25 Amazing Campsites in the American Southwest

You can't beat golden hour in the desert.

There's something special about waking up in the desert. There's a stillness and clarity that you just can't find anywhere else. Maybe it's the endless sky, the towering red rock formations, or the winding rivers. Whatever it is, it works for us! 

The American Southwest is home to some of the most incredible high desert landscape you can find on the planet. Whether you want to pull up in the car and set up camp or you're looking to get into the backcountry, this list has something for you. Check out these campsites and start planning your road trip to the desert.  

1. Camp in Capitol Reef National Park


Photo: Mike Fennell

2. Camp at the View Campground in Monument Valley


Photo: Hillary + Matt

3. Camp in the Valley of the Gods


Photo: Mike Fennell

4. Camp at Rio Grande del Norte National Monument


Photo: Jason Hatfield

5. Camp at Arch Rock Campground in Valley of Fire State Park


Photo: Jake Young

6. Backpack the Great Sand Dunes


Photo: Michael O’Keeffe

7. Camp at Lost Dutchman State Park


Photo: Kevin Kaminski

8. Backpack Reflection Canyon


Photo: Kathleen Buenviaje

9. Camp at the Mogollon Rim


Photo: Ethan Fichtner

10. Camp at Boxcar Cove


Photo: Josiah Roe

11. Camp at Patagonia Lake State Park


Photo: Kevin Kaminski

12. Camp at Pine Grove Campground


Photo: Kathleen Buenviaje

13. Camp at Goblin Valley


Photo: Andy Earl

14. Camp at Burnt Corral Campground on Apache Lake


Photo: Kevin Kaminski

15. Backpack into the Needles District


Photo: Casey Berner

16. Camp at Red Rock


Photo: Moe Lauchert

17. Camp at Marshall Lake


Photo: Kevin Kaminski

18. Camp at White Sands National Monument


Photo: Lucas Pols

19. Backpack to the Grand Canyon's Cremation Canyon


Photo: Tiffany Nguyen

20. Camp on Roosevelt Lake Overlook


Photo: Colton Marshall

21. Camp at Wheeler Peak Campground in Great Basin NP


Photo: Jason Shepherd

22. Camp at Goose Island Campground


Photo: Jake Young

23. Camp at the Little Grand Canyon


Photo: Derrick Lytle

24. Camp at Mosca Campground


Photo: Jon King

25. Camp Under the Watchman


Photo: Tiffany Nguyen

Cover photo: Hillary + Matt

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

The Outbound CollectiveAdmin

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