Now that the nights are getting longer, there’s more of an excuse for indoor activities. One such activity is reading and dreaming about camping in one of our great national parks.
I also like to reminisce about camping. I have many fond memories of either canoeing or hiking up a mountain. I enjoy getting away from the daily grind of life and seeing some breathtaking scenery.
After a great day of seeing animals and mountains, some aspects of camping can be overlooked. Take for instance how to spend the night. Some will go with a traditional dome tent, or sleep in a cabin.
Then there are others who will break away from tradition and try new things. One such trend is hammock camping.
I have yet to buy a hammock for the sole purpose of camping, but I did go canoeing once with a friend who used a hammock. I remember it was easy and quick to set up.
By now you might be thinking that you want to give hammock camping a try. But where to go? Is hammock camping allowed in all the national parks?
Generally, hammock camping is allowed in all the national parks. The advice I read was to have wide straps about 1 inch across. The other advice was not to hang a hammock on one-hundred-year-old pine trees in higher elevations.
Now that we have some understanding of hammock camping, it’s time to look at some places to go, or at least dream about, as you drink your favorite hot beverage.
1. Acadia National Park
The top park is Acadia for hammock camping. Maine is known as the Pine Tree State and for a good reason. There are over 17 million acres of pine trees in the state. With all these trees, there will be a good chance of finding an excellent spot to set up your hammock.
There are also 6,000 lakes and over a thousand miles of rivers and streams to give you an unforgettable experience as you watch the sunset at night with a campfire, friends, and your hammock perched nearby.
2. Yosemite National Park
I went to Yosemite National Park, and it was easy to find a campsite without calling ahead for a reservation. I remember going on the week of Memorial Day, so the park had some traffic, but it wasn’t terrible.
I remember it snowed in May so I would suggest planning a trip in the summer months if you want to use a hammock.
There are plenty of great hiking trails, and the waterfalls are breathtaking. There are also bodies of water to discover. If you happen to be in California and want to see the Sierra Nevada, then this is the place to go.
3. Grand Canyon National Park
Grand Canyon National Park is also a park I visited. I spent much of my time in what is called the South Rim, but I also wanted to see the park from the North Rim.
After seeing the canyon from both sides, I would suggest setting up your hammock on the North Rim. I felt it was less crowded and more conducive to enjoying views without being near overpriced food vendors.
4. Glacier National Park
I drove through Glacier National Park once, and it was a memorable experience. I went on a very crowded Labor Day, but I got to see some stunning views.
If you don’t like crowds, there are many places to get away from people and set up your hammock. Then after you take in a lung-full of clean air, you can enjoy some spectacular views of glacier-capped mountains.
5. Grand Teton National Park
There are five campgrounds to choose from at Grand Teton National Park. Come and enjoy the views of the Teton Range.
6. Big Bend National Park
The Rio Grande River flows through the Big Bend National Park. The river gives visitors not only a great view but also a wide range of water activities, such as kayaking and rafting.
7. Olympic National Park
There are over 910 sites to choose from at Olympic National Park. So, come and enjoy glacier-capped mountains, and over 70 miles of wild coastline.
I have been to many National Parks, and I have yet to be disappointed. There are trails to hike, glaciers to see, and rivers to raft. The only thing missing is you and your hammock.
I know it’s cold outside and perhaps you’re more concerned about paying the electric bill. But as you drink your hot beverage, spend some time dreaming about summer.
Then as you dream start to think about camping. See yourself sleeping in a hammock as you get lulled to sleep by the sound of a nearby stream. That’s what I’m saying!