By Ray Roman | March 14, 2022
Melodious bird songs, fresh morning breeze, and a rosy sky will replace loud alarms and groggy mornings – when you gear up for an adventure in the national parks for RV camping.
The unusually serene mornings are just the start.
The great thing about having an RV is that you can set up camp almost anywhere (within legal limits, of course). However, there’s only so much you can do in crowded RV parks; and most of it involves lying low inside your motorhome.
- Grand Canyon National Park
- Redwood National Park
- Acadia National Park
- Arches National Park
- Badlands National Park
- Yellowstone National Park
- Grand Teton National Park
But when ancient woodlands and unexplored canyons surround you, nothing can restrain you to your campsite, let alone to your RV.
Instead of hiding in your bunk bed or get bored down to tears with the same campsite activities daily, you can live out your adventure fantasies.
Keep in mind that, unlike RV resorts, most national parks for RV camping do not boast modern or luxurious facilities. Some don’t even accommodate modern RVs. But with so much to explore, you won’t be spending much time at your campsites, anyway.
Yes, it’s a cliche; but it’s for a reason. The Grand Canyon National Park is the most iconic site in the US and one of the most developed national parks for RV camping.
Even if you’ve visited the Grand Canyon on a family day trip, setting camp in your RV is a whole new experience. The Grand Canyon National Park has five campgrounds with hundreds of RV sites.
Each site boasts of ample parking space with room for tens and other vehicles. Additionally, your RV site will come with a picnic table, campfire ring/cooking grate, and a dump station.
When you want to stretch your legs and get the blood flowing, you can turn to physical excursions such as hiking, bicycling, or river trips. If you’re not the active type, you can take a guided tour to any of the historical landmarks and museums.
Some campgrounds offer swimming facilities to cool off after a long day of adventure. You can end the day with some sunset photography and peaceful stargazing.
Check out our full Grand Canyon itinerary to see and explore the park like a pro.
Hidden alongside the North Coast of California is an ancient wonderland: Redwood National Park. It is one of the four parks of the Redwood National and State Parks complex. But something about its historic old-growth redwood trees just makes it stand out.
There’s more to Redwood National Park than just giant trees. The park protects oak woodlands, wild rivers, vast prairies, and 40 miles of the Northern Californian coastline.
And guess what? Exploring all these sites is easy when you can set up a camp in your RV!
For RV campers, Redwood National Park offers various developed campgrounds with plenty of modern amenities. However, the campsites can not accommodate large RVs and trailers. Additionally, none of the sites provide RV hookups. So, some utilities may be inaccessible.
But the campsite compensates for this by providing hot showers, ADA-accessible restrooms, dump station, picnic tables, fire pits and barbeques, food lockers and trash receptacles, and much more.
But take heed: The redwood trees are symbolic of a tragic and fateful history. So, be respectful by following park rules.
If you like island getaways on the Atlantic Coast, Acadia National Park is among the best national parks for RV camping. Admirers of the island call it the “Crown Jewel of the North Atlantic Coast,” hinting at its beauty.
Now, your journey to the island will require a lot of planning. Most roads have vehicle restrictions, but you can work around them and rent an RV that abides by the limitations.
And trust us: once you reach the campsite, the stress of the journey will vanish. Stargazing beneath glacier-scoured mountains and swimming in freshwater lakes will make your trip worthwhile.
The amenities are seasonal and somewhat limited. You will have access to potable water, a dump station, an amphitheater, and constant assistance from the on-site staff, during the season.
If you want to explore other nearby destinations, you can make use of the Island Explorer Shuttle. Otherwise, you can engage in campsite activities such as fishing, swimming, horseback riding, or even shopping.
As of 2021, all park campsites must be reserved online and in advance. Additionally, park gates are now closed for off-season camping. So, make sure to secure your lot between the specified season dates.
From tranquil islands to natural sandstone arches, the best thing about national parks for RV camping is their diverse landscapes. Located north of Moab in Utah, Arches National Park has some of the most colorful landscapes and natural structures.
