If you didn’t get the chance to see the great outdoors this summer, you certainly still have time. The incredible fall colors and crisp cool air make any autumn camping trip an incredible weekend outing for the whole family. Outdoor fun doesn’t have to be exclusive to summertime, so whether you want to take a day trip or stay overnight, these beautiful places will make fall your favorite time of the year.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park (TN)
With camping options ranging from backcountry backpacking to developed front country campgrounds, the Great Smoky Mountains offers a wonderful experience for every type of adventure. With five different forests and scenic autumn drives and hikes, camping has never been more beautiful. Offering hikes that are specifically for kids as well as guided hikes, the Smoky Mountains has scenic landscapes that everyone can enjoy and even learn from. For more relaxed vacationers, the 800 square mile park has 384 miles of road to drive down where you can experience all the beauty the park has to offer. Experiencing deep fall colors for hundreds of miles, the awe-inspiring beauty of Great Smoky Mountains National Park makes it a can’t-miss destination for any autumn camping trip.
Julian is a quaint town nestled in the Cuyamaca mountains, just a short drive away from San Diego. Famous for their apples, Julian is the perfect place to go camping during the fall season. With activities from boating and hiking to touring historic gold mines and visiting a fall pumpkin patch, Julian is a great place to experience the great outdoors in the height of the fall season. The town even has a pie baking contest this September, as well as a country fair and scarecrow display.
White Mountain National Forest (NH & ME)
With 2018 being the 100th anniversary of the forest, you don’t want to miss camping in this incredible location during the fall. White Mountain National Forest offers a ton of camping areas accommodating RVs and tents, and they also have cabins available. You can spend time collecting minerals and rocks, picnicking with your family, or simply taking in the scenic fall views. This forest also has incredible tree canopy colors, and it has miles of roads to drive down and take in the never-ending beauty. With landmarks like historic farm houses and old stone walls, you will never know what lies around the corner in this incredible forest.
Capitol Reef National Park (UT)
With unique landscapes from cliffs and canyons to domes and even something they refer to as a wrinkle on earth, you’ll want to check out Capital Reef National Park. A bonus feature of going in September are the apple and pear fruit orchards that are available to pick through the month. Experience the park both during the day and after dark with the incredible views of an endless starry night stretching for hundreds of miles. With a range of adventurous and laid-back campgrounds, Capitol Reef National Park is a unique and incredible place to visit.
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park (MI)
Sleeping Bear Dunes is an incredible place to take your family camping this autumn. You can camp on the rustic mainland with or without modern amenities, or even camp on one of the park’s islands. There are close by towns full of quaint local shops and tons of kid-friendly activities that are engaging and educational. Take your family to one of the museums or lighthouses, or take a rewarding hike on their famous sand Dune Climb. Ranger-led tours, a breathtaking drive, and backcountry serenity are all features of this historically rich National Park perfect for your next family camping trip.