Special Report

Best States for Camping

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Considering the diversity of natural landscapes in the United States, the possibilities for taking a weekend trip into nature are endless. From seaside cliffs to remote mountain meadows, each state has its own unique camping options – or lack thereof. (Prefer more upscale lodging? Here is the best bed and breakfast in every state.)

To identify the best (and worst) states for camping, 24/7 Tempo reviewed a ranking created by LawnLove, a lawn care start-up that conducts research into city and state amenities on a regular basis. 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, 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 – 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) didn’t make it into the top ten 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. Although California ranked as the best state for camping overall, it scored worst in the nation for safety, while Florida, no. 5 on the list, scored 2nd worst. The safety ranking considers natural hazards as well as rates of state and national park deaths. Here are the most dangerous national parks in America.

Ohio is a bit of an underdog in the top 10. Although the Buckeye State isn’t necessarily famous for its national parks, its lack of acclaim is made up for in high safety, accessibility, and affordability.

Click here for the best states for camping

Methodology

To identify the best states for camping, 24/7 Tempo reviewed a ranking created by LawnLove, a lawn care start-up that conducts research into city and state amenities on a regular basis. LawnLove ranked all 50 states on 17 weighted metrics in five categories related to camping: access, campsite 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, attractions. 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.

Source: alacatr / E+ via Getty Images

50. Nevada
> 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: 8th worst

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49. Alabama
> Number of campsites: 167
> Average per diem campsite cost: $57.40
> Median consumer rating for campsites (out of 100): 89.77
> Supplies ranking: 24th worst
> Safety ranking: 15th worst

48. Mississippi
> Number of campsites: 127
> Average per diem campsite cost: $47.67
> Median consumer rating for campsites (out of 100): 93.98
> Supplies ranking: 13th worst
> Safety ranking: 6th worst

Source: aoldman / iStock via Getty Images

47. Delaware
> Number of campsites: 26
> Average per diem campsite cost: $57.10
> Median consumer rating for campsites (out of 100): 93.72
> Supplies ranking: 15th worst
> Safety ranking: 10th worst

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46. Rhode Island
> Number of campsites: 11
> Average per diem campsite cost: $114.17
> Median consumer rating for campsites (out of 100): 98.2
> Supplies ranking: 7th worst
> Safety ranking: 21st worst

Source: Vera_Petrunina / iStock via Getty Images

45. Louisiana
> Number of campsites: 109
> Average per diem campsite cost: $46.40
> Median consumer rating for campsites (out of 100): 94.44
> Supplies ranking: 19th worst
> Safety ranking: 11th worst

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44. New Jersey
> Number of campsites: 76
> Average per diem campsite cost: $81.00
> Median consumer rating for campsites (out of 100): 91.42
> Supplies ranking: 21st best
> Safety ranking: 16th worst

43. Maryland
> Number of campsites: 174
> Average per diem campsite cost: $87.68
> Median consumer rating for campsites (out of 100): 93.57
> Supplies ranking: 23rd best
> Safety ranking: 20th worst

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42. South Dakota
> Number of campsites: 167
> Average per diem campsite cost: $84.07
> Median consumer rating for campsites (out of 100): 94.22
> Supplies ranking: 5th worst
> Safety ranking: 6th best

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41. Hawaii
> Number of campsites: 187
> Average per diem campsite cost: $87.66
> Median consumer rating for campsites (out of 100): 95.08
> Supplies ranking: the worst
> Safety ranking: 2nd best

40. Nebraska
> Number of campsites: 61
> Average per diem campsite cost: $51.00
> Median consumer rating for campsites (out of 100): 93.05
> Supplies ranking: 14th worst
> Safety ranking: 4th best

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39. West Virginia
> Number of campsites: 277
> Average per diem campsite cost: $95.17
> Median consumer rating for campsites (out of 100): 95.48
> Supplies ranking: 10th worst
> Safety ranking: 25th worst

38. New Hampshire
> Number of campsites: 233
> Average per diem campsite cost: $71.22
> Median consumer rating for campsites (out of 100): 96.65
> Supplies ranking: 17th worst
> Safety ranking: 9th worst

37. Maine
> Number of campsites: 367
> Average per diem campsite cost: $62.79
> Median consumer rating for campsites (out of 100): 93.63
> Supplies ranking: 6th worst
> Safety ranking: 23rd best

