Are you looking to make the most of your winter camping experiences? Then why not take them to the next level with a visit to one of America’s beautiful national parks this season? Whether you’re dreaming of snow-covered mountains, serene lake views, or unspoiled natural wonders like never-ending forests and cliffsides, there’s something special waiting for every type of RV camper in these legendary locations.
In this post, we round up some of our top picks for the best winter camping in the National Parks. From rugged terrain to secret trails that lead straight into a wonderland, get ready for a winter experience unlike any other when you go camping in the National Parks! So load up your RV, and let’s explore what Mother Nature has in store.
Guest Post By theadventuredetour
Why Winter Is A Perfect Time To Go Camping In The National Parks
The national parks are some of our country’s most scenic and special places to explore. However, they can also be extremely crowded, and difficult to get camping reservations. Winter is your chance to spend time in the national parks without all the people. The nature solitude that many travelers are usually looking for can be found during the winter off-season. It is also much easier to get popular national park RV camping reservations in the winter.
Important Considerations For National Park Camping In The Winter
When it comes to winter camping in national parks, there are a few important things that you should keep in mind. Firstly, it is important to be aware of the road conditions before you embark on your journey. Sometimes the roads leading up to campgrounds can become difficult to drive on due to snow or ice. Conditions can change rapidly, and it is a good idea to check in advance with the park to get an update on the road conditions.
Another important consideration is checking if facilities at campgrounds are open during winter time. This can vary from park to park, so it’s worth doing your research beforehand. Some campgrounds may be closed for winter months or are open but turn off water hookups and close bathrooms, so plan ahead and make sure you know what’s available. Additionally, it’s important to be prepared for potential closures due to weather. Have a backup plan and an alternate destination in case your chosen campground is closed or difficult to access due to snow or ice.
Finally, prepare for winter driving conditions by packing tire chains and other necessary supplies in your RV. Snow and ice can make driving difficult, and you should always be prepared with the right equipment for winter travel in the national parks. There may be times when tire chains are required to enter a national park in winter.
Great Winter National Park Campground Options
Here is a list of top national park campgrounds that are open and just perfect for a winter RV road trip.
Devil’s Garden Campground – Arches National Park
Winter camping in Arches National Park is an unforgettable experience with unrivaled beauty and tranquility. With its stunning sandstone rock formations that loom up over the desert, there’s no better place to explore during wintertime than this national park. It’s even more stunning to view with a dusting of snow. This is a top national park to visit during the winter season.
For those wishing to experience some of the best winter camping in Arches National Park, the Devil’s Garden Campground is a great option. Open year-round, this campground offers both tent and RV camping, with 51 individual sites. The campsites offer stunning views of the surrounding red rock landscape and plenty of space for you to explore.
All of the sites are equipped with picnic tables and fire rings so you can enjoy cozy winter campfires. The campsites are first come first served from November-February. There are also bathrooms and ADA-accessible campsites.
Furnace Creek Campground – Death Valley National Park
Winter is the best time of year to camp at Furnace Creek Campground in Death Valley National Park. The mild temperatures, stunning desert landscapes, and lack of crowds make it an ideal place for peaceful winter camping. This is one of the few warm national parks in winter that is just right to visit in your RV.
Located in the heart of Death Valley, Furnace Creek Campground is surrounded by a stunning desert landscape and towering mountain peaks topped with snow during the winter months. This campground is an ideal spot for a peaceful winter camping experience due to its mild temperatures, lack of crowds, and breathtaking views. It’s also a great spot for stargazing due to its remote location away from light pollution.
The campground offers sites that feature picnic tables, fire pits, and bathrooms. Winter is the most popular camping season in this national park, and it is important to make reservations ahead of time. Furnace Creek Campground is open year-round, and reservations can be made up to six months in advance. So if you are looking for an unforgettable winter camping experience in a stunning desert landscape, head to Furnace Creek Campground!
Mather Campground – Grand Canyon National Park
Mather Campground in Grand Canyon National Park is a great place to camp in the winter. Located on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, this campground offers stunning views of the majestic canyon along with picturesque sunrises and sunsets. Not only is it a great spot for breathtaking views, but it also has plenty of amenities and activities to keep you busy in the winter months.
