Lifestyle

RVing: the Best Way to Experience National Parks

by Kendra Clapp OlguínApr 6, 2021

Long gone are the days of “Cousin Eddie” stereotypes for RVers. It seems like as each year goes by, more and more people turn to the American tradition of RVing by hitting the road and experience traveling freely and comfortably. Their destinations include this country’s beautiful National Parks, Monuments, Memorials, and more.

Our First Home

An Airstream trailer with a bunch of bumper stickers sits in a wooded area with two camper chairs in front of it.

A few years ago, Tyler and I hopped on that RVing bandwagon. We were planning our lives together after getting engaged and had aspirations to travel the country. As much as we loved traveling, we loved being homebodies more. Neither of us grew up RVing, but the idea of towing your home wherever you went appealed to the introverts in us. So, we jumped all in, and now, we’re beyond thankful we listened to that hunch.

The Advantages of RVing

RV life has many advantages, but the ones that stand out the most to me are that it’s freeing, your pets can travel with you, it’s comfortable, and it can be cost-effective.

Freedom

While RVing, two people sit and stare at the stars in front of their Airstream trailer at Capitol Reef National Park in Utah.

The great thing about RVing in the United States is that the country has the infrastructure and resources to support those who travel with an RV, whether it be a van, pop-up camper, travel trailer, fifth wheel, or motorhome. There are countless campgrounds, RV parks, and public land that welcome RVers with open arms. Additionally, there are ample websites, blogs, and booking platforms (like Campspot!) that help RVers maintain their rigs, plan, and reserve their stays. Because of this existing infrastructure, the sky is the limit for deciding where to go and things to see. Some like to stay within a couple-hour drive from their home, while others decide to drive all the way up to Alaska. There are even transports to ship your rig to Hawaii!

Pets

One of the best things about RV travel is that your pet can go with you. When you travel with your family, don’t you want to travel with your whole family? After a day out on the trails and adventuring, we love opening the door to our two kittens, waiting to greet us. Many campgrounds and RV parks now have dog parks and dog-washing stations too.

Comfort

A cat sleeps on a bed on the floor of an RV trailer. On top of the dinette above the cat there is a bowl full of apples.

You might have heard the sayings, “home is where you park it,” or “my home on wheels.” While obviously smaller than a traditional house, an RV can truly become a home, and there’s no better feeling than being cozy within a familiar and welcoming space. With DIY rehabs displayed across various social media platforms, people certainly understand how a little thought and care goes a long way in feeling at home in your RV.

Cost Effective

Many have found that renovating or repairing older models is also a cost-effective way to purchase an RV. While a big Class A motorhome definitely has a hefty sticker price, there are plenty of entry-level trailers or pop-up campers (used or new) that will get you to where you need to go. Campgrounds and RV parks blow hotels out of the water when it comes to cost, oftentimes offering resort-like amenities like pools, spas, playgrounds, and more. Understanding the importance of cost-effective travel and campground amenities, Campspot ensures the lowest price for 100,000 campsites across North America while also providing RV filters, detailed listings, park images, and descriptions.

Your Ticket to National Parks

A collection of National Parks stickers are gathered on a slide-out of an RV trailer.

With 423 National Park Service “units,” as they call it, spread across the country/US provinces, you can easily see how RVing and visiting these parks, monuments, memorials, and sites go hand-in-hand. With limited services and hotel accommodations due to many parks’ locations in remote areas, sometimes campgrounds and RV parks are the only way to visit. Due to the National Parks’ increasing popularity, campers are finding NPS campgrounds continually sold out. In response to this, campgrounds and RV parks are hosting more and more National Park-goers than ever before. Additionally, many are turning to privately-owned campgrounds because most NPS campgrounds do not have full hookups.

Campgrounds Near National Parks

With Campspot’s search features, campers can type in a specific National Park name to see the campground nearby. After four years on and off the road, I gathered the NPS sites we’ve visited and shared which campgrounds are nearby. It was truly a treat to scroll through all of the places we’ve been to and reminisced on all of the memories we made while RVing. I hope you’ll enjoy it too.

Grand Canyon National Park

The Grand Canyon as seen from the South Rim at Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona.

Where to Stay

Happy Trails Campground in Meadview, AZ
Dark Sky RV Campground in Kanab, UT
Woody Mountain Campground in Flagstaff, AZ
Verde Ranch RV Resort in Camp Verde, AZ

Kenai Fjords National Park

Blue glacier ice in Kenai Fjords National Park in Alaska.

Where to Stay

Diamond M Ranch Resort in Kenai, AK
Alaskan Angler RV Resort and Cabins in Ninilchik, AK

Petrified Forest National Park

Blocks of petrified wood at Petrified Wood National Park in Arizona.

Where to Stay

Woody Mountain Campground in Flagstaff, AZ

Joshua Tree National Park

Large palm trees along the San Andreas fault line in Joshua Tree National Park in California.

Where to Stay

Indian Wells RV Resort in Indio, CA
Blu-In RV Park in Borrego Springs, CA
Launch Pointe in Lake Elsinore, CA

Bryce Canyon National Park

Spires in Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah.

Where to Stay

Dark Sky RV Campground in Kanab, UT
Duck Creek Village RV in Duck Creek Village, UT

Zion National Park

A woman looks out to the canyon at Zion National Park in Utah.

Where to Stay

Dark Sky RV Campground in Kanab, UT
Duck Creek Village RV in Duck Creek Village, UT

Mesa Verde National Park

Cliff dwelling ruins at Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado.

