MONTAUK CAMPING - Guide to Hither Hills State Park Campground

MONTAUK CAMPING - Guide to Hither Hills State Park Campground

Interested in camping in Montauk at Hither Hills State Park Campground? This is your guide! 

I'm going to share with you my experience of Montauk camping- everything from snagging Hither Hills camping reservations, how to get to the campgrounds, what it's like staying there, and things to do in Montauk. 

Keep reading to find out!

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There's a reason why Hither Hills camping is so popular. As you might know, the Manhattan glitterati flock to the North Fork, The Hamptons, Montauk, and even places like The Catskills in the warmer months. 

Hotels are pricey, so I don't blame people looking to experience Montauk on a budget. That's why I'm here to offer one of my favorite bougie-on-a-budget travel tips- 

Camping at Hither Hills State Campground in Montauk!

In fact, these Montauk NY campgrounds are the most clever way around the crazy sticker prices in the area. It's best value out there for experiencing Montauk and the Hamptons for cheap (and did I say cheap? I mean CHEEEEAAP!)

Camping in Montauk, NY has been a well-kept secret for locals, and those who want to experience all the area has to offer without the $500+ per night price tag. 

But don't worry. As someone who's stayed there for 3 years in a row, I'm here to spill the details for you!

Even if you’re the kind of traveler who enjoys their 10-step skincare routines and 300-thread count hotel sheets, you might want to give Hither Hills camping a second look.

Why Camp in Montauk?

First of all, this Montauk campground is literally right across from the beach. You get a front row seat to some of the best sunsets on the East Coast, and sound of the ocean lulls you to sleep at night.

Sick of sitting at the beach? Easy. Just drive 5 minutes down the road from your Hither Hills state park campground site to the heart of Montauk. Here, you'll have access to some of the most exclusive restaurants, bars, and clubs in New York.

But it’s not just beachside bonfires and glitzy nightlife that this Montauk campground offers. Hither Hills camping is a great way to get outdoors and spend quality time with family and friends. Especially if you’re a city dweller who is used to takeout, after-work happy hours, and blaring car horns.

Whether you’re tent camping or RV camping in Montauk, staying here offers a truly unique and worthwhile experience. 

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Where is Hither Hills Campground?

Hither Hills State Park Campground is at the eastern-most tip of Long Island’s ‘south fork’, next to Montauk's village. You’ll have a lovely ride through The Hamptons on the way there.

It's about a 2 1/2 hour drive from NYC. And you can also get there by ferry from Rhode Island or Connecticut.

How Much is a Spot at Hither Hills?

Believe it or not, booking a campsite at Hither Hills is only $35 Per Night and $245 Per Week! There's a few caveats though-

Depending on the dates, there's often restrictions of how many nights you can book-
  • Peak season is a 7 night minimum
  • Off-peak season is a 2-night minimum
  • 14 night maximum for any stay
Also note that typically, there is a 1 car per campsite rule. A second car is permitted, but there is an additional $20 charge, and must park in designated parking areas (though not too far from the other campsites.)

When to Book at Hither Hills?

Camping is seasonal in New York and Hither Hills is closed in the winter time. Therefore, the campground generally opens for the season in late April and closes in early November.

Peak season is considered to be from mid-June through early September.

When deciding on when to book your trip, don’t forget to consider the climate and weather! Montauk is after all, surrounded by water. The temperatures are lower at the start and end of peak season. 

For example, even though we always book in early June, it gets pretty chilly at night. Bring extra cozy sleeping bags!

How to Reserve a Spot at Hither Hills?

If there’s one section to study as your takeaway from this post, it’s this one!

Learning the tricks to secure your Montauk camping reservations is crucial. There is a first come first served approach, and the spots book up lightning-fast. You’ll need to out-click the person trying to grab the same spot!

So what's the best way to stay at the Hither Hills State Park campground in Montauk? Here’s a few secrets I know that can help you score that coveted spot…

  • You can only technically reserve one campsite per person
  • Hither Hills releases their camp spots 9 months ahead of time at 9am EST. In other words, 9 months before your desired date, log into the site a little before 9am and prepare to be quick… if you see a spot, grab it!
  • It’s possible that ALL the spots will be booked before you get a chance to snag something (yes, even at 9:01 am!) So be flexible with your schedule. If you’re having a tough time getting a spot, remember that weeknights are easier to book than weekends. Be open to a Tuesday-Thursday reservation instead of Friday-Sunday.
  • Keeping in mind flexibility, there’s a feature on the ReserveAmerica site where you’re able to see see 2-4 weeks at a time. If you’re not firm with your dates, you can scroll through and you might get lucky and find a few open days to snatch up.
  • Check for last-minute cancellations. If things didn’t go your way and you didn’t get a spot, no worries! Things come up and people cancel all the time. So if you’re flexible, you might be able to get something next week, next month, or even tomorrow night!

