So, you have your RV, and you have time on your hands. Lucky you! Now the only question is where to go, right?
Go West, my friend, Go West.
I love the American West. I’m fortunate enough to have traveled there extensively for a total of over a year and a half. Based on our own experience, I’ve compiled this list of 23 fantastic destinations in the West that you absolutely should go visit in your RV.
Most of these places are national parks or other areas of outstanding natural beauty. Towards the end of the list, I also included a few fantastic cities which are well worth a visit (and easy enough to visit in an RV too).
Let’s get the list rolling… And it’s a long one. For each of these 23 destinations, we’ve added a description including the RV campgrounds situation in the area. Grab a coffee and dive right in.
1. Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone’s thermal features, as well as its dramatic landscapes, draw people from around the world. The Old Faithful geyser erupts at regular intervals throughout the day, making for a great show. Along with Old Faithful, there are many other geysers and the colorful Morning Glory Pool in the Upper Basin region.
You also won’t want to miss the breathtaking views at the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. In the Canyon District of Yellowstone, you can view Lower Falls from many lookout points. and hike down to the edge of the falls.
RV Camping in Yellowstone
This is the only place for RV camping with full hookups inside Yellowstone. It can only accommodate rigs up to 40 feet in length. Fishing Bridge campground is equipped with laundry, showers, and a dump station.
This is a first-come, first served campground within Yellowstone National Park. Arrive early to snag a spot. There are no hookups, but the campground has bathrooms and water available.
This is just one of many campgrounds at Yellowstone where you can dry camp or boondock. Indian Creek is quiet and peaceful, with excellent views of Electric Peak.
2. Yosemite National Park
Yosemite Valley contains most of the main attractions in Yosemite National Park. Yosemite Falls is the most famous waterfall in the park, the 6th highest waterfall in the world.
The Tunnel View off of State Route 41 is the most iconic view of Yosemite valley. El Capitan, Half Dome and Bridalveil Fall are all visible from this breathtaking vantage point.
RV Camping in Yosemite
There are no RV hookups inside of Yosemite National Park. RVs longer than 35 feet long will have to look outside the park for accommodations.
The Pines Campgrounds are a collection of 3 different campgrounds inside of Yosemite. Upper Pines, Lower Pines and North Pines all require reservations up to five months in advance. These campgrounds have flush toilets and drinking water available, but no hookups for RVs.
This privately owned RV park is 22 miles from the western entrance to Yosemite and is open year-round. Yosemite Pines offers full-hookups and many amenities for any length of RV.
USFS offers many primitive campsites in the national forest just outside of Yosemite. These boondocking sites are ideal for the self-sufficient RVer who doesn’t need fancy amenities.
3. The Grand Canyon
Sweeping and dramatic views of the Grand Canyon can be seen from rims on the north, south, east and west. Most of the options for RV camping are in the southern part of the park, so this article will focus on South Rim attractions.
At the South Rim, don’t miss Mather’s Point or the Canyon View Visitor Center. Hike along the Rim Trail, or descend into the canyon on the Bright Angel Trail. The Yavapai Geology Museum has geological exhibits to explore.
RV Camping in the Grand Canyon
This campground will accommodate RVs up to 50 feet in length. It has full-hookups, picnic table and grills. This campground is open all year long and is within walking distance of the Visitor Center at Mather’s Point.
Mather Campground is open from March 1 through November 30. It does not have full-hookups for RVs, but generator use is allowed on most loops. Flush toilets and water spigots are available for campers.
4. Glacier National Park
No visit to Glacier National Park is complete without a trip up the Going-to-the-Sun road. This road crosses the Continental Divide at Logan Pass, and is only open in good weather. Vehicles under 21 feet long can drive this road, or you can take the park shuttle to relax and enjoy the jaw-dropping scenery.
Visitors love hiking to Grinnell Glacier, one of the few remaining glaciers left in the area. Kids and adults enjoy wading or swimming in scenic Lake McDonald. If you have time, you can cross over the Canadian border and experience the Canadian side of the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park.
RV Camping in Glacier National Park
Operated by the National Park Service, this campground is located on the east side of Glacier National Park, near some of the best hiking trails in the park. There are no hookups in this campground, but there are bathroom facilities and potable water for campers.
