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Camp In The 5 Most Spiritual Outdoor Sites In The U.S.

1. Cahokia Mounds, St. Louis, Missouri

This historic site is the former home of a city of 40,000 people over a millennium ago, believed to have been the largest city in the world at the time and the most sophisticated prehistoric native civilization north of Mexico.

The 2,200-acre site is across the river from St. Louis and has archeological remains including mounds used for ceremonies, burials, and sacrifices. Many people consider the site to be sacred; Native Americans and other groups even believe it to be a source of powerful psychic energy.

Photo by Doug Kerr, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

There are numerous RV parks and campgrounds available within a short drive from Cahokia Mounds. Closest to the site are Safari RV Park and Horseshoe Lake State Park, both only a 5-minute drive from Cahokia Mounds.

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Safari has 35 sites and electric hookup. Horseshoe Lake accommodates 26 tent or trailer campsites and has a sanitary dump station, pit toilets, and water hydrants. Other sites located slightly further out are Cahokia RV ParqueSt. Louis RV ParkKOA of Greater St. LouisCasino Queen RV Park, and MGM Lakeside Camping.

2. Crater Lake, Medford, Oregon

Located within a National Park, Crater Lake is an awe-inspiring lake whose depth of 1,949 feet makes it the deepest in the country and one of the top ten deepest lakes in the world.

A violent eruption from Mount Mazama triggered the collapse of a tall peak, something witnessed by the Native Americans living in the area 7,700 years ago. The Klamath nation still regards this site as sacred, believing the formation of the lake to have been a battle between the Chiefs of the Above and Below Worlds. This pristine lake is believed by new-age spiritualists to be a major vortex site and the source of positive energy from the earth’s natural power grid. 

Photo by informedmindstravel, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Visitors to the lake and the park can do a scenic rim drive, fish, hike the Cleetwood Cove Trail to get to the only shore access of the lake, do walking, boat, or trolley tours, bicycle, backcountry hike, and camp, cross country ski, snowshoe, snowboard, sled, ski, and snowmobile. 

Camping is available in two areas: Mazama Campground and Lost Creek Campground, although RV camping is only available at Mazama. The max RV length for these 214 sites is 50 feet and amenities include flush and vault toilets, showers, laundry service, and a dump station. 

3. Mount Shasta, Mt. Shasta, California

Mount Shasta has become a draw for those in the spiritual realm, with the area surrounding the 14,000-foot extinct volcano hosting numerous retreats, workshops, and other options to open yourself spiritually every year. Part of the Cascade Range in northern California was once an active part of the Pacific Ring of Fire.

Native Americans have lived here for 9,000 years and treat Shasta as a sacred place, with ceremonies still being conducted by those still living there. Buddhists built a monastery at Shasta believing it to be one of the Seven Sacred Mountains in the world and new-age spiritualists believe it’s a vortex emitting the earth’s energy. 

Photo by Owen Byrne, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

In addition to its spiritual powers, Mount Shasta is also a great area to visit for its recreational bounty from cycling/mountain biking to camping, fishing, golfing, backpacking, hiking, mountaineering, cross-country and downhill skiing, snowboarding, sledding, snowmobiling, and snowshoeing.

There are roughly 20 RV parks and campgrounds surrounding Mt. Shasta. Right at the base of the peak at an elevation of 3,500 feet is Mount Shasta City KOA. This park has 80 sites with full hook-ups, pool, bike rentals, basketball, shuffleboard, horseshoes, a dog park, and table tennis in the lounge.

For those looking for a more natural setting than an RV park, try Castle Crags State Park 15 miles south of Mt. Shasta City. The park has 76 RV sites for RVs up to 27 feet long. While there are no hookups, there are restrooms, hot showers, an interpretive center, and recreational opportunities in the park. There are also eight U.S. Forest Service Campgrounds nearby; visit fs.usda.gov for information on each.

4. Devil’s Tower, Crook County, Wyoming

The Devils Tower is a 70 million-year-old geological formation created from a volcanic eruption and shaped over time. Considered a sacred spot by Northern Plains Indians and indigenous people, these people have lived around the Tower for thousands of years.

Numerous Indian tribes have said to have had close and sacred encounters at this mystical site, also known as Bear Lodge and Bear Tipi. Different versions of Indian folklore account for the formation by the Great Spirit Legend. In addition to regular visitors and rock climbers who ascend the tower, the site is also a destination for spirituality seekers.

Photo by carful…from Wyoming, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Camping is available at the Belle Fourche River Campground which is open seasonally on a first-come, first-serve basis. The campground is a 2-loop, 46-site campground with 4 accessible sites and 3 group sites available. Potable water is available as well as restrooms, picnic tables, and shelters. There are 43 pull-through sites with room for RVs up to 35 feet, no hookups available. 

The park has a visitor center and bookstore opened seasonally while the monument itself is open 24 hours a day, every day of the year. 

5. Big Horn Medicine Wheel, Big Horn National Forest, Wyoming

Medicine wheels are believed in Native American cultures to be a metaphor for various spiritual concepts. These rare stone monuments help illustrate this metaphor. The Bighorn Medicine Wheel at Medicine Mountain National Historic Landmark is a large stone structure made of white limestone laid on limestone.

There are only roughly one hundred of these sites for worship left, making the Bighorn Medicine Wheel a draw for sacred ceremony and spirituality seekers. Considered “the grandfather of all medicine wheels”, the history of the Bighorn dates back hundreds of years to when the Plains Indians constructed it. It is only reachable during the summer months due to its location at 10,000 feet. The hike is about 1.5 miles.

spiritual
Photo by carful…from Wyoming, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

It’s impossible to camp at the actual Bighorn Medicine Wheel but there are accommodations in the nearby town of Lovell, located 30 miles from the wheel. There are four RV parks and campgrounds in Lovell: Lovell Camper ParkHorseshoe Bend CampgroundFive Springs Falls Campground, and Bald Mountain Campground

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