The Ultimate Guide To Camping With Kids In The USA

Camping with kids can be a fun and rewarding experience, but it’s not for everyone. If you’re looking for an easy fix for vacations that won’t overwhelm your family, then camping with kids is the perfect solution. 

However, if you’ve never been on a camping trip before, or if it has been years since your last adventure in the great outdoors – or both – then read on! 

This guide will cover everything from what gear to bring to where to go when camping with kids.

Adventure guide to camping with kids
Camping with kids can be a great experience for the family.
Choosing the right campsite is crucial to a successful camping trip.
Planning and preparation are key when camping with kids.
Safety should always be a top priority when camping with kids.
There are several fun and engaging activities to do while camping with kids.

California – Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park is a great place to camp with kids. There are many different types of campsites available, from backcountry camping to RV hookups. There are also many different activities for kids, including hiking and rock climbing.

Joshua Tree National Park is located in southern California near Palm Springs and Los Angeles. The park offers many activities that can be enjoyed by all ages including hiking trails, rock climbing routes (even one designed specifically for children), horseback riding and even ranger-guided programs where you can learn more about nature or enjoy an evening campfire program with live music performances!

Taking the kids camping can be a memorable experience for the whole family. If you’re looking for family-friendly campgrounds, check out our guide on the best campgrounds for families in the USA and explore some amazing options across the country.

Arizona – Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Canyon National Park is one of the most famous and most visited national parks in the United States. It’s 277 miles (446 km) long, up to 18 miles (29 km) wide and attains a depth of over a mile (6,093 ft or 1.8 km).

The Grand Canyon has been carved by the Colorado River over millions of years into layers of brightly colored rock that reveal its ancient past. The canyon was declared a U.S National Park in 1919 after being protected as an Indian reservation since 1882 by President Rutherford B Hayes.

Best Resorts Near Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

Resort NameDistance from Grand Canyon National ParkAmenities Available
Enchantment Resort32 milesSpa, yoga classes, heated pools, fitness center, hiking trails
Amara Resort and Spa100 milesSpa, fitness center, outdoor heated infinity pool, restaurant and bar
Grand Canyon Lodge – North Rim1 mileOn-site dining, gift shop, scenic views of the canyon, walking distance to Bright Angel Point
Little America Hotel Flagstaff75 milesOn-site dining, outdoor pool, fitness center, complimentary Wi-Fi
Sedona Rouge Hotel & Spa119 milesSpa, yoga classes, outdoor pool and hot tub, fitness center, restaurant and bar

This table provides information on the best resorts near the Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona. It includes the distance from the park, as well as the amenities available at each resort.

Utah – Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon is a great place to visit if you are looking for a unique camping experience. Bryce Canyon has both a campground and a lodge that is open year round, so you can decide whether or not you want to stay in the park or drive into nearby towns for meals and entertainment. The best part about camping here? The sunrise! It’s amazing how bright it gets out there in Utah.

Camping with kids requires preparation and planning, and it can be stressful. Our guide on the 10 essential tips for camping with kids in the USA provides practical advice on how to make your trip safe, comfortable, and enjoyable for the whole family.

Colorado – Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park is a must-visit location for any family with kids who love the outdoors. Located in Colorado, it’s home to some of the most beautiful scenery in America and has something for everyone: hiking trails, campgrounds, lakes and rivers–plus plenty of wildlife!

The park spans over 600 square miles so you’ll want to plan ahead when choosing where you want to stay. 

You could stay in Estes Park (just outside the park) or inside at one of their many campgrounds where there are cabins available too if you don’t want your kid sleeping on the ground!

If you’re planning on visiting during summertime then try going early morning or late afternoon so that it doesn’t get too hot outside – especially if they’re young children who can’t regulate their body temperatures well yet.”

Top Lodges near Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Lodge NameDistance from Rocky Mountain National ParkAmenities Available
The Stanley Hotel6 milesOn-site dining, spa, fitness center, guided tours, Estes Park attractions nearby
Della Terra Mountain Chateau16 milesIn-room fireplaces, spa, outdoor hot tub and fire pits, hiking trails nearby
Grand Lake Lodge2 milesOn-site dining, outdoor pool, hot tub, gift shop, stunning views of the park
YMCA of the Rockies Estes Park Center4 milesOn-site dining, indoor pool, mini golf, guided nature hikes, family-friendly activities
Streamside on Fall River4 milesRiverside cottages, hot tubs, sauna, private fishing, close to downtown Estes Park

This table provides information on the top lodges near Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. It includes the distance from the park, as well as the amenities available at each lodge.

New Mexico – Carlsbad Caverns National Park

Carlsbad Caverns is a limestone cave system in southeastern New Mexico. It is located in the Guadalupe Mountains, which are part of the Sacramento Mountains. 

The caverns were formed during the Permian period when an underground river flowed through the area, depositing calcium carbonate minerals as it eroded away layers of rock above it.

The caverns have been open to visitors since 1930 and are managed by Carlsbad Caverns National Park Service Complex (CCNPSC), which also manages Guadalupe Mountains National Park and other areas around them.

National parks offer incredible opportunities for families to explore the outdoors and connect with nature. Check out our guide on the top family-friendly national parks for camping in the USA to discover some of the best options for camping with kids in these beautiful natural spaces.