This private campground is located one mile from the western entrance to Glacier National Park. For RV camping, this campground provides electric and water hookups. A sewage dump is available onsite.
Hungry Horse Reservoir and Great Northern Flats River are just two of many places where boondockers can camp close to the entrance to Glacier National Park.
5. Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks
Zion and Bryce Canyon are located about two and a half hours drive away from each other in the southwestern corner of Utah. Many visitors plan to see these parks together.
Zion Must-See Attractions
Zion Canyon Scenic Drive will pass the Virgin River, and many of the famous landmarks in Zion, such as Angels Landing, the Narrows, and Weeping Rock. You can drive yourself, or take the park’s free shuttle service in the warmer months.
After hiking on one of the park’s many scenic trail s, be sure to stop at the Human History Museum to learn more about the history of the area.
Bryce Canyon Must-See Attractions
Bryce Canyon boasts many amazing trails, hikes and lookout points. From these vantage points, you can see colorful rock spires, hoodoos, and sweeping vistas over the Colorado Plateau.
There are so many different landscapes to take in, from Sunrise and Sunset Points to the natural bridge, to Inspiration Point, the views are just waiting for you!
RV Camping in Zion and Bryce
Right off of US Hwy 89, this campground is about an hour’s drive from both Zion and Bryce Canyon parks. Here you’ll find full hook-ups, clean restrooms, showers and laundry.
This is a campground located inside Zion National Park, reservable 6 months in advance. There are electric hookups on two of the campground loops, and bathrooms, fire rings and picnic tables are included.
North Campground is located in Bryce Canyon National Park and is open year-round. This campground has no hookups for RVs, but you will find flush toilets, drinking water and showers nearby.
6. The Moab Area, Utah
With over 2,000 natural stone arches, it’s easy to see why Arches National Park is one of the main attractions near Moab, Utah. Hike to Balanced Rock or Double Arch for amazing photo opportunities. Hiking and outdoor enthusiasts won’t tire of all of the unique land formations to explore.
Canyonlands National Park is lesser known than Arches, but is within easy driving distance of Moab. The canyons and buttes here have been carved by the Colorado River other tributaries. Explore many hiking options in each of the 4 separate districts of the park.
RV Camping Around Moab
This Utah state campground is located 2,000 feet above a curve in the Colorado River with stunning vistas of canyons all around. Kayenta and Wingate Campgrounds within this state park that offer RV camping. There are electrical hookups on some of the campsites. RVs up to 56′ in length can be parked here.
This is an RV resort for campers who enjoy having every amenity and convenience on-hand. Full hookups, hot tub and a putting green, this place has it all!
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) maintains 26 campgrounds in the Moab area. These are all first-come/first-served, and are primitive campsites (no hook-ups). Generator use is allowed.
7. Grand Tetons National Park
Experience the raw beauty of the Tetons by driving up the scenic road to Signal Mountain or on the Moose Wilson road. Wildlife such as bears, deer, and elk roam freely through this park, so keep your eyes open. The mountains dominate the landscape throughout the park and leave visitors in awe of their beauty.
Visitors particularly enjoy driving the 42-mile Scenic Loop Drive through the Grand Tetons in the fall. The colors are brilliant and worth stopping at many overlooks to photograph.
RV Camping in the Grand Tetons
Located near the southern Moose Entrance, this campground is on a first-come, first-served basis. Only 36 campsites out of 300 have electrical hookups, with bathrooms and water spigots nearby. The stunning scenery keeps campers coming back.
Near the shores of Jackson Lake, this campground has 103 RV sites with full hook-ups. There are showers and laundry service at this campground. It is extremely popular and fills up quickly, so reserving early is recommended.
There are many opportunities for free camping on USFS land outside of the Grand Teton National Park. Upper and Lower Teton View camping areas are favorites among RV campers for amazing views.
8. Redwood National and State Parks
The coastal redwoods of California are the tallest trees in the world. Hike through the Tall Trees Grove or the Lady Bird Johnson loop trail, and feel the majesty of these giants. Catching sight of Roosevelt elk grazing is another highlight of this park.
