Affordable RV Campgrounds Near Top National Parks

Looking for an affordable getaway into nature? RVing trips to national parks are among my personal favorite choices for sure! Unfortunately, the campgrounds in national parks aren’t always ideal. Some can’t accommodate big rigs, others can’t accommodate RVs at all, and most don’t have hookups of any kind.

A Class C motorhome heading down the road to Monument Valley, Utah. Photo: Shutterstock.

The solution our family tends to turn to? Affordable campgrounds outside of popular national parks!

In honor of National Park Week from April 20–28, here are my top picks for great places to stay that won’t break the bank.

Yosemite National Park

With gorgeous cascading waterfalls, awe-inspiring granite cliffs, and stately ancient sequoia trees, Yosemite is a must-visit national park that really should be on every RVer’s bucket list.

We recommend visiting this one in late spring or early summer when the waterfalls are at their most magnificent, but honestly the place is grand no matter when you visit. 

Indian Flat RV Park

Wondering where to stay while visiting Yosemite National Park? Indian Flat RV Park is a good pick. This campground is just a short drive from the national park, or you can choose to catch the YARTS bus to the park and avoid driving altogether. Full hookups are available and there are restrooms with showers, as well as a pool for keeping cool during the summer months. 

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the most popular national parks in the country for a reason: The place is stunning. The seemingly endless hiking trails will take you through forested areas, past amazing water falls (and sometimes under them), across flowered meadows, and to some of the most amazing vistas in the country.

Visit during early June for an extra special show put on by the fireflies!

King’s Holly Haven RV Park

King’s Holly Haven is our RV park of choice when it comes to finding affordable but comfortable camping outside of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Located in Pigeon Forge, this park is near the national park as well as a variety of other fun activities. (Dollywood, anyone?)

The campground itself boasts full-hookup sites, a pool, and some of the friendliest staff around. 

Joshua Tree National Park

Heading back over to California, let’s talk for a minute about Joshua Tree National Park. This beautiful, desert-area park features some seriously interesting boulders that are just perfect for climbing on. Climb to the top of a tall collection of these rocks and look out across the beautiful desert at the unique Joshua Trees, stroll through a cactus garden, or take a hike to a hidden desert oasis. 

Joshua Tree Lake RV and Campground

When it comes to affordable places to stay outside of Joshua Tree, we love boondocking on the BLM land surrounding the park. However, when we want full hookups, Joshua Tree Lake RV and Campground is our top pick.

This park is nothing super fancy, but it has full hookups, a clean restroom, friendly staff, and some of the most beautiful sunsets you’ve ever seen. Of course, the proximity to the national park is the best part!

Zion National Park

Another gorgeous desert park, Zion National Park, like Yosemite is a must-see national park. This place is about as gorgeous as they come, and the hikes here are just fantastic.

I especially recommend hiking the Narrows if you ever get a chance, but know that you will be hiking through water. Additionally, it’s important to know that the longer version of this hike requires a permit, and the trail is not always open, depending on water levels. Visit during summer for the best chance at low water levels and a hikeable trail.

East Zion Riverside RV Park

A beautiful view of the area surrounding East Zion Riverside Park near Zion National Park.
Photo courtesy RV LIFE Campgrounds.

No matter what you choose to see in Zion, you will have a wonderful time, but you will also end your day pretty worn out, meaning you will need a comfortable place to stay.

Parking your RV in East Zion Riverside RV Park is a good bet. This well-kept campground is basic but comfortable, and it’s in a fantastic location. You’ll love the full-hookup sites as well as the onsite swimming pool. 

Grand Canyon National Park

We mustn’t forget to mention the Grand Canyon. Often considered one of the “wonders of the world,” this colorful canyon is another place where the beauty of nature is the star of the show.

Stroll the rim of the canyon, hike down to the bottom, or go on a mule ride through the park. Be sure to attend a Ranger talk to learn more about how the canyon was formed, and don’t miss sunrise and sunset in the park!

Flagstaff RV Park

Unfortunately, there isn’t really any budget-friendly RV camping right outside of the national park. That said, there are a few options in the town of Flagstaff about an hour outside of the park. Our favorite? Flagstaff RV Park.

This affordable park features pull-through sites, full hookups, and plenty of shade. It’s a great homebase for exploring the many beautiful places in the area. 

Shenandoah National Park

Back over on the east side of the country, there is the lovely Shenandoah National Park. A beautifully green place, this park offers gorgeous views of the amazing Blue Ridge Mountains as well as some stunning waterfalls and even some wetlands. This means there is plenty of diverse wildlife to view, as well as lots and lots of excellent hiking trails. 

Fort Valley Ranch

Fort Valley Ranch is a wonderful spot to park your home-on-wheels while checking out Shenandoah National Park. This RV park is located in Luray, Virginia, which also happens to be home to the Great Stalacpipe Organ (located in Luray Caverns). It’s just a short drive from the national park and offers everything you could possibly need for a fun and comfortable stay. 

Acadia National Park

Acadia is easily one of my absolute favorite national parks in the entire country. The place is just stunning and is ideal for ocean lovers like myself. Gorgeous lighthouses, secret sea caves, forest hiking trails, and tiny islands that you can hike to all come together to create a natural wonderland that my family just loves exploring. 

Patten Pond Camping Resort

One of the best RV camping options outside of Acadia for those on a budget? Patten Pond Camping Resort. This park is already relatively inexpensive to begin with, but if you have a Thousand Trails pass with the Trails Collection add-on, you can actually stay here for free! The campsites feature full hookups, there are restrooms with showers onsite, and the park even hosts some fun events in the summer. 

There you have it; seven affordable campgrounds outside of popular national parks. Why not book one of these campgrounds now? The sooner you do, the sooner you can head out on your next epic RV road trip!

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