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36. Wyoming
> Number of campsites: 363
> Average per diem campsite cost: $76.66
> Median consumer rating for campsites (out of 100): 94.98
> Supplies ranking: 3rd worst
> Safety ranking: 24th best

35. Georgia
> Number of campsites: 361
> Average per diem campsite cost: $73.60
> Median consumer rating for campsites (out of 100): 93.54
> Supplies ranking: 16th best
> Safety ranking: 14th worst

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34. South Carolina
> Number of campsites: 283
> Average per diem campsite cost: $48.61
> Median consumer rating for campsites (out of 100): 96.95
> Supplies ranking: 25th worst
> Safety ranking: 3rd worst

33. New Mexico
> Number of campsites: 545
> Average per diem campsite cost: $64.16
> Median consumer rating for campsites (out of 100): 93.95
> Supplies ranking: 9th worst
> Safety ranking: 18th best

Source: Vadim Anvaer / iStock via Getty Images

32. Massachusetts
> Number of campsites: 99
> Average per diem campsite cost: $86.03
> Median consumer rating for campsites (out of 100): 95.83
> Supplies ranking: 19th best
> Safety ranking: 13th worst

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31. Utah
> Number of campsites: 617
> Average per diem campsite cost: $74.96
> Median consumer rating for campsites (out of 100): 95.09
> Supplies ranking: 22nd worst
> Safety ranking: 5th worst

30. North Dakota
> Number of campsites: 63
> Average per diem campsite cost: $75.88
> Median consumer rating for campsites (out of 100): 99.4
> Supplies ranking: 8th worst
> Safety ranking: the best

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29. Vermont
> Number of campsites: 401
> Average per diem campsite cost: $69.14
> Median consumer rating for campsites (out of 100): 96.29
> Supplies ranking: 2nd worst
> Safety ranking: 16th best

Source: YinYang / E+ via Getty Images

28. Arizona
> Number of campsites: 794
> Average per diem campsite cost: $53.72
> Median consumer rating for campsites (out of 100): 92.51
> Supplies ranking: 12th best
> Safety ranking: 7th worst

Source: alacatr / iStock via Getty Images

27. Idaho
> Number of campsites: 710
> Average per diem campsite cost: $61.68
> Median consumer rating for campsites (out of 100): 95.11
> Supplies ranking: 16th worst
> Safety ranking: 24th worst

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26. North Carolina
> Number of campsites: 775
> Average per diem campsite cost: $58.11
> Median consumer rating for campsites (out of 100): 93.92
> Supplies ranking: 7th best
> Safety ranking: 4th worst

25. Tennessee
> Number of campsites: 658
> Average per diem campsite cost: $53.20
> Median consumer rating for campsites (out of 100): 95.11
> Supplies ranking: 14th best
> Safety ranking: 12th worst

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24. Kansas
> Number of campsites: 269
> Average per diem campsite cost: $44.47
> Median consumer rating for campsites (out of 100): 96.78
> Supplies ranking: 18th worst
> Safety ranking: 10th best

23. Oklahoma
> Number of campsites: 306
> Average per diem campsite cost: $51.01
> Median consumer rating for campsites (out of 100): 96.87
> Supplies ranking: 21st worst
> Safety ranking: 19th best

22. Montana
> Number of campsites: 771
> Average per diem campsite cost: $72.15
> Median consumer rating for campsites (out of 100): 94.25
> Supplies ranking: 11th worst
> Safety ranking: 15th best

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21. Missouri
> Number of campsites: 365
> Average per diem campsite cost: $43.32
> Median consumer rating for campsites (out of 100): 94.08
> Supplies ranking: 20th best
> Safety ranking: 11th best

Source: Warren_Price / iStock via Getty Images

20. Arkansas
> Number of campsites: 410
> Average per diem campsite cost: $48.84
> Median consumer rating for campsites (out of 100): 96.94
> Supplies ranking: 12th worst
> Safety ranking: 22nd best

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19. Indiana
> Number of campsites: 211
> Average per diem campsite cost: $50.04
> Median consumer rating for campsites (out of 100): 95.73
> Supplies ranking: 24th best
> Safety ranking: 9th best