The national park also includes miles of California coastline, where you can enjoy views of the Pacific Ocean and see marine life up close.
RV Camping in the Redwood Area
This RV park with full hookups is right on the banks of the Klamath River. It is scenic in it’s own right, but is centrally located for sightseeing in the national and state parks. Choose from river front or mountain view campsites.
Operated by California State Parks, Del Norte is just south of Crescent City, CA and makes a great basecamp for exploring the Redwood National and State Parks as well as the magnificent California coastline. Only trailers up to 24 feet and motorhomes up to 28 feet can park here. There are no hookups for RVs at this campground.
9. Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
These two California national parks are adjacent to each other, making it easy to visit both on the same trip. Both parks feature Giant Sequoia trees which are the largest living things on earth. Sequoia boasts the Giant Forest and General Sherman tree. Here, one can also hike up the steps of Moro Rock to get a magnificent view of the Sierra Nevada mountain range.
The Kings Canyon side of the park claims the General Grant tree and Grant’s Grove hiking trail which takes you by some of the largest trees in the park. Picturesque Hume Lake is at 5,200 feet altitude, with the dramatic peaks of the Sierras as its backdrop. Panoramic Point is a striking vantage point for looking across the deep canyon to some of the tallest mountains in the lower 48 states.
This campground is within Sequoia National Park near the Lodgepole Visitor Center and Giant Forest sequoia grove. Reserve sites for RVs up to 42 feet long at recreation.gov. There are no hookups for RVs, but generators are permitted. Water spigots and flush toilets are located at this campground. A dump station is available during the summer months.
Located in the Kings Canyon portion of the park, Sunset Campground does not have any hookups for RVs. There are flush toilets and potable water. Individual campsites are reservable on recreation.gov up to 6 months in advance. Group campsites are also available. Bear lockers are provided for food storage.
Eight miles outside of the Sequoia National Park entrance, this campground offers full hookups and amenities for the RV camper. Campsites back up to the Kaweah River and create a lovely jumping off point for exploring the national parks.
10. Lake Tahoe
Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in North America and attracts many visitors year-round with it’s deep, blue waters. In the warm, summer months visitors enjoy visiting Emerald Bay State Park and Fannette Island. Swimming and playing at Commons Beach or taking a boat cruise are great ways to experience Lake Tahoe.
If you are into history, visit the Donner Memorial State Park which memorializes the members of the Donner Party, and Native Americans in the region. Gatekeeper’s Museum in North Lake Tahoe also tells the history of native people and pioneers who settled in the area.
RV Camping around Lake Tahoe
Situated less than a mile away from the south shore of Lake Tahoe, this campground does not have electrical hookups, but bathrooms and water spigots are located throughout the park. There are coin-operated showers and a camp store. Trailers up to 40 feet long can camp here between May and October.
This private campground is located on the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe, in a serene wooded setting on the lake. Full hookups are offered at all RV sites and there are many resort amenities visitors can take advantage of.
11. Big Sur, CA
Driving down the Pacific Coast Highway (Hwy 1) in California will lead you straight through Big Sur. The views overlooking the ocean are dramatic in this area. Pull over or hike down to see the famous McWay waterfall flowing onto the beach or the Point Sur Lighthouse.
The Bixby Creek Bridge is on the Big Sur coast, and it is one of the most photographed bridges in California. The Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park draws many visitors with its scenic hiking trails, but at the time of writing this article, was closed due to storm damage.
RV Camping in the Big Sur Area
Kirk Creek Campground is located in the Los Padres National Forest and operates year-round. Campsites overlook the Pacific Ocean, which makes up for the fact that there are no utility hookups. Vault toilets are located throughout the campground. Reserve ahead of time on recreation.gov.
This campground offers 34 sites for RVs just a 10 minutes walk from the beach. The only utilities provided is 20 Amp electricity and water hookups. There is no sewer connection or dump station located at this campground. Hot showers and laundry facilities are available for guests to use onsite.
12. Olympic National Park
A variety of terrain, climate, and landscapes range through Olympic National Park. You can hike the Hall of Mosses Trail in the Hoh Rain Forest, or traverse the coastline at Ruby Beach. There are glacial lakes to swim in, and mountain ridges to climb. Canoe at Lake Quinault or hike to Marymere or Sol Duc waterfalls.
