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FMCA: What To Consider Before Buying an RV

RV Travel is Still Taking a Hit as High Gas Prices Change Plans

10 of the Best Mountain Towns for Summer Camping

RV mountain camping

Summer is the perfect time of year to escape the city or suburbia for more rustic landscapes. America has no shortage of breathtaking mountain ranges that are complemented by the charming towns nearby. You can spend your days hiking, biking, or fishing, then make your way into town for some relaxation and a good meal. When the weather warms up, hit the road and head to one of RV Trader’s 10 best mountain towns for summer camping.

1. Eureka Springs, Arkansas

Settled in the heart of the Ozark Mountains, Eureka Springs is a serene town with winding mountainside streets. The downtown, dotted with galleries, shops, restaurants and Victorian homes, is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Set up your RV at a campground near Beaver Lake for easy access to water sports, fishing, mountain biking, and hiking. Summer is also a great time of year for whitewater rafting on the scenic Kings River.

2. Lake Tahoe, California/Nevada

Lake Tahoe, situated on the border of California and Nevada, draws millions of visitors each year flocking to the mountain scenery. With several state parks and RV campgrounds surrounding the lake, you’ll have an array of campsites to choose from.

Summer camping, in both North and South Lake Tahoe, offers nearly endless outdoor activities against the backdrop of stunning panoramas. North Lake Tahoe is more serene, while South Lake Tahoe is home to lively entertainment and nightlife. Visit just one side or embark on a camping adventure around the entire lake.

3. Bozeman, Montana

Located between two entrances to Yellowstone National Park, Bozeman is a mountain town boasting arts and culture scenes, farmers markets, and festivals on the downtown Main Street. A trip to Bozeman allows you to go whitewater rafting down the Yellowstone River or kayaking on the Hyalite Reservoir. Then, make your way into town for a variety of cuisine and live music at the ELM.

A leisurely drive down southwest Montana’s scenic roads will take you to one of Bozeman’s RV parks. These range from full-hookup campsites with all the amenities to more rustic campgrounds with wildlife right outside your camper van.

4. Taos, New Mexico

Taos is best known for its world-class ski resort but, over the summer, the cool mountain air is ideal for hiking, rock climbing, and outdoor dining. Experience the magic of this southwest mountain town, rich in fine art, a thriving music scene, and breathtaking landscapes.

Gaze at the blazing sunsets every night from your RV at one of the full-hookup campgrounds in Taos. Off-the-grid camping is also a popular choice to get an unobstructed view of the dazzling stars in the night’s sky.

5. Lake Placid, New York

While Lake Placid is known for hosting the winter Olympics, the rolling green hills and glistening waters make this Adirondack Mountain village a destination for summer camping. Many of Lake Placid’s RV campgrounds are along one of the peaceful ponds for quick access to swimming and fishing.

During summer, Lake Placid’s historic Olympic sites become a destination for thrilling mountain coaster rides and ziplining, or simply taking in the landscape on a gondola ride. Despite its size, this small mountain town has plenty of one-of-a-kind shops, waterfront restaurants, and special events.

6. Asheville, North Carolina

Asheville is not your average mountain town. An eclectic downtown scene is at the center of this thriving community, filled with craft breweries, art galleries, and live music. Summers in Asheville’s higher elevation provide cooler temperatures for whitewater rafting, hiking to a waterfall, and patio dining.

Navigate your RV along the Blue Ridge Parkway to reach one of Asheville’s campsites. Reserve one of the campgrounds near a state or national park, including Chimney Rock State Park, or book a few nights at one of the glamping sites.

Image from ExploreAsheville.com/Andre Daugherty

7. Bend, Oregon

Hike and bike the trails at Mount Bachelor and Smith Rock when you travel to Bend. Summer is the perfect time to make a splash at the Bend Whitewater Park, Oregon’s first urban whitewater park on the Deschutes River. You’ll definitely want to bring your toy hauler so you have all the gear for surfing, tubing, paddleboarding, and kayaking on the river to cool down from the summer heat.

Bend’s RV parks have all the hookups you need to fully enjoy your home away from home. When you aren’t getting your fill of the boundless outdoor activities, explore the local culinary scene and Bend Ale Trail. The town is known as the Craft Beer Capital of the West.

8. Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania

Getting off the highway, you’ll immediately notice a change of scenery when you arrive in Stroudsburg, the heart of the Pocono Mountains. Campgrounds in Stroudsburg range from rustic with a few amenities to full-hookup RV sites that are big-rig friendly.

Stroudsburg’s small town charm is complemented by the big adventure that awaits for summer travelers. Go ziplining for a bird’s-eye view of the mountains or swim in one of the Pocono Mountains’ 150 lakes, such as Lake Wallenpaupack. Mark your calendar for StroudFest every summer, a free festival with live music, as well as retail and food vendors.

9. Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Gatlinburg is a resort mountain city in the Great Smoky Mountains. You’ll have direct access to the cascading waterfalls and miles of hiking trails at Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Along the Parkway, Gatlinburg has no shortage of attractions, including live music, storytelling and more, on the walkable streets during summer. Leave your tow vehicle at the campsite and take the trolley to get to downtown Gatlinburg’s popular restaurants and amusements. There are RV campgrounds conveniently off the Parkway that also provide a peaceful retreat away from the bustling downtown.

10. Stowe, Vermont

While most know Stowe as a destination for winter skiing, summer ushers in vibrant, picturesque scenery. Take your pick of one of the many campgrounds near Stowe, Mount Mansfield, and the state parks. 

Historic Stowe Village is situated at the foot of Mount Mansfield, the state’s highest peak. Drive your camper van or tow vehicle up Mountain Road for mountain biking through Cady Hill Forest. You can also walk the Stowe Recreation Path and make a pit stop at one of the swimming holes.

While many flock to the beaches for their summer fun, the mountains offer a little bit of everything on land and even in the water. Take a break from the heat and embrace crisp, cooler air during your camping vacation in one of these mountain towns.

Before you load up your camper, check out RV Trader’s Summer Destinations Resource Page for more summer travel locales to help you plan the best camping vacation ever. And, if you’re looking for an RV to take on the road for your summer adventures, browse the nationwide inventory of used and new RVs for sale on RVTrader.com.

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Arielle Patterson
Arielle Patterson

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