10 National Parks You Must See In 2023

Josh SchukmanJanuary 3, 2022

10 National Parks You Must See In 2023

2023 is here, meaning it’s time to start thinking about the national parks you might want to check off your bucket list this year. We want to help out by sharing this list of 10 national parks to get you rolling on your next adventure!

In no particular order, the 10 national parks you have to visit in 2023 are: 

  1. Saguaro National Park
  2. Joshua Tree National Park
  3. Zion National Park
  4. Acadia National Park
  5. Big Bend National Park
  6. Voyageurs National Park
  7. Great Smoky Mountains National Park
  8. Shenandoah National Park
  9. Theodore Roosevelt National Park
  10.  Grand Tetons National Park

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1. Saguaro National Park, Arizona

saguaro national park

Named for the iconic cacti that tower over the park, Saguaro features two zones — one on the east side and one on the west side of Tucson, AZ. The park is packed with scenic hikes, backcountry tent camping opportunities, and fun city life just a stone’s throw away. Saguaro cacti are the nation’s largest and show up at nearly every turn in the park. 

When to Visit

October-April are the best months to visit this park to avoid the extreme summer heat in the region.

What to Drive

The park is accessible by most any RV, but there are no campgrounds within the park itself. Fortunately, Tucson is an RVers mecca and features an abundance of private RV parks all around Saguaro that can accommodate large rigs like this one

RVs for rent near Saguaro National Park

2. Joshua Tree National Park, California

Joshua Tree National Park

There’s just something about those iconic Joshua Trees that captivate all who visit — they seem like an other-wordly mix between a cactus and a palm tree and are stunningly beautiful. Apart from the park’s namesake trees, you’ll enjoy world-class hiking, bouldering, and camping at this one-of-a-kind spot. 

When to Visit

Winter is the most popular time to visit the park because summer temps often soar over 100 degrees. 

What to Drive

Most campgrounds in the park allow a maximum combined vehicle length of 25 feet. That means you’ll likely be over length if you’re towing anything — that’s why campervans like this one rule the campsites in Joshua Tree.

That said — Joshua Tree is accessible to the longest of RVs for day visits, just not necessarily for overnight stays. 

RVs for rent near Joshua Tree National Park

3. Zion National Park, Utah

Zion National Park

Zion sits in the southwestern corner of Utah, one of the most picturesque and adventure-friendly parts of the U.S. At the heart of Zion is its namesake canyon — a spectacularly beautiful and stupendously vast crevice in the earth that features epic hiking, biking, and nature-exploring. 

When to Visit

April, May, September, and October feature milder temperatures that are perfect for day hikes and cool camping nights.

Winter offers beautiful scenery that can sometimes be snowy and can sometimes be sunny.

What to Drive

The ideal RVing length for Zion is less than 30 feet combined. There are only two campgrounds in the park itself and many private RV parks in the surrounding areas. 

RVs for rent near Zion National Park

4. Acadia National Park, Maine

Acadia National Park

Mountain, forest, and sea all meet as one at Acadia to delight you and your family with unforgettable RVing experiences. Acadia offers hiking, climbing, horseback riding, cycling, and the chance to swim/fish in lakes and the ocean. To top it all off, Acadia puts you in close proximity to fun New England staples like lobster rolls and quaint, historic towns. 

When to Visit

Anytime but the dead of winter makes for a great time to enjoy Acadia. Our favorite time of year there is the fall when the forests explode with that iconic New England color. 

What to Drive

Acadia features three park-managed campgrounds that would be a perfect fit for motorhomes like this one. The park is also very accessible for larger rigs as campgrounds can accommodate combined lengths up to 45 feet. 

RVs for rent near Acadia National Park

5. Big Bend National Park, Texas

Big Bend National Park

Big Bend may not feature on a ‘typical’ bucket list, but it should be. This park is far removed from civilization and features some of the highest peaks in the Southwest juxtaposed against a seemingly endless prairie. Only about half of the park is in the United States with Mexico’s Parque Nacional Cañón de Santa Elena and Maderas del Carmen making up the other half.

No trip to Big Bend would be complete without a trek around (or through) one of its iconic canyons that feature wonderful hiking, wildlife viewing, and natural beauty. 

When to Visit

Fall and spring are the best times of year to visit Big Bend because temps are milder during the day and cool at night. 