The Quinault Rain Forest is home to some of the world’s largest trees, including the Sitka spruce which is 1,000 years old. You can bird watch for bald eagles or go beachcombing at Kalaloch Beach.
RV Camping in the Olympic Peninsula
Kalaloch Campground is one of only two campgrounds inside Olympic National Park that can be reserved ahead of time. The other campgrounds in the park are on a first-come, first-serve basis. Kalaloch has direct beach access and some campsites overlook the ocean. Food lockers, drinking water, and flush toilets are located in the campground.
Hoh Campground is in a very remote location, so be sure to stock up before you head in on the small, bumpy road. It’s first-come, first-serve, so arrive by early afternoon to secure a spot. While there are no hookups, visitors love the lush, green landscape and camping under a forested canopy. There is a river close-by and access to many hiking trails.
13. Mount Rainier National Park
Mount Rainier is an iconic destination in Washington state. Its peak is visible for miles around, standing at 14,410 feet high. Within the park, the Sunrise lookout point offers 360 degree views of the Cascade Range.
Near the Paradise Jackson Visitor Center you’ll find programs, hiking trails and meadows of wildflowers. The Skyline Trail is a 5.5 mile trail which is a popular route for breathtaking views. Silver Falls Trail is a shorter, family-friendly trail that takes you to a spectacular waterfall.
RV Camping in Mt Rainier National Park
On the southwest side of Mount Rainier National Park, this campground is located near the Paradise area. Mount Rainier is visible from a lookout point in the campground. Campsites do not include hookups, but flush toilets and potable water are available.
Mounthaven is a smaller RV park, with only 16 sites, located less than a mile from the Nisqually entrance to the national park. They are densely wooded campsites, with full hookups for RVs of all lengths.
14. Lassen Volcanic National Park
Lassen Volcanic National Park is unique in that it features all four types of volcanoes within its borders. You can hike several of the peaks, including Lassen Peak, which is still considered an active volcano. Brokeoff Mountain and Cinder Cone are other popular hikes in the park.
You can still experience the hydrothermal activity at Lassen, even if you don’t want to summit the peaks. At places named Bumpass Hell, Sulphur Works and Devil’s Kitchen, the whole family can witness boiling mud pots, volcanic steam vents and bubbling pools of water.
RV Camping in Lassen
Lassen is one of those parks where RV’ers have the advantage. There aren’t too many motels in the area, so being able to camp in the park is a huge benefit.
This campground is operated within the national park and has many RV sites. All RV sites are nonelectric, but water spigots and flush toilets are located throughout the campground. Coin-op showers and laundry are located at the nearby camp store.
Located outside of the national park on Hwy 44, near Shingletown, this campground gets good reviews for being well maintained and clean. They offer full hookups, and have picnic tables and laundry onsite. the location is close to Lassen Volcanic National Park for spending the day exploring.
15. Custer State Park & the Black Hills of South Dakota
Custer State Park covers over 70,000 acres in the Black Hills of South Dakota. It’s a popular destination for its raw beauty and abundant wildlife. Bison, pronghorn, mountain goats, and deer all roam freely throughout this park. It is not uncommon for bison to share the road with automobiles or to cause traffic jams in the park.
There are several scenic lakes, such as Sylvan Lake for fishing, swimming and hiking. During the summer months, the park offers many ranger-led programs and activities. Mount Rushmore National Monument and Wind Cave National Park are also within driving distance of Custer State Park.
RV Camping in the Black Hills Area
Game Lodge Campground is a large, centrally located campground in Custer State Park. Here you’ll find the most amenities nearby. There are electric hookups for RVs, but not sewer or water. However, there are bathrooms with flush toilets and hot showers, as well as potable water available throughout the campground.
Located in National Forest land near Rapid City, this is a popular campground during the summer months. There are no electric hookups in this campground, but you can find potable water and vault toilets here. This campground does not have a dump station, but there are other places nearby you can find to empty your tanks.
