When we think of ways to take care of ourselves, going outside and getting into the Great Outdoors damn near tops the list. Being able to see crystal clear lakes, piercing blue skies, puffy cumulonimbus clouds, trees far as the eye can see, wildlife and all the other things out there in the world that remind us what, exactly, we’re missing when we’re cooped up in our offices staring at letterhead all day is something we try not to take for granted.
Being in nature and smelling the charred wood of the campfire, or feeling minnows wading between our bare feet on the lake’s shore, or seeing the beauty of the sun through the pines — these are the things that remind us where we’ve come from, and if we go too long without reconnecting to them, we feel off-keel.
In shorter, more boring words: We love camping. Can you tell?
And while we certainly don’t mind those backwoods trails and communal grounds with which we’ve become so familiar over the last couple decades, we have a camping bucket list, too, much in the same way we don’t mind our Toyota Corolla, but if you offered up a Lamborghini Aventador, we’d snatch the keys right out of your hands.
With that said, here are the 8 Most Picturesque Campgrounds In The World:
Crater Lake National Park, Oregon
Crater Lake National Park, located in Central Oregon’s Klamath County, is hands-down one of the most beautiful stretches of land in the entire United States—and also, the world. We love it for camping because aside from its status as a national park, it also has two designated camping spaces for individuals, groups and families, as well as backcountry camping permits to park at one of five more remote campsites throughout the park.
Be warned, however, that the backcountry sites are the real deal. They only include a fire ring and a flat area for tents. You’re on your own for everything else!
Jumbo Rocks Campground, Joshua Tree National Park
Camping out at Joshua Tree should be a rite of passage for every red-blooded American. If you want to really witness the impeccable beauty of the U.S. firsthand, there are few places that even compare to Joshua Tree National Park. But of all the places to camp out there, Jumbo Rocks Campground is far and away our favorite because you’re smack dab in the middle of some of the most beautiful rock formations in the entire park.
Death Valley National Park, California
Death Valley National Park is consistently ranked one of the most beautiful destinations in the entire world, which means we were drawn to it when making this list because we already knew of its unbelievable beauty.
Lo and behold, it also offers plenty of opportunity to camp.
There are 12 campgrounds in total strewn across all 3.4 million acres of land — nine of which are owned by the Federal Government, and three of which are private.
Every guide we read recommends finding a spot near Furnace Creek, as it’s not only exceptionally well-equipped and huge, but is also centrally located in the park itself. If you want to really find your way around out there in the Valley, backcountry camping is also a very popular thing to do.
Be warned, however, that camping off the grid here can definitely be dangerous, as one can clearly see by reading the NPS’s website on Death Valley backcountry camping.
First and foremost, Sweden is an ideal place for camping because aside from the country’s obvious and outstanding beauty, the Swedes, really, really take their right to explore seriously. In fact, they call it “Allemansrätt,” or “The Right of Public access.”
Essentially it’s a mandated law that gives all people the right to walk, cycle, ride, ski and camp on land in perfect tranquility and quietude. Let us just reiterate that one, real quick: Camping in Sweden isn’t a privilege, it’s a right.
Anyway, while all of Sweden is unbelievable for the novice and expert outdoorsmen alike, we think Skåne is an excellent choice because it literally offers a little bit of everything, from quiet sandy beaches, to beautiful fields of flowers, leafy forests and even an apple orchard or two.
Vancouver Island, British Columbia
Vancouver, in general, is an absolutely beautiful city. However, it’s important for us to clarify that Vancouver Island is a whole different animal compared to the city.
Vancouver Island, though located maybe 30-ish miles away from the city, feels like a whole different world, full of beautiful green National Park Reserve, quiet beaches and a peaceful breeze sweeping through the trees lining the shore.
You’ll also find hidden lakes, some challenging hiking, waterfalls and fishing spots galore. Camping here is popular and incredibly easy, with numerous designated spots all over the island, but we’re also told it’s pretty easy to do some off-the-beaten path stuff if you know where to look.
Another one of our bucket list destinations, Lakadh, high up in India’s northern state of Jammu and Kashmir, is one of those places every outdoorsman dreams of. We could have easily sent you to the lush green meadows of Srinagar, but Ladakh is where things get beautiful, rugged and also a little sketchy.
Ladakh is only accessible for a few months out of the year due to its incredibly harsh climate, but once you get there, you realize Ladakh, also known as “the last Shangri-La,” is pretty flush with everything from pre-erected campsites and tents, to full-on hotels. You’re also more than welcome to pitch your own tent and sleep under the stars.
Some of the more popular places to lay down camp in Ladakh include the beautiful (and never crowded) Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso (which borders the majestic Pangong Lake) and Tso Moiriri.
Frankly anywhere out there is absolutely beautiful. However, make sure you conduct your due diligence before traveling to the region, as there are some sections where the Chinese Government can get a little touchy about borders. Either way, it’s easily one of the most ruggedly breathtaking spots on our list.
And while you’re there, don’t forget to check out one of the region’s historic Gompas.
Iceland is, quite simply, one of the most beautiful countries in the entire world. It’s truly breathtaking, and it doesn’t matter whether you’re looking North, South, East or West, you’re likely to be overwhelmed by its beauty. You can rent a hut or tent at the hot springs in Landmannalaaugur, and then hike your way down through beautiful plains, lava rock fields, meadows, etc., until making it all the way down to the glaciers Eyjafjallajökull and Mydralsjökull. You can’t backcountry camp, unfortunately, but the legal campsites here are more than enough to blow your mind.
Cerro Castillo, Chile (Patagonia)
Patagonia is another one of those breathtaking and life-changing experiences you really have to see to believe. It’s like another world, brimming with unbelievable natural beauty, beautiful parks, incredible hiking, climbing and all the nature you could ever want.
The campsites surrounding Cerro Castillo, however, are some of the more beautiful places in all of Patagonia, and they’re very accessible. Just be warned that you’ll definitely be doing some hiking here, has the reserve is pretty remote, and the vantage point from the trails leading up into the mountains is irresistible.