The best part of camping with an RV is that you get to bring everything with you, even the kitchen sink. In your home away from home, you can tour the country, seeing the most amazing sights and scenes that the United States has to offer. If you’re ready to load up and ship out, here are our recommendations for the best national parks to visit for the ultimate RV Trip experience.
Tips for a Great National Park RV Trip
Before you hit the road, we have a few recommendations and tips that will make your national park RV trip even better.
Buy a National Park Pass
Each national park that you visit in the U.S. charges an entrance fee. If you’re planning to visit more than one park, you’ll likely benefit from buying the Annual National Park Pass. This pass allows you to enter any park for an entire year. And, it doesn’t cost much more than the weekly pass you’d pay to get into a single park.
Travel in the Off-Season
One benefit of traveling in an RV is that you have everything you need right with you. This makes for a very comfortable camping experience, even when the conditions aren’t ideal. If you can, traveling in the off-season for the park you want to visit will limit the number of visitors you’re competing with to see the sites. It can also make it easier to get reservations for RV parking.
Find Out Where Your RV Can and Can’t Go
RVs come in all shapes and sizes. And, some RVs are too big for some spots at national parks. The roads in and out of national parks or the campgrounds can be narrow or unpaved. It’s important to research ahead of time whether or not your RV can navigate the roads. If you’re concerned about getting in and out of the national park, you can generally find a place to stay in a town near to the park, so you’re just a short drive away.
If you’re looking for the ultimate RV national park trip, here are our recommendations for the best parks to visit.
Big Bend RV Camping
Big Bend National Park is located in southwestern Texas near the border with Mexico. This park is known as one of the most remote parks in the national park system. But, once you’re there, there’s so much to do and see.
The RV Park and Campground offers 131 sites with full hookups, with a maximum stay of 14 days. Big Bend has tons to do and see, such as hiking, river trips, horseback riding, and stargazing. After a long day of hiking, you can also take a dip in the area’s natural hot springs. Beware, RVs can’t go down this road, so be prepared to hike, bike, or drive a car.
Grand Canyon RV Camping
Another great place for RV camping is the Grand Canyon. The RV campground is located along the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona and is open from May 15 to October 15. One of the benefits of visiting this side of the park is that there are generally fewer visitors and is abundant with wildlife.
The campground is located at 8,200 feet, so even though you’ll be visiting in the summer, you’ll have pleasant temperatures and might see afternoon thunderstorms. RV and campground sites have no hookups available but do include a picnic table and fire ring.
One of the best ways to see the Grand Canyon is on a scenic drive along the North Rim. Along the way, you’ll find picnic areas, scenic pullovers, and hiking trails. While driving along the North Rim, you might see:
- Point Imperial: The highest point of North Rim, overlooks the Painted Desert and Marble Canyon.
- Roosevelt Point: This has access to the Roosevelt Point Trail, which is an easy, woodland loop trail.
- Walhalla Overlook: Spectacular canyon views and access to Ancestral Puebloan historical sites.
- Cape Royal: One of the best views of the Grand Canyon.
Badlands RV Camping
The Badlands are located in southwestern South Dakota, just 70 miles east of Rapid City. The Badlands are home to sharply eroded buttes, pinnacles, and spires which are blended with the largest, protected mixed grass prairie in the United States.
Located near the Ben Reifel Visitor Center is the Cedar Pass Campground, this campground has 96 RV sites and is open from April 1 to October 23. RV sites offer electric-only hookups, a shaded picnic table, and water, flush toilets, and showers nearby. Badlands National Park has numerous trails, fantastic stargazing, and guided tours of the Fossil Preparation Lab.
If you’re planning an RV trip to the national parks, we highly recommend a visit to Big Bend National Park, Grand Canyon National Park, and Badlands National Park. You can see some of the most scenic places in the United States in your RV by hitting the road and visiting the national parks.