Looking to get closer to nature and linger longer at a US national park in 2023? RV camping is the perfect way to experience the majestic wide-open spaces of the US national parks.
Camping in an RV within a national park provides a comfortable base to immerse yourself in a park’s beauty from sunrise to sunset (and beyond for great stargazing). National park campsites also create a fun sense of community between RV campers, who share everything from vehicle advice to travel tips, BBQ recipes and s’mores around the campfire.
The national parks listed below are top destinations not only for the quantity and quality of RV campsites within the parks but for the access that RVs have to tour the parks on wide, paved roadways with key park attractions being within roadside viewing distance.
1. Acadia National Park, Maine
Number of RV campsites: 3 campsites with 160 total RV spots
Reserve your RV spot here: Acadia’s Recreation.gov website
The most scenic RV route through the park: The 27 miles of Park Loop Road unveils a spectacular vista of mountains, ocean, lakes and forests, with plenty of nearby trailheads for hiking through Maine. Acadia National Park does become quite crowded in summer, so consider a fall visit to avoid the heaviest traffic and also do some prime Maine leaf-peeping.
A motor home makes its way through a red arch in Bryce Canyon National Park, on its way to Arches National Park © LifeJourneys / Getty
2. Arches National Park, Utah
Number of RV campsites: 1 campground with 51 sites
Reserve your RV spot here: Arches’ Recreation.gov website
The most scenic RV route through the park: Arches National Park’s Main Park Road traces 18 miles from the entrance to Devils Garden Campground on a nicely paved roadway, with multiple pull-out stops with views of the park’s epic rock arches. After your visit here, you can add stops to southern Utah’s Bryce, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef and Zion for an epic Utah national parks RV roadtrip.
Discover the world’s most intriguing experiences with our weekly newsletter delivered straight to your inbox. A bull moose crosses the road at Denali National Park, Alaska © S.J. Krasemann / Getty Images
3. Denali National Park, Alaska
Number of RV campsites: 3 campsites with 207 total spots
Reserve your RV spot here: Reserve Denali (NOT Recreation.gov)
The most scenic RV route through the park: The only RV route in Denali National Park is the first 15 miles of Denali Park Road, although RV campers at the Teklanika River Campground can continue another 14 miles to the campsite on a gravel road. Both segments of the road provide spectacular sweeping views of Denali’s mountainous landscape.
Two people canoe through Everglades National Park © Douglas Rissing / Getty Images
4. Everglades National Park, Florida
Number of RV campsites: 173 spots in 2 campgrounds
Reserve your RV spot here: Flamingo Adventures (Not Recreation.gov)
The most scenic RV route through the park: Take your time with plenty of pull-offs to appreciate the rich biodiversity inside Everglades National Park. The well-maintained 40-mile road from the Eastern Homestead Entrance to the Flamingo Visitor Center has vibrant birdlife (and lurking gators) in the lush green wetlands of the Everglades.
Overnights with a view at Glacier National Park, Montana © Brent Doscher / Aurora Photos / Getty
5. Glacier National Park, Montana
Number of RV campsites: 5 campsites with 631 RV spots
Reserve your RV spot here: Glacier’s Recreation.gov page
The most scenic RV route through the park: Although Glacier National Park’s famed Going-to-the-Sun Road is closed to vehicles more than 20 feet long, RVers can still enjoy a great sightseeing route along Highway 2 at the edge of the park. Head to the park’s eastern side along Many Glacier Road to see (as you might guess) many glaciers.
Magnificent view of the Grand Canyon with RV making a stop in the mountain heights at sunset © Torresigner / Getty
6. Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
Number of RV campsites: 4 campsites with 519 spots available for RVs
Reserve your RV spot here: Grand Canyon’s Recreation.gov page and the Trailer Village concessionaire website
The most scenic RV route through the park: The 23 miles of Desert View Drive east of Grand Canyon Village offers stunning views of the canyon, multiple pull-out points for photos and short trails through Grand Canyon National Park istelf. There’s even RV parking at the Desert View Services area at the East Entrance of the park.
Traveling the Linn Cove Viaduct on Grandfather Mountain along the Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina © Pgiam / Getty
7. Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina & Tennessee
Number of RV campsites: 9 campsites with 924 RV spots
Reserve your RV spot here: Great Smoky Mountains National Park’s Recreation.gov page
The most scenic RV route through the park: Newfound Gap Road traverses across 31 miles of hilly terrain between Tennessee and North Carolina inside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The thick forests change from southern hardwoods to northern pines so dramatically along the road, the park service says it’s “like a drive from Georgia to Maine.”
8. Joshua Tree National Park, California
Number of RV Campsites: Eight campsites with 495 spots open to RVs
Reserve your RV spot here: Joshua Tree’s Recreation.gov webpage
The most scenic RV route through the park: Driving the park north to south on Park Boulevard from the West Entrance Station of Joshua Tree National Park will give you roadside views not only of plenty of the park’s eponymous trees but notable landmarks like Skull Rock and the Jumbo Rock formations. As you continue south on Pinto Basin Road watch as the landscape and flora transform from the Mojave to the Colorado desert ecosystems.
Two American Bison walk in front of a motorhome in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, United States. © photo-trip / Getty
9. Yellowstone National Park, Montana & Wyoming
Number of RV campsites: 12 campsites with 2147 spots (and yes, they all regularly get booked up)
Reserve your RV spot here: Yellowstone’s Recreation.gov page and Yellowstone National Parks Lodges website
The most scenic RV route through the park: Grand Loop Road is Yellowstone National Park’s classic route passing key attractions like Mammoth Hot Springs, Old Faithful and the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River. The 140-mile route can easily take a full day to drive, so its best to tackle in bite-size chunks, like the Lower Loop past Old Faithful and otherworldly hydrothermal highlights.
Beautiful scenic landscape of Yosemite Falls in Yosemite National Park in California © RiverNorthPhotography / Getty Images / iStockphoto
10. Yosemite National Park, California
Number of RV campsites: 9 campsites with 1231 spaces welcome RVs
Reserve your RV spot here: Yosemite’s Recreation.gov website
The most scenic RV route through the park: Escape the traffic of Yosemite Valley to drive Tioga Road, which bisects Yosemite National Park from west to east. It offers 46 miles of Yosemite’s greatest hits, including mountains, streams, forests, lakes, meadows, and a view overlooking Half Dome, with plenty of turnoffs to stop for photos.
Top tips to consider when seeking out RV camping at US national parks
- Most national parks use Recreation.gov as the website to make reservations for campsites. Each park has its own quirks regarding the timing and process for making reservations, so check out each park’s rules and regulations prior to booking.
- Make reservations as far in advance as possible. National park RV campsites can become fully booked within minutes of dates being offered, particularly for the summer high season and holiday weekends.
- For your RV campsite, research the length restrictions and available hookups for water, electricity, and sewage dumps. You don’t want an unpleasant surprise after a late-night arrival at a remote campground.
- If you’re not able to secure an RV campsite within a national park, be aware that many commercial RV campsites operate just outside the boundaries of most National Parks. Reservations at commercial campgrounds will be easier to make, and these campgrounds often provide many more services than those within park limits.
- Bringing bicycles or a towed car with your RV can greatly expand your options for exploration in a national park, particularly in areas with limited RV access. Also, consider leaving your RV in the campground and using park shuttle services when available.