RVing in the mountains at campground

Trip Planning

RVing in the Mountains - 8 Campgrounds with Gorgeous Views

If you are looking to head to the mountains for your next great RV vacation then this quick guide will help get you started.

Over the past ten years, my family’s RV has taken us just about everywhere. We have parked it near great cities like Charleston and Boston, near beautiful beaches like Cape Hatteras and Cape Cod, and near stunning mountain ranges in places like New Hampshire and Tennessee. Though I have loved all of these campgrounds, I tend to think that the ones in the mountains have the best views. This is because the mountains rise up above you and surround you in a way that no ocean or river can. 

If you are looking to head to the mountains for your next great RV vacation then this quick guide will help get you started. Here are my top 8 recommendations for campgrounds with gorgeous mountain views.
 

Lincoln / Woodstock KOA - Woodstock, New Hampshire

The White Mountains of New Hampshire have been popular with RV owners for generations and this centrally located campground will serve as a perfect basecamp for your adventures in this region. Kids love the huge open field and organized activities like hayrides that run most nights during the summer. Adults love the nicely manicured RV sites and the mountain views. The owners are kind and helpful and will guide you to the best local hikes and launch points for your kayak or canoe. This campground is also incredibly pet-friendly. Every KOA has a dog park, but this one is huge and really fun for your favorite furry friend. They also offer kenneling services for those who want to take day trips and leave their pups at the campground.  

Mama Gertie’s Hideaway Campground - Swannanoa, North Carolina

My family enjoyed a magical stay at Mama Gertie’s a few years back. The rear bed of our pop up camper was hanging directly over a gurgling stream behind our site. We fell asleep each night to the gentle sound of that stream and we have been recommending Mama Gertie’s for Asheville area stays ever since. Since we camped there they have added breathtaking new mountain view sites that accommodate large RV’s. The location is also excellent. Mama Gertie’s is less than 20 minutes from Asheville (depending on traffic) and less than 10 minutes from Black Mountain. Folks love Asheville for its food, culture, and craft beer. But we always implore them to take a drive into Black Mountain too. It’s like a mini Asheville with tons of charm and great food of its own.

(Photo Courtesy of Mama Gertie’s Hideaway Campground)


Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park, Luray - Luray, Virginia

We think that Jellystone Luray is one of the best family-friendly campgrounds in the country. The pools and water slides are a blast and most of the campground has stunning views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  It is also rare to find a full-fledged resort campground located just minutes from the gates of a National Park. Jellystone Luray is that rare campground. You can spend mornings hiking in Shenandoah National Park and afternoons relaxing back at the pool or bounce pillow with your kids.  “Hey Hey Rides” and photo ops with Yogi and friends will charm younger campers, while laser tag and full-sized sports facilities will keep teenagers busy for hours at a time.  Plan on spending your evenings relaxing under the stars and enjoying a crackling campfire or watching a movie together at the campground’s delightful outdoor theater.  

 

(Photo Courtesy of Jellystone Luray)

 

Cedar Pass Campground - Badlands National Park, South Dakota

Sometimes location really does trump everything else. There is absolutely nothing spectacular about the Cedar Pass Campground. The RV sites are unlevel, the bathrooms are outdated, and the amenities are spartan at best. But the campground is in a sweet spot in Badlands National Park and is surrounded by an astonishing and unearthly beauty that is unique to this great NPS site. Camping at Cedar Pass is a visually spectacular experience, particularly when a blood-red sunset colors the mountains that are just steps away. The best hikes in the park are nearby and when you come back to your site just sitting in a camp chair and having a cold drink is a magical and profoundly relaxing experience. 

Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park: Estes Park, Colorado - Estes Park, Colorado

If you want to experience a Rocky Mountain National Park adventure and have full hookups and plenty of fun amenities and activities for the kids back at your basecamp--then this Yogi Bear campground is an obvious choice. It is nestled among the Colorado Rockies and the Roosevelt National Forest and has panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. Proximity to the gateway town of Estes Park is also good--you can be there in about ten minutes.  After spending the morning hiking and exploring in the national park the kids will love coming back here and going for a swim or playing a round of mini-golf. Organized activities like craft time, karaoke, and dance parties are also abundant--particularly during the high summer months and weekends. 

(Photo Courtesy of Jellystone Estes Park)

 

West Glacier KOA Resort - West Glacier, Montana

This West Glacier KOA is one of the most beautiful campgrounds in the country. The smell of pine trees and the mountain views are ravishing--and so is the hand-dipped ice cream at Scoops. Breakfast at the Lazy Bear cafe is also excellent. We ate there just about every morning before heading out for another epic hike in Glacier National Park.  Our boys loved the large basketball and Ga Ga Ball courts and they spent hours there each night making fast friends with the rest of the campground kids. We appreciated the “adults only” pool and hot tub area and took turns relaxing and chatting with other adults each night. The RV sites at this campground, particularly those at the bottom of the mountain, are among the most beautifully manicured sites we have ever seen. 

St. Mary Campground - Glacier National Park, Montana

St. Mary Campground has otherworldly views of Singleshot, East Flat Top, and Red Eagle Mountains that will take your breath away. The campground is close to the St. Mary visitor center and some of the best hiking in the park is nearby. Amenities are sparse at this campground, but the restrooms are clean and the location is excellent. The evening ranger programs are also incredibly informative and will teach you about bear safety and other important topics that are relevant to your stay at Glacier National Park. My family loved the quieter and wilder East side of Glacier and we saw more wildlife there than we did on the more populated and touristed west side.

The Fairholme Campground - Olympic National Park, Washington

Lake Crescent is truly one of Olympic National Park’s most stunning gems. Its sapphire-blue waters are perfect for kayaking and heartier souls (like our kids) will love diving in for a brisk swim. The campground is simple and offers few amenities, but the roads are easy to navigate and the sites are spacious and most of them have great mountain views. There is a lodge next door with a camp store, restaurant, and canoe, and kayak rentals. The location at this campground puts you fairly close to downtown Port Angeles and some of the most stunning hikes and waterfalls in the park.

Jeremy Puglisi

Author and co-host of the RV Atlas podcast

Jeremy Puglisi

Jeremy Puglisi is the co-host of the RV Atlas podcast and the co-author of See You at the Campground: A Guide to Discovering Community, Connection, and a Happier Family in the Great Outdoors, and Where Should We Camp Next: A 50 State Guide to Amazing Campgrounds and other Unique Outdoor Accommodations. He loves nothing more than hitching up and heading out to the next campground with his family.