Winter camping is perfect for those who want to escape the crowds or do something different than spending all day at an amusement park or shopping mall during Thanksgiving break with their family members who probably don’t like them anyway (don’t worry…we’ve all been there). 

This season also allows people of all ages (8+) access into places that might normally require permits such as national parks during other seasons due to high demand levels during school breaks

Camping with kids can be a challenge, but with the right preparation and mindset, it can be a fun and memorable experience for the whole family. Check out our guide on 10 essential tips for camping with kids in the USA for advice on setting up camp, preparing meals, and keeping your kids safe and entertained.


So, as you can see, there’s no wrong time to go camping. Each season has its own unique benefits and challenges that make it perfect for different people at different times in their lives. 

The important thing is to choose a season that fits your needs and preferences, and then have fun!

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources to help you plan your next camping trip:

Best Time to Go Camping: A Seasonal Guide: Learn about the best time to go camping based on your destination, climate, and preferences, with seasonal tips and packing advice.

How to Plan the Perfect Camping Trip: A comprehensive guide to planning a successful camping trip, covering everything from choosing a campground to packing essentials and cooking meals.

How to Plan a Camping Trip: The Complete Guide: A step-by-step guide to planning a camping trip, from choosing a destination to setting up camp and exploring the outdoors.


Q: When is the best time of year to go camping?

A: The best time to go camping depends on various factors such as your location, climate, and personal preferences. Check out our guide on the best time to go camping for seasonal tips and advice.

Q: What should I bring on a camping trip?

A: It’s important to bring essential gear and supplies for a safe and enjoyable camping trip. Check out our guide on how to pack for a camping trip for a comprehensive packing list and tips.

Q: How do I choose a camping destination?

A: When choosing a camping destination, consider factors like location, scenery, activities, amenities, and reviews from other campers. Check out our guide on how to choose the best campsite for tips and resources.

Q: How do I set up camp?

A: Setting up camp involves pitching a tent, arranging sleeping gear, building a fire pit, and organizing campsite essentials. Check out our guide on how to set up camp like a pro for step-by-step instructions and tips.

Q: What are some fun camping activities?

A: Camping offers endless opportunities for outdoor adventure and relaxation, from hiking and fishing to stargazing and campfire cooking. Check out our guide on fun things to do while camping for ideas and inspiration.