Guide to Tent Camping in Alabama 

Gulf Coast

Dauphin Island Park and Beach

Tent camping with tons of amenities. Here you’ll find a fully-loaded camp store, Wi-Fi, playground, dog park, free boat launch, renovated bathhouses, laundry facilities and more. Campers also have access to a secluded beach.

Photo: Indian Mound Park on Dauphin Island, by: Jeffrey Reed [CC BY-SA 3.0  (], via Wikimedia Commons

Gulf State Park

Plenty of improved campsites (with hookups), but also some primitive sites. Miles of beaches and opportunity to catch site of a bobcat, alligator, or possibly a black bear, as well as deer, rabbits, and racoons (in other words, store your food properly!). Activities include hiking, freshwater and  saltwater fishing, a zip line, and a golf course.                         

Central Alabama

Talladega National Forest/Cheaha State Park

Camp out in the Cheaha Wilderness, named for the Cheaha Mountain, the tallest point in Alabama 2,407 feet high. Hike, mountain bike, or horseback ride through the oak and pine forest. The plant life is most vibrant in the spring and fall. Year-round hunters’ camps are available.

Photo: Pulpit Rock, Cheaha State Park

Tuskegee National Forest

Primitive Camping is allowed anywhere in the forest (except during gun hunting season) and at 14 designated primitive campsites that are open year round. The Bartram National Recreational Trail winds past flowering trees like Dogwood and Magnolia, so you’ll want to catch them in season. You might encounter a wild turkey, or some grazing deer.


Cathedral Caverns State Park

The cave named for its resemblance to Cathedral houses some crazy and impossibly big stone formations. Primitive and hike in campsites are available.

Desoto State Park

Located atop of Lookout Mountain, there are twenty primitive campsites and two back country sites with shelters.  Enjoy the scent of wildflowers, the rushing waterfalls, and every outdoor sport or activity you could think. Some primitive sites, but the majority have hookups for electric and water.

Lake Guntersville State Park

Woodland surrounds the 69,000-acre reservoir. Primitive and improved campsites are located in the pine forest or next to the shoreline. A dozen or so short (1-3 mile) trails follow streams and go along cliffs, past azaleas and other wildflowers; maple, hickory and beech trees; and large rock formations. As you would imagine, boating and fishing is available.

Monte Sano State Park

Primitive camping is available here at 18 designated sites. The park sits on top of the mountain, and is known for the views and mineral springs. It’s a good spot to view the fall leaves, and native azaleas, which bloom in the spring.

Joe Wheeler State Park

Camp among the hardwoods and towering pines, along the Tennessee river. There are some primitive sites, as well as improved campsites.

William B. Bankhead National Forest

Campers can pitch a tent the Sipsey wilderness or in the Corinth or Clear Creek campgrounds nearby. Hike past sandstone cliffs, waterfalls, deep gorges, and hardwood trees. Hunt for feral swine or quail. Primitive camping is allowed during hunting season too, but it’s a good idea to wear hunter’s orange at all times.

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