What to Drive

If you’re looking for full-hookups, there are a few private RV parks around Big Bend that can fit larger rigs. If you want to camp inside the park, make sure you’re in a boondock-ready rig like this one. Rigs less than 30 feet will also have the easiest time finding camp spots within the park itself. 

RVs for rent near Big Bend

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6. Voyageurs National Park, Minnesota

Voyageurs National Park

Over 40% of Voyageurs is water, making this place a watersports dream. You can literally kayak or canoe your way through a series of interconnected water highways that’ll take you by beautiful sights and sounds. When you’ve had your fill of boating, you can beach your craft and tackle one of the park’s many hiking trails. 

When to Visit

Anytime but the winter unless you’re really brave! Fall is our favorite season here due to the crisp weather and colorful trees. 

What to Drive

All campsites within the park are only accessible via watercraft, but there are two public campgrounds just outside the park that would be great places for a trailer like this Jayco Flight.

RVs for rent near Voyageurs National Park

7. Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

This park sees more annual visitors than Yellowstone, Yosemite, and Grand Canyon combined. That’s because its generally mild climate, ancient mountains, and pristine waterways make the perfect backdrop for a camp-venture.

Smoky Mountains is also centrally located to many of the largest population centers in the U.S. — making it more accessible to more people. RVing to this national landmark opens the door to waterfall watching, black bear spotting, backpack packing, and much more. 

When to Visit

Every season in The Smokies brings with it a special sense of wonder. Summers can get hot during the day but cool at night. Winters are generally mild but can bring the occasional deep freeze. 

What to Drive

This is one of the more RV-friendly national parks, so you could venture in something like this spacious Class B or even a large Class A motorhome.

RVs for rent near Great Smoky Mountains National Park

8. Shenandoah National Park, Virginia

Shenandoah National Park

While you might not have heard of this park, that doesn’t mean it’s any less breathtaking than the others. 105 miles of the Appalachian Trail cut through this wooded wonderland that’s packed with over 70 overlooks where you can peer over the Blue Ridge Mountains. 

Shenandoah is visitable any time of year and each season packs its own special punch. While there, you can enjoy its multitude of waterfalls, serene hikes, and one-of-a-kind geological features. 

When to Visit

Fall is especially fun because of the foliage, but any time of year will offer a special set of activities in the park.

What to Drive

This national park can accommodate rigs with combined lengths up to 100 feet, meaning you’ll be set to travel in a fifth-wheel trailer like this one

RVs for rent near Shenandoah National Park

9. Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Good ol’ Teddy is the father of our national parks system, so it’s only fitting that he’d have a space of his own. This park is a special space to explore the badlands of North Dakota — a landscape where the central plains explode in jagged rock formations that tower above the grounds below.

The Dakota Badlands are also a natural haven for such animals as bison, elk, and prairie dogs — all of which can be spotted from the windows of your RV. 

When to Visit

Spring and summer are best because fall and winter can be fairly harsh this far north!

What to Drive

Wide open and expansive spaces in the park make rigs like this travel trailer a great pick.  

RVs for rent near Theodore Roosevelt National Park

10. Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Grand Teton National Park

Sitting just outside Yellowstone, The Tetons are a sight in and of themselves that everyone should see before they kick that bucket. The towering, scraggly peaks that make up this range are nothing short of breathtaking.

You could take a week in Yellowstone and still not see it all, but The Tetons can be taken in in a short trip. With a few short days in this park, you could see pristine alpine lakes, take a glacial hike, watch bison roam, bike along the paved trail that follows the mountain range, and much much more. 

When to Visit

Late spring, summer, and early fall are the times to go because winter comes on strong and fast in the Teton altitude. 

What to Drive

Campgrounds within the park are equipped to handle rigs up to 45 feet in length. You could go full-luxe in this decked out Class A or roll in vintage style in this VW campervan

RVs for rent near Grand Teton National Park

Hit The Road in 2023

A road trip to one (or all) of these 10 national parks will not disappoint because they offer the very best in outdoorsy adventuring. Check out our RVs for rent right here so you can soak up these national landmarks in the way they were meant to be enjoyed.

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Josh and his wife traveled around the country in an '88 Airstream for 4+ years of full-time RVing. They made an unexpected pitstop in Montana in 2020 and haven't left since. That's because they got hooked on the glamping resort they run by Glacier National Park. Fittingly, they keep up their RVing love by renting out vintage Airstreams and other retro RVs to travelers hitting Montana.

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