There are many reasons to pick a destination when you’re on an RV road trip. You may be traveling to see family, or to learn more about the history of a certain spot, or to just check out a state or region you’ve never visited before. But, of course, another reason to travel is to get out in nature and to appreciate the breathtaking scenery of places across the U.S.
This country has so many scenic, picturesque places to visit! Whether you’re headed to the east or west, north or south, here are some of the most scenic campgrounds where you can stay.
5 Picturesque Campgrounds in the Southwest
The desert beauty of the southwest is something you don’t see replicated anywhere else. That region of the country may be arid and dry, but it is definitely not lifeless! Desert wildflowers speckle the ground, stark, alien-like cactus sprout towards the sky, and the rocks themselves are a myriad of beautiful colors from deep red to rich purple. Here are several scenic campgrounds around the southwest.
This campground inside Capitol Reef boasts shady trees (it’s on the edge of an orchard!) and backs up to massive, red rock cliffs. Capitol Reef itself is a park worth exploring, with cliffs, canyons, natural bridges, and other formations in what is known as the Waterpocket Fold…a wrinkle in the earth.
The campground is next to the Fremont River and looks like an oasis in the arid desert. It does not have sewer or electric hookups, but there is an RV dump station and potable water station available. Restrooms have running water and flush toilets, but no showers.
This is the only campground in the park, and as such is very busy so make sure you have a reservation ahead of time! Campsites are in the shadow of huge rocks that look like they were casually tossed aside by a giant hand, and desert trees and vegetation populate the park. Arches is a beautiful collection of natural, red rock arches dotted across the landscape, and is especially beautiful in early morning or at sunset.
This campground is located near the less popular (and less crowded!) north rim of the Grand Canyon. It’s surrounded by the tall pines of the Kaibab National Forest, with a scenic meadow and Jacob Lake on the grounds. The north rim is not the area of the Grand Canyon that most people know well – just about everyone heads to the south rim with its easier access and many more amenities. But if you’re looking for a new view of the breathtaking canyon and want to avoid the crowds, this could be the place for you!
Rancho Sedona is surrounded by sycamore and cottonwood trees, next to sparkling Oak Creek and with a view of the beautiful red rocks the town is known for. Visitors are within walking distance of art galleries, shops, and restaurants and outdoor enthusiasts can go mountain biking, hiking, and fishing right in the park.
This campground is situated, as the name suggests, next to a rushing river, and near Bonito Lake. Shady campsites offer plenty of cool spots to sit, and the campground is also near White Sands National Monument, Three Rivers Petroglyph Site, and the wineries near Tularosa.
7 Picturesque Campgrounds in the West
The west encompasses a lot of breathtaking beauty, including amazing views of the Pacific Ocean all up and down the coast, to Rocky Mountain vistas in Colorado and Montana and more. Here are some of the most picturesque campgrounds in the west.
Pretty much any campground in Yosemite is spectacular, but Lower Pines is in the middle of Yosemite Valley. The area is surrounded by towering granite cliffs and rushing waterfalls, with the Merced River winding its way across the valley floor. You’re also close to wide meadows dotted with flowers and ancient sequoias. The campground is one of three in the valley that allows reservations, and you’ll want to make them well in advance to ensure a spot! There are non-electric RV sites available.
Once you have set up camp, you’ll be near hiking and biking trails, and a shuttle travels through the valley that can take you to places in the park that are not within walking distance.
Furnace Creek is the only campground in Death Valley National Park that allows reservations, so if you want to be guaranteed a camping spot you may want to book here. The campground has hookup sites, as well as more campsites with drinking water, picnic tables, flush toilets, and a dump station. It’s on the bottom of the valley floor, with very little vegetation although there are a few trees for shade. You can get a sweeping view of the mountains, which turn orange, red, and yellow during sunrise and sunset each day.
Nestled in the Cascade Mountains, this campground is situated in a temperate rainforest with views of beautiful Silver Falls waterfall. There are showers, flush toilets, and RV campsites with electrical and sewer hookups.
This campground on the east side of Mt. Rainier features quaint, riverside spots next to the American River. There are nearby views of wildflower-strewn meadows and it’s close to Mt. Rainier so you can easily explore the park. There are no hookups or dump stations, and restrooms are vault toilets with one water pump nearby. The wooded sites are quiet and picturesque.
This campground offers beautiful mountain vistas and scenery. A mix of pine trees blankets the campground and offers a cool, shady camping space, while wildflowers dot the nearby meadows. You may see mule deer, elk, bighorn sheep or moose in the area.
Signal Mountain has awe-inspiring views of the Tetons, and some sites lie just above Jackson Lake. It’s a great option for RVs up to 30 feet long, and some sites do have electric hookups.
