You may never have heard of the American Alpine Club, though they have 20,000 members. The non-profit does so much good for the world, and one of their contributions is their amazing AAC lodges at some of the most beautiful (and oft-booked) camping locales in the country, which comes free with your membership.
Motivated by their mission to “provide knowledge and inspiration, conservation and advocacy, and logistical support for the climbing community,” the AAC is not simply for climbers. Though they certainly are a force for good in the climbing community; much of their work involves their Trailhead Rescue Service, which provides emergency services for climbers and campers hitting the trail. By signing up, you can find easy and cheap accommodation at several amazing sites, including: the Grand Teton Climbers’ Ranch in Wyoming, New River Gorge in West Virginia, the Gunks in New Paltz, New York, the Rumney Rattlesnake Campground in New Hampshire, the Hueco Rock Ranch near El Paso, Texas, and the Snowbird Hut, a cabin at the edge of a glacier in Alaska. All it takes is a sign up, to completely avoid the nightmare of trying to find camping spots at state parks.
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