Have you ever wanted to do a cross-country hike, but without sleeping on the ground every night? Consider going RV camping near long distance hiking trails, and doing day hikes instead. Just choose different segments along your preferred routes. Set up base camp. Then hike small trail segments, one glorious adventure at a time. These ideas can help you get started.
Here’s your Options for the Best RV Camping Near Long-Distance Hiking Trails in the US
America’s top three hiking trails are known as the “Triple Crown” trails. These routes are the Appalachian Trail, the Continental Divide Trail, and the Pacific Crest Trail. Only a small number of people “thru hike” these routes in a single trip. Most hikers break their journey up into dozens of backpacking adventures instead. If you’re not up for carrying a pack the whole way, your RV and a partner can help you tackle your dream hike.
Your hiking trail co-pilot can drop you off at different points along your chosen trail. Then, they can meet up with you at pre-determined RV campgrounds near long-distance hiking trails like the Appalachian, the Continental Divide, and the Pacific Crest trails. The best part is they can welcome you back with all the creature comforts your RV can carry.
Sound good? Get started planning your RV trip along America’s top three Triple Crown hiking trails. Here are some trail milestones to kick off your RV trip itinerary.
Triple Crown Trail #1: The Appalachian Trail (AT)
Clocked at 2194.3 miles long, the AT is the longest hiking-only footpath on the planet. According to the Georgia Appalachian Trail Club, each year about 3 million people hike it in small segments. Sometimes they hike it in one shot. The AT runs north-south between Maine and Georgia. You’ll find plenty of great RV camping along the way.
RV Camping Near the Appalachian Trail’s Southern Terminus in Georgia
If you have a smaller RV, head into the hills to Amicalola Falls State Park & Lodge. The road to get there is steep and twisty, and not for the faint hearted. But it puts you just eight miles from the famous Springer Mountain Southern Terminus of the Appalachian Trail.
If your RV is a big rig, or you just don’t like rough mountain roads, set up a base camp at Diamond Lure Campground, located about 1 hour away in Ellijay, Georgia.
RV Camping Near the Appalachian Trial’s Halfway Point
Pine Grove Furnace State Park in Gardners, Pennsylvania is only about a 15 minute walk away from the halfway point of the Appalachian Trail. Be sure to visit the Appalachian Trail Museum located right inside the park.
Or, go enjoy full hookups at any of the top rated RