Top U.S. National Parks For RV Adventures

Last Updated on March 7, 2024 by Christina

National parks hold a special allure drawing visitors to them year after year. From coast to coast, the parks’ diversity and abundance of natural beauty make them a popular destination for every type of traveler — sightseers, adventure seekers, weekend warriors, families and everyone in between.

It’s no secret that national parks became a refuge during the pandemic as travelers flocked to wide-open spaces in record numbers. According to the National Park Service, roughly 325.5 million people visited more than 400 sites administered by the NPS, including national parks, in 2023 — a 4-percent increase from 2022.

Camping in an RV within a national park provides a comfortable base to immerse yourself in a park’s beauty from sunrise to sunset. National park campsites also create a fun sense of community between RV campers, who share everything from vehicle advice to travel tips, BBQ recipes and S’mores around the campfire.

As more people discover the benefits of traveling in an RV, it’s no surprise that national parks have become a popular destination for those who love the great outdoors. RV travel allows you to explore the beauty of nature at your own pace, with all the comforts of home right at your fingertips. In this article, we’ll explore the top national parks to visit by RV and the benefits you can expect.

Top National Parks in North Carolina

Great Smoky Mountains National Park                 

The Smoky Mountains of North Carolina are filled with lots of outside fun

The Smoky Mountains of North Carolina are filled with lots of outside fun, like whitewater rafting and mountaintop zip lining. Close to major population centers and free to enjoy, Great Smoky Mountains National Park has an abundance of visitors. But with hundreds of miles of hiking trails, historic sites and more than half a million acres to explore, there’s plenty of room to roam.

Forested mountains stretch across North Carolina and Tennessee at Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The park offers 10 front-country camping locations within its boundaries. Nearby scenic drives helped this site draw in 13.29 million visitors in 2023. General RV is building a new Supercenter in Salisbury, North Carolina, about 40 miles north of Charlotte. This state-of-the-art facility, set to open in fall 2024, will hold more than 30 service bays, a full parts and accessories selection, as well as dozens of the top RV brands available.

Top National Parks in Utah

Zion National Park                             

Zion National Park is a relatively small park, located in southwest Utah

Zion National Park is a relatively small park, located in southwest Utah and around a 5-hour drive from Salt Lake City. It is most famous for its hikes, varying from easy to very challenging options. Among the most popular trails are Canyon Overlook, the Narrows Bottom Up, Angel’s Landing and much more.

In 2023, this Utah park tallied 4.62 million visits. Peak season runs from February to November. General RV is Utah’s top family-owned RV dealer with a Supercenter in Draper, with another slated to be open in late 2024 in South Weber.

Top National Parks in Arizona

Grand Canyon National Park                       

Grand Canyon National Park showcases spectacular skies

The Grand Canyon is at the top of almost everyone’s bucket list and comes in at a massive 1.2 million acres in size. It is based in Arizona and around a 5-hour drive from Las Vegas. Grand Canyon National Park showcases spectacular skies, unforgettable sunrises and the unrivaled geographic scale of the American West.

This popular park hosted 4.73 million visitors in 2023. Open year-round, the South Rim Village’s Trailer Village provides full hookups and free shuttle service. Campsites can be booked out months in advance, so long-term planning is essential.

Top National Parks in Colorado

Rocky Mountain National Park                         

Rocky Mountain National Park offers up to 350 miles of hiking trails and more than 150 lakes to explore

The Rocky Mountains are the quintessential mountain camping experience. Located in Colorado, Rocky Mountain National Park offers up to 350 miles of hiking trails and more than 150 lakes to explore. It’s open 24/7, yet its RV parks and campgrounds are top-rated and busy, so pre-booking up to six months in advance is recommended.

Rocky Mountain National Park welcomed 4.11 million visitors in 2023. Four of the park’s five campgrounds accommodate RVs, with the Moraine Park Campground allowing RVs and trailers up to 40 feet long.

Top National Parks in California

Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park, which spans nearly 1,200 square miles, is one of the most famous national parks

Yosemite National Park, which spans nearly 1,200 square miles, is one of the most famous national parks in the U.S. among locals as well as international travelers. It is renowned for its giant sequoia trees, waterfalls, backcountry hiking as well as wildlife – black beers, deer, bobcats and many more.

