6 State Park Campgrounds to Add to Your Bucket List

Aug 4, 2021 | Travel & Destinations

6 State Park Campgrounds to Add to Your Bucket List

State park campgrounds are a top choice for RVers thanks to their affordability and natural surroundings.

By Lindsey Chambers

Photo: Lindsey Chambers

National park campgrounds typically get most of the attention, but their RV campsites often book out months in advance and first-come, first-served spots are competitive. State park campgrounds, on the other hand, can be more affordable, more RV-friendly, and are often equally as gorgeous. 

Amenities and cleanliness vary from state to state, but overall, state park campgrounds offer scenic surroundings with designated, reservable spots—often with full or partial hookups, bathhouses, picnic tables, and fire rings—at a fraction of the cost of RV resorts. State park campgrounds offer the best of everything, but a select few stand out above the rest; here are our six favorites across the U.S.

Want more state park camping tips? Check out The RVer’s Guide to State Park Campgrounds for more information on booking campsites throughout state parks in the U.S.

Available to download here.

Airstream parked at campsite overlooking Pacific Ocean
Photo: Lindsey Chambers

Harris Beach State Park, Oregon

Located along the picturesque Oregon Coast, you can wake up to ocean views at the campsites on Harris Beach. Clifftop RV spots back up to the coastline, with full hookups and beach access. There are about 65 full hookup sites, 25 partial hookup sites (electrical and water), 60 tent sites, and six rustic yurts. The Pacific Northwest is known for being rainy, chilly, and foggy, especially during the winter months, so plan your trip for late spring, summer, or early fall.  

Related An RV Trip Guide to Mount Hood, Oregon

This beautiful beachfront state park is located just off Highway 101 and is only 5 minutes from Brookings, Oregon—a cute fishing town with stores, restaurants, and a laundromat. Ocean view spots book up quickly, especially during high season. Reservations open 6 months in advance and nightly rates are $35. Site numbers A10, 12, 14, 16, 18, and 20 through 25 offer the best ocean views. After you set up camp, take a quick walk down to the pet-friendly (if leashed) beach to explore the tide pools and breathe in the salty air.

Campground Highlights: 

  • At least three signal bars of 4G coverage for Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile
  • Big rig friendly with level and easy to navigate sites
  • Restrooms and showers 
  • Dump station 
  • Firewood for sale

Stop at hidden beaches and coves as you drive up the coast. The Crazy Norwegian’s Fish & Chips in Port Orford, Oregon, is a must-stop. Try the fish tacos and marionberry pie.

Low tide at state park in Maine

Cobscook Bay State Park, Maine

The dramatic Cobscook Bay surrounds Cobscook Bay State Park on three sides and many of the campsites overlook the water’s edge. The northeast location means the campground is open seasonally from mid-May to mid-October, with nightly rates of $30 for nonresidents. There are more than 100 dry camping sites available for tents and RVs. This region is known for impressive tides with a tidal range that averages 24 feet and can reach up to 28 feet (for reference, the average tide along Maine’s southernmost coast is 9 feet). It’s a spectacular spot to watch the ocean and look for birds.

Campground Highlights: 

  • At least two signal bars of 4G coverage for Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile
  • Well-spaced and secluded sites
RV parked in hidden campsite among rocks in desert
Photo: Lindsey Chambers

City of Rocks State Park, New Mexico

Located in southwest New Mexico, about 4 hours south of Albuquerque and 4 hours east of Tucson, is City of Rocks State Park. The park is a desert dweller’s paradise offering a mirage of pinnacle volcanic rock formations and 40-foot boulders. The best time to visit is in fall or early spring as the desert location is hot in summer with relief services or amenities located more than 30 minutes away. Pick the sites without hookups for epic sunset views, stargazing, and easy access to rock scrambling. There are a total of 41 dry camping sites with a nightly rate of $10. There are also four sites available with 30-amp electric hookups, if dry camping isn’t for you.

The campground is designed to blend in with the landscape, and each site varies in size, accessibility, and cell phone coverage. If your rig is longer than 27 feet and you need a strong cell phone signal to work, book site 30A, where you can get a few bars of AT&T and T-Mobile coverage. To find the best site for your rig and cell phone signal needs, call the ranger in advance of booking or arriving. Also, be sure to come with your gray and black tanks empty as there is no dump station onsite. There is a free dump site located at the 5R Travel Center near Deming, New Mexico.