16. Rocky Mountain National Park
For scenic drives, visitors enjoy taking Trail Ridge Road around the park. This road is only open after Memorial Day weekend in May until weather prohibits traffic in the fall. The famous Mummy Range and Longs Peak are visible from this road.
Hiking enthusiasts will want to try out some of the 13ers in this park. For less strenuous hiking check out the Bear Lake area and trails out of Glacier Gorge. Alpine lakes such as Mills Lake and The Loch offer rewarding views, as does an easier hike to Alberta Falls.
Inside the national park, near the Fall River Entrance (northeast side of park), this campground has RV camping sites. They do not have hookups here, but there are bathrooms, potable water, food lockers and picnic tables for campers. This campground can be reserved online between late May and late September.
RV and tent campers will both enjoy this campground just outside of Rocky Mountain National Park. There are full hookups for RVs as well as bear-resistant food lockers, coin-op showers, a heated swimming pool and camp store. It is also near the town of Estes Park for more services and activities. It’s open for camping between mid-May and late September.
17. Theodore Roosevelt National Park
The Badlands of North Dakota are home to the Theodore Roosevelt National Park. This park is still teeming with wildlife, such as buffalo, wild horses, deer, turkey and prairie dog towns. The park is divided into three units: the North and South Units are easily accessible to the public.
While the South Unit is more visited, both North and South Units have unique scenery, including the Little Missouri River and Cannonball Concretions. Visitors also enjoy the vista ponts and hiking trails along the Scenic Loop Drive through the park.
If you’re visiting the South Unit of the national park, this campground is located 5 miles from the entrance. RV sites do not have any hookups, nor is there a dump station at Cottonwood Campground. There is potable water and bathrooms for campers to use.
This is the campground to stay at in the North Unit of the park, located just 4 miles in from the entrance. Bathrooms, drinking water and picnic tables are provided at this facility, but no hookups for RVs. There is a dump station located here.
18. Great Basin National Park
See the only glacier in Nevada from lookout points on Wheeler Peak, or plunge down into Lehman Caves all at Great Basin National Park in Nevada. There is much more than desert to be seen at this less-frequented national park.
Discover ancient bristlecone pine trees or alpine lakes while hiking in the park. Stella Lake and Teresa Lake are both rewarding destinations. Even though the lakes are at 10,000 feet in altitude, the total elevation gain is only 450 feet and doable for most hikers.
This is the only campground in the Great Basin National Park that’s open year-round. With only 11 sites, you need to arrive early to claim your spot. There are no amenities or hookups here, besides toilets, and water (which is turned off when freezing temperatures hit). Visitors love the wildlife that frequents this campground and the stream that runs through it.
If dry camping inside the national park is not your style, stay at this nearby campground with full hookups in Baker, NV. This campground offers full hookups, bath/shower facilities and laundry, and a recreation center. They also boast amazing views and a dark night sky.
19. Santa Fe, New Mexico
Let’s move on to a few more urban destinations, starting with Santa Fe.
Santa Fe is the nation’s oldest state capital, dating back to 1610. The centuries-old adobe buildings will take you back in time. Yet there’s new life here as well, with many contemporary art museums, local artisans and an emerging food scene. With the Balloon Fiesta in October, Santa Fe is an up and coming RV destination.
Visit Canyon Road to satisfy any cravings for culture, art and boutique shopping. The Santa Fe Plaza is the heart of the city and listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. Visit famous churches and tour adobe homes. Shop for unique pieces of local art and dine at one of many popular Mexican restaurants during your stay in Santa Fe.
RV Camping around Santa Fe
Located in the Santa Fe National Forest, this campground is a popular destination just outside of the city. This is basically dry camping, there are water and bathrooms at the campground, but no RV hookups. There is a dump station nearby, but not directly onsite. There are picnic tables and fire rings at each campsite.
This RV campground offers different levels of hookups, as well as pull-through or back-in sites for all lengths of RVs. They are close to walking and biking trails, and several grocery stores. Other amenities include a playground, BBQ grills, bathrooms and laundry facilities.
20. San Antonio, Texas
A visit to the Lone Star State should include a trip to San Antonio, home to the Alamo as well as several other historic Spanish missions. These missions were established during the 1700’s and still stand today as a symbol of the region’s Spanish colonization.
