Vacationing in an RV comes with multiple advantages. Not only can it be less expensive than other forms of travel, particularly for families with children, but it also allows for substantial spontaneity. You can afford to switch plans without losing hotel fees or airline tickets, you can bring your family pets along to join in the fun, and you’re definitely closer to nature. Nothing beats camping near amazing natural parks, hiking, and enjoying your surroundings all day long.
If this kind of vacation is your thing, you might appreciate a little help with finding where to take your RV next. Here are 10 great RVing destinations around the country that ensure access to spectacular hiking trails suitable for the entire family.
Glacier National Park, Montana
Glacier National Park in Montana boasts more than 700 miles of hiking trails that wind through rugged mountain landscapes replete with forests, alpine meadows, lakes, and glaciers. Although some of the trails in the national park are for experienced hikers, plenty are suitable for average hikers and for families with children. The Rocky Point to Lake McDonald walk, the Trail of the Cedars, which starts just a few miles from Lake McDonald, and the Aster Falls to Two Medicine area tour are just a few of the family-friendly hikes in the park, all under five miles.
Camping with RVs is permitted inside the national park, but none of the sites offer full RV hookups. Of course, multiple campgrounds with a full range of RV amenities are located on the edges of the national park.
Bullards Beach State Park, Oregon
Bullards Beach State Park is a family-oriented destination that’s part of the Oregon Coast Trail. The hiking trails here are ideal for beginning hikers, as they aren’t too difficult and provide impressive sights of the Pacific coastline. If you want to do more than a hike, the park also has biking and horse trails as well as fishing and bird-watching opportunities. This state park is perfectly suited for RVers, with full hookup sites, dump stations, showers, picnic areas, and more.
Red Rock State Park, Arizona
Nature and archeology hikes are available at Red Rock State Park – a destination far less crowded than Grand Canyon National Park and still visually impressive. An interconnected network of easily accessible and clearly marked trails leads you through various types of natural habitats, from lush greenery to juniper woodlands to the spectacular red rocks of Sedona. Guided nature, bird, and ethnobotany walks are offered daily to combine fun with a learning experience. Although camping isn’t permitted inside the park, plenty of RV camping options can be found in its vicinity.
Olympic National Park, Washington
From temperate rain forests to coastal and mountain ecosystems, Olympic National Park offers unique experiences to visitors. The national park’s more than 180 hiking trails are a mix of difficult, moderate, and easy, so you can choose your path based on your preferences and skill level.
If you’re interested in hikes that are suitable for the entire family, try the short but picturesque Marymere Falls Trail, Sol Duc Falls Nature Trail, or High Ridge Nature Trail to Sunrise View Point. If you’re up for something more challenging, try the 18-mile Hoh River Trail, which takes you through one of the few temperate rain forests in the United States.
Several campgrounds in Olympic National Park accept RVs, including Hoh Campgrounds, Kalaloch Campground, and Sol Duc Campground.
Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas
From mountains and canyons to deserts and dunes, Guadalupe Mountains National Park has a multitude of ecosystems for visitors to experience. This national park offers about 80 miles of hiking trails of various degrees of difficulty. One of the most rewarding is the climb to “the top of Texas,” Guadalupe Peak. This intense, nearly 9-mile round-trip hike has a significant elevation gain of more than 3,000 feet. In other words, it’s recommended for experienced hikers. Less strenuous hikes, like the ones in the McKittrick Canyon or in the Pine Springs area, are suitable for most people. The park has three campgrounds that are open to RVs.
Zion National Park, Utah
Canyons, spectacularly colorful sandstone, and unique flora and fauna are the main draws to Zion National Park in Utah. Observation Point is one of the more challenging hikes in the park, an 8-mile round trip with 2,000 feet of elevation change that offers panoramic views of the canyon below. Other hikes, such as emerald Pools or Canyon Overlook Trail, pose a little challenge and provide a great reward with amazing views. Zion National Park has three campgrounds, but the number of RVs and people permitted at each one are limited. Fortunately, several campgrounds are located close to the park.
Roaring River State Park, Missouri
Located in the Ozark Hills, Roaring River State Park is a great spot for hiking and trout fishing. The scenic, deep valley surrounded by rugged terrain is the perfect setting for easy to moderate hiking trails. The River Trail, which is located near Eagle Rock, and the Sugar Camp Scenic Byway, which is open to off-road vehicles, are suitable for hikers of any skill level. Columbia Memorial and Eagles Nest Loop trails are slightly more challenging, but most people won’t find them too difficult. And, they could even spot an eagle while on the trail. The state park has several campsites suitable for RVs.
Cloudland Canyon State Park, Georgia
Located in the Lookout Mountains, Cloudland Canyon State Park impresses visitors with its deep gorge, waterfalls, and rugged, wooded environment. In addition to biking and running trails, the park offers many hiking trails in the easy to moderate range.
The West Rim Loop Trail and the Sitton’s Gulch Trail offer plenty of scenic views, though their lengths – about six miles each – can prove to be somewhat difficult. Another challenging hike, the Bear Creek Backcountry Trail, involves some creek crossings and pretty steep terrain, but you’ll be rewarded by waterfalls, thick forests, and picturesque overlooks. The Orange Loop Trail, on the other hand, is suitable for all skill levels and offers the chance to spot wildlife and enjoy the peaceful forest. The park’s campground includes full hookups for RVs.
Acadia National Park, Maine
Following the North Atlantic coastline, Acadia National Park in Maine offers almost 150 miles of hiking trails as well as historic carriage and motor roads. The park is famous for its fall foliage, but the forests are equally beautiful in all seasons, including winter when you even have the chance to see the Northern Lights from here.
The best time of the year for stargazing is August through October. Some of the hikes, like the Beehive Loop Trail or the Cadillac North Ridge Trail, are fairly difficult. Others, such as the Ocean Path Trail or the Thunder Hole to Sand Beach Trail, are easily hiked by most people. Four campgrounds open to RVs are located inside the park, and several others are located close by.
Pine Grove Furnace State Park, Pennsylvania
Mountain lakes, access to the Appalachian Trail (the park is the halfway point for the famous trail), plus historic buildings from one of the most prosperous iron communities of the 19th century – Pine Grove Furnace State Park has it all. Sunset Rock Trail, Pine Grove Furnace to Toms Run, Koppenhaver Trail, and the Mountain Creek Trail are some of the best hikes in the area and are suitable for the entire family. You can also visit the Appalachian Trail Museum here, the first hiking museum built in the United States.
Now that you have your next RV destinations all planned out, let’s talk about the importance of safely storing your RV between trips so that it’s always ready for new adventures.
Tips for storing your RV while not in use
Finding a safe place to park your RV while you’re not driving it to your next fantastic destination can be a real conundrum. Most people don’t have the space for it, and many local rules don’t allow an RV to be kept on the street or in the driveway. Even if that was possible, it’s not a safe solution.
Renting vehicle and RV storage space at a storage facility located close to your home is usually the best option, particularly for people living in big cities. If, for example, you’re an NYC resident, you know too well that city law doesn’t allow RVs to park in city spaces for more than 24 hours. Fortunately, you can easily find RV storage units in New York City in one of the almost 30 local facilities that offer this type of service. Obviously, RV storage services are widely available not only in NYC but throughout the entire country – look for facilities in your area to solve your RV storage needs!
Enjoy your RVing adventures – And make sure you keep your vehicle safe while not in use!
You can get help planning your hiking vacation in an RV. Check out this article about Guided RV Vacation Tours