If you love to hike and get outdoors, you might be looking for some new and exciting places to visit this year. 2021 means we’re all still looking for less-crowded places where we can enjoy some outdoor time without the risk of being in large crowds. Whether it’s a volcano park or a tropical beach, here are some of the best camping and hiking destinations for 2021!
Camping and Hiking Destinations for 2021
⦁ Asheville, North Carolina:
Nestled in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville, North Carolina boasts some of the most beautiful sunsets and sunrises. With soft, rounded mountains all around you, you can find a picturesque space. The forests are filled with a variety of evergreen trees, so it’s great to visit no matter the season. Close enough to the Great Smoky Mountains, you’ll see a lot fewer people out by these parts. The Shining Rock Wilderness Area is part of the Pisgah National Forest, and it’s a great place to backpack through in North Carolina! The best part? Your pets can join you! Sunburst Campground, just a short nine miles from the Singing Rock Wilderness Area, allows pets on their property! If camping isn’t your thing, they also offer a glamping experience, so you can still enjoy the experience without losing the modern furnishings of life. If you do choose to bring your pet with you, be sure to invest in a custom dog tag for dogs to place on their collar. That way, if they accidentally get loose, they can be returned to you easily because all the pertinent information is there on their dog tag!
⦁ The Black Hills, South Dakota:
South Dakota is known for its sprawling mountainscapes and unique features. While many visit Mount Rushmore, fewer people venture into the hills of South Dakota. Of course, we use the term “hill” very lightly. Much of the South Dakota landscape is still very mountainous and rocky. It also boasts waterfalls and many other unique features you won’t get anywhere else. The Black Hills boasts a variety of biodiversity, too. At one point you could be traveling through a rocky formation and at the next, you could be entering into a grassland. That’s the beauty of the Black Hills!
⦁ Sedona, Arizona:
Perfect for anyone obsessed with the Southwest (or for anyone who’s never been before), Sedona features a variety of red rocks and superb views of canyons. While you can find lots of sunshine, the temperature lacks heavy humidity, so you can find some nice hiking temperatures that won’t have you sweating beyond belief. Regardless, you should always stock up on quality sunscreen and water whenever you go hiking. Slightly different from the usually-crowded Grand Canyon, Sedona has a variety of natural springs you can enjoy, too!
⦁ White Mountains, New Hampshire:
Another East Coast venture, the White Mountains are great for anyone who has been wanting to take a European Alps trip but can’t afford the overseas plane ticket or doesn’t want to travel internationally right now. With so many ridgelines that are hiker-friendly, the White Mountains are great for staying above the treeline without feeling light-headed. You can watch the sun rise and set with a beautiful glow, perfect for anyone who wants a camping experience without too much flair.
⦁ Old Rag, Virginia:
A hike for only the most experienced of hikers, it’s strongly recommended you don’t attempt this one alone. Old Rag is a popular hike in Virginia’s Shenandoah, but it’s a strenuous trip. With over eight miles of rough terrain, you’ll want to be sure to bring plenty of water and layers of clothing. You should probably also be sure to remove any jewelry prior to hiking this trail and replace your current ring ⦁ for an engagement ring for active lifestyles. This isn’t one you want to take a chance on!
⦁ Nugget Falls Trail, Alaska:
Alaska is a beautiful state, filled with great views and places to explore. Nugget Falls features a variety of wildlife – if that’s your thing! You can even take a walk on a wooden structure similar to a boardwalk through some swampy areas. There’s over 700 miles of trails, making it a place you can return to and not see the same thing twice. Keep your camera out here so you can photograph any bald eagle sightings or even some black bear cubs.
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⦁ Lassen Volcanic Park, California:
Volcano parks are a truly unique experience. While you might associate them with Hawaii, many don’t consider California near that list. However, the Lassen Volcanic Park is the perfect destination for someone who wants to get a close up of a volcano without heading across the ocean to Hawaii. Part of the Southernmost area of the Cascades, Lassen Volcanic Park is home to a variety of old lava beds and even the summit of an active volcano! You won’t even feel like you’re in California while on this hiking trail.
Tips for Camping and Hiking
⦁ Go when it’s less busy:
Try to plan your trips when there aren’t any holidays going on. And, while it might be tempting to go during the summer because of the weather, remember school is typically out then, so more families with kids will be around. While it might seem like a burden to plan a winter hiking trip, you’d be surprised at how fun it is!
⦁ Remember to pack the essentials:
Food, water, a sleeping bag, medicine, a first aid kit and a tent are just some of the items you’ll need to go hiking and camping. Having these essentials packed well in advance ensures you won’t be taken by surprise when you need something most.
⦁ Secure the proper passes and follow the rules:
It’s important you follow the rules and get all the proper passes for your camping and hiking experience. Not only can you get kicked off the property, but you could be fined a hefty sum or barred from returning in the future.
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