The Badlands of South Dakota may not be your first choice when it comes to camping in a national park, but its two campgrounds (Cedar Pass and Sage Creek) are open year-round, offering regular access to the largest stretch of prairie wilderness in the country—home to roaming bison and sheep—and one of the most spectacular night skies you may ever see. Pro tip: Visit July 17–19 for the annual Badlands Astronomy Festival. —L.D.R.
Bryce Canyon, Utah Bryce Canyon, Utah Of all the stunning geology in the southern reaches of Utah, Bryce Canyon stands out. The distinctive and otherworldly sandstone formations known as hoodoos that populate the valley floor were once arches that slowly lost their tops to the erosive forces of water and air.