Camping for a Week Is Only $160 at These National Parks

Some of the most awe-inspiring places to camp across the United States are in the National Park system, which means that staying inside their boundaries is super affordable. Here is a sampling of attractions and prices for maintained campgrounds at different parks across the country. The mean price to stay at these destinations — parking and camping together — is around $160 per week. Have you packed your bags yet?

1. Acadia National Park

Trek up to Maine to Acadia National Park. You'll find Cadillac Mountain, the tallest point on the Atlantic coast, beautiful ocean views, countless acres of forest, and New England's classic rocky beaches. For seven-day access with your vehicle, you'll pay $25; it's only $12 for bikers, hikers, and pedestrians. From there, you have two camping locations from which to choose: Blackwoods Campground and Seawall Campground. Cost is between $22 and $30 per night. Reservations are recommended in the peak season from May through October.

2. Yosemite National Park

There are a whopping 13 campgrounds in California's Yosemite National Park. That doesn't mean finding a camping spot will necessarily be easy at this popular destination. With Yosemite Falls, Half Dome, Tuolumne Meadows, Cathedral Peak, and more attractions — you'll want to plan ahead. Daily camping fees range from $12 to $26, with parking adding another $30 for a seven-day pass ($15 for bike or foot access). Though most sites require reservations, six of the grounds are on a first come, first served basis.

3. Olympic National Park

With close to one million acres, Washington's Olympic National Park boasts everything from snowcapped peaks to wild winding rivers to gorgeous Pacific Coast shoreline. If you're unable to hike for some reason, check out 30-mile Quinault Rainforest Loop. The road snakes all the way around Lake Quinault on the south side of the park. You get access for your car for $20 a week or hike in for just $7. Camping is another $15 to $22 per day, depending on which of the 16 locations you choose. Most (15) of the campsites operate on a first come, first served basis.

4. Great Smoky Mountains National Park

You might not know that America's most visited national park is the Great Smoky Mountains. Its location straddling the North Carolina and Tennessee border makes its majestic mountains, diverse wildlife, and unique culture easily accessible to people traveling from all directions. There are a variety of camping options, including backcountry, frontcountry, group campgrounds, horse camps, and even LeConte Lodge (only reached by hiking). The grounds maintained by the park cost between $14 and $23. Oh, and entrance to this park is entirely free!

5. Glacier National Park

Between Logan Pass, the Highline Trail, St. Mary Lake, and Grinnell Glacier, there's plenty to see and do at Glacier National Park in Montana. There are 1,009 sites in all between the 13 campgrounds the park maintains. Prices range between $10 to $23 per night with an additional $25 for week-long parking during the summer months. Since many grounds operate on a first come, first served basis, you can check the status on this handy map for updates.

6. Grand Teton National Park

Majorly impressive alpine terrain is one of the highlights of Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. You can float the great Snake River, drive the scenic 42-mile park loop, hike the Jenny Lake Trail, and more. Park your car for $30 or walk your way in for just $15. Camping at one of the six campgrounds is $22 per site (some have a utility surcharge). No reservations are accepted. Maximum stay at the Jenny Lake grounds is seven nights per year.

7. Grand Canyon National Park

Of course, Arizona's Grand Canyon National Park has to make this ultimate list for its expansive views and stunning geology. Talk about huge: The canyon itself is a mile deep, 277 river miles long, and 18 miles at its widest. Not only is this park a true national treasure, but it's also considered one of the natural wonders of the world. Admission is $30 per vehicle. With camping, you need to act fast. There are three campgrounds total, and only two take reservations. Prices range between $18 to $25 per night with a variety of options.

8. Big Bend National Park

For mountains, desert, and all sorts of critters, visit Big Bend National Park in Texas. There are over 150 miles of trails that snake through desert oases, canyons, rivers, and more. Three frontcountry campgrounds offer 184 sites total for $14 a night. Vehicles cost $25 for the week and plain entry is $12 per person.

9. Badlands National Park

South Dakota's Badlands National Park has some impressive fossil beds among its rocky skyline. The Notch Trail is challenging but definitely worth the effort for the view at the end. And everyone in your family can see the sights by driving the Loop Scenic Byway. Entry costs $15 for the week via car or $7 if you hike or bike. There are two campgrounds that cost $18 per night for a basic tent site.

10. Shenandoah National Park

Would you believe the Shenandoah National Park is a mere 75 miles outside Washington, D.C.? Believe it. Getting your vehicle into the park will cost $20 for the week. Camping at one of the park's four campgrounds is a modest $15 to $17 per night. That's not a lot to enjoy a good chunk of the Appalachian Trail, Bearfence Mountain, and the Old Rag Mountain Hike.

For information on all parks, visit the National Park Service.

What's your favorite National Park?

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Guest's picture

Keep in mind that many of these parks fill up quickly. You may need to book your 2016 trip now.

Guest's picture
box trailer manufacturers

Great places to have camping. I really need some relaxing moments right now and this would be very perfect.

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edward jefferson

We’ve learned so much from being on the road and living our RV life style. We have also learned a lot from the wonderful people we have met along the way.

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Chris Hudsons

I am on the verge of throwing everything (corporate life) away and embark on a 2-3 month long camping trip in the hills. I am not a bad driver but have never driven my monster in the hills, hence, am a bit jittery.