a tent sits next to the water

These Popular Camping Spots Are Near Impossible to Book

Camping has been a popular American pastime for generations, but outdoor recreation received a massive boost in 2020. Americans had more time on their hands, and gathering outdoors was the best way to interact with others and get in some exercise. While the numbers dropped slightly in 2021, many people are still hitting the outdoors for camping—whether it be regular tent camping or in an RV. The numbers rebounded in 2022 and are continuing to grow in 2023. While there are plenty of national parks and recreation areas, some are just more popular than others. The Dyrt, a camping booking website, discovered that certain camping sites are consistently booked, making it difficult to reserve a spot.

"Camping's popularity is at an all-time high," the website says. "More than 80 million Americans went camping last year, and 58.4 percent of campers surveyed in the 2023 Camping Report said they had difficulty finding a campsite to book because all reservations were taken."

One of the most popular places for camping is not surprising. Yellowstone's Slough Creek and Mammoth Campground are two of the hardest places to snag a spot. Slough Creek Campground is the most popular camping spot in the United States, and it's easy to see why. It has grounds filled with wildlife and star-filled skies, and you can even hear wolves howling in the distance. If you're lucky, you'll be able to snag a spot at one of the 16 campsites.

Mammoth Campground is open year-round for campers and is only 5 miles south of the park's North Entrance by Mammoth Hot Springs. The location offers prime fishing spots and hiking trails; campers can even see bison and elk wandering through the area. According to Dyrt, the campgrounds are booked solid every year.

Out of 50 states, only six are represented in the hardest-to-book campgrounds list. Some of the other spots are:

  • Seven Points, Tennessee
  • Fruita Campground, Utah
  • South Campground, Utah
  • Pinon Flats Campground, Colorado
  • Upper Coffee Pot, Idaho
  • Cages Bend, Tennessee
  • Twin Lakes Campground, California
  • Signal Mountain Campground, Wyoming

These locations are at least 97% booked throughout the year, with limited campsites available to visitors. The most available are the 120 campsites at South Campground in Utah. The best way to snag a spot is to keep your dates flexible and jump on any openings or cancellations.

READ MORE: 5 Best Northeastern Winter Camping States