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25 Amazing Campsites in the American Southwest

You can't beat golden hour in the desert.

By: The Outbound Collective + Save to a List

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!

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