Eleven best national parks for RV-ing
America’s National Parks are among the greatest treasures in our country. From majestic mountains to subtropical wetlands, towering Redwoods and awe-inspiring rock formations, nature’s glory is on display in every corner of our nation.
RVing in a National Park is an experience like no other and one that you cannot pass up. We’ve compiled a list of 11 can’t miss National Parks you should visit in your RV.
5 tips when RVing at a National Park versus a private campground
1. Research your route for unusual road conditions (steep inclines, unpaved/gravel roads, winding roads) that could prove hazardous, especially if you are new to RV-ing.
2. Know the exact size of your RV, as some parks have short or narrow spaces that could make parking difficult.
3. Be aware of specific restrictions, accommodations and amenities in National Parks.
4. Be prepared to go off the grid or “boondock” because not all parks have full-hookups.
5. Understand the rules regarding the use of generators – most National Parks place restrictions on when you can use them.
Eleven bucket list National Parks for RV-ing
1. Everglades National Park – Florida
Located at the southern tip of the southernmost state, Everglades National Park in Florida includes 1.5 million acres of wetland. Also known as the “River of Grass,” the Everglades contains a wealth of plant life, wildlife and bird species. Due to its proximity to Florida Bay, visitors can enjoy activities both on land and on the water, including nature trails, biking, boating, canoeing, and whatever else your nature-loving heart desires.
2. Acadia National Park – Maine
Moving all the way up the northeast coast to Maine, you’ll find Acadia National Park, the highest rocky headlands along the Atlantic coastline. There are seven peaks to explore, along with 6,000 lakes, 58 miles of hiking trails, 32,000 miles of rivers, and 45 miles of carriage roads that include 16 stone bridges. You’ll also find an amazing an abundance of plant and animal life.
3. The Black Hills and Badlands National Park – South Dakota
We start moving westward with a stop at Black Hills and Badlands National Park. Black Hills is where you’ll find Mount Rushmore, as well as the Crazy Horse Memorial and Custer State Park. Meanwhile, Badlands National Park is more famous for its geological deposits, which offer some of the world’s richest fossil beds. At one time, the region was home to ancient mammals like saber-toothed cats. Today, you’ll see more modern animals such as bison, bighorn sheep, prairie dogs, and black-footed ferrets.
4. Rocky Mountain National Park – Colorado
Continuing toward westward is Rocky Mountain National Park, which has some of the highest terrain in the world. Beautiful lakes, forested valleys, and lush wildlife flank the majestic mountains. Visitors can enjoy hiking, biking, and horseback riding to their heart’s content. Make sure to be on the lookout for elk, which roam throughout the park.
5. Arches National Park – Utah
Arches National Park, in neighboring Utah, is most famous for its more than 2,000 natural sandstones, including the iconic Delicate Arch. Nature lovers will find plenty to do with activities such as hiking, biking, horseback riding, photography, and rock climbing for the more ambitious adventurers.
6. Mesa Verde National Park – Colorado
Mesa Verde is where you go if you want beauty and history combined. The area is home to over 5,000 archeological sights of the Pueblo people, who lived in the region for over 700 years, from about 600 to 1300 A.D. Rather than hike, you’ll want to drive along the 23 miles of road to see the ancient dwellings, which are carved into the cliffs.
7. Grand Canyon National Park – Arizona
Moving into the southwest, we hit the Grand Canyon in Arizona, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. Carved out by the Colorado River over thousands of years – and measuring 277 miles long, up to 18 miles wide and one mile deep – the canyon is grand in both size and beauty. This is one place that should be on everyone’s bucket list.
8. Yellowstone National Park – Wyoming
America’s first national park is also one of its most stunning, showcasing an abundance of diverse wildlife, incredible scenery and unique geological formations, including the famous Old Faithful geyser. The park covers nearly 3,500 square miles so there is much to explore, including mountains, prairies, forests, lakes, hot springs, and of course, those world-famous geysers.
9. Yosemite National Park – California
Yosemite National Park is where nature decided to simply have some fun. First protected in 1864, the park is famous for its waterfalls and immense rock formations, including Half Dome and El Capitan, as well as deep valleys, grand meadows, and ancient giant sequoias, which all fight for supremacy in terms of sheer beauty.
10. Redwood National Park – California
Redwood National Park in northern California is most famous for its trees…as in the world’s tallest trees. Hyperion, which has the distinction of being the world’s tallest living tree, stretches 379.1 feet into the air. Perhaps less well-known, but certainly not to be overlooked, is the 40 miles of rugged Pacific coastline, vast prairies, and wild rivers-ways that also make up the park.
11. Denali National Park – Alaska
To see the country’s tallest mountain, you have to go all the way to Alaska. The trip is well worth it, though. With unparalleled views of the surrounding mountains and rivers, you will find stunning vistas everywhere you look. The park stretches over 6 million acres, bisected by one narrow ribbon of road. Visitors will see low elevation taiga forest, high alpine tundra, and snowy mountains, including Mount Denali, standing at 20,310 feet. Along the way you’ll spot bears, moose, caribou, Dahl sheep, and more.
America’s National Parks offer glorious treasures for you and your family to enjoy. Exploring them in an RV can make the experience even more special. Use these suggestions as your first bucket list and then let RV Advisor know of more we may have missed.