Living with seasonal allergies is no fun. But it can be especially excruciating for people who love the outdoors.
Camping isn’t quite as enjoyable dealing with blistering headaches and the inability to breathe through your nose. There are, however, some safe havens across the U.S. for those looking to avoid high pollen counts.
The Midwest is admittedly one of the worst places in the United States for camping when you have seasonal allergies. The pollen counts here tend to be off the charts. If you live in this region and need something close to home, there is one place you might try.
Lake Michigan is the closest thing the Midwest has to a real beach, which means it’s also one of the best options for camping with allergies. With any luck, the water will pull the pollen down and keep it from reaching your nose. Pitch your tent downwind.
The American South isn’t well known for its friendliness toward allergy sufferers, thanks to high amounts of pollen and low elevations. However, the further south you head the better your chances of finding a little reprieve.
The Florida coastline is a haven for seasonal allergy sufferers throughout much of the year, thanks to low pollen counts and the ocean breeze pulling out potential threats. It’s not perfect, but there are a lot of options to choose from. Grayton Beach State Park is a wonderful place to visit during the winter. It’s still warm while the rest of the country is freezing, but pollen counts are low.
We won’t blow smoke and pretend that spring and summer camping is going to be comfortable in the Northeast if you have allergies. In fact, the best time to camp out here might be the dead of winter.
One of the best places to camp is right in the heart of the Adirondacks in Olde Forge, New York. The Olde Forge Camping Resort lies right on Lake Serene and offers up spectacular views and epic snowmobiling in the winter, plus it’s allergy free and open all year.
Your best chance at avoiding seasonal allergies is to head west. High elevations and dry landscapes make for low pollen counts and astounding views. The region is large enough that there’s no shortage of great camping spots.
Telluride has one of the highest elevations in the U.S., so of course it’s going to have less allergens floating through the air. During the summer there’s possibly no better place to hunker down in a tent and enjoy the breeze. Sunshine and Priest Gulch are great options that aren’t too far from town.
Another great option is Palm Springs, California. The town is surrounded primarily by rocky terrain, making it the perfect getaway for those combating allergies. The pollen count is generally low, except for when the winter grass is switched out in the spring, but stick to the rocky areas near Joshua Tree and you should be able to sleep peacefully under the stars.
Arizona also has one of the lowest ragweed and pollen counts in the country, and right outside of Tucson lies the perfect place for a weekend getaway: Saguaro National Park. There isn’t much in the way of greenery, unless you count the cacti, but the landscape is still pretty breathtaking and makes for a unique trip.
For more information on local pollen counts be sure to check out the the website for the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.