To a newbie camper, the idea of touring America’s mountain towns in an RV might seem daunting. But these destinations shouldn’t be missed, especially if you crave adventure.
But it can be hard to know which locales are good for campers and which ones just cater to city-slickers. After all, you don’t want to show up just to find that there’s no parking for your rig.
Fortunately, we know all the best American mountain towns. So if you’re ready to increase your altitude and decrease your stress, we’ve got you covered.
Why RVers Love Mountain Towns
Mountain towns are fun to visit year-round. The only thing seasons may affect is the reason you go. Winter warriors love Vail and Durango, Colorado, for skiing. And millions flock to Vermont or Upstate New York for the fall foliage.
But if you’re an RVer, mountain towns are especially delightful in the summer. Cooler temperatures make for an ideal getaway from the daily grind. You can explore rustic trails by day and retreat to your motorhome at night under the vast, starry skies. Or, roll into town for dinner at a charming local restaurant.
There’s no limit to what mountain towns offer for the RV community. You can hike, bike, camp, and enjoy lakes and rivers. Places like Lake Tahoe and Santa Cruz even have beaches. But perhaps best of all is the sense of space. The highways are less crowded, and parking is generally easier.
Here’s a look at some of the best towns America’s majestic mountains have to offer.
Best RV Mountain Towns in the East
East Coast towns are slightly more congested than their counterparts throughout the country, but they’re popular for good reason! Here are some Atlantic-leaning destinations to put on your hit list.
Asheville, North Carolina
Asheville is a curious city surrounded by mountains. Downtown is a mixture of locals, outdoor enthusiasts, artists, and cyclists. Tourists come for the hiking, kayaking, and extensive brewery list. You could easily spend a week here and do something completely different every day.
Blue Ridge Parkway, also known as America’s Favorite Drive, runs through the middle of town. So RVers like to camp in one of the half-dozen sites along the parkway. That way, you have the option to sightsee by driving, biking, or walking through the city lights.
Pro Tip: If you want to camp while in Asheville, check out these Overnight Parking Options in Asheville, North Carolina.
Lake Placid, New York
Lake Placid is a year-round RV mountain town destination. It’s known as a winter wonderland of unique experiences due to hosting both the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics. You can stay at Lake Placid-Whiteface Mountain KOA for a chance at dog sledding or a snowshoe hike.
But some say Lake Placid is even better in the spring and summer. You’ve got no shortage of camping options, many of which sit lakeside. And the scenic rolling hills can be pretty calming on a hot summer day.
If you’re bursting with energy, you might want to try Lake Placid’s Olympic sites in the summer or early fall. Riding the gondola or going zip lining are just two of the many thrilling options.
Great Western Mountain Towns to Escape the Summer Heat
One of the best things to do in July and August is to get out of town. Scorching summer heat, especially in the southern states, can be brutal. We recommend taking time to enjoy these western RV mountain towns.
Most people think about skiing when they hear the name Telluride. However, this RV mountain town is also a summer haven for hikers. The weather is perfect. And you’ve got dozens of 13,000-foot peaks to explore.
Your first search on Campendium will yield over 100 places to camp near Telluride. And the abundant public land is breathtaking. If you’re a music fan, try timing your getaway with the Telluride Bluegrass Fest or the Blues and Brew Festival.
Pro Tip: Don’t miss these 9 Best Things To Do in Telluride, Colorado.
Park City, Utah
A short list of to-dos in Park City includes fly fishing, hiking, and mountain biking. Guided river rafting is also a summer favorite. Since you’re skipping the winter hobnob season of the Sundance Film Festival, you can simply enjoy the land.
According to the International Mountain Biking Association, Park City is a gold-level destination. It’s surrounded by 450 miles of trails. You can also hike historic downtown by taking a city ghost or mining tour. The choice is yours.
Recommended campgrounds include Mountain Valley RV Resort or dispersed camping on Lake Creek.
This RV mountain town is a hidden gem. Located at the tip-top left corner of America, Leavenworth sits atop the eastern Cascade Mountains. What was once a lumber town is now a remodeled Bavarian village.
Leavenworth RV Campground, located just 30 minutes north, is the most popular spot for rigs. And there are more options on Campedium. But no matter where you stay, you’ll be in one of the coolest places in the US. Both literally and figuratively.
Best Ozark Mountain RV Towns
No great mountain town list would be complete without something from the Ozarks. The region tops the charts for its waterfalls, springs, caverns, and sparkling lakes. If you want to step back in time to old Americana, look no further.
Eureka Springs, Arkansas
Built into the mountainside, Eureka Springs is home to over 60 natural springs. Some even pop out from the historic Victorian buildings. In fact, a simple stroll down the main street is something to behold.
While walking around town, you can scout out the local barbeque and biscuit joints. From there, you can check out the haunted Cresent Hotel. But if you want to stick with more outdoorsy activities, don’t worry. You can hike the many trails along the rivers and lakes or wander through the many mysterious caves in town.
Come to Jasper, Arkansas, to visit a quaint, small town or a massive, sprawling vista. The Arkansas Grand Canyon is a large valley in the middle of the mountain where you can enjoy 180-degree views of the Ozarks. And be on the lookout for wildlife, particularly the majestic elk.
As for camping, we recommend Erbie Campground along Buffalo National River. The campsite contains several free, cozy spots best suited for a rugged night under the trees.
And speaking of rugged, have you ever zip-lined? Horseshoe Canyon Ranch in Jasper is home to the longest zip line in Arkansas. It’s not for the faint at heart! So if your partner wants to try it, but you don’t, then tell them to meet you at The Ozark Cafe later.
These RV Mountain Towns Won’t Disappoint
There’s something special about America’s mountain towns. You have the charm of the local area, its history, and its natural beauty. The combination of peaceful vibes in a somewhat rustic area is highly alluring to just about any outdoor enthusiast.
Also, all of our RV mountain towns are different from one another. Just because you’ve seen one doesn’t mean you’ve seen them all! So hit as many of these gems as you can while you escape the summer heat.
Discover the Best Free Camping Across 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.
Become a FREE CAMPING INSIDER and join the 100,000 campers who love to score the best site!
We’ll send you the 50 Best Free Campsites in the USA (one per state). Access the list by submitting your email below: