10 Free RV Campsites Near Popular National Parks
If you want to explore America’s vast and inviting landscape, plan a visit to one of the national parks. These otherworldly gems, each one with its own magical experience, will leave you breathless and in awe of the majesty of nature.
But RV camping near these iconic destinations doesn’t have to be expensive. Here are the best free camping sites near 10 of the most popular national parks in the US. Yes, you heard me right—the camping costs nothing!
And if you don’t own a motorhome or travel trailer, use Go RV Rentals to quickly find and rent an RV near your location or close to the park you wish to visit.
Free RV Camping Near Yellowstone National Park – Snake River Campsite
Location: Yellowstone South Entrance, Wyoming
If you’re looking to explore Yellowstone’s pristine wilderness paradise, one of the best places to stay is along the Snake River. The campsites in the area are quiet, secluded, and conveniently located between Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park, meaning you’ll have plenty of recreation options. You’ll find large and spread-out camping spots, a vault toilet, and access to water. Camping is limited to 14 days between July 1 and Labor Day, but you can stay a maximum of 30 days the rest of the year.
Wondering how to locate more cost-free camping areas in the US? Check out our comprehensive guide on how to find free RV campsites.
Free RV Camping Near Great Smoky Mountains National Park – Santeetlah Lake
Location: Nantahala National Forest, North Carolina
The most-visited National Park in the US boasts an array of majestic sights, from rolling valleys, tree-laden mountains to rocky streams. Lake Santeetlah free camping on Pine Ridge Road is one of the most exciting places to stay near the park. It’s dispersed campsites dot the road and offer clean, level spots on the lake’s waterfront. Amenities include fire rings, grills, picnic tables, and vault toilets. There’s endless recreation, from fishing, boating to wildlife watching. You can stay for up to 14 days.
Free RV Camping Near Grand Canyon National Park – Long Jim Loop
Location: Kaibab National Forest, Arizona Near the South Rim
If you want to experience the awe-inspiring vastness of the Grand Canyon first hand, and without paying a dime in campground accommodation fees, stay at Long Jim Loop. Nestled in the Kaibab National Forest, it’s the most popular dispersed camping area with easy access to town and Highway 64. There are toilets to the north just before the South Entrance, free water stations at Grand Canyon Village, fire rings at all the sites, ample shade, and decent cell signal. The maximum stay allowed is 14 days.
Free RV Camping Near Yosemite National Park – Glass Creek Campground
Location: Inyo National Forest, California
If you’re looking for an epic adventure, bring your wheeled home to California’s most iconic National Park—Yosemite. Stay at Glass Creek Campground, sitting in the forested land between Mammoth Lakes and June Lake, 34 miles from Park Entrance. This free campground has 66 campsites that can accommodate large rigs. Amenities include picnic tables, fire rings, vault toilets, and creek water. While you’re there, you can explore the Owens River and hike out to Obsidian Dome. You may camp up to 14 days at one location.
Free RV Camping Near Zion National Park – Lava Point Campground
Location: Springdale, Utah
If you’re looking for free RV camping in Utah to use as a base to explore Zion’s vibrant outdoor attractions, head to Lava Point Campground. It’s situated right inside Zion National Park, meaning there is no shortage of things to do and see. It has six campsites with pit toilets and trash cans, but there’s no water. Activities range from hiking, biking, birding, stargazing, swimming to lakeside strolls. From March through mid-November, the camping limit is 14 days.
Free RV Camping Near Rocky Mountain National Park – Stillwater Pass
Location: Grand Lake, Colorado
From majestic mountains rising and falling on the horizon, lush alpine meadows to meandering streams, Rocky Mountain National Park is truly a one-of-a-kind place to visit. For free camping near RMNP, head to Stillwater Pass dispersed camping area, off county road 4. You’ll find around six camping sites with spacious parking lots and varying levels of seclusion, all in the midst of beautiful aspen groves. There’s wildlife, including moose, elk and dear, hiking and biking opportunities on the nearby trails in addition to fishing and boating in Lake Granby.
Free RV Camping Near Grand Teton National Park – Upper Teton View
Location: Moose, Wyoming
If you want to discover what the iconic Grand Teton National Park has on offer, set up camp at Upper Teton View. The access road is fairly good, and even the biggest rigs can get here without trouble. Campsites are well spread out if you’re looking for seclusion, and you’ll find unbelievable views of Grand Teton from virtually every spot in this area. You can stay here for up to five days.
Free RV Camping Near Acadia National Park – Duck Lake Public Reserved Land
Location: Bangor, Maine
One of the nation’s most beloved parks, Acadia boasts lively coastal islands, a shoreline graced with dramatic cliffs, and the tallest mountain on the US Atlantic coast. If you’re looking for a base to explore the park without spending on accommodation, set up camp at Duck Lake Public Reserved Land, which is just a 2-hour drive away. The area has more than a dozen sites and pit toilets, and it’s great for anyone looking for peace, quiet, and seclusion. The nearby Unknown Lakes have plenty of free sites as well. For activities, you can go fishing, boating, swimming, or hiking.
Free RV Camping Near Joshua Tree National Park – BLM South Dispersed Camping
Location: Indio, California
With storybook trees and otherworldly rock formations, Joshua Tree National Park is a fantastic RV vacation destination. The best free camping can be found on BLM land, right outside the South entrance. There are plenty of wide-open spaces to choose from, and they are all great for catching a glimpse of the incredible sunset, stars, and sunrise. Most of the sites have fire pits, and good cell service. Some areas have soft and loose sand spots, so it’s best to get out and check the site first before parking.
Free RV Camping Near Cuyahoga Valley National Park – Hidden Hollow Campground
Location: Fernwood State Forest, Ohio
If you’re looking for an interesting place to hang out before exploring the natural beauty of Cuyahoga, stay at Hidden Hollow Campground. Take the Bloomingdale exit off State Route 22, pass Bloomingdale, and follow the campground signs till you get to this small gem. It’s a pretty place with over 20 paved campsites. There are picnic tables, fire rings, trash cans, and vault latrines. Activities include hiking, fishing, and hunting. Campers are required to register and cap their stay to 14 days.
Take Advantage of National Park Fee Free Days
To save even more, plan your trips around the National Park Fee Free Days. On the following days, you won’t pay any entrance fees, which normally range from $5-35 per vehicle:
- Monday, January 17 – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
- Saturday, April 16 – First Day of National Park Week
- Thursday, August 4 – Anniversary of the Great American Outdoors Act
- Saturday, September 24 - National Public Lands Day
- Friday, November 11 - Veterans Day
Free RV Camping is an Affordable Way to Experience America’s National Parks
US national parks are brilliant, beautiful, and with unique offerings just begging to be discovered. However, exploring these special lands can be quite expensive if you decide to stay at private campgrounds.
To help you cut your travel expenses, we’ve unearthed the best places to RV camp for free near the major national parks. So, next time you want to visit Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Joshua Tree, or any other popular park, you know where to find cost-free RV camping.