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15 Gorgeous American Campsites You Should Visit At Least Once In Your Life

15 Gorgeous American Campsites You Should Visit At Least Once In Your Life

Camping may not be your “thing.” It’s not for a lot of people. They prefer hotels with heated swimming pools, nice restaurants, and the comforts of indoor resting places during vacations. If you do enjoy camping, however, here are 15 of the most amazing campgrounds you will find anywhere in the world – all right here in the U.S.

And for those of you not into camping? You owe it to yourself to find a hotel close by and take some of the greatest day trips you will ever have. From wildlife, to amazing rock formations, to spring, summer and fall foliage, to panning for gold, these national “treasures” of ours, that we call state and national parks, offer some extraordinary experiences.

1. Watchman Campground – Zion National Park, Utah

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    Image by Al_HikesAZ via Flickr Creative Commons

    Sunrise and sunset are probably the most phenomenal sights at Watchman Campground. There is just something about the way the sunlight hits these magnificent sandstone cliffs that campers never tire of seeing. Add to that the gorgeous walking trail that takes you to the Virgin River which meanders through the canyon and provides cool relief from the heat in the height of the summer months. And in every direction, there are still those cliffs.

    As a campground, for tent camping only, there are lots of amenities for the novices who not want to completely rough it, and the park is open year-round! Take a look at the typical campground site at Zion South!

    2. Assateague Island, Maryland

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      Image by highboom via Flickr Creative Commons

      If beach camping is your thing, you cannot beat Assateague Island off the costs of Maryland and Virginia. This 34-mile long island boasts beach camping and all of the other regular activities that accompany a vacation in this environment. A truly unique feature of the island are the legendary wild horses that roam freely about and don’t seem to mind the human guests, even those that choose to get married there! They have been on the island for at least 200 years, although their origin is uncertain. Today, they are managed by auctioning off male colts every summer.

      There is no place in the world that has more beautiful sunrises and sunsets than Assateague, and for those who camp on the beach, this is your view every morning.

      3. Lake McDonald, West Glacier, Montana

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        Image by Kent Kanouse via Flickr Creative Commons

        The Glacier National Park in Montana truly could be one of the major wonders of the world. Lake McDonald specifically demonstrates the awesome power of ancient glaciers as they carved valleys through mountain ranges. In most instances, these valleys then became lakes, also called basins. Lake McDonald is 10 miles long and offers a very private 25-site campground at one end – Sprague Campground. In late spring and through the summer, it is highly popular, and it may be difficult to get a site, particularly on weekends.

        One of the highlights of any camping trip to this Park will be the 50-mile drive on the “gong-to-the-sun” road, a ride that will take visitors alongside mountains and through the wild interior of the Park. During the drive, you will cross the Continental Divide. It’s quite chilly at night so be certain that you have brought plenty of warm camping gear.

        4. Carvers Gap, Round Bald, North Carolina

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          Image by Joe Giordano via Flickr Creative Commons

          If you have never walked any of the famous Appalachian Trail, a marked trail that stretches from Georgia to Maine, then you have missed an amazing part of the scenery of the Eastern United States. The Trail was carved out and marked, starting in 1925, by a conservancy group that wanted to provide an amazing journey for anyone so moved, through the crests of this mountain range. In North Carolina, campers can park their cars and hike a short ½ mile trek to Carvers Gap which provides a huge panoramic view of a part of this magnificent mountain range. Several other campsites are located a bit further up the trail, and all of them offer the same views. This is not a campground with any amenities, so bring all that you will need!

          5. Albion Basin, Utah

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            Image by carfull… via Flickr Creative Commons

            Another glacial valley carved out and now a panoramic wonderland. The great feature is hiking up to Lake Cecret and getting the amazing view. And if you travel during the spring and summer, the wildflowers are extraordinary. As there are no organized campings available in area make sure you have packed all your overnight camping gear and sufficient supplies for the trip. Also, it’s worth remembering a few basic survival tips and tricks like always carrying water purifying tablets with you and using them correctly. Knowing how to quickly make a fire in moist environment and cook food fast will come essential as well. You will need pretty sturdy boots for this trek, but the view from the top is more than worth it!

