Chilling Adventures: The Top Camping Places in the United States
America is one of the most visited countries for camping as it hosts many sky-high mountains and exceptionally deep canyons; while almost all of these are magnificent to the human eye, some certainly do top the list. Let’s see what sort of camping places the U.S offers to its campers.
Camping is a great activity for those who are looking to spend time out of their homes and enjoying the beauty of nature. Most campers also love adventure with spectacular views, and so many opt for relatively dangerous places. The U.S. covers an area of 9.834 million km² and boasts many adventure sites; this country is also home to more than 300 million people, a lot of whom love adventure. For those who are fans of camping and hiking, we have compiled a list of some of the most adventurous yet dangerous camping places in the United States.
Great Smoky Mountains
The Great Smoky Mountains are located along the border of Tennessee and North Carolina. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the most visited places in the USA. Its dense forests are known for their hiking, fishing, skiing, horseback riding and camping experience. The only issue is that these mountains have witnessed a lot of car accidents, especially automobile collisions. Foggy weather causing low visibility, slippery roads, hairpin curves, and distractions caused by beautiful sceneries are major causes of accidents. Forest fires and bee attacks have also caused a number of accidents.
Denali National Park
One of the most popular camping places, the Denali National Park in Alaska, allows people to camp at the Great Alaskan Outdoors. The National Park is named after Mount Denali, which is the highest mountain peak in North America, with a height of 20,310 meters. The sights at the park are breathtaking, but the difficulties and dangers are extreme as well.
Even though Denali Park is bigger than the whole state of New Jersey, there is only one road throughout the entire journey of the park and so reaching different places is pretty difficult. The last shutter bus leaves at 6:30 p.m., and because of the midnight sun, it may be possible to not have an idea of passing time, and thus people often miss the last bus.
Suppose you are not a resident of Alaska. In that case, the extremely frigid temperatures, blizzards, and avalanches will be unbearable for you, just like they were for many of the climbers who attempted to summit the peak of Mount Denali but fell prey to the natural catastrophes. Grilly and Black Bears are also a major threat to campers, especially during the dark.
Bright Angel Trail
Grand Canyon, located in the state of Arizona, is one of the 7 natural wonders of the world and is America’s most popular camping place among campers. Every year, more than four million visitors visit the Grand Canyon.
Bright Angel trail is the steepest route to the Grand Canyon with an exhausting 4380 ft. descent. Its name might be bright angel, but it’s the devil of hiking trails and is also sometimes called “The Devil’s Corkscrew”.
Heat strokes have caused many deaths and heart attacks among campers. After a series of deaths in 1997, the park installed water, phone and Rangers’ stations along the miles of trail on the route.
However, this does not always protect the campers, especially when the temperature rises above 110 degrees Fahrenheit. The dangers go up as the temperature rises. The Indian Garden, a campground on the trail, is the most dangerous region where the temperature soars.
Did someone say the most dangerous camping places? Yes, you are damn right. Death Valley is surely one of them. The Mojave Desert has most of its area in California but also enters into Nevada, Utah and Arizona. Death Valley is located in the northern region of the Mojave Desert.
The valley extends over more than 140 Square miles across Nevada and southern California, the maximum height is 86 m above sea level, while most of the valley is below sea level. Just like any other Desert, rattlesnakes, scorpions and black widow spiders are a big threat. However, these deadly animals are not the only danger.
Death Valley is one of the hottest places on Earth, along the Middle East and Sahara desert. The extreme heat causes dehydration which has caused multiple deaths.
Park rangers have warned about relying too much on GPS, as many of the campers have gotten lost in the Valley. Despite these dangers, many people love to visit the desert for hiking, bird watching and stargazing.
Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument
Sonoran desert is located in Arizona and also spreads across the North-West region of Mexico. Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument is located in the southern part of Arizona and just touches the border of Mexico. Named after the tall breed of cactus, the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument is desolate and beautiful.
This terrain is the only home to Wild jaguars in the United States, which are a serious threat to campers. Apart from jaguars, this terrain is the route for many smugglers and drug dealers to enter Mexico. Due to unlawful activities, almost 70 percent of the park remained closed for campers from 2003 to 2014.
One of the most dangerous camping places. YES! Cascade Mountain range is a long mountainous range that spreads over the Pacific North-west, over the States of California, Oregon, Washington and the Canadian state of British Columbia. Mount Rainier, with its peak at a height of about 14,000 feet above sea level, is the tallest peak of the Cascade range and is located in Washington State.
Mount Rainier is pretty popular among campers, and the beauty there is stunning. However, inexperienced adventurers should not visit it since every year, almost 10,000 people attempt to climb the mountain but more than half are forced to turn back.
The extremely cold winds might cause hypothermia, even during the summers! Many tourists have fallen from the mountain down to their deaths during hiking.
Rock falls and avalanches are also a constant threat. In 2014, six climbers tumbled thousands of feet while trying to reach the summit. Liberty Ridge is the most dangerous point where less than 2% of hikers at Mount Rainier attempt to climb, but 25% of the deaths occur.
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area is located in the north of Arizona and south of Utah and is one of the most adventurous camping places of Western America. Glen Canyon covers several lakes and rivers which are surrounded by massive cliffs. This makes it a perfect spot for those who are looking for activities such as kayaking, fishing and boating.
Being a perfect spot for boating and swimming also makes Glen Canyon a spot with several boating and swimming accidents. Lake Powell alone witnessed six accidents in ten days in June 2013.
Cliff jumping from more than 15 meters is prohibited, but some guests have tried to jump from as high as 50 meters, pushing their luck. This has made cliff jumping another major threat in Glen Canyon.
Lake Mead National Recreation Area is the largest water reservoir in the United States. Located at the border of Arizona and Nevada, Lake Mead turns the typical desert into a blue watered paradise. However, since many of the tourists are clueless about the power of natural reservoirs, they don’t understand the dangers and start swimming in unsafe areas. This has caused the deaths of many tourists, and most of them weren’t even alcoholics. An average, one person died every week in the year 1998.
The wave is a small water body located at the northern border of Arizona near Utah. It is located in the northern section of Coyote Buttes and is one of the most picturesque spots in North America, but is extremely dangerous as well. Because of the extreme sensitivity of the rocks, only 20 visitors per day are allowed to hike out to The Wave. These people are selected via lottery, and the winners are allowed to hike.
For their hike to The Wave, they are given a map but are on their own to reach there i.e. no guide is provided. Many have lost their way due to this. Due to the extreme heat, many people have died from hyperthermia and cardiac arrests. Back in 2013, three people died only in one month.
While many others exist too, these camping places certainly top the list. If you’re someone who’s willing to go through such rough adventures for the sake of an adrenaline rush and great memories, then maybe you should start packing your camping bags!