Source: dosecreative / iStock via Getty Images

17. Kentucky
> Number of campsites: 349
> Average per diem campsite cost: $45.59
> Median consumer rating for campsites (out of 100): 95.98
> Supplies ranking: 20th worst
> Safety ranking: 20th best

Source: Joel Carillet / E+ via Getty Images

17. Virginia
> Number of campsites: 556
> Average per diem campsite cost: $59.04
> Median consumer rating for campsites (out of 100): 96.36
> Supplies ranking: 9th best
> Safety ranking: 19th worst

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16. Connecticut
> Number of campsites: 103
> Average per diem campsite cost: $74.93
> Median consumer rating for campsites (out of 100): 96.47
> Supplies ranking: 6th best
> Safety ranking: 23rd worst

Source: Douglas Rissing / iStock via Getty Images

15. Pennsylvania
> Number of campsites: 456
> Average per diem campsite cost: $67.55
> Median consumer rating for campsites (out of 100): 96.38
> Supplies ranking: 22nd best
> Safety ranking: 22nd worst

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14. Iowa
> Number of campsites: 142
> Average per diem campsite cost: $55.15
> Median consumer rating for campsites (out of 100): 98.14
> Supplies ranking: 25th best
> Safety ranking: 12th best

Source: welcomia / iStock via Getty Images

13. Illinois
> Number of campsites: 255
> Average per diem campsite cost: $61.59
> Median consumer rating for campsites (out of 100): 97.23
> Supplies ranking: 13th best
> Safety ranking: 13th best

12. Alaska
> Number of campsites: 446
> Average per diem campsite cost: $65.21
> Median consumer rating for campsites (out of 100): 96.17
> Supplies ranking: 4th worst
> Safety ranking: 18th worst

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11. Wisconsin
> Number of campsites: 328
> Average per diem campsite cost: $67.64
> Median consumer rating for campsites (out of 100): 95.95
> Supplies ranking: 15th best
> Safety ranking: 7th best

10. Oregon
> Number of campsites: 1109
> Average per diem campsite cost: $76.21
> Median consumer rating for campsites (out of 100): 95.41
> Supplies ranking: 17th best
> Safety ranking: 25th best

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9. New York
> Number of campsites: 985
> Average per diem campsite cost: $92.29
> Median consumer rating for campsites (out of 100): 95.8
> Supplies ranking: 18th best
> Safety ranking: 17th best

Source: Adventure_Photo / E+ via Getty Images

8. Colorado
> Number of campsites: 1204
> Average per diem campsite cost: $78.50
> Median consumer rating for campsites (out of 100): 94.74
> Supplies ranking: 4th best
> Safety ranking: 17th worst

7. Texas
> Number of campsites: 1310
> Average per diem campsite cost: $76.51
> Median consumer rating for campsites (out of 100): 93.8
> Supplies ranking: 3rd best
> Safety ranking: 14th best

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6. Ohio
> Number of campsites: 391
> Average per diem campsite cost: $63.03
> Median consumer rating for campsites (out of 100): 97.1
> Supplies ranking: 10th best
> Safety ranking: 8th best

Source: typhoonski / iStock via Getty Images

5. Florida
> Number of campsites: 925
> Average per diem campsite cost: $55.11
> Median consumer rating for campsites (out of 100): 93.26
> Supplies ranking: the best
> Safety ranking: 2nd worst

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4. Michigan
> Number of campsites: 699
> Average per diem campsite cost: $59.01
> Median consumer rating for campsites (out of 100): 95.39
> Supplies ranking: 11th best
> Safety ranking: 5th best

Source: 7Michael / iStock via Getty Images

3. Minnesota
> Number of campsites: 442
> Average per diem campsite cost: $64.83
> Median consumer rating for campsites (out of 100): 98
> Supplies ranking: 8th best
> Safety ranking: 3rd best

2. Washington
> Number of campsites: 1377
> Average per diem campsite cost: $93.35
> Median consumer rating for campsites (out of 100): 94.06
> Supplies ranking: 5th best
> Safety ranking: 21st best

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1. California
> Number of campsites: 3063
> Average per diem campsite cost: $119.48
> Median consumer rating for campsites (out of 100): 95.19
> Supplies ranking: 2nd best
> Safety ranking: the worst

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