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5 Best Campgrounds to See Sunsets

by Liz Childers

Call me a romantic, but I always find something magical about a sunset. In that short moment when the sun is just about to dip below the horizon and there’s a final flare of light between the dark sky and ground, nature always seems to become quieter. I like to think the animals are enjoying the sunset, too. But again, maybe I’m a romantic. That strange connection with nature is why sunsets are one of my favorite parts of camping. Plus, they’re much more beautiful without city lights and noisy streets.

Through a bit of research, I found the top places in America to enjoy a sunset. Then, I found the best campsites nearby, so you can enjoy a cozy campfire and good camp food as you watch the sun go down on what was, hopefully, a wonderful day in nature.

Kirk Creek Campground, Big Sur, California

The Santa Monica Pier was on every list of best sunsets that I found. The allure seems to be the beauty of the Ferris wheel combined with the actual sunset. What I loved was the thought of the sun setting over the Pacific Ocean. Drive 5 hours north of the Pier and you can find the perfect campground to enjoy this same event. Kirk Creek Campground in Big Sur, California lies on a bluff just over the Pacific. The views of the sky and the ocean are breathtaking. Cook dinner on the provided grill in your campsite and watch the colors spread across the sky.

Kayenta Campground, Dead Horse Point State Park, Utah

Legend says that horses were once corralled on the Point; then, cowboys chose which one they wanted to ride. Once, the horses were left and died of thirst, giving the area its name. As eerie as that story is, it will be hard to remember when you’re faced with the incredible view. The mesa is directly above the winding Colorado River, and the park provides incredible views of the canyon’s peaks and rock striations, which turn beautiful colors as the sun sets.

North Rim Campground, Grand Canyon, Arizona

Camping at the Grand Canyon could give you the best overall experience of the natural wonder – it’s so overcrowded with visitors that you may not be able to fully enjoy it on a regular day visit. Besides, the Grand Canyon is famous for it’s beautiful light that can especially be enjoyed at sunset and sunrise. By camping here, you’ll get to witness the colors in all of their brilliance. The North Rim Campground is perfect for sunsets, while the South Rim is better for sunrises.

Oregon Inlet Campground, Outer Banks, North Carolina

Before the advent of rental homes, camping was the main way visitors stayed on the Outer Banks. The narrow strips of land almost promise an incredible sunset – and sunrise. Of Cape Hatteras National Seashore’s four campgrounds, Oregon Inlet Campground seems the most appealing. The campsites are on the beach side of the island. They are just separated from the ocean by barrier dunes so it’s an easy jaunt to the water for watching the sun go down.

Scusset Beach State Reservation, Sandwich, Massachusetts

Like the Santa Monica Pier, Cape Cod made the cut for many “best sunset” lists. Scusset Beach State Reservation is one of three state parks on the Cape. It’s located on the Bay and may be the most relaxing sites on our list. Unzip your tent – or come out of one of the provided yurts – and indulge of one of the many outdoor activities easily available. A bike trail runs nearby; incredible fishing holes are within walking distance; boats are fun to watch while lounging on the beach; and, of course, there’s swimming. And a beautiful sunset will wind down your fun day on the beach.