            6. Joshua Tree National Park – White Tank Campground, Joshua Tree, California

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              Image by ilirjan rrumbullaku via Flickr Creative Commons

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              The Joshua Tree is a member of the Yucca plant family, and is most prevalent in the Mojave Desert. It was given its name by Mormons crossing the Mojave Desert in the mid-1800’s, because they thought it reminded them of a passage from the Bible in which Joshua raised his arms up to the sky. Congress named and designated this area in California as a national park, and it has a number of campgrounds. White Tank Campground is smaller than most and is far less crowded, probably because there is no running water. But the highlight? You will be camping right next to the Arch Rock – an amazing geological formation that spans about 30 feet. Of course, there are other unusual rock formations throughout the Park, but this is the most famous.

              7. Gros Ventre Wilderness – Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

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                Image by lord the air smells good today via Flickr Creative Commons

                Choose your spot – a regular campsite or a backcountry setting that you pick. Whichever you choose, however, the Bros Ventre Wilderness camping areas of the Grand Teton National Park is far less crowded and touristy than any other. And you are in for some amazing sights, whether they are of the Grand Tetons or the Gros Ventre Range. Wildlife (bear, moose elk, and a huge population of marmots) and fishing are huge draws to the area, but nothing can equal the absolutely breathtaking views.

                8. Wildwood State Park, Long Island, New York

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                  Image by sandy richard via Flickr Creative Commons

                  Nothing about New York City is relaxed, laid back, or filled with nature, unless, of course, you decide to get away from the madness and escape to a retreat on Long Island known as Wildwood State Park. There, stressed and burnt out city dwellers will find a beautiful wooded camp ground with sites dotted among the rich foliage. And, if the weather is right, there is beachcombing and swimming on some of the most beautiful natural beaches to be found.

                  In fact, that is one of the big draws of Wildwood – the beaches remain natural, sitting below bluffs above which sport small pine forests. There are waterfalls dotted about, about 600 acres of pristine forests, and great views of Long Island Sound from the tops of those bluffs which are accessible by a 3.8 mile hike or drive that loops around the Park.

                  9. Polihale State Park, Kauai, Hawaii

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                    Image by Andy Beal via Flickr Creative Commons

                    Beautiful white sand beaches is one of the most incredible features of this hugely popular camping mecca, along with an almost no-rainfall year, extraordinary sunsets, and the famous Na Pali Cliffs. Kauai has been nicknamed the garden island because of the tropical rainforest that inhabits most of the island. For those campers interested in rainforest wildlife, it is in abundance on this island. Because the campsites feature bathrooms, showers, and BBQ grills, campers can enjoy an extended stay in this little piece of paradise.

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                    10. Death Valley National Park, California

                    A colorful pre-sunrise at Zabriskie Point in Death Valley, California.

                      Image by Dave Toussaint via Flickr Creative Commons

                      The Eastern California Mojave Desert does not really “feel” like a desert. Here you have rolling hills, surrounding amazing sand dunes, with campsites dotted about. If you are looking for great sand dune fun, desert wildlife for photography, and amazing sunsets, then these campgrounds are perfect for you. Even if you don’t run around the dunes and play in the sand, they are a phenomenon worth photographing.

                      11. Treehouse Point, Washington, “Winter Camping”

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                        Image by Tony Guyton via Flickr Creative Commons

                        30 minutes from Seattle; the sight of all of your childhood dreams come true. Against the backdrop of the Raging River, you can stay in your very own treehouse. Not the “roughing it” of campgrounds, but still an experience to have. This is a romantic and certainly a bit magical place – a place to get married and a place to pan for gold, if you so choose, to fish, or just explore the secluded forests along the River. The “campground” is open year-round for any “snow bunnies.”

                        12. Nugent Mountain Camp Site – Big Bend National Park, Texas

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                          Image by Steve Dunleavy via Flickr Creative Commons

                          If you want a really primitive camping experience, and the solitude that comes with it, then you will need to travel to Nugent Mountain Campsite. Either car camp or bring a tent, but make sure that you are outside when the stars come out – it is one of the most amazing star-gazing places in the country. Other features are, of course, the scenery, the rivers, and the wildlife. You will also find some really unusual rock formations!