Where to Stay

The Views RV Park & Campground in Dolores, CO
Alpen Rose RV Park in Durango, CO
Florez Riverview Campground in Bloomfield, NM

Guadalupe Mountains National Park

A woman sits on rocks along a hike at Guadalupe Mountains Nationial Park in Texas.

Rocky Mountain National Park

A sign that reads "Elevation 12,005 feet above sea level" at Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado.

Where to Stay

River Run RV Resort in Granby, CO
CanyonSide Campground in Bellvue, CO
Horsetooth Inn and RV Park in Fort Collins, CO
Platte River Fort Resort & Event Center in Greely, CO

Capitol Reef National Park

A woman sits on the Capitol Reef National Park sign in Utah.

Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument

An aerial view of Mt. Katahdin in northern Maine.

Where to Stay

Pleasant Hill Campground in Hermon, ME

White Sands National Park

A woman climbs after a cat at White Sands National Park in New Mexico.

Where to Stay

Pine Ridge RV Park in Ruidoso, NM

Cape Cod National Seashore

An aerial view of the Cape Cod National Seashore in Massachusetts.

Where to Stay

Camper’s Haven RV Resort in Dennisport, MA
Cape Cod RV Resort in East Falmouth, MA
Peters Pond RV Resort in Sandwich, MA
Sandy Pond Campground in Plymouth, MA

Yellowstone National Park

A closeup of a blue and orange thermal pool at Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming.

Where to Stay

The Historic Wapiti Lodge in Cody, WY
Buffalo Bluff RV Park in Cody, WY
Valley View RV Park Campground in Island Park, ID
Yellowstone Trail RV Park in Pinedale, WY
Snake River Hideout in Rexburg, ID

Mount Rainier National Park

The peek of Mount Rainier poking through tall pine trees at Mount Rainier National Park in Washington.

Where to Stay

Elkamp Eastcreek in Mineral, WA
Evergreen Sportsmen’s Club in Olympia, WA
Vantage Riverstone in Vantage, WA

Saguaro National Park

Saguaro cactus surrounded by desert cholla and mountains at Saguaro National Park in Arizona.

Where to Stay

Ride Out Ranch in Florence, AZ

Shenandoah National Park

The mountains at Shenandoah National Park in Virginia.

Where to Stay

Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resort: Luray in Luray, VA
Shenandoah Valley Campground in Verona, VA
Shenandoah Acres Family Campground in Stuarts Draft, VA

Sequoia National Park

A person walks through two large sequoia trees at Sequoia National Park in California.

Where to Stay

Nelson Falls RV Park in Springville, CA

Grand Teton National Park

A landscape depiction of the Grand Tetons at Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.

Where to Stay

Yellowstone Trail RV Park in Pinedale, WY
Snake River Hideout in Rexburg, ID

Big Bend National Park

The sign of Big Bend National Park in Southern Texas.

Where to Stay

Roadrunner Travelers Campground in Terlingua, TX

Acadia National Park

A man sits along the jagged rocks at Acadia National Park in Maine.

Where to Stay

Hadley’s Point Campground in Bar Harbor, ME
Forest Ridge Campground in Ellsworth, ME

Canyonlands National Park

The canyons at Canyonlands National Park in Utah.

Where to Stay

OK RV Park in Moab, UT
Up the Creek Campground in Moab, UT
Canyonlands RV Resort & Campground in Moab, UT
Slickrock Campground in Moab, UT
Moab Valley RV Resort & Campground in Moab, UT
Archview RV Resort & Campground in Moab, UT

Denali National Park and Preserve

Mount Denali towering above a forest of pine trees at Denali National Park and Preserve in Alaska.

Where to Stay

Denali RV Park and Motel in Healy, AK

Mount Rushmore National Memorial

Snow melts on the heads of the presidents at Mount Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota.

Arches National Park

A man stands underneath Delicate Arch at Arches National Park in Utah.

Where to Stay

OK RV Park in Moab, UT
Up the Creek Campground in Moab, UT
Canyonlands RV Resort & Campground in Moab, UT
Slickrock Campground in Moab, UT
Moab Valley RV Resort & Campground in Moab, UT
Archview RV Resort & Campground in Moab, UT

Glacier National Park

The sun rises on a mountain and valley at Glacier National Park in Montana.

Where to Stay

Edgewater RV Resort and Motel in Lakeside, MT

Castillo de San Marcos National Monument

A woman walks along the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument in St. Augustine, Florida.

Where to Stay

Compass RV Resort in St. Augustine, FL
Ocean Grove RV Resort in St. Augustine, FL

Redwood National and State Parks

Sun shines through a redwood forest at the Redwood National and State Parks in California.

Where to Stay

The Ramblin’ Redwoods Campground and RV Park in Crescent City, CA
Kamp Klamath RV Park & Campground in Klamath, CA

Death Valley National Park

A woman stands in the Artist's Palette in Death Valley National Park in California.

Gettysburg National Military Park

An outlook of a battlefield at Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania.

Where to Stay

Merry Meadows Recreation Farm in Freeland, MD
Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resort in Williamsport, MD
Paradise Stream Family Campground in Loysville, PA

Badlands National Park

A cloudy day at Badlands National Park in South Dakota.

Yosemite National Park

An epic lookout of El Capitan and the Half Dome at Yosemite National Park in California.

Where to Stay

Gold Country Campground Resort in Pine Grove, CA
49er Village RV Resort in Plymouth, CA

Carlsbad Caverns National Park

The Big Room at Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico.

Find your Campspot.