How and Where to Go Hammock Camping in the U.S.
Updated: Mar 7
If you're looking for an amazing outdoor experience, consider going hammock camping! This type of camping is becoming more and more popular, and for good reason – it's a lot of fun! In this blog post, we will share 10 of the best spots in the U.S. to go hammock camping. So pack your gear and get ready for some serious relaxation!
If you're looking to pack lighter or experience a novel way of camping, hammock camping allows for an invigorating and comfortable sleep while being suspended above the ground. Campers who opt for this option often say it's one of the most rewarding ways to commune with nature, as well as providing them with an exceptional outdoor sleeping experience.
With so many camping options available, hammock camping is a rewarding choice for anyone seeking an outdoor adventure. From backcountry and dispersed campsites to national forests and private campgrounds - if it's allowed, you can most likely bring your hammock! Some parks may require protective padding or tree straps of specific thicknesses when affixing the hammocks; however, US-based national parks are typically open for those wishing to use their own relaxation haven in nature.
Before you plan any trip, make sure to check the rules and regulations of your destination's national park or campground. For instance, it is recommended that hammocks be placed over hard ground intended for public use instead of fragile fauna. Additionally, avoid hanging them in rocky areas, uneven terrain or wet surfaces; and remember to keep a distance of at least 200 feet away from shorelines and water sources in order to protect those environments.
What to Know About Hammock Camping
Look for stable trees with strong root systems. They should be 10 to 12 feet apart for optimal hammock height. Hang only one hammock per area; don’t stack hammocks.
Get straps wide enough to support your hammock without destroying the tree bark.
Have at least two carabiners to connect your hammock hooks to the tree straps.
Invest in a hammock stand if the trees aren’t suited for hammocks or are too fragile.
Get a hammock with a built-in mosquito net and water-resistant fabric (recommended) or pack a separate bug net.
An underquilt adds padding and can help limit cold air and drafts.
Try to have a 30-degree angle between tree straps and the ground; hang the hammock no more than 18 inches off the ground.
Where to Hammock Camp in the U.S.
Alabama's largest state park, Oak Mountain State Park is an ultimate destination for outdoor enthusiasts and nature-lovers alike. Home to over 50 miles of scenic trails, the Red Trail has been deemed as one of the EPIC rides by International Mountain Biking Association. From stunning Peavine Falls to Alabama Wildlife Center or from elevated boardwalk Tree Top Nature Trail perfect for birdwatching activities - there are myriad magical experiences awaiting you here!
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For the nature enthusiast, Prescott National Forest is an ideal destination to explore. Located 100 miles east of the Mongolian Rim— a 200-mile stretch perfect for hiking, cycling and rock climbing - this lush terrain offers dense tree cover and species such as fir trees, aspen and blue & Engelmann spruce from nearby Apache-Sitgreaves National forest area. For those looking to camp in tranquility, Petrified Forest National Park allows hammock stand camping while providing spectacular views of unspoiled wilderness!
For those looking to hammock camp, there are several national parks and forests that offer some of the most beautiful settings. Options include Lassen National Forest, Yosemite (Boothe Lake, Echo Lake and Young Lake areas), Sequoia and Kings Canyon national Parks- just be sure not to forget Redwood National Park as it does not permit hammocking. To ensure minimal tree damage when you do decide on a site for your trip, make sure to bring along protection straps!
Take a break from your hectic life and head to Housatonic Meadows State Park, nestled in the rolling hills of Northwestern Uplands. Set up camp beneath towering pines where you can hang hammocks or take a leisurely stroll along the Housatonic River, renowned for its fly fishing.
Hoosier National Forest, nestled northwest of Louisville, Kentucky and is the perfect spot for a weekend getaway. It offers majestic views of towering trees and picturesque lakeside scenes. In addition to its unparalleled beauty, visitors can explore nearby historic sites or enjoy some peaceful tranquility in rural communities like Brown County State Park and Buffalo Ridge Campground. If you are looking southward towards Bloomington or Bedford, Spring Mill State Park also provides reliable hammock options!
Juniper Springs Campground, Florida. | Photo: The Taste for Adventure
If you're a hammock enthusiast, Ocala National Forest is the perfect place to relax with its expansive 430,000 acres. Make sure to check in with park rangers ahead of time for the best spots that are safe from alligators and wild boar! Or if you'd prefer some palm tree scenery, take your pick between Biscayne National Park and Everglades National Park - both allow hammocks with stands.
Cloudland Canyon State Park is a spectacular place to take in majestic waterfalls and explore its rugged geology. Enjoy guided cave tours, bike rentals and excellent hiking opportunities! The park's breathtaking beauty makes it the perfect spot for hammock camping in northwest Georgia.
Discover the breathtaking beauty of Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island. Explore Cadillac Mountain, the highest peak along America's East Coast; wander through Bar Harbor for a delightful seaside experience; and camp with nothing but nature around you in any of the developed campgrounds or even outdoors during day-use hours. Unforgettable views await!
From the majestic Tahquamenon Falls State Park to remote lakes of Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, the Upper Peninsula has no shortage of incredible hammock camping opportunities. Explore lush forests and oak trees, grasslands and marshes with Huron-Manistee National Forests or be enthralled by stunning views near Munising on Lake Superior at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Wherever you go though, don't forget to exercise bear awareness when adventuring in this remarkable region!
Embark on an unforgettable adventure at the one and only Carlsbad Caverns National Park, nestled in the Chihuahuan Desert of southern New Mexico. Embrace nature by camping with a hammock - free permits are available upon arrival! Explore more than 100 caves for fascinating discoveries and witness the rare beauty of Rattlesnake Springs, a desert wetland.
Getaway Campgrounds in the Catskills supplies campers with comfort-focused sites, all equipped with pre-hung hammocks. Additionally, they have a location in Moss, Tennessee for more convenient access!
Theodore Roosevelt National Park is the perfect place for you to enjoy hammock camping in a picturesque setting where North Dakota's majestic Great Plains and its rugged Badlands meet. With no permit fee, come spend some quality time outdoors with your friends or family! Just be sure to protect any trees from damage when hanging up your hammocks — plus stands are an alternative if you're looking for more stability.
Immerse yourself in a wooded oasis and experience the tranquility of nature as you hammock camp and canoe at Wallowa Lake State Park. Yet if this doesn't sound like your ideal destination, there are also several other parks to explore: Forest Park located in Portland, Trillium Lake within Mt. Hood National Forest or Cape Arago State Park near Coos Bay! Explore Willamette National Forest or Santiam State Forest just east of Salem among towering Douglas firs where hammock camping is allowed with an added padding around straps for protection from trees. For those looking for a unique adventure, try out Crater Lake National park - but remember that special detail about protecting trees!
Hammock camping at East Canyon State Park in Utah. | Photo: Utah Division of Parks and Recreation
Adventurers looking to experience hammock camping can check out the new structures at East Canyon State Park ($10 for rental; $35 reservation) or Red Fleet State Park (free rental; $35 reservation). Each campground site holds up to eight hammocks. Arches National Park allows free-standing supports in place of trees, while Bryce Canyon National Park offers permits for those who wish to use their own equipment and hang a stunning view!
For experienced hikers, climbers, and hammock aficionados alike, Raven's Rock in Coopers Rock State Forest is the perfect destination. Boasting rocky crags to hang your hammocks from and stunning views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, it will be a trip like no other. Rifrafters Campground allows for both tent camping and hammocking among its lush forests; New River Gorge National Park and Preserve also offers idyllic whitewater rafting experiences that won't soon be forgotten!
Hammock Camping: 10 of the Best Spots in the U.S.