Cool summer camping is easy for Colorado RVers like me. From June to September, I’m beating the heat in the Rocky Mountain high country. Of course, other cool mountain town destinations are out there too, and because my home has wheels, adding them to my bucket list makes sense. From the West Coast Cascades to the Whiteface region of the Adirondacks, these four are on my RVing bucket list. Keep reading and you won’t need much convincing to add them to yours, too.
Embrace Your Inner Bavarian in Leavenworth, Washington
There are four places named “Leavenworth” in the U.S. But only one is a cool place to be during the hottest time of the year. Nestled in the eastern Cascades, Leavenworth sits at 1,171-feet altitude, just high enough to whisk you away from scorching summer temperatures. Surrounded by towering alpine peaks and bordered by the cool, crystal clear Icicle River, this former lumber town was re-imagined into a West Coast Bavaria in the 1960s. But it has so much more going for it than bakeries, beer and brats.
- For outdoorsy RVers, there’s epic hiking, rafting, and water sports that hardly scratch the surface of things to do in Leavenworth.
- You’ll want to stay all summer and into fall to hike, bike, paddle and fish your way through the seasons.
- Then there are Leavenworth’s annual celebrations you won’t want to miss, like Bavarian Bike & Brew (June), Kinderfest (July), the Washington State Autumn Leaf Festival (September), and of course Oktoberfest.
Where to RV Camp in Leavenworth
Close to town but away from the hubbub, Leavenworth RV Campground is a 300-acre riverfront getaway in beautiful forests & meadows. Hop into your kayak or paddle onto Alpine Trout Lake, located just four miles away. There’s plenty of wine tasting, too, along the scenic backroads. Back at base camp, this family-friendly RV park keeps everyone entertained with amenities like mini-golf, hiking trails, pickleball and disc golf.
Go Beyond Glacier in Kalispell, Montana
The 1 million epic acres of Glacier National Park should be on every nature lover’s bucket list. But summer visitors seem to arrive at the same time. If you’d rather savor the park in quieter times, expand your northwest Montana itinerary to include Kalispell. Located in the Flathead Valley and just 32 miles from the park’s west entrance, this outdoorsy mountain mecca has something for everyone. One summer just isn’t enough.
- Tall alpine peaks, clear lakes, wild rivers, and endless trails invite the explorer in all of us to soak up every ounce of the Flathead Valley’s stunning scenery, wildlife, and far-reaching western horizons.
- Spend time sailing Flathead Lake, the largest freshwater lake west of the Mississippi.
- Cast your line in the clear waters of the Flathead River, or challenge your off-roading skills on bike, horse or ATV.
- You’ll want to cap off your daily adventures in downtown Kalispell restaurants featuring Montana-made cuisine and craft beverages.
Where to RV Camp in Kalispell
You won’t be more than ten minutes from downtown Kalispell and 30 minutes from Glacier National Park when you make Rocky Mountain Hi RV Park and Campground your summer RV getaway. The forested creekside getaway with super-wide RV sits and plenty of pull-thrus feels miles from civilization but is close enough for everything you need in town. Book early, since this highly rated park is one of Kalispell’s best places to stay for RVers.
You’ll Want More Wasatch After Visiting Heber Valley, Utah
Let’s be real: driving an RV through Salt Lake City isn’t exactly relaxing. But it’s worth the trip if you’re headed to the Heber Valley. Located less than one hour from the state capital, 30 minutes from Orem and minutes from Utah’s famous winter ski towns, this cool camping getaway in the gorgeous Wasatch Front is a bucket list destination for RVers.
- Explore three state parks with huge reservoirs, book yourself a guided backcountry adventure on ATV or horse, go mountain biking and hike to your heart’s content.
- Want more? Try Blue Ribbon fly fishing on the Provo River, world-class golfing on local courses, sampling locally grown food, or ride the vintage Heber Valley historic railroad.
- And don’t forget the fun at annual events like the Wasatch Mountains Music Festival and the Mountain Valley Stampede Rodeo.
Where to RV Camp in Heber Valley
Awarded the coveted perfect 10 Good Sam rating, as well as being voted #1 Best Luxury RV Resort by USA Today, Mountain Valley RV Resort is Heber Valley’s best RV park for short and long-term visitors. Recently built with big-rig RVs in mind, the resort is family-friendly but also features a special section with adults-only hotel-style amenities, including a clubhouse, fitness center, pool, spa, pickleball courts and dog park.
Go Wild in Wilmington, NY
To a Coloradoan like me, a summer RV getaway at 1,093-feet altitude seems like an unlikely place to beat the heat. But with an average summer temperature that hovers at 76-degrees Fahrenheit, Wilmington weather is mild enough for a “real” Santa’s workshop at the nearby North Pole village. If Santa can call Wilmington home during summer, then it’s cool enough for me. Here’s why I’m putting this special destination on my summer RVing bucket list:
- Wilmington sits at the base of awe-inspiring Whiteface Mountain, with slopes so steep that it was home to the 1932 and 1980 Olympic Winter Games at Lake Placid.
- Over 62% of the town is Forest Preserve land. This means endless recreation possibilities, like the Flume Trails, with ten miles of riverfront hiking and biking paths.
- The majestic Ausable River flowing through town is a liquid playground for all types of river sports, from fishing to rafting.
- And, of course, Santa Clause’s North Pole workshop is waiting to greet you with Christmas in July and other fun seasonal events.
Where to stay in Wilmington
In the Adirondacks, the highly rated North Pole Resorts is as idyllic as it gets in summertime. Big rig friendly with roomy sites and upgrade options, this Wilmington RV Park destination is packed with amenities like multiple pools, playgrounds, and dozens of ways to keep the kids happy. Surrounded by 100 acres of forest land, it’s the only base camp I want for exploring the Whiteface region.
Get Out of Your Comfort Zone and Into More Cool Places
Once you find your way to a cool mountain town for RV camping, it’s easy to get comfortable. Fifteen years ago I discovered how easy it is to beat the heat in Colorado and it’s been our number one summer RV destination ever since. But as these scenic mountain town getaways prove, it pays to get outside your comfort zone all year long. In summer, North America has a long list of great destinations just waiting for all of us to explore.