                          13. Whitewater State Park, Minnesota

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                            Image by darosenbauer via Flickr Creative Commons

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                            This campground is definitely for the nature lover in the spring and fall, first for the flowers and second for the fall foliage. Most of the park is quite high, on bluffs overlooking the Whitewater River. Campers will find great hiking trails, great trout fishing, and good mushroom hunting, especially for Morels.

                            14. Timber Creek Campgrounds – Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

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                              Image by Wally Gobetz via Flickr Creative Commons

                              This absolutely breath-taking park has 98 campsites that are set along the Colorado River. The highlights of any camping trip will be hiking to the Big Meadow and to the Granite Falls – there are waterfalls throughout the Park, but the Granite Falls is a 50-foot fall that is almost shocking to see. Among the animal life are elk, moose, black bear and fox who are easily seen along the shorelines. Because this park is nestled so far away from city lights, if you can plan your trip at the time of a new moon, you will have a spectacular view of the Milky Way. Late spring, summer and early fall are the best times to camp, and even then, nights can get chilly, so be prepared.

                              15. Mogollon Rim, Coconino National Forest, Arizona

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                                Image by Coconino National Forest via Flickr Creative Commons

                                This is one of the best kept secrets in Arizona! The Mogollon Rim is located in Eastern Arizona and is a part of the Colorado Plateau. In some spot the rim provides a 2000-foot high overlook on the Coconino National Forest. The forest itself is thousands of acres, and is an amazing sight in the fall. The Rim is a great place for hiking and exploring during the daytime, but the bigger draw are the sunsets and the star gazing at night. There are loads of campsites on the Rim, so campers generally don’t have difficulty finding one.

                                It is so easy to forget about the wonders that the U.S. has to offer. We seem to be so anxious to explore foreign lands, to soak up the countryside of France or the vineyards of Italy. We take Rhine River cruises and marvel at the beautiful bluffs along that River. We travel to mountain ranges, to deserts, and to beaches all over the world. If, on the other hand, we would begin to experience all that our own parks have to offer, we could spend the rest of our lives exploring them and still not run out of places to go and things to see!

                                Featured photo credit: John Fowler via flickr.com

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                                Last Updated on November 19, 2019

                                20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

                                20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

                                Are you usually punctual or late? Do you finish things within the time you stipulate? Do you hand in your reports/work on time? Are you able to accomplish what you want to do before deadlines? Are you a good time manager?

                                If your answer is “no” to any of the questions above, that means you’re not managing your time as well as you want. Here are 20 time management tips to help you manage time better:

                                1. Create a Daily Plan

                                Plan your day before it unfolds. Do it in the morning or even better, the night before you sleep. The plan gives you a good overview of how the day will pan out. That way, you don’t get caught off guard. Your job for the day is to stick to the plan as best as possible.

                                2. Peg a Time Limit to Each Task

                                Be clear that you need to finish X task by 10am, Y task by 3pm, and Z item by 5:30pm. This prevents your work from dragging on and eating into time reserved for other activities.

                                3. Use a Calendar

                                Having a calendar is the most fundamental step to managing your daily activities. If you use outlook or lotus notes, calendar come as part of your mailing software.

                                I use it. It’s even better if you can sync your calendar to your mobile phone and other hardwares you use – that way, you can access your schedule no matter where you are. Here’re the 10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track .

                                Find out more tips about how to use calendar for better time management here: How to Use a Calendar to Create Time and Space

                                4. Use an Organizer

                                An organizer helps you to be on top of everything in your life. It’s your central tool to organize information, to-do lists, projects, and other miscellaneous items.

                                These Top 15 Time Management Apps and Tools can help you organize better, pick one that fits your needs.

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                                5. Know Your Deadlines

                                When do you need to finish your tasks? Mark the deadlines out clearly in your calendar and organizer so you know when you need to finish them.

                                But make sure you don’t make these 10 Common Mistakes When Setting Deadlines.

                                6. Learn to Say “No”

                                Don’t take on more than you can handle. For the distractions that come in when you’re doing other things, give a firm no. Or defer it to a later period.

