It just doesn’t get any better than RVing–camping, hiking, biking, exploring, and enjoying the scenery–in national parks. Since President Woodrow Wilson signed the act creating the National Park Service on August 25, 1916, the Service has grown to 58 national parks across the United States. Texas is home to two national parks: Big Bend National Park and Guadalupe Mountains National Park. Be sure to visit both.
Thanks to COVID-19, some national parks may still be closed or have restrictions. Check in first before you head out. This list of the 10 best national parks for RVers below compiled by Motorhome Magazine.
Acadia National Park – Maine
Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park is the highest mountain along the eastern seaboard at 1,530 feet. The park’s 45 miles of carriage roads thread throughout the park and are eagerly sought out by cyclists. They also provide access to the park’s natural features including incredible tidal zones and ocean settings. There are two campgrounds in Acadia National Park with a total of 520 campsites.
Big Bend National Park – Texas
Big Bend is best known for it’s diversity and size – 801,000 acres of silence, scenic vistas, a variety of habitats, desert to towering peaks, canoeing and rafting, hiking and biking, hot springs, and the Rio Grande River on the border of Mexico. Big Bend National Park has four campgrounds. They range from along the river to high in the mountains. There is also a lodge and restaurant.
See Texas Outside’s Big Bend Page to find trails, articles, and more fun things to see and do in and nearby Big Bend.
Death Valley National Park – California/Nevada
Death Valley National Park is the driest, hottest, and only national park below sea level. It’s a land of extremes with steady drought and record summer heat, but its towering peaks with winter snow, huge sprawling sand dunes, and rare rainstorms bring vast fields of wildflowers. There are also lush oases that harbor tiny fish and provide a refuge for wildlife and humans. The seven campgrounds in the park are appropriate for RVs.
Glacier National Park – Alaska
On the more than one million acres of Glacier National Park, you’ll discover pristine forests, alpine meadows, rugged mountains, and spectacular lakes. This park is a hiker’s paradise with more than 700 miles of trails, and it’s also home to one of America’s most beautiful highways thanks to the 50-mile Going-to-the-Sun Road.
Glacier National Park is a hiker’s paradise for adventurous visitors seeking wilderness and solitude. Glacier has six campgrounds that are good for RVs. The largest, Apgar, has a visitor center, gift shops, camp store, restaurant, horseback riding, boat rentals, and shuttle service.
Joshua Tree National Park – California
Two distinct desert ecosystems, the Mojave and the Colorado, come together in the 800,000-acre Joshua Tree National Park.
A fascinating variety of plants and animals that roam Joshua Tree National Park, and the immense fields of granite boulders, lost mines, mountain biking, hiking trails, rock climbing, backpacking, and more, can keep you busy for several days. The are nine campgrounds in in the park, but there are no hook-ups (a couple campgrounds have dump stations) and two campgrounds don’t allow motorhomes that exceed 25 feet.
Mesa Verde National Park – Colorado
Mesa Verde is the world’s most extensive, notable, and best-preserved archaeological site in the world. Its where Ancestral Pueblo people made their home for more than 700 years. The park protects over 5,000 known archeological sites including 600 cliff dwellings. The Morefield Campground inside the park has 435 sites, but only 15 are full hook-up RV sites.
Redwood National Park – California
Home to the world’s tallest trees, Redwood National Park has more than 131,000 acres of prairies, oak woodlands, wild riverways. There are also nearly 40 miles of rugged coastline!
There are no RV campgrounds within Redwoods National Park but the park surrounds two California State Parks (Jedediah Smith Redwoods and Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park) for RV camping. Both parks are well positioned for exploring Redwood National Park.
Shenandoah National Park – Virginia
The 200,000-acre Shenandoah National Park is a hikers delight and home to a portion of the 2,193 mile-long Appalachian Trail. In addition to excellent hiking, you can enjoy 15 major cascading waterfalls, spectacular vistas, fields of wildflowers, quiet wooded hollows, and lots of deer, songbirds, and black bear. There are five campgrounds with spacious sites that are located along the Appalachian Trail.
Yellowstone National Park – Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho
Everybody knows about Yellowstone’s unique hydrothermal and geologic wonders, such as Old Faithful and other geysers, and cascading waterfalls. Still, the park is also famous for its diverse wildlife, which include herds of antelope and elk, lots of bears, buffalo, wolves, and more.
There are 12 different campgrounds in Yellowstone, but there are a limited number of sites over 30 feet that are available for RVs.
Zion National Park – Utah
Zion National Park is a spectacular network of colorful canyons, forested mesas, striking deserts, and massive sandstone cliffs of cream, pink, and red that soar into a brilliant blue sky. Hiking is superb with astonishing rock formations, slot canyons, river-carved canyons, slickrock, and graceful arches. A shuttle system eliminates traffic and parking problems, protects vegetation, and restores tranquility to Zion Canyon. Zion has three campgrounds: South and Watchman Campgrounds are in Zion Canyon while Lava Point Campground is about an hour drive from Zion Canyon on the Kolob Terrace Road.
America’s National Parks Are Ready When You Are
While Texas’ two national parks are awesome parks, and one of them makes the 10 best for RVers in the nation, not all of the country’s best national parks are great for RVers. These 10 national parks, however, have amenities that appeal to RVers and make for great vacation and hook-up spots for people traveling in RVs. If you’re traveling in Texas and you’re looking for an RV campsite, check out our Texas Campgrounds and RV Parks page.