Hammock camping is growing in popularity, while some of our country's best landscapes are located in national parks. About 84.9 million acres worth in fact. So you are probably reading this blog post to find out if you can bring your hammock, or better yet your Haven Tent, on your next national park adventure. Read on! We'll provide an outline of hammock camping rules and best practices for national parks, along with a list of national parks and their current hammock policy.
Leave No Trace *for Hammock Camping
National parks are protected areas that are managed for the preservation of our natural and cultural resources. It's important to follow Leave No Trace principles when camping anywhere, but especially in a national park. Ground tent or hammock you should leave sites better than you found them, limiting your impact on the natural environment, and respecting wildlife and other visitors.
When it comes to hammock camping, there are a few additional guidelines that must be followed. Note that some parks have different hammock policies for designated campsites and backcountry campsites.
Protect the trees: Trees are critical to national park eco-systems aaaaand we kind of need them for hammocks camping 😉 So be sure to use tree-friendly straps that won't damage the bark or cambium layer of the tree, and avoid attaching your hammock to dead or diseased trees. As a rule of thumb, the wider the tree straps the more protection they provide.
Camp in designated campsites: National parks typically have designated campsites where camping is allowed. These sites may have specific facilities such as fire pits, picnic tables, and restrooms, and generally have rules for how many people and tents are allowed per site. When hammock camping, it's important to follow the same rules and only set up your hammock in designated areas within the set campsites.
Follow backcountry recommendations: If the trail takes you deeper into the park, be sure to learn and follow all backcountry regulations that apply to hammock camping. We absolutely love backcountry camping. Done right, it should be impossible to see where your hammock camp was the following day! Challenge yourself to be as low-impact as possible.
Now that we've covered general rules for camping and hammock camping in national parks, let's take a look at current hammock regulations for National Parks. These are subject to change so please let us know if something needs to be updated.
National parks where hammock camping is allowed:
- Acadia National Park (ME) - Not allowed in backcountry
- Arches National Park (UT) - Bring a hammock stand. No trees!
- Big Bend National Park (TX)
- Biscayne National Park (FL)
- Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park (CO)
- Bryce Canyon National Park (UT)
- Canyonlands National Park (UT)
- Capitol Reef National Park (UT)
- Colorado National Monument (CO)
- Congaree National Park (SC)
- Crater Lake National Park (OR)
- Cuyahoga Valley National Park (OH) - Not allowed in backcountry
- Death Valley National Park (CA)
- Denali National Park (AK)
- Dry Tortugas National Park (FL)
- Everglades National Park (FL)
- Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (UT)
- Grand Teton National Park (WY)
- Great Basin National Park (NV)
- Great Smoky Mountains National Park (NC/TN)
- Guadalupe Mountains National Park (TX)
- Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (HI)
- Hot Springs National Park (AR)
- Isle Royale National Park (MI)
- Kings Canyon National Park (CA)
- Lassen Volcanic National Park (CA)
- Mammoth Cave National Park (KY)
- Mesa Verde National Park (CO)
- Mount Rainier National Park (WA)
- Olympic National Park (WA)
- Rocky Mountain National Park (CO)
- Saguaro National Park (AZ) - Do not hang from the cactus!
- Sequoia National Park (CA)
- Shenandoah National Park (VA)
- Theodore Roosevelt National Park (ND)
- Yellowstone National Park (WY)
- Yosemite National Park (CA)
- Zion National Park (UT)
National parks where hammock camping is not allowed:
- Carlsbad Caverns National Park (NM) - Allowed in backcountry.
- Channel Islands National Park (CA)
- Gateway Arch National Park (MO)
- Great Sand Dunes National Park (CO)
- Joshua Tree National Park (CA)
- Petrified Forest National Park (AZ)
- Redwood National and State Parks (CA)
It's important to note that this list is subject to change. Before hammock camping in a national park, it's always a good idea to check with the park's website or visitor center for the most up-to-date rules and regulations. Keep in mind, where camping is allowed you can always hammock camp with a hammock stand. And the Haven Tent can always be pitched as a ground tent if you find yourself unable to hang.
Oh, we can't wait for your adventure... By following the guidelines outlined above and respecting the natural environment, your hammock camping trip will be safe and sustainable. We are fortunate to live in a country with so many amazing natural resources... just beckoning you to hang out.
In fact, we've had a few nation park adventures ourselves. Here's my trip through the Yellowstone backcountry. Looking forward to seeing your adventures!
Haven Tents Founder