                                Leo Babauta, the founder of Zen Habits has some great insights on how to say no: The Gentle Art of Saying No

                                7. Target to Be Early

                                When you target to be on time, you’ll either be on time or late. Most of the times you’ll be late. However, if you target to be early, you’ll most likely be on time.

                                For appointments, strive to be early. For your deadlines, submit them earlier than required.

                                Learn from these tips about how to prepare yourself to be early, instead of just in time.

                                8. Time Box Your Activities

                                This means restricting your work to X amount of time. Why time boxing is good for you? Here’re 10 reasons why you should start time-boxing.

                                You can also read more about how to do time boxing here: #5 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity.

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                                9. Have a Clock Visibly Placed Before You

                                Sometimes we are so engrossed in our work that we lose track of time. Having a huge clock in front of you will keep you aware of the time at the moment.

                                10. Set Reminders 15 Minutes Before

                                Most calendars have a reminder function. If you have an important meeting to attend, set that alarm 15 minutes before.

                                You can learn more about how reminders help you remember everything in this article: The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

                                11. Focus

                                Are you multi-tasking so much that you’re just not getting anything done? If so, focus on just one key task at one time. Multitasking is bad for you.

                                Close off all the applications you aren’t using. Close off the tabs in your browser that are taking away your attention. Focus solely on what you’re doing. You’ll be more efficient that way.

                                Lifehack’s CEO has written a definitive guide on how to focus, learn the tips: How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

                                12. Block out Distractions

                                What’s distracting you in your work? Instant messages? Phone ringing? Text messages popping in?

                                I hardly ever use chat nowadays. The only times when I log on is when I’m not intending to do any work. Otherwise it gets very distracting.

                                When I’m doing important work, I also switch off my phone. Calls during this time are recorded and I contact them afterward if it’s something important. This helps me concentrate better.

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                                Find more tips on how to minimize distractions to achieve more in How to Minimize Distraction to Get Things Done

                                13. Track Your Time Spent

                                When you start to track your time, you’re more aware of how you spend your time. For example, you can set a simple countdown timer to make sure that you finish a task within a period of time, say 30 minutes or 1 hour. The time pressure can push you to stay focused and work more efficiently.

                                You can find more time tracking apps here and pick one that works for you.

                                14. Don’t Fuss About Unimportant Details

                                You’re never get everything done in exactly the way you want. Trying to do so is being ineffective.

                                Trying to be perfect does you more harm than good, learn here about how perfectionism kills your productivity and how to ditch the perfectionism mindset.

                                15. Prioritize

                                Since you can’t do everything, learn to prioritize the important and let go of the rest.

                                Apply the 80/20 principle which is a key principle in prioritization. You can also take up this technique to prioritize everything on your plate: How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

                                16. Delegate

                                If there are things that can be better done by others or things that are not so important, consider delegating. This takes a load off and you can focus on the important tasks.

                                When you delegate some of your work, you free up your time and achieve more. Learn about how to effectively delegate works in this guide: How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

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                                17. Batch Similar Tasks Together

                                For related work, batch them together.

                                For example, my work can be categorized into these core groups:

                                1. writing (articles, my upcoming book)
                                2. coaching
                                3. workshop development
                                4. business development
                                5. administrative

                                I batch all the related tasks together so there’s synergy. If I need to make calls, I allocate a time slot to make all my calls. It really streamlines the process.

                                18. Eliminate Your Time Wasters

                                What takes your time away your work? Facebook? Twitter? Email checking? Stop checking them so often.

                                One thing you can do is make it hard to check them – remove them from your browser quick links / bookmarks and stuff them in a hard to access bookmarks folder. Replace your browser bookmarks with important work-related sites.

                                While you’ll still checking FB/Twitter no doubt, you’ll find it’s a lower frequency than before.

                                19. Cut off When You Need To

                                The number one reason why things overrun is because you don’t cut off when you have to.

                                Don’t be afraid to intercept in meetings or draw a line to cut-off. Otherwise, there’s never going to be an end and you’ll just eat into the time for later.

                                20. Leave Buffer Time In-Between

                                Don’t pack everything closely together. Leave a 5-10 minute buffer time in between each tasks. This helps you wrap up the previous task and start off on the next one.

                                More Time Management Techniques

                                Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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