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If you’re eager to get out on the road again after a long winter spent at home, there’s no need to wait a few more months until summer. Spring is a great time for RV trips, and there are many destinations throughout the country that are much more pleasant to visit in springtime than at the height of summer heat. Plus, an RV trip in the spring means avoiding spring break crowds in hotels and airports!
Here are our picks for the best places to travel in an RV this spring.
1. Cathedral Gorge State Park
While most people are more familiar with nearby Zion National Park, don’t sleep on Cathedral Gorge State Park! Located in southeastern Nevada, Cathedral Gorge features an otherworldly landscape with cave-like formations and spires created in soft bentonite clay through millions of years of erosion. Spring is an excellent time to visit, allowing you to hike the area and take in its scenic views without the oppressive summer heat.
Cathedral Gorge State Park has 22 campsites, each with a table, grill, and shade ramada. Electric hook-ups are available, and there are water and flush restrooms with showers available year-round. If you’re not able to snag one of the park’s campsites, there are also facilities adjacent to the campground with shade, grills, tables, and water.
2. Gulf State Park
The Gulf Coast is a popular spring break destination for many Americans, but if you want to appreciate nature without the resort fees and crowded beaches, consider taking a spring RV trip to Gulf State Park in Alabama. This park boasts two miles of pristine white sand beaches, plenty of opportunities for fishing, an 18-hole golf course, and nature trails. There’s something for everyone here, whether your idea of fun is relaxing on the beach or spending the day hiking!
Reservations at Gulf State Park’s campground can be made online, and there are also cottages, cabins, and a lodge if that’s more your speed. There are even three sites for “glamping” at the park, along with 11 primitive camping sites for a more traditional camping experience.
3. Joshua Tree National Park
Spring is also the best time to visit the Mojave Desert and Joshua Tree National Park. March is blooming season, blanketing the desert floor in bright colors. But even if you miss the desert wildflowers, milder spring temperatures make this time of year perfect for camping.
Joshua Tree National Park has nine campgrounds, some of which are equipped with flush toilets and running water. Not all of the campgrounds can accommodate RVs, though—we recommend Black Rock Campground, which is the largest.
4. Arches National Park
Located in Utah, Arches National Park has unique landforms that make it one of our top picks for spring hiking. There are over 2,000 natural stone arches, pinnacles, rock fins, and balanced rocks. This red rock landscape is dotted with well-known landmarks like Devil’s Garden and the Courthouse Towers, which shouldn’t be missed!
The Devil’s Garden Campground accommodates RVs, but you’ll need to make reservations early in the spring. The only time you can get a spot on a first-come, first-served basis is between November and February.
5. Great Smoky Mountains National Park
If you don’t mind the possibility of chilly spring weather, plan an RV trip slightly further north than our other destinations and visit Great Smoky Mountains National Park. While this park is also a popular destination in the summer and fall, in the spring, you’ll be treated to an array of wildflower blooms throughout the park—over 1,500 different types of flowering plants! There’s even an annual Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage in late April.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers a number of different types of campsites, including backcountry camping for backpackers, frontcountry sites with running water and flush toilets, group campgrounds, and horse camps.
6. Mount Rainier National Park
Now, if you really don’t mind if there’s still a chill in the air, consider traveling even further north to the Pacific Northwest and Mount Rainier National Park in Washington. Temperatures can reach as low as the 40s during spring, but many outdoor enthusiasts consider this the best time of year to visit, with wildflowers in bloom and old-growth forests blanketed in green. With a number of rivers and lakes, Mount Rainier National park is also a great destination for fishing enthusiasts!
Only smaller RVs can camp inside the park, but there are dozens of campgrounds to choose from outside of the park that can accommodate larger vehicles.
7. Grand Canyon National Park
Going back to the Southwest, another springtime destination for RVers is Grand Canyon National Park. If visiting the Grand Canyon is on your bucket list, there’s really no better time to cross it off than in the spring, when the weather is mild enough for comfortable hiking and wildflowers are in bloom. It’s also a great time to go rafting down the Colorado River!
There are three different campgrounds within the boundaries of Grand Canyon National Park, and each accepts advance reservations. Note that the campsites in the park do not have RV hook-ups, but there is an RV campground outside of the park with full hook-ups available.
8. Cattail Cove State Park
Now, we’ll go from Arizona’s best-known park to one of its lesser-known gems! Cattail Cove State Park is located near Lake Havasu City, and mild temperatures make spring an excellent time to visit for boating, fishing, and hiking the park’s many nature trails. The park is located a short drive from a number of other state parks and wildlife refuges, so there’s no shortage of things to do in the area.
The park has 61 camping and RV sites, which can all be booked in advance online. You can even camp right on the beach!
9. White Sands National Park
The tagline on the National Parks Service website for White Sands is “Like No Place Else on Earth,” and we agree! White Sands National Park in New Mexico is a destination everyone should experience at least once, and the mild weather makes spring the perfect time to visit. Located in the Chihuahuan Desert, White Sands is home to the world’s largest gypsum dune field. In addition to being a stunning sight to behold, you can also have fun sledding down the dunes!
While there are no RV hook-ups within White Sands National Park, there is a KOA just down the road from the park where you can stay in an RV. Primitive backcountry camping is allowed in the park itself.
10. Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone is certainly a year-round destination, but spring is a terrific time to visit the world’s first national park, especially if wildlife is the main attraction for your family. Spring is when animals are awakening from hibernation, and it’s also when you’ll be able to see baby animals in their natural habitat. When it comes to weather, though, expect the unexpected—temperatures can change quickly, so be prepared for anything!
There’s no shortage of campgrounds in and around Yellowstone, and it’s not far from Cody and Jackson, Wyoming, if you want to supplement your time in nature with shopping, fine dining, and cultural attractions.
Traveling in the fall? Check out the best fall destinations for RV trips.