Forget Yellowstone: Head to These 5 Incredible Camping Locations Instead

Yellowstone is truly a gem. The 3,500 square mile (9,000 km) park contains an incredible array of some of the most beautiful nature and wildlife in the US. So it’s no surprise that it receives over 4 million visitors each year. And most people come in the just four months between May and September.

During this time, visiting the park can be crowded, stressful and expensive. Rather than the usual overcrowded summer destinations, head to one of these amazing places during your next RV adventure. Head to, find your RV and then head off to find pristine nature, tons of great activities, and none of the headaches and hassles that come with a trip to Yellowstone.

The Best Yellowstone Alternative: Beartooth Wilderness

Beartooth National Highway, great with a rented RV

If you want to go have a unique RV rental experience then check out Beartooth Wilderness. You’ll travel down the Beartooth Highway—a National Scenic Byways All-American Road—that’s simply gorgeous. There are scenic expanses of granite wall vistas and plateaus making it one of the most beautiful drives in the country. You might normally pick up your RV from Seattle, Portland or Salt Lake City. The same would go for the Beartooth Wilderness

Once you enter Beartooth Wilderness park, you’ll have a huge array of camping options near rivers and lakes, in the foothills, and more. You can even check out East Rosebud, a glacial valley reminiscent of Yosemite.  

Grand Canyon Substitute: Canyon de Chelly

Double Rainbow Canyon de Chelly - you can reach this with an RV any time

Like Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon also receives a huge amount of visitors. Four hours east lies Canyon de Chelly equally beautiful and much less crowded. Best of all, there are no park admission fees. The canyon has an amazing history and has been home to indigenous peoples for thousands of years. Rangers and local guides can take you down into the base for an even deeper exploration.

It’s an excellent drive from Phoenix and Salt Lake City and is a great option even for people who don’t like to overly plan their trips. Simply heading along the North and South Rim roads will provide you with astounding views that some people argue are even better than the Grand Canyon. Be sure to also check out Spider Rock, an 800-foot spire located along the southern route.

Forget Yosemite: Kings Canyon National Park

Kings Canyon National Park

The road to Kings Canyon National Park is every RV adventurer’s dream. It peacefully winds along the Generals Highway through Sequoia National Park among towering trees and across  sprawling vistas into the sweeping grandeur of Kings Canyon. You can then really stretch your legs on the incredible hike up to Monarch Lakes which sits at bottom of the 12,000-feet tall Sawtooth Peak. You would normally rent an RV for Yosemite from San Francisco, San Jose, Los Angeles or Las Vegas, and the same goes for a visit to Kings Canyon.

It’s the perfect place to experience some kayaking, camping and the towering trees of Sequoia Grove without the summer rush of Yosemite. Even during peak season, it’s very easy to find your own private section of the park and reserving RV parking.

A Different Taste of the Rockies: State Forest State Park

State Forest State Park is a great visit in an RV

Each year approximately 4.2 million people visit Rocky Mountain National Park. Despite its massive size and huge network of backcountry trails, many of its top spots are still overwhelmed with tourists during peak season. Nobody should pass on the beauty of the Rockies which is why you should check them out through the backdoor.

Head to State Forest State Park which borders the national park on its western side. It contains over 70,000 acres of nature preserve including alpine likes, peaks, forests, trails and a huge diversity of flora and fauna. The campground sits right on the edge of a lake making it a great spot for stand up paddleboarding and other fun activities. It's only a 3hr drive from Denver and 6hrs from Salt Lake City so there are plenty of RV rental options from those 2 cities to get you there.

Skip Glacier: North Cascades National Park

North Cascades National Park

Although Glacier National Park is remote, it happens to be one of the top visited parks in the country with over 3.3 million visitors in 2017. The park is huge, but most people concentrate in a few places like Going-To-The-Sun road and Many Glaciers. Combined with its limited accessibility during just a couple of months of summer, the crowds and the lines can be very long. Instead, discover the beauty of mountains and glaciers in North Cascades National Park.

North Cascades National Park may be one of the best-kept secrets in the US. The park has over 300 glaciers—the most in the US outside Alaska. It also features big trees, year-round snowfields, wildlife, and amazing camping spots. It’s also much more conveniently located particularly for Pacific Northwest RV getaways beginning or ending in San Francisco. Bonus fact—Glacier National Park only has 25 glaciers compared to North Cascades Park’s 300!  On top of that it is much closer to some great cities to collect your RV from. It is only a short drive from Seattle, Portland and Vancouver in Canada

Discover Your New Favorite RV Destination

There’s nothing wrong with the classics like Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon. But if you are looking for somewhere a little more pristine and authentic then check out one of these amazing destinations. You’ll skip the long lines, the high prices, and enjoy some truly gorgeous drives on your way to get there. Best of all, you don’t have to worry about making plans months in advance to get a camping reservation. Even in peak season, most of these incredible parks always have spots open making them the perfect choice for your next RV adventure.

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