Accessing Arches National Park is easy, and the Devil’s Garden RV Campground is a mere 18 miles from the park entrance. The campsite allows RVs and trailers that are up to 40 feet in length. Additionally, the roads around Arches are well-maintained.
Luckily, the Devil’s Garden Campground has more amenities than other national parks. With access to firewood, portable water, trash collection, and an amphitheater, your trip will be pleasant and homely.
Better still, the park is ideal for thrill-seekers. While there is little to do on the campsite itself, adventure awaits you in the vast canyons and countless hiking trails beyond the campgrounds.
In fact, there’s no way you’ll have time even to scratch the surface. Between backpacking, bicycling, canyoneering, hiking, horseback riding, rock climbing, and stargazing, you’ll kick yourself for not planning a longer trip.
Speaking of diverse landscapes, Badlands National Park boasts of unique scenery compared to other national parks for RV camping. Its diverse landscapes include layered rock formations with contrasting colors and steep canyons with towering spires, making it a must-see attraction in South Dakota.
The route to the park is easy to navigate in your RV and has multiple overlook points. You can choose between two campgrounds: the Cedar Pass Campground and Sage Creek Campground. In total, there are 118 campsites with electric hookups and septic dump stations.
Even better is the fact that the Sage Creek Campground is entirely free. Campground management follows the first-come-first-serve system, and there are only 22 spots for grabs. But you don’t have to pay a single penny for utilizing the campsite.
Once you reach your campsite, you will have access to most amenities such as portable water and designated picnic areas.
But the real fun begins beyond the campground.
Badlands is home to a variety of rare wildlife, including bison, buffaloes, bovids, and tatankas. So, you’ve never heard of these animals before? Well, here’s your chance to cross spotting wildlife off your list.
And remember: you don’t want to miss out on the famous sunsets of Badlands. Photographers, especially, can never get enough of the setting sun casting a red hue on the layered rocks.
Pop culture has given Yellowstone a bad rap, with images of apocalyptic volcanic eruptions and radioactive waste. But take the word of veteran campers: Yellowstone National Park is one of the best national parks for RV camping.
Yellowstone is well-known for its wildlife and geothermal features. The most popular of these features is the Old Faithful, which is just one of the many sites you will have access to on your RV camping escapade.
The Park features 12 different campgrounds. Better yet, almost all of the campgrounds are fully RV-equipped with access to basic amenities. Moreover, the lodge sites have multiple restaurants, cafeterias, and even general stores to satisfy your hunger.
Keep in mind that reservations tend to fill up relatively quickly. Plus, the park is only open for a limited amount of time each year, so you will have to make your reservations well in advance.
A little south of Yellowstone lies the Grand Teton National Park. From geothermal reservoirs to the vast peaks of the Teton mountain range, the change in scenery is refreshing. You can plan back-to-back trips from Yellowstone to Grand Teton and make the most out of your RV.
As you drive to your campsite, you will encounter Teton’s diverse wildlife: moose, elk, bears, pronghorns, and raptors. Once you reach one of the seven campgrounds, the wildlife will be replaced by signs of civilization.
Grand Teton is one of the most developed national parks for RV camping in the US. It offers countless amenities and facilities, including cell phone reception, trash collection, food storage lockers, portable water, ice, firewood, and a dump station.
Be careful, though; most of these amenities are only available seasonally. So, make sure to plan your trip, keeping the park’s seasonal dates in mind.
But even if you do decide to visit the park off-season, you’ll still have plenty to do. One of the most popular activities in Grand Teton National Park is fishing, thanks to its diverse lakes. But remember to have your Wyoming fishing license handy.
If you’re not into fishing, but the water still calls to you, you can take a boat trip along the scenic Snake River. With calm waters surrounded by glacial peaks, the scene is breathtaking and unforgettable.
Guest Author: Kyle Kroeger is the owner of ViaTravelers.com. Via Travelers is a modern travel blog providing the best tips, hacks, and itineraries to ensure you have an amazing adventure. Follow him on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, and YouTube.