We all know the checklist: spacious skies, purple mountains majesties, a little piece of quiet. With millions of acres of wildlife, fresh air, and open skies beckoning, ours is an astonishingly varied land and we've never found a better way to take it all in then getting out and pitching a tent for a couple nights. We could fill a library trying to list all the various options for camping, and so instead we've pulled together a few of the most exceptional ones – whether it's the best place to see the sun rise, or dazzling stars at night, or to get in a skinny-dip in between.
For Soaking in a Hot Spring
Conundrum Hot Springs, CO
We're of the mindset that nearly any natural hot spring is good for some therapeutic relaxation. But the soothing waters of Conundrum Hot Spring are a particular standout. The larger of the two springs naturally forms an eclipse pool that frames the 14,000 foot peaks in the foreground, and hosts reflections of a crystalline sky when the water is still. To get there is an eight-mile hike in from the trailway entrance – the perfect way to earn your dip – and there are 16 camp sites in the woods a quarter mile before the springs (number six is closest, depending on whether you want privacy or proximity).
Credit: Daniel Bayer