The Southwest offers some of the most unique and interesting landscapes in the United States.
The arid climate, unique geography, and rich history of the area combine to create an experience you just can’t find anywhere else. And, much like the rest of the western US, there are millions of acres of public land including national parks, forests, and monuments. This makes for lots of historical and cultural attractions along with plenty of great outdoor experiences.
Whether you are renting an RV or already have your own, the Southwest is tough to beat in terms of bang for your buck. We’ve done the research and found the best spots to go RVing in the Southwest, the Northeast, and the Southeast.
Now let’s take a look at the best RV destinations in the Southwest U.S.
Arizona: Grand Canyon National Park
If you’re planning a trip to the southwest US, it’s hard to pass up the Grand Canyon. Spanning over 270 miles and nearly 7,000 feet deep in some areas, this canyon is an incredible sight to behold. With hiking, rafting, and many other attractions in the surrounding area, there’s also plenty to do in the area for people of all ages.
Since this is such a well-known and popular area, there are lots of campgrounds and other places to stay in the area. But, why not get the full Grand Canyon experience and stay right in the park? Two park service campgrounds are available in the park: Mather Campground and the North Rim Campground. Neither have hookups of any kind, but potable water and dump stations are available.
Another campground—Trailer Village—is also located within the park, but is operated by a third party. Trailer Village is open year-round with full hookups and paved sites that can accommodate rigs up to 50 feet long.
Utah: Zion National Park
Zion National Park is another can’t-miss stop in the southwest. While this park is only 229 square miles, it’s home to scenic Zion Canyon and many other unique land formations as well as a diverse ecology and wildlife population.
Within the national park, South Campground and Watchman Campground provide visitors with nearly 300 campsites. While full hookups are hard to find in either campground, water and dump stations are. Watchman Campground does have a few sites with electric hookups. Both campgrounds are also located on the Virgin River, giving campers direct access to this scenic waterway.
Fees are relatively low—just $20 to $30 per night. But, be sure to make reservations well in advance as these campgrounds tend to fill up quickly during the busy summer months.
West Texas: Palo Duro Canyon State Park
Though it’s not generally known for camping or outdoor hotspots, Texas has a lot of hidden gems. For something that’s decidedly off the beaten path, head through the big skies of West Texas to Palo Duro Canyon. Known as the “The Grand Canyon of Texas”, this canyon is actually the second largest canyon in the United States at 120 miles long. Uniquely western rock formations and many miles of hiking trails make this an interesting destination.
Several camping locations are located within the park. Many sites are large enough to accommodate bigger trailers and motorhomes. Water and electric hookups can be found at many sites and a dump station is available. Several restroom and shower facilities are also conveniently located around the park.
Although this park isn’t quite as busy as the Grand Canyon, it’s still a good idea to make your reservations in advance on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.
New Mexico: Chaco Culture National Historical Park
With a state motto like “land of enchantment,” New Mexico has some big shoes to fill. Fortunately, there is a lot for RVers to do in this southwestern state.
The heavy Latin American influences make many of New Mexico’s metropolitan areas culturally unique and worth a visit, if only for the food.
The state is also home to lots of wide open spaces and hundreds of thousands of national forest land.
The Chaco Culture National Historical Park is one area worth checking out in New Mexico. This park is home to some of the oldest and most well-preserved ruins in the United States.
Camping is available with the park at the Gallo Campground. Fees are very reasonable at just $15 per night, but no hookups are available. A dump station and restrooms are located in the campground.
Colorado: Golden Gate Canyon State Park
Colorado is so jam-packed with camping and outdoor opportunities it’s tough to narrow your destination down to just one place. From Rocky Mountain National Park to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, many areas of this state can make once in a lifetime trips.
Put yourself in a good central location of the state at Golden Gate Canyon State Park. This park is relatively close to Rocky Mountain National Park, the scenic and accessible Mount Evans, and the Denver metro area.
If you don’t want to venture far, this campground has lots of great hiking opportunities right in the heart of the Rockies. You can also fish in one of the park’s many mountain streams and small ponds.
With full hookups and nice restroom facilities, you can stay in comfort for comparatively low rates.
California: Paradise by the Sea RV Resort
Much like Colorado, California has a lot to offer visitors. The southern part of the state is home to great beaches, interesting outdoor locales like Joshua Tree National Park, and family attractions like Legoland and Sea World.
Stay right on the beach in Paradise By The Sea RV Resort in Oceanside California. With over 90 full hookup campsites, free wi-fi, and a heated pool and spa this campground is truly a resort. A recreation room is also available, complete with a complimentary Nintendo Wii and Sony PlayStation.
Restrooms are top-notch and laundry and trash services are available too.
Paradise By The Sea is open year round, making it a great destination for snowbirds and full-timers.
Beg Bend, TX: Maverick Ranch RV Park At Lajitas Resort
For a truly unique and out of the way RV adventure, Big Bend National Park in south Texas is a great destination. Located directly on the Rio Grande and Mexican border, this park spans over 800,000 square miles of southwestern landscape.
The park protects many native plant and animal species along with being home to both Texan and Mexican history.
Visit the Big Bend area in style at the Maverick Ranch RV Park At Lajitas Resort. This park offers generously sized, level sites in a resort setting.
Play golf at the renowned course located in the resort, relax in the spa, take a zip line tour, and more. Seriously … this place has more amenities than we can list here.
Rates are reasonable for this type of park at around $50 per night. Full hookups are of course included and large rigs are easily accommodated.
Arizona: Lake Havasu State Park
The Grand Canyon is great, but Arizona has so much more to offer. While the state is a bit warm during the summer months, the arid climate and vast swaths of public land make Arizona a fun destination for RVers.
For one of the best places to take your RV in Arizona, check out Lake Havasu State Park. Set on big, beautiful Lake Havasu, this park is a great spot for boating, fishing, swimming, and outdoor fun.
All sites have 50 amp electric hookups and water, but no sewer hookups. A dump station is available as well as restrooms and showers.
Visiting the Southwest
RVing in the Southwest U.S. can be a lot of fun. From rugged mountains to sweeping deserts, this area is both unique and fascinating.
If you decide to visit during the busy summer months, be sure to plan well in advance and get your reservations in early.
And if you’re coming from a cooler area, remember that it does get pretty warm in this part of the country during the summer. Make sure your air conditioner is in good shape if you have one and that your family is prepared for the heat.
If you’re looking for cooler weather during the summer check out our picks for the best RV destinations in the Pacific Northwest.