The state park has plenty of trails to enjoy, but the nearby Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument is also worth a visit. If you’re sore after rock scrambling, biking, or hiking, visit Faywood Hot Springs, a natural, rustic geothermal resort located only 3 miles away, for a soak.

Campground Highlights: 

  • Water spigots available for filling fresh water tanks
  • Clean showers located at the welcome center and vault toilets throughout the park
  • Stargazing 
  • Picnic tables and fire rings at each site

Related An RV Trip Guide to Santa Fe, New Mexico

RV parked at red rock structure in Arizona
Photo: Lindsey Chambers

Lost Dutchman State Park, Arizona

Located at the base of the Superstition Mountains, Lost Dutchman State Park offers an abundant desert flora and fauna landscape. Sixty-eight sites offer partial water and electric hookups, with an additional 60 dry camping spots available (the dry camping spots tend to be more spacious). Nightly rates are $35 and reservations, which can be made online, are highly recommended. Arizona’s state park reservation system is one of the best in the country, providing photos of each individual site so you can see if it works for your rig. Take the weather into consideration when planning a trip to this desert state park, or make sure you book a site with the proper hookups. 

Campground Highlights:

  • At least three signal bars of 4G coverage for Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile
  • Big rig friendly, some pull-through sites 
  • Dump station
  • Showers and flush toilets 
  • Leashed pets are welcome
  • All sites have picnic tables and fire rings

Related An RV Trip Guide to Flagstaff, Arizona

RV at campsite among green trees and Spanish moss
Photo: Lindsey Chambers

Skidaway Island State Park, Georgia

Offering the best of both worlds, Skidaway Island State Park is located only 20 minutes from historic Savannah, Georgia. Yet within seconds of entering the park, you’re surrounded by towering oak trees blanketed with Spanish moss, making it feel as though you’re in the remote wilderness. This state park campground features hiking trails that lead to a boardwalk and an observation tower that overlooks a maritime forest, coastal waterways, and a salt marsh. The best time of year to visit is from March to July or in the fall between mid-September and mid-November. The campground is open year-round, but temps get high in the summer. Of the 99 spots available, 87 offer water and electric hookups (both 30- and 50-amp). With a prime location and fair nightly rate ($45), reservations are recommended—especially in high season—and open 6 months in advance.

Savannah’s history of epidemics, battles, unsolved murders, and the brutal conlonial slave trade make for a dark and haunting past. Learn more on a  walking tour with Genteel & Bard. Foodies won’t want to miss the brunch at The Collins Quarter and the devil’s food cake at The Grey.

Campground Highlights: 

  • Coin operated laundry
  • Toilets and showers
  • Dump station
  • Three to four signal bars of 4G coverage for Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile
  • Bike rentals and a playground
  • Leashed pets allowed on trails 
  • Big rig friendly with pull-through sites available
  • Picnic tables and fire rings at all sites
Campsite in the desert with picnic table
Photo: Lindsey Chambers

Palo Duro State Park, Texas

Palo Duro State Park, also known as “the Grand Canyon of Texas,” offers thousands of acres of rugged landscape. Nearly 100 campsites spread throughout three campgrounds are available for RVers, all with partial (electric and water) hookups. Nightly rates start at $26 and can be reserved online—you can view photos of specific sites on the reservation site. Seasons are extreme here, making fall and spring the ideal time to visit. Note that cell reception is very limited to nonexistent within the canyon campgrounds. You can tour the canyon area by foot, bike, horse, or tow vehicle, and during the summer months, the park hosts a weekly musical at the amphitheater (separate tickets are required).  

Campground Highlights: 

  • Big rig friendly 
  • Picnic tables and fire rings
  • Showers and toilets 
  • Some sites have lantern posts and are paved
  • Trading post and restaurant located in the park (closest campgrounds are Hackberry and Sagebrush)

Plan Your Own Trip to State Park Campgrounds

CampgroundsCampingState Park

Lindsey Chambers

Lindsey Chambers, a former San Franciscan and small business owner turned full-time digital nomad, is currently living, working, and traveling in her 27-foot Airstream Globetrotter with her husband Jesse and their tiny dog, Marco. She loves exploring, hunting for vintage, photography, hiking, and golf. She's been living tiny and traveling the U.S. for 2 years now. You can follow her adventures on Instagram.