Check-in and Check-out

Okay, so the day has come. You managed to snag a reservation, waited the 9 months, your camping gear is packed and it’s time to go. Congratulations!
  • Check in starts at 3pm
  • Check out is at 11am

You’ll find the office by following the signs that say “Hither Hills” and pulling into the parking lot.

Depending on the campsite loop you stay in, you’ll get a key card that you’ll use to scan in and out of your campsite area (don’t lose the key card!)

You’ll also need to put down a deposit of $5 for the key card (cash only) that you’ll get back when you return it at checkout.

Note that the office closes at 9pm. So if you get there after that, you won’t be able to check in until the next morning.

What to Bring to Hither Hills

Hither Hills camping is unique, because not only do you want to pack the things you would normally bring camping, you should also treat it like a beach trip! This includes making sure to pack things like-
  • Extra sunscreen
  • Beach umbrellas
  • Bathing suits/ beach coverups
  • Beach chairs
  • Hats
  • Sunglasses
  • Water bottles
  • ** Canopy tent! I include this because this Montauk campground has no shaded areas. We have a 12-foot tent that we set up over our site. This gives us a reprieve from the sun during the day, and an area to eat meals and chill out under.

For your camping trip itself, you can bring the usual gear-
  • Tent
  • Sleeping bag
  • Pillow
  • Cooler with food supplies
  • Lawn chairs
  • Flashlights/ headlamps
  • Cooking supplies
  • Lantern lights
  • ** Small fire pits. These are allowed in the low season, but not the high season.
  • ** Portable grills- there are no grills available at Hither Hills, so you must bring your own if you want to cook food.

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Things to do in Montauk

I love the fact that Hither Hills is just a short drive to Montauk Village where you can find tasty restaurants, souvenir shops and a fun bars! A whole post can be made just on exploring things to do Montauk. But for the sake of keeping things brief, I’ll just relay a few of my favorites.


  • Joni's - Casual food & surfer vibes with outdoor seating.
  • Hampton Chutney - Vibe, location and food is great!
  • La Fondita - Fun tacos with twinkly lights.
  • Sole East Resort - Fancy spa day with eats and drinks.
  • The Surf Lodge - Super popular, classic Montauk spot. You might need reservations.
  • Sel Rose - Gorgeous oyster bar.
  • Ditch Witch - Cute food truck in the Ditch Plains parking lot. Fresh food & convenient!
  • Navy Beach - Scenic restaurant on a man-made beach.
  • Inlet Seafood Restaurant - Fresh seafood restaurant owned by 6 local fishermen.
  • Montauk Brewing Company - Not actually a brewery, but it's still a fun place to come have some Montauk beer! No inside area, just a few standing tables outside.


  • Hampton Coffee Company- this is always the first coffee place we hit up when we come to Montauk! It’s right in the village, so super convenient.
  • Left Hand Coffee- Located right next to Jonis, it's a cute place with friendly staff!
  • Corso Coffee at Gurney’s - cozy cafe in the lobby of one of Montauk’s most exclusive hotels! It’s right down the street from Hither Hills, so you don’t have to go that far!
  • Jack’s Stir Brew Coffee
  • Montauk Bake Shoppe

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  • Camp Hero State Park - a decommissioned military base with a variety of nature activities. Including including woodsy picnic areas, scenic trails, beachfront, and cliffs. A lot of the old military structures are still there. It's rumored to have been the site of top-secret government experiments, and the inspiration for the mind control labs in the show Stranger Things! $8 entrance fee.
  • Walking Dunes - The namesake is because these dunes move 3.5 inches every year due to the wind! They have migrated a mile over the last 100 years. Either way, it's a very pretty trail for a small day hike.
  • Montauk Lighthouse- This is the eastern-most point of Long Island, it's a breathtaking lighthouse built in 1797. Parking is $8 (after 4pm it's free), and adult admission is $13.
  • Montauk Point State Park - Once you've parked near the lighthouse, you can also explore the area! There are lots of trails, as well as small beach areas.
  • Shadmoor State Park - A stunning park along the beach featuring bluffs, wetlands, and hiking trails. No parking fees, but the parking area is small. Come early.

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