Camping near U.S. national parks can be as impressive as camping in the parks themselves. It is usually incredible and inspiring just to be within the vicinity of these national treasures. Many camping spots near the national parks offer a similar variety of amenities, which can add to your personal connection to the park itself.
I have included personal tips to help you make the most out of your stay in these campgrounds, some as close as 30 minutes away from the entrance to the national park. Finding a campsite with the comfort and conveniences normally available in the vast areas of the parks will make your time there much more enjoyable and memorable.
Winding River Resort (Near Rocky Mountain National Park)
Rocky Mountain National Park is a popular vacation destination for many families of all ages and interests. Visitors want to see the famous Trail Ridge Road and observe the countless wildlife that roams the parkland. Visiting Estes Park or Grand Lake in your RV is the best way to see the area. Winding River Resort, a five minute drive from the western entrance to Rocky Mountain, is the perfect choice for your stay and where you’ll find all the facilities of home at your fingertips. After all the day’s activities and If weather permits, you can take a horseback ride, go snowmobiling, or simply enjoy the on-premise hiking to top off the end of an epic day exploring the national park and the area.
Any site within the campground offers a fantastic view of the surrounding mountains, regardless of the weather. Amenities such as the shower house and restrooms were clean and within walking distance of other campers. There is often a welcome rain shower each afternoon in the Grand Lake area that may produce a rainbow over the mountains if you’re lucky, providing you with a memorable sight. Winding River Resort is popular and I’d encourage you to reserve your campsite as soon as the reservation window for the season opens up.
Moab Valley RV Resort & Campground (Near Arches National Park And Canyonlands National Park)
If you are anxious to explore Arches National Park, I’d encourage you to book a stay at the Moab Valley RV Resort & Campground. This campground is a family favorite and is at the top of our list when we visit Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park. Due to the number of people wanting to visit “The Big Five” parks, I’d urge you to book your campsite as soon as possible. More campers than ever before are camping in Utah, and at this choice site, you will be 10 minutes from both park entrances. Handicap accessible sites are also available.
The campsites at the Moab Valley are not grassy sites. The grounds are like the surrounding area, composed of red dirt, and the campsites are gravel. But the beauty of this area still shines through as you pull up to the registration station, merely yards from the entrances to Arches and Canyonlands national parks. The campground features an incredible views of the surrounding parks. If you prefer staying in a camping cabin, rather than your RV, there are several available. Additionally, the campground has vintage Airstreams for rental. The swimming pool and hot tub at this campground are some of the best ways to end a long day exploring the parks, so make the time to jump in and relish it.
Boots Campground (Near Theodore Roosevelt National Park)
Theodore Roosevelt National Park is located in the South Unit in the charming town of Medora, North Dakota. The Boots Campground is one mile outside of this historic town and offers RV camping and hook-ups. Theodore Roosevelt National Park is home to bison, coyotes, prairie dogs, and wild horses. You can explore this national park at your leisure because within two minutes, you can find yourself settled in and relaxing at the Boots Campground.
Since this campground is more rustic than the ones mentioned above, it is ideal for RVers looking to get off the beaten path during their National Park trip. They warn that they have no facilities, nor office, on site and do not allow tent camping at this time. However, with only large 16 RV campsites, privacy and seclusion is abundant. The surrounding scenery of the badlands offers the perfect setting to unwind and relax after exploring Roosevelt Park.
The Sturgis Hideaway Campground (Near Badlands National Park)
Badlands National Park in South Dakota is a desirable destination for many. The rich, red rocks of the park are sure to lure you in. The best part about visiting the Badlands is that there are multiple forests and parks nearby worth exploring, including Custer State Park, Black Hills National Forest, and Wind Cave National Park. The Sturgis Hideaway Campground provides easy access to all of the above! Although it’s about an hour drive to the Badlands, many people take the opportunity to drive through Black Hills along the way. The campground is on a 20-acre family farm that offers plenty of seclusion, as well as family-friendly events and activities.
Plan to arrive at Badlands National Park in the early morning when the animals are very active. Take to the hiking trails before the heat of the day reaches its peak and pay attention to the signs along the trails, as rattlesnakes are common inhabitants. Return to your campsite for a picnic lunch and relax during the hottest part of the day. Once you have enjoyed the tranquility that this campground has to offer, drive back into the park and chase the glorious sunset. This national park offers some of the most incredible sunsets that I have ever seen. Before you leave the area, be sure to spend some time in the world-famous Wall Drug. This well-known road attraction is a must-see for anyone that explores Badlands National Park.
The Outback Montana RV Park (Near Glacier National Park)
Glacier National Park is home to the well-known Going to The Sun Road. Many people dream of visiting and I’d encourage you to stop dreaming and start doing if you have never been. It’s time to begin planning your trip to Northwest Montana. The Outback Montana RV Park is located in Bigfork, MT, nestled on Flathead Lake and a short 40 minute drive to west Glacier. This campground is absolutely beautiful and offers sites for RV camping, tent camping, and cabin rentals.
If you enjoy hiking, one of the best tips that I can give you is to drive into Glacier National Park at 5 a.m. Park at Avalanche Lake and begin your day hiking through the forest from the lake, breathing in the fresh scent of pine. After you have enjoyed a morning of hiking and everyone else has arrived for their visit, head back to your campsite and relax near or in the stunning blue waters of Flathead. If you’re looking for a cabin, be sure to reserve it as soon as you begin to plan your vacation because they are often booked far in advance. However, The Outback offers a plethora of tent camping sites for those that don’t mind roughing it.
River Run RV Resort (Near Rocky Mountain National Park)
Another excellent camping option near Rocky Mountain National Park is the River Run RV Resort in Granby, Colorado. River Run is a huge campground with plenty of amenities to keep the whole family entertained, including a mini golf course, large swimming pool, outdoor theater, and convenient general store. Their offerings range from cozy cabins, to Airstream rentals, to RV sites, to basic tent camping, but the most unique place to lay your head is in one of their covered wagons, furnished with a king bed and bunk beds.
The campground is situated south of Rocky Mountain National Park and north of Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests for ample outdoor exploring opportunities in less than an hour drivetime. As the name alludes, River Run also provides easy access to Lake Granby and the Colorado River, both perfect for summertime boating or whitewater rafting.
Each of these U.S. national park camping spots is an incredible experience. If you are planning to visit any of the national parks, plan ahead. National park vacations are popular with outdoor enthusiasts, sot o avoid disappointment, pack your patience, reserve your campsites ahead of time, and enjoy the great outdoors. Many national parks are at higher elevations where the weather can be unpredictable, so plan your seasonal trip accordingly.
Your camping experience with an RV can be one of the most memorable vacations of your lifetime. The beauty and excitement that you will find in each of these campgrounds and U.S. National Parks will be with you for a lifetime.
For more campground options around the country, check out Campspot.