Skip to main content

The Manual may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

The Best National Parks for RV Camping in 2022

Truck Camping in Mammoth Lakes, California
Robson Hatsukami Morgan/Unsplash

For many Americans, 2020 fast became The Year of the RV Road Trip. Now, in 2022, recreational vehicles are more popular than ever before. Whether you’re a first-time RV buyer or a seasoned veteran, visiting the U.S. National Parks is a quintessential part of owning your own camper. But with more than 400 “units” in the National Park Service (NPS) system, how do you choose where to go next? These are the best National Parks in Spring for RV camping.

Joshua Tree National Park


Joshua Tree National Park in California
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Few National Parks boast the mythical and mystical quality of Joshua Tree. Massive boulder piles, bleached sand dunes, and Dr. Seussian yucca forests spread across hundreds of square miles of desert are an otherworldly sight to behold. The good news for RVers is that the majority of campgrounds near the park are RV-friendly. The key is to call ahead to confirm any maximum length restrictions before you arrive. Like many National Parks in the Western United States, there are plenty of free dispersed camping options on BLM land nearby.

Grand Canyon National Park


The Grand Canyon
David Ilécio / Pexels

Although it’s “only” the sixth most popular park in the NPS system, Grand Canyon National Park is arguably the most iconic. The views from virtually any roadside pull-out are nothing short of spectacular. Wide roads around the park also make for easy driving, especially for novice RV owners. There are just four developed campgrounds inside the park. But if you’re looking for creature comforts, Trailer Village is the only option with full RV hookups.

Yosemite National Park


Hiker at Half Dome in Yosemite National Park
Image used with permission by copyright holder

It’s California’s most iconic National Park, and with good reason. There are countless opportunities for hiking, world-class rock climbing, wildlife spotting, and nature photography, especially during the park’s exclusive annual Firefall event. There is, in fact, so much to see here that we recommend setting up your RV at a campground inside the park to experience as much as possible. Fortunately, there are a large number of campgrounds within the park boundaries. However, take note that none offer RV hookups. Tuolumne Meadows Campground is among the best options, but spaces fill up fast.

Kings Canyon National Park


Kings Canyon National Park
Image used with permission by copyright holder

This “little brother” to Yosemite has many of the same features — fantastic mountain views, pristine rivers, and groves of towering Sequoias — but with one-tenth of the visitors. For RVers who appreciate a little more solitude, this is a true not-so-hidden gem among California’s National Parks. It’s also a fantastic place for hiking, horseback riding, and spotting wildlife, including bears (don’t forget the bear spray!), cougars, rattlesnakes, and more. Plus, it’s easy to notch a two-for in your National Parks passport with Sequoia National Park immediately adjacent.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Tennessee and North Carolina

Clingmans Dome in Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Image used with permission by copyright holder

This monster of the National Park system attracts more than 12 million visitors every year. That’s more than the next three most popular parks combined. With borders that stretch from Tennessee to North Carolina, there’s plenty of room and reasons for RVers to explore. Visitors will find opportunities for everything from history and auto tours to waterfall hikes and wildlife-watching. For campers, there are no less than ten campgrounds inside the park. However, only half of those accommodate RVs and are without hookups, so plan accordingly.

Yellowstone National Park

Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho


If there’s one park that ties Grand Canyon for “flagship” status among all U.S. National Parks, it has to be Yellowstone. It’s a massive expanse spread across 3,500 square miles — almost three times the size of Rhode Island. RV campers can spend weeks exploring here and never get bored. Beyond the iconic Old Faithful geyser, Yellowstone is home to four mountain ranges, numerous waterfalls, and more than 60 mammal species, including bison, timber wolves, lynxes, and grizzly bears.

Wrangell-St. Elias National Park


Wrangell Mountains in Alaska
Image used with permission by copyright holder

For RVers looking to escape the maddening crowds, Alaska is home to the four largest parks in the National Park Service system. None holds a candle to the awe-inspiring size of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. At more than 13,000 square miles, it dwarfs the likes of the Grand Canyon. This is truly remote RV camping territory, as the park is home to some of the largest volcanoes and peaks in North America. More than a quarter of its land is covered in glaciers. For RVers of all stripes, from first-timers to experts, exploring this park is truly the trip of a lifetime.

As of early 2022, most parks within the National Park Service have reopened. Still, amid the ongoing pandemic, hours and COVID-related restrictions are regularly changing. It’s best to visit the official NPS website or call ahead to confirm before visiting. Whatever you do, don’t forget to come prepared with our top must-pack essentials for every RV owner.

Editors' Recommendations

Mike Richard
Mike Richard has traveled the world since 2008. He's kayaked in Antarctica, tracked endangered African wild dogs in South…
Revealed: These are the 10 best states for camping in the U.S.
If you love camping, we hope you live in one of these 10 states
A couple camping.

Get ready to pack your bags and hit the road! The adventure enthusiasts at Adventures on the Rock have done all the heavy lifting for you. They’ve created a Camping Index that analyzes each of the best states for camping based on ten critical elements to help you make the best decision about where to camp this summer.

The analysis used a range of statistics to assess each state, including the number of national parks and landmarks, hiking trails, RV parks relative to population, paid or free campsites relative to population, average fuel prices, yearly average rainfall, diversity of plant and animal species, death caused by dangerous plants and animals, and deaths per 10 million national park visits.
The best states for camping
Each state was given a score out of 10 for each category. Add that all up, and we have some easily comparable metrics. With 100 being the best and 0 the worst, here are the top ten state rankings to camp in this summer:

Read more
These are the best national parks to visit when the weather warms up
Dust off your backpack and lace up those hiking boots. Now's the time of year to hit the best National Parks in the U.S.
best national parks to visit in spring summer warm weather great sand dunes park and preserve colorado getty images

Warmer weather is finally here, and now is the perfect time to dust off your spring hiking gear or best camping gear and begin exploring the great outdoors. What better place than one of our many U.S. National Parks? Some are well-known icons, while others are little-known national treasures. Regardless, all are unique and represent some of the most beautiful and scenic destinations our nation has to offer. Here are the best national parks to visit when the weather warms up.
Great Sand Dunes National Park

This otherworldly sandbox of dunes, the tallest topping 750 feet, is set against the backdrop of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Great Sand Dunes National Park’s remote location in Colorado, paired with several peaks exceeding 13,000 feet and a few of the coveted "fourteeners" (those exceeding 14,000 feet), make for an adventure playground. Situated at just over 8,000 feet above sea level, it’s also an ideal campground for stargazing amidst a seemingly surreal landscape.
Great Sand Dunes National Park Website

Read more
The most and least visited National Parks: See popular sites (or avoid crowds)
Whether you like the least or most visited ones, these are the best National Parks out there
People kayaking down the river at the Big Bend National Park.

If you love the outdoors, history, camping, or backpacking, then you've probably visited a few National Parks in your day. Well, if you're looking for some new spots, we have the list of the most and least visited National Parks for you to plan your next visit around where to go.

Fun park facts
Before we dive into the specific parks, we want to dive into some fun park facts that we know you are dying to know.
Trivia time

Read more