Our National Parks are a treasure, one we try to enjoy at every opportunity. From the Everglades to Yosemite and everywhere in between you are guaranteed beautiful scenery, lots of wildlife and park personnel who are well informed and helpful. If you are 62 or older you qualify for the senior America the Beautiful pass. It is only $10 for a lifetime pass and it gives you free entry to all parks and usually half off the camping fees. So run, don’t walk to your nearest park to get one.
Some of the more remote forests and areas managed by the Bureau of Land Management or US Army Corps of Engineers may not accommodate large RV’s, or more likely, the roads to get there are not ones you want to drive a 30 foot RV down. If wilderness camping is what you want to do, factor that into your choice of camper. That said, it still leaves thousands of places to take advantage of. Of course, there are also plenty of places to stay in or near the parks without needing to camp.
A word of caution in your trip planning. If you intend to see the more popular places, like the Grand Canyon (we favor the North rim) and you plan on visiting in the height of the tourist season (think July or August) do yourself a favor and make a reservation, and do it well in advance. Expect crowds, traffic jams at every animal sighting and lots of company on the trails. We spent 15 minutes trying to get out of parking lot in Yellowstone National Park because of a bison wandering in between the cars. All good reasons for going to these heavily visited parks in the “off Season” if you can.
Here are some photos to get your juices flowing.
If that whetted your appetite to visit some of these places, more detailed information can be found at the following links.
The National Park Service offers 29,000 campsites in 440 campgrounds. Many in-park RV campgrounds have limited or no hookups, but are set in breathtaking surroundings. To find out more or to reserve a site, visit nps.gov or Recreation.gov.
The National Forest Service has more than 4,300 campgrounds in its 155 forests. To locate a national forest near you or to make reservations to camp in a national forest, visit forestcamping.com or Recreation.gov.
Bureau of Land Management Recreation Sites
The Bureau of Land Management oversees 264 million acres of scenic outdoor recreation sites in the western United States, including Alaska. For camping and recreation area information, visit blm.gov or Recreation.gov
National Wildlife Refuges
The National Wildlife Refuge System, managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, is the world’s premier system of public lands and waters set aside to conserve America’s fish, wildlife and plants. The system has grown to more than 150 million acres, 555 national wildlife refuges and other units of the Refuge System, plus 38 wetland management districts. Camping is allowed only when it’s compatible with conservation efforts. For reservations, go to ReserveAmerica.com.