There's no better way to travel than from the comfort of an RV, and no better view of the U.S. than the one you'll get at its national parks and monuments.

There's no better way to travel than from the comfort of an RV, and no better view of the U.S. than the one you'll get at its national parks and monuments.

If a great American road trip is on your list of vacation plans this summer, consider these RV-friendly national parks.


Grand Canyon National Park

You're traveling in comfort, and there's no reason that should end once you reach your destination. While there are walks and hikes of all sorts, great views of the canyon can also be seen via car, bus or rail. The Tusayan Museum and Ruin provides a look at life in the area hundreds of years ago.

There is plenty of RV parking around the park and free shuttle buses that operate in and around the South Rim. Not all sites provide hookups, but they do have flush toilets and shower facilities.


Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve

Featuring more than 150,000 acres of wetlands, dunes, forests, alpine lakes and rugged peaks, this park offers everything from hiking and hunting to sand sledding. Nearby, Zapata Falls offers a cool respite from the hot sun, and Fort Garland is an educational look at pioneer days.

If walking the dunes seems difficult, the visitor center has sand wheelchairs available to borrow.

RV parking at the park is sparse and offers no hook-ups, but there are plenty of other sites nearby.

Gettysburg National Military Park

The site of the Civil War's bloodiest battle is now a rich historical educational experience featuring guided tours, hikes, museums and even horseback riding. Round out your history lesson with a visit to Pennsylvania Dutch Country in nearby Lancaster or to the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire in Cornwall. Discuss what you've learned over a sweet treat in Hershey, which also hosts America's largest RV show every September.

There are many RV parking spots to choose. Gettysburg Campground has an on-site RV repair facility, while Drummer Boy Camping Resort has heated pools.


Great Smoky Mountain National Park

With waterfalls, wildlife and breathtaking sunrises and sunsets, the Great Smokies offer fun and relaxation. Flower enthusiasts will enjoy going in the spring and summer, as the "Wildflower Park" comes into bloom.

More than 30 RV campgrounds surround the park. Most offer full hookups, Wi-Fi Internet and laundry facilities.

Washington Olympic National Park

Olympic National Park offers all the beauty of the Pacific Northwest in one place. Visitors can explore forests, mountains or beaches via car, guided tour or day hike.

There are RV parks within the park, and the surrounding area has several other options on the coast and inland.

See them all for a nominal fee.

For a one-time fee of $10, U.S. citizens and permanent residents 62 and older can purchase an America the Beautiful Senior Pass, which provides admission to national parks and may provide discounts on campsites, guided tours and various fees.