Texas – Guadalupe Mountains National Park

The Guadalupe Mountains are located in West Texas, just outside the city of Carlsbad. The park is home to one of the largest elk herds in the United States and has over 1,000 miles of hiking trails that wind through its desert landscape.

The best time to visit this park is in spring or fall when temperatures are milder than during summer months (the average high temperature during July is 100 degrees Fahrenheit). 

You’ll also want to bring plenty of water with you as there aren’t any sources within the park boundaries!

Best Camping Spots in Texas

Camping SpotDescriptionBrand
Guadalupe Mountains National ParkThis national park offers scenic views, hiking trails, and diverse wildlife. Campers can choose from four campgrounds within the park.National Park Service
Big Bend National ParkBig Bend is located in southwest Texas and offers beautiful desert landscapes, hiking trails, and campsites on the Rio Grande.National Park Service
McKinney Falls State ParkMcKinney Falls State Park in Austin is a great option for families, with campsites, hiking trails, fishing, and swimming in Onion Creek.Texas Parks and Wildlife
Enchanted Rock State ParkEnchanted Rock is a popular destination for rock climbing, hiking, and stargazing. The park offers campsites and cabins for rent.Texas Parks and Wildlife
Padre Island National SeashorePadre Island National Seashore is located on the Gulf Coast and offers beach camping, fishing, and birdwatching.National Park Service

Arkansas – Petit Jean State Park

Petit Jean State Park is a state park of Arkansas, USA, located in the Petit Jean River valley. The park is named for its most prominent feature: Petit Jean Mountain (3235 feet).

The park offers camping facilities including tent camping sites and cabins along with various hiking trails. There are also swimming pools and picnic areas available within this great place to visit with your family!

Safety is a top priority when camping with kids, and it’s essential to be prepared for any situation. Our guide on how to stay safe and have fun while camping with kids offers helpful insights on how to balance safety and fun during your camping trip.

North Carolina – Congaree National Park

Congaree National Park is a U.S. National Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site located in Hopkins, Richland and Lexington counties in South Carolina. Congaree National Park is the largest national park in the lower 48 states with over 1 million acres of protected land. 

The park was created to preserve its old growth bottomland hardwood forest, which at one time covered much of South Carolina but has been reduced by development and intensive timbering operations during the 19th century.

Congaree contains some of the largest American Elm trees found anywhere on earth (upwards of 25 feet tall) as well as tulip poplars (upwards from 40 feet tall). Other tree species include sycamore maple, sweetgum & swamp chestnut oak along with many others!

Alabama – Gulf Islands National Seashore

Alabama is home to many great natural attractions, including the Gulf Islands National Seashore. This park has something for everyone and offers a wide range of camping options for families.

The Gulf Islands National Seashore consists of four barrier islands off the Alabama coast: Dauphin Island, East Ship Island, West Ship Island and Sand Islands. 

The park includes beaches that are perfect for swimming and shelling; marshes teeming with wildlife; tidal pools where you can explore under water life; barrier dunes that protect sensitive ecosystems from windswept sand; maritime forests full of wildlife like foxes or raccoons but also snakes so watch out! 

There’s even an historic lighthouse at Fort Gaines on Fort Morgan Island in Mobile Bay! You may want to start early in order to set up camp before dark–this will give you time during daylight hours when there’s less chance that kids’ energy levels will drop after being cooped up inside all day long (or vice versa).

Planning the perfect camping trip with kids requires careful consideration of destination, activities, and equipment. Check out our guide on how to plan the perfect camping trip with your kids and get expert insights on creating the ultimate outdoor adventure for the whole family.


We hope this list has given you some ideas for your next trip. We know that camping with kids can be a challenge, but if you choose the right location and plan ahead, it can be an incredible experience for everyone involved.

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources that offer valuable insights and advice on camping with kids:

Camping with Kids: A How-To Guide: A comprehensive guide that covers all aspects of camping with kids, from packing and food preparation to activities and games.

Camping with Kids: Tips for Fun and Safety: REI provides helpful advice on choosing a campsite, packing essentials, keeping kids safe, and having fun with the family during your camping trip.

The Ultimate Guide to Camping with Kids: Hike it Baby’s guide offers expert tips on safety, gear, meal planning, and activities to ensure a successful camping trip with your kids.


What are some fun activities to do while camping with kids?

Some fun activities to do while camping with kids include hiking, swimming, fishing, biking, campfire storytelling, stargazing, and playing outdoor games.

What are some essential items to pack when camping with kids?

Some essential items to pack when camping with kids include a first aid kit, plenty of water and snacks, appropriate clothing and footwear, a tent, sleeping bags and pads, sunscreen, insect repellent, and a map and compass.

How can I keep my kids safe while camping?

To keep your kids safe while camping, make sure to choose a safe and secure campsite, keep track of your kids at all times, pack appropriate safety and first aid gear, and teach your kids basic camping and outdoor skills.

How do I prepare meals while camping with kids?

To prepare meals while camping with kids, plan your meals in advance and bring along easy-to-prepare and nutritious foods such as canned or dried foods, granola bars, and trail mix. You can also bring a camping stove or grill to cook your meals.

How can I make camping with kids less stressful?

To make camping with kids less stressful, plan and prepare in advance, involve your kids in the planning process, keep activities and plans flexible, and maintain a positive and relaxed attitude throughout the trip.