Economy

This Is the Worst State for Camping

A staggering 48 million households had someone who went camping in 2020, according to the North American Camping Report. A total of 10 million of those were new. Apart from sudden and dangerous changes in weather, the few campers who get lost and those attacked by wild animals, camping is a good way for people to spend extended periods outdoors.

As is true with almost all activities and demographic groups, camping statistics vary considerably from state to state. To identify the worst state for camping, 24/7 Tempo reviewed a ranking created by LawnLove, a lawn care start-up that regularly conducts research into city and state amenities. LawnLove ranked all 50 states on 17 weighted metrics in five categories related to camping: access, cost, quality, supplies and safety.

Access metrics include the number of campsites, acreage of state and national parks, and the number of hiking trails, activities and attractions. Many large states with a plethora of wide open spaces, such as Alaska, Texas and California, scored high in the access category. Alaska alone has 35.8 million acres of state and national parks. On the other hand, some of the nation’s smallest states, like Rhode Island and Delaware, scored poorly for having few or no parks, as well as few campsites or attractions.

While California, Washington and Oregon have some of the highest numbers of campsites in the nation, these west coast states are generally more expensive. Some tourist hotspots with renowned attractions (such as Arizona, home to the Grand Canyon) did not make it into the top 10 because of poor quality campsites or limited gear outfitters. States with plenty of access to water, including Minnesota, Florida and Michigan, scored highly for having a wide variety of campsite activities, including fishing, kayaking and swimming. Some of the best states to camp may still be dangerous due to treacherous waters or terrain.

The worst state for camping is Nevada. Here are the details:

  • Number of campsites: 95
  • Average per diem campsite cost: $52.13
  • Median consumer rating for campsites (out of 100): 89.24
  • Supplies ranking: 23rd worst
  • Safety ranking: Eighth worst


In identifying the worst state for camping, quality rankings depended on the number of campsites with toilets and water, as well as consumer reviews of campsites in the state. The safety index took into account the number of deaths in parks, as well as the natural hazard index and cellular network coverage. The cost and supplies categories considered not only the number of tent campsites and camping gear stores, but also RV sites and RV rental offers.

Click here to see the best states for camping.

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