This is the largest campground in the park, and is on Going-to-the-Sun Road which is the main thoroughfare through the park. It’s near restaurants and gift shops, and is a short walk to the scenic Lake McDonald. You are also near concessionaires who rent kayaks or arrange guided horseback rides through the park. You can also walk to the Going-to-the Sun shuttle and get rides throughout the park.
4 Picturesque Campgrounds in the Northeast
Close to Acadia National Park, this campground in Bar Harbor offers amazing views of the coast and the expansive Atlantic Ocean. A shuttle can take you directly into Acadia, and you’re also near plenty of delicious lobster rolls, fresh mussels, and other tasty seafood.
This campground in the Adirondacks is alongside a lake which is known for its trout fishing, with nearby salmon ponds as well. Campsites are spacious and surrounded by shady trees. Canoe, hike, or cycle the area if fishing’s not your thing.
This beautiful camping spot in the White Mountains is along the Saco and Ellis Rivers. There’s hiking in the Presidential range, and tubing and other water activities.
Surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean on one side and Rehoboth Bay on the other, this seaside campground features two nearby areas for ocean swimming. You can also go crabbing, clamming, surfing, sailboarding, or just relax on the shore and enjoy the view.
5 Picturesque Campgrounds in the Midwest
This park has a variety of outdoor activities visitors can participate in year-round. There are 26 miles along the shore of Lake Michigan, with many trails, a swim beach, and a dog beach. The park also has a designated dark sky preserve so you can see the stars at night.
The Indiana Dunes have long been considered a sacred site and the site was reclassified from a National Lakeshore to a National Park in February of 2019 so it’s a baby in the world of national parks! Situated along the southern shore of Lake Michigan, the park has beautiful lake vistas and plenty of land for hiking, cycling, horseback riding, and watersports.
Indiana’s largest state park is part of a region nicknamed the “Little Smokies” because the area is reminiscent of the Great Smoky Mountains. This campground inside the 16,000-acre park has scenic views – especially in fall when the leaves turn color. There is also a nearby camp store, an indoor aquatic center with a waterslide, and a restaurant.
This campground is part of the Council Grove Lake area, and is tucked into the grassy prairies of eastern Kansas. The dam-made lake offers boating, lots of fishing opportunities, hunting, hiking, and wildlife watching. The Pioneer Nature Trail is scenic and sweeping views of the vast prairie abound.
The Grand Marais Recreation Area has spectacular views of Lake Superior, the untouched Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, the nearby Sawtooth Mountains, and acres of forest and state parks to preserve all that beauty. The campground is next to the harbor, and offers views of the vast lake while also placing you within walking distance of downtown.
9 Picturesque Campgrounds in the Southeast
DeSoto is perched on top of Lookout Mountain in the northeastern part of Alabama. You’ll find waterfalls, and areas dotted with wildflowers. Campers can hike, fish, cycle, rock climb, and more.
You can nab a waterfront site at this park along the Gulf. The park also has beach pavilions when you need time out of the sun, a nature center to learn more about the flora and fauna, a swimming pool, and Lake Shelby with kayaking and canoeing. There are also beach vendors to help you plan a parasailing or kayaking trip.
Great Smoky Mountains is America’s most visited national park, and the Elkmont Campground is a great little spot to make your home base. Towering trees provide plenty of dappled shade, and the camp is centrally located within the park. You can nab a riverside spot along Little River, and there are trailheads for several nature trails just next to the campground.
You can’t really go wrong with a campsite in the Florida Keys. Just about every campground offers views of the Gulf and the Atlantic Ocean and the minute you step outside your RV, you’re hit with the spectacular sight of crystal blue waters as far as the eye can see. This campground offers fishing and swimming, as well as planned activities.
Campsites at this park are located near a coastal dune lake, near a boat ramp for the lake. Grayton Beach itself constantly lists among the most beautiful beaches in the United States, with sugar-sand beaches and miles of blue water.
This campground is situated along the St. Johns River near the bathwater-warm Blue Spring. But while the campground is scenic, the big draw at Blue Springs is the manatees. Almost 500 manatees now winter in the warm waters of the spring, and visitors gather to watch these fascinating “sea cows” as they swim and play.
This campground is perched along Lake Bruin, offering views of the lake. Campsites have water and electric hookups and picnic tables. There are also wheelchair accessible showers available.
This family campground has oceanfront campsites so you can spend your time gazing out at the water. Along with the view, you get convenient beach access during your stay. There is also a cafe, water park, and mini-mart.
This 8-acre campground is on the banks of the Greenbrier River and offers shady RV sites nearby. Guests can fish the river, or swim in “one of the best swimming holes on the river.” The camp also offers tube, kayak, and canoe trips on the river. The camp is near Lewisburg and White Sulphur Springs.