Mather Campground has 327 campsites, with RV camping available year-round. Each site is equipped with fire rings, picnic tables, and grills, making it easy to stay warm and cozy while enjoying the beauty of the surrounding canyon landscape. Other amenities include flush toilets and dump stations. There are no campsite hookups available.
The campground also offers a variety of activities during the winter months, including hiking trails, ranger-led programs, and interpretive talks. Mather Campground is one of the most popular places in Grand Canyon National Park to camp in the winter due to its stunning views and abundance of activities.
Cottonwood Campground – Joshua Tree National Park
Cottonwood Campground in Joshua Tree National Park is an ideal place to camp in the winter, and any camper looking for a truly special experience won’t be disappointed. With plenty of amenities and activities to offer, as well as stunning views of the surrounding desert landscape, this campground has something for everyone.
The campground offers both tent and RV camping, with 62 individual sites. Each site is equipped with picnic tables, fire rings for campfires, and nearby restrooms. There are no campsite hookups for RVs. Cottonwood Campground is open year-round, but it can get quite cold in the winter months, so make sure to bring plenty of warm clothing. This is also the peak season for camping in Joshua Tree, so be sure to make your reservation in advance.
For those looking to explore the park, Cottonwood Campground is nestled in the heart of Joshua Tree National Park, with easy access to some of its most popular trails and attractions. And for those who just want to relax, there are plenty of spots to take in the stunning desert views or curl up around a cozy campfire.
Watchman Campground – Zion National Park
Watchman Campground in Zion National Park is a great place to camp in the winter. Located on the south side of Zion Canyon, this campground offers stunning views of the majestic landscape and abundant wildlife. It’s easy to access from nearby trails and attractions and boasts plenty of amenities and activities to keep you busy while camping.
Watchman Campground has 176 sites, each equipped with a picnic table and a fire ring. There are also flush toilets and potable water available. For those looking to camp in an RV, there are some campsites with electrical hookups available, and the campground is pet-friendly. The campground is open year-round, but advance reservations are required.
Adventurous campers will enjoy exploring the nearby trails and attractions in Zion National Park, such as Angel’s Landing, The Narrows, and Canyon Overlook Trail. For those who just want to relax and take in the views, there are plenty of spots in the campground to do just that. Watchman Campground is the perfect spot for a winter camping getaway, with plenty of opportunities to explore and enjoy the beauty of Zion National Park.
Wawona Campground – Yosemite National Park
Wawona Campground in Yosemite National Park is an excellent choice for winter camping. Located in the heart of the park, it offers stunning views of the iconic landscape and its abundant wildlife. There are also plenty of amenities and activities to keep campers busy during their stay. This campground sits on the Merced River and is located close to the Sequoias in Mariposa Grove.
The campground has 97 sites, each equipped with a picnic table and fire ring, as well as flush toilets and potable water. There are also four campsites with electrical hookups available for RVs. The campground is open year-round and can accommodate tents, trailers, and RVs of all sizes.
Campsites are first come first served during the winter months except for February. You do need a reservation for February camping due to the popular glow of the Horsetail Fall phenomenon that occurs in mid to late February. Winter months can be snowy in this part of Yosemite National Park, so make sure to pack the proper clothes and gear.
Campers at Wawona Campground will have plenty of opportunities to explore the surrounding area, with easy access to iconic Yosemite attractions like Half Dome. And for those who just want to relax and take in the views, there are plenty of spots throughout the campground where you can do just that. Whether you’re looking for an adventurous winter camping experience or a peaceful getaway, Wawona Campground has something to offer everyone.
Winter Camping in National Parks
Whether you’re looking to explore a new destination or take part in some of your favorite outdoor activities, winter camping in the National Parks is an experience like no other. From stunning views to peaceful solitude, the national parks offer something special for RV campers of all types. However, it is important to remember to do your research and prepare for winter conditions when planning your journey. So load up that RV, and enjoy the beauty and adventure of winter camping in America’s National Parks!
Looking for the perfect RV hit the road in this winter? La Mesa has the selection to help you find the perfect RV for your winter adventures. Stop by for a visit today!
Scott, his wife Van, and their 12-year-old daughter Sissy have traveled full-time in their RV for 7 years. They have worked and homeschooled on the road through 42 states so far. They blog about RVing tips, travel destinations, and the full-time RV lifestyle on their blog, theadventuredetour.com. They are also RV content creators @theadventuredetour on Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook. They love connecting with RVers so be sure to reach out to them and say hi!