By Michael Lanza

An unforgettable campsite can define a backcountry trip. Sometimes that perfect spot where you spend a night forges the memory that remains the most vivid long after you’ve gone home. A photo of that camp can send recollections of the entire adventure rushing back to you—it does for me. I’ve been very fortunate to have pitched a tent in many great backcountry campsites over more than three decades of backpacking all over the U.S. and the world. I’ve boiled the list of my favorite spots down to these 25.

I update this list every year, and each time, it becomes more difficult. This year, I’m adding a very remote campsite in the Maze District of Canyonlands National Park. Below my top 25 list you’ll find a second list—nearly as long—of campsites that were previously in my top 25. Each campsite photo below includes a short description of that trip, and most have a link to an existing story at The Big Outside.

In a few cases, the photos from these places show the view a few steps from our tent, rather than the site itself.


Hi, I’m Michael Lanza, creator of The Big Outside. Click here to sign up for my FREE email newsletter. Join The Big Outside to get full access to all of my blog’s stories. Click here for my e-guides to classic backpacking trips. Click here to learn how I can help you plan your next trip.

I share a brief anecdote with each photo because, for me, each campsite isn’t merely a beautiful scene: it is a story and a memory. Because that’s what camping in the wilderness is all about.

I’d love to read your thoughts about any of these places, or your suggestions for campsites that belong on my list; I’m always looking for trip ideas. Share them in the comments section at the bottom of this story. I try to respond to all comments.

Sweet dreams.

A backpacker at Sahale Glacier Camp in North Cascades National Park.
” data-image-caption=”David Ports at Sahale Glacier Camp in North Cascades National Park.
” data-medium-file=”https://i0.wp.com/thebigoutside.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Cas7-220-Sahale-Camp-North-Cascades-NP.jpg?fit=300%2C177&ssl=1″ data-large-file=”https://i0.wp.com/thebigoutside.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Cas7-220-Sahale-Camp-North-Cascades-NP.jpg?fit=900%2C529&ssl=1″ width=”900″ height=”529″ src=”https://i0.wp.com/thebigoutside.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Cas7-220-Sahale-Camp-North-Cascades-NP.jpg?resize=900%2C529&ssl=1″ alt=”A backpacker at Sahale Glacier Camp in North Cascades National Park.” class=”wp-image-37162″ srcset=”https://i0.wp.com/thebigoutside.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Cas7-220-Sahale-Camp-North-Cascades-NP.jpg?resize=1024%2C602&ssl=1 1024w, https://i0.wp.com/thebigoutside.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Cas7-220-Sahale-Camp-North-Cascades-NP.jpg?resize=300%2C177&ssl=1 300w, https://i0.wp.com/thebigoutside.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Cas7-220-Sahale-Camp-North-Cascades-NP.jpg?resize=768%2C452&ssl=1 768w, https://i0.wp.com/thebigoutside.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Cas7-220-Sahale-Camp-North-Cascades-NP.jpg?resize=1080%2C635&ssl=1 1080w, https://i0.wp.com/thebigoutside.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Cas7-220-Sahale-Camp-North-Cascades-NP.jpg?w=1200&ssl=1 1200w” sizes=”(max-width: 900px) 100vw, 900px” data-recalc-dims=”1″ />David Ports at Sahale Glacier Camp in North Cascades National Park.

Sahale Glacier Camp, North Cascades National Park, WA

A backpacker at Sahale Glacier Camp in North Cascades National Park.

Did you miss our previous article…
https://www.mansbrand.com/nasas-upcoming-spherex-mission-will-map-the-entire-universe-in-infrared-every-6-months/

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