After you tour the museum and church at the Alamo, stroll on down to the San Antonio Riverwalk, the Venice of Texas. You can walk alongside the river, stopping in several stores and restaurants, or take a riverboat tour through this vibrant and historic part of town.
Most public campgrounds are located at a distance from the city of San Antonio. This campground is approximately 17 miles south of the city. There are RV sites with full hook-ups and there are plenty of places to dry camp in the park as well. Restrooms and water are available here.
This RV resort is ideally located just 3 miles away from the Alamo and famous River Walk. They offer full hookup sites, a heated pool and a recreation room. RVs up to 45′ can be accommodated here.
21. San Diego, CA
San Diego, California is a delight to visit in any season and you won’t run out of sights to see. Kids will love the theme parks: Legoland, Sea World and the famous San Diego Zoo and Wildlife Safari. History buffs will enjoy the USS Midway Museum as well as historic Balboa Park.
If getting into nature is more your thing, Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve is great for hiking and wildlife, as is Sunset Cliff Natural Park. You can beachcomb, explore tidepools and just relax at many San Diego area beaches. La Jolla Shores and Coronado Island are favorites to bring the family for a beach day.
RV Camping in the San Diego Area
This campground is in a great central location to get around San Diego, plus it’s right on the beach! Electric and water hookups are available, but no sewer connections. Park gates are closed after a certain time in the evenings, so be aware if you are out in the city late. Reserve up to six months in advance at this popular campground.
Campland On The Bay has been a stand-by San Diego RV park for years. Its location at Mission Bay is super convenient to reach city attractions and beaches. There are different types of RV sites, ranging from full hookups to water and electric only, to dry camping options. Maximum RV length is 45 feet. Laundry, showers, and bathroom facilities are onsite for guests to use.
22. Las Vegas, NV
The obvious attraction of Las Vegas is the many hotels and casinos that make up The Strip. Individual hotel attractions include the Fountains and Conservatory of Bellagio, the Stratosphere Tower, and the Eiffel Tower Viewing Deck at the Paris Hotel. The High Roller ferris wheel ride allows you to see for miles and miles beyond Las Vegas.
When you need a break from the sights and sounds of Las Vegas Boulevard, head to the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. Here you can view colorful rock formations on hiking trails or from the comfort of your vehicle.
This RV resort is restricted to guests 18 years of age or older. It offers full hookups, a convenient location to the strip and reasonable rates. It is gated with a guard on duty 24 hours a day for your security. Enjoy the pool and spa, laundry facilities and fitness center during your stay here.
This RV Park is recently under new ownership and guest have been happy with the changes. Riviera RV Park is located just 2 miles off of the famous Las Vegas strip and close to other groceries and convenience shopping. They offer full hookups, laundry and a heated pool.
Please consult our other article here that further details more RV camping options for your time in Las Vegas.
23. Tucson, AZ
The dramatic beauty of the desert is unparalleled in Tuscon, Arizona. Visit the Arizona-Senora Desert Museum to learn about the natural history of the area and see wildlife in its natural setting. Check out Giant Saguaro cacti and petroglyphs on Signal Hill in Saguaro National Park.
The restored Mission San Xavier del Bac give guests a chance to appreciate Spanish colonial architecture, while the Pima Air and Space Museum has one of the world’s largest collections of aircraft on display. When the day of sightseeing winds down, drive out to Gates Pass Road and watch the sun slip down over the western desert horizon.
This county campground is located 13 miles outside of Tucson on the west side of the Tucson Mountains. RV sites have 30 Amp electrical hookups, but no water or sewer connections. Bathrooms (not showers) and potable water are located throughout the campground. There is a dumping station. There are no reservations taken for Gilbert Ray Campground, arrive early for your first-come, first-served campsite.
This campground is open year-round, and takes reservations for RV campsites. Electric and water connections are available here, as well as a dump station, flush toilets and showers. Guests really enjoy the scenic views of the Santa Catalina Mountains and hiking opportunities nearby.
There you go! That’s my RV Bucket List for the West
Over to you now. What do you think about this list? Have you visited any of these destinations? Are they on your personal bucket list as well? Let me know what you think by leaving a comment below!