This central California park just under two hours north of Fresno welcomed 3.89 million visitors in 2023. While no RV hookups are available onsite, Yosemite Valley has dump sites open year-round. We highly recommend booking five to six months in advance as these campsites sell out very, very fast.

Joshua Tree National Park                       

Camping within Joshua Tree’s unique desert ecosystem
View of a beautiful sunset over Joshua Tree National Park

Camping within Joshua Tree’s unique desert ecosystem, where the Mojave and Colorado deserts meet, is an experience like no other. Based in southern California, it is the perfect destination for hikers and rock climbers! The park features several National Park Service campgrounds. This iconic park welcomed 3.27 million visitors in 2023. It’s a lovely region for desert walks to see the famous twisted and spikey Joshua trees and late-night stargazing.

Top National Parks in Washington

Olympic National Park                    

Olympic National Park is one of the United States’ most enjoyable destinations for camping and exploring

Featuring nearly a million acres of vast wilderness and diverse ecosystems in Washington, it’s no wonder Olympic National Park is one of the United States’ most enjoyable destinations for camping and exploring. With a 3-hour drive from Seattle, it’s ideal for day trips and long weekend camper van and RV adventures.

There are a variety of campgrounds and RV parks to set up your base and explore the mountains, lakes, oceans or forests. Last year, more than 100,000 RV campers made a trip to Olympic National Park. If you want to visit the area, arrive early to snag one of the first-come, first-serve RV camping sites.

Top National Parks in Maine

Acadia National Park

Acadia National Park is a stunning national treasure on the coast of Maine in the Northeast. Early risers will be among the first in the United States to see the dawning of a new day with the sunrise along Acadia’s beautiful rocky shoreline. Established by Woodrow Wilson in 1916, Acadia now covers more than 49,000 acres thanks to the remarkable dedication and philanthropy of wealthy private citizens. The park encompasses nearly half of Mount Desert Island, a scattering of smaller islands and the Schoodic Peninsula.

One of the most amazing features experienced by 3.87 million visitors to Acadia National Park in 2023 is the interlaced system of hiking trails and carriage roads. With varied lengths and levels of difficulty, the 125 miles of trails appeal to everyone from casual walkers to seasoned triathletes. Since Acadia is so popular in the summer, plan ahead to avoid traffic congestion and long waits. Hike, bike or walk to popular attractions in the early morning or late afternoons to avoid crowds.

Top National Parks in Wyoming

Grand Teton National Park

Located just north of Jackson, Wyoming, Grand Teton National Park has a diverse and long-standing history that includes human use from more than 11,000 years ago. Nomadic Indians, American Indian tribes, early American explorers and permanent settlers once called this national park home. Today, you can explore the park’s extensive history and culture through ranger-led programs, visitor centers and historical points of interest like Mormon Row and the Moulton Barns.

In addition to a fascinating history, Grand Teton’s stunning landscapes and diverse wildlife welcomed 3.41 million visitors in 2023. Whether it’s a backpacking trip or in reserved campsites within park boundaries, you will be surrounded by this region’s breathtaking scenery. Wherever you rest your head, make sure you wake up ready to explore all the activities Grand Teton offers, including hiking, boating, rock climbing, wildlife tours and more.

When it comes to national parks and RVs, size matters

While most national parks have campgrounds that accommodate RVs, there are various size restrictions. Before you book, make sure to read the size restrictions carefully. If your RV is over the size limit, you may be turned away. Even worse, you may not be able to make the tight turns necessary to get to the campground.

Reserve your campsite as early as possible

National parks are popular and usually have large crowds. Book campsites early. There are usually a number of campgrounds available just outside of national parks that can also accommodate RVs.

Ready to start your RV camping adventure?

Let General RV help you discover the RV lifestyle. We offer a huge selection of new motorhomesfifth wheels and travel trailers, as well as used RVs for sale. Visit our RV Virtual Showroom to start browsing now. Or find a General RV dealer near you. Whether you shop online or in store, our experts will help you camp with confidence.