10 Best National Parks and Destinations for RV Camping
There are so many different places to visit in the United States, it’s sometimes hard to know how to start picking a destination. Thankfully, we’ve compiled a list of places we recommend RVers to visit! RV Repair Club contributor Sue Bray has visited all of these parks and has given us a highlight reel of some of her favorite spots.
Rocky Mountain National Park is home to 415 square miles of some of the highest terrain in the world. The beautiful mountains are flanked by sparkling lakes, forested valleys, and lush wildlife. There are tons of hiking, biking, and horseback riding trails available here, and you’re likely to see elk wandering around all aspects of the park. You can also go boating on Lake Estes and enjoy the beautiful view of the ponderosa pine forests. However, it is not advisable to visit Rocky Mountain National Park in a large RV. Campgrounds are limited to rigs no longer than 30–40 feet (depending on which site you choose).
Arches National Park is… surprise! Full of Arches! With roughly 2500 natural arches scattered around the park, it is truly a geological masterpiece. There are 18 miles of paved trail to explore around the park, and you can probably cover all of it in one day. There is only one campground in the park, Devil’s Garden, but there are no hookups available there. Luckily, there are a number of RV parks in the surrounding area of Moab.
Yellowstone National Park is one of those “bucket list” campgrounds. It’s HUGE, spanning three states and 3,472 square miles. It is, of course, home to the famous geyser Old Faithful, but there is a lot of other stuff to do in the park. Full of wide open prairies, mountain streams, waterfalls, and enormous lakes, there is a vast amount of trails to explore. Not to mention, the wildlife (bison, elk, wolves, and grizzly bears) wanders through the park for some great sightseeing. The park offers 12 campgrounds, and your best option is Fishing Bridge RV Park. It is made for RVers and has full hookups.
Located in the Black Hills, Devil’s Tower is the United States’ first national monument, established by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1906. The tower is an incredible site, and is one of the best rock climbing destinations in the country, with 200+ climbing routes up its walls. Staying in the park is limited to RVs up to 35 feet and there are no hookups. However, Devil’s Tower is definitely worth the stop for its history and grandeur.
There is a plethora of activities to do around the Black Hills and Badlands. As previously mentioned, there is Devil’s Tower. But there is also Mount Rushmore, the Crazy Horse Memorial, Custer State Park, Peter Norbeck Scenic Byway, Spearfish Canyon, and Deadwood. The surrounding area here has tons of private campgrounds, but larger rigs should check out Blue Bell campground for better accommodations. The Black Hills and Badlands area is a great destination for RVers looking to find a wide variety of things to do. You won’t get bored there and the scenery is beautiful.
The Durango area is great for river rafting, hiking, skiing, and other winter sports. However, the biggest attraction here is the Durango Silverton Narrow Gauge Railway. The railway is a National Historic Landmark and offers summer train rides for tourists (there are limited routes available in the winter). You can learn some great information about the mining days of the West here, and the charming train rides pass through gorgeous Coloradoan canyons. If you choose to visit, you’ll have to stay in one of the surrounding RV Parks. But book early! As it is true of most parks, the summer months are super busy, so make sure to make your reservations right away.
Mesa Verde National Park is a great park to check out if you’re looking for some history. It is home to 5,000 known archeological sites of the Pueblo people, who lived there in 600 AD. Visiting here is unlike visiting any other National Park. Instead of hiking, most people drive along 23 miles of road to visit the various ancient dwellings. You can get a closer look by taking guided tours, but be warned: they are quite strenuous! RV camping is available nearby at Morefield Campground, and there are hiking trails that lead from Morefield to Mesa Verde.
Bryce Canyon National Park is full of beautiful rock formations. Lacy combinations of spires and pinnacles create this scenic canyon overlook. There are a number of hiking trails with varying difficulty that allow you to walk through the many corridors of rock into the bottom of the canyon. You can camp either right in Bryce Canyon or find one of the surrounding parks. Wherever you stay, once you visit, you are sure to be mesmerized by the striking colors and patterns of the rocks.
Now here’s a popular RV destination! Zion National Park is famous for its beauty, and for good reason. Because of this, the park is often crowded. But Zion does a great job of handling this, and they have many amenities in place to make your stay run smoothly. For one, vehicles are no longer allowed on the side roads. The park offers a shuttle service that brings you to all the attractions and trail heads. This kind of experience isn’t for everyone, but the sights you’ll see will be worth it. They offer river trips, ranger-led hikes, canyoneering, and all the usual hiking and biking.
Missoula is described as the “hub of five valleys” due to the convergence of many mountain ranges there. The Clark Fork River that runs through it is great for swimming and water sports, especially on hot summer days! You can find many campgrounds in the outskirts of the city, and enjoy the many attractions Missoula has to offer. The city is filled with interesting breweries, coffee shops, and public parks/trails. However, the hidden gem of Missoula is the carousel. Located next to Caras Park, the carousel is entirely hand-carved and is home to the largest band organ in the United States. It is a must-see if you are visiting Missoula!
We hope you’ve gotten some inspiration for your next getaway. If you’ve ever been to one of these parks, let us know your experience in the comments. Or if you are planning to visit one now, tell us all about it when you get back!