Alternatives to Camping in National Parks, a comprehensive website for camping in national forests and grasslands, provides detailed information for campers interesting in discovering an alternative to camping in national parks.

Whether a first time visitor to a national park, or a returning  visitor, can help start planning.

According to National Geographic and National Parks Conservation Association, since 2007, among the top 10 national parks visited are Great Smokey, Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Olympic, and Rocky Mountain. These parks share a boundary with 17 different national forests with literally hundreds of developed campgrounds convenient to a park entrance.

National forest campgrounds available to the national park visitor offer a variety of experiences, amenities and freedom not often found in national parks. These parks include:

The Great Smokey National Park in Tennessee is a short drive from the family-friendly Tsali campground in the Nantahala National Forest in North Carolina.

The Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona has De Motte Park campground on the Canyon’s North Rim and Ten-X campground on the South Rim. Both are in the Kaibab National Forest.

Tioga Lake campground, in California’s Inyo National Forest is at Yosemite National Park’s east entrance and has fabulous views of the park.

Fred and Suzi Dow and their traveling companions.

The Stanislaus National Forest’s Diamond “O”, at the Yosemite National Park west entrance, is a peaceful alternative to the park’s crowds.

Baker’s Hole campground in the Gallatin National Forest, in Montana, has electric hook-ups and fishing in the famous Madison River and is less than 10 miles from the west entrance of Yellowstone National Park.

In the shadow of the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming are rock climbing and incredible views with campsites tucked into a stand of lush Douglas fir at Teton Canyon campground in Targhee National Forest in Idaho.

Nestled in a lush rain-forest on the west side the Olympic National Park, in Washington, is Klahowya campground. A thick moss carpet covers the ground while the campground’s grand old trees seem to reach down to welcome visitors.

Campgrounds that offer tranquil alternatives to the hustle-and-bustle of the very popular Rocky Mountain National Park are the Roosevelt National Forest’s Peaceful Valley and Arapaho National Forest’s Stillwater campgrounds.

Stillwater campground has the additional attractions of recreational vehicle hook-ups, hot showers, and campsites on the beautiful 7,000-acre Lake Granby.

This is just a sampling of a few of the developed campgrounds in national forests located conveniently to seven of the top 10 most visited national parks. There are many more available to campers looking for alternatives.

Redfish Lake near Glacier View Campground in Sawtooth National Forest, Idaho (Source:

An example of how many camping alternatives there are is found around Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks. With both bordering each other, there are 75 developed campgrounds in seven national forests within 75 miles of these Parks, some as close as three miles from an entrance.

Details, the U.S. National Forest Campground Guide website, is a complete and comprehensive guide to developed campgrounds in national forests and grasslands.

It provides detailed information to campers looking to experience the great outdoors.

In addition to managing a website, Fred and Suzi Dow also self-publish Ebook CDs and downloads of 11 U.S. National Forest Campground Guides, which can be purchased online at their website.

Fred and Suzi Dow, authors and publishers of, have devoted 17 years to visiting, personally researching, and providing the public with free, detailed information about 175 national forests and grasslands and more than 2,400 personally surveyed campgrounds.


Worth Pondering…

Between every two pines is a doorway to a new world.

—John Muir

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