5 Lesser-Known National Parks Perfect for RV Camping
Some of the most beautiful RV camping destinations in this country are on our public lands and National Parks. These five lesser-known National Parks make the perfect RV camping getaway and are ideal for avoiding huge crowds.
Even though some of the parks don’t have the official ‘National Park’ designation, they’re all managed by the federal park program.
Here’s the best part – you can find free camping near all of them!
Let’s dive in.
1. Organ Pipe National Monument
Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument is a U.S. National Monument and UNESCO biosphere reserve located in southern Arizona in the Sonoran Desert. The park is the only place in the United States where the organ pipe cactus grows wild, and it makes a beautiful winter destination for RV camping.
For great camping within the park, check out Twin Peaks Campground. Twin Peaks Campground has 208 dry camping sites, with restrooms, water, and a dump station on-site for $20 per night.
If free camping is more your thing, check out the boondocking along Darby Well Road nearby! Darby Well Road is about 20 minutes from Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. It has a variety of secluded spots for boondocking for one night or several, and there are incredible views of the surrounding desert.
2. Natchez Trace Parkway
The Natchez Trace Parkway is a 444 mile of recreational and scenic road that goes through Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi. It roughly follows the “Old Natchez Trace,” a historic travel corridor used by Native Americans, settlers, soldiers, and more.
For great free RV camping along the parkway, check out:
- Natchez Visitor Center in Natchez, Mississippi. This campsite has many amenities, including being close to downtown Natchez and free electricity hookups!
- Jeff Busby Campground in Ackerman, Mississippi. This is a first-come, first-serve dry camping location with 18 campsites. Most sites are pull-thru, and this campground has a restroom with no showers.
- Meriwether Lewis Campground in Hohenwald, Tennessee. This campground is located at the site of Meriwether Lewis (of Lewis & Clark) gravesite and monument. This is a dry-camping campground with 32 paved sites and a restroom.
3. Guadalupe Mountains National Park
In far West Texas lies a treasure: the beautiful Guadalupe Mountains National Park. This National Park contains the worlds most extensive Permian fossil reef and the four highest peaks in Texas. Guadalupe Mountains National Park is an incredible place for RV camping with mountains, canyons, deserts, and dunes.
Pine Springs Campground, located inside the park, is a simple desert camping area situated at the base of the mountain. Campsites are first-come, first-serve, and are all dry camping. The campground amenities include restrooms and a utility sink. There is no dump station.
While you’re in the area, be sure to go check out nearby Carlsbad Caverns National Park about 40 minutes away in New Mexico!
4. Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve
Craters of the Moon is a National Monument in the Snake River Plain in central Idaho. Visiting Craters of the Moon truly feels like visiting another planet. The landscape is covered in ancient lava flows and cinder cones from major eruptive forces, the last occurring around 2000 years ago.
You can camp inside the National Monument at the Lava Flow Campground. The Lava Flow Campground is surrounded by a young lava flow near the visitor center and has an otherwordly feel to it. The price for camping is $15 per site during the main season. Amenities include water, restrooms, firepits and picnic tables. There are no hookups or dump stations.
Prefer free camping? Check out Silver Creek North and South nearby, about 30 minutes from Craters of the Moon. This is a BLM boondocking campsite on Silver Creek that features vault toilets and picnic tables.
5. Rio Grande del Norte National Monument
The Rio Grande del Norte National Monument in northern New Mexico is over 300k acres of public land, mostly managed by the BLM. It is a rugged area featuring wide open plains, volcanic cones, and steep canyons and rivers. The elaborate landscape offers almost endless recreational activities from hiking, fishing, biking, and more.
This National Monument can be accessed from the Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway – an 84-mile loop that starts and ends in Taos, New Mexico. The Enchanted Circle has been called the most scenic byway in all of New Mexico, and it circles Wheeler Peak, the highest natural point in the state.
For free camping near the National Monument, check out Cebolla Mesa just a few miles away. Cebolla Mesa is a beautiful boondocking spot overlooking the Rio Grande! This spot is best suited for camper vans, tent campers, and small travel trailers.
The Best Free Camping in the USA
To be honest with you, we hate paying for camping. There are so many free campsites in America (with complete privacy). You should give it a try! As a matter of fact, these free campsites are yours.
Every time you pay federal taxes, you’re contributing to these lands.
Here’s our list of the 20 Best Free Campsites in the USA.
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