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Summer is closer than you think.

Andrea Romano
December 13, 2017

Even though summer vacation may be the furthest thing from your mind, now is the perfect time to start making plans. Really.

Whether or not you've finished your holiday shopping, outdoor activities — from hiking to biking to camping — are more popular than ever, and your favorite campsites might fill up faster than you think. More than 330 million people visit U.S. national parks every year, according to Hipcamp, and you don't want to be the person up the river without a paddle.

Or, up the mountain without a reservation, rather.

Many national and state park campsites open reservations exactly six months ahead of time. That means reservations at some of the most beautiful (and most popular) national treasures is currently open for May 13, 2018. Are you checking your favorite campsite's website yet?

Related: Where to Stay for Free Near 9 U.S. National Parks

Hipcamp, which lists more than 12,000 campgrounds across the country, has some ideas for where to find the best place to pitch your tent without having to fight for space. In addition to the most popular national parks, the site also lists private campsites on nature preserves, farms, and ranches.

To kick off the summer camping booking season, which turns out is the beginning of winter, Hipcamp has shared their top camping destinations.

  1. Sky Camp, Joshua Tree, California
  2. Mendocino Grove, Mendocino, California
  3. Healing Farm, Ridgebury, New York
  4. Magic Forest Farm, Upstate New York
  5. Holy Cross Refugio, Holy Cross Wilderness, Colorado
  6. Private Beach Farm, Santa Barbara, California
  7. Paradise Shores Camp, Eastern Sierras, California
  8. The Landing, Cascade Mountains, Washington
  9. Water Canyon Cliffside, Zion, Utah
  10. Mustang Valley Campground, Monument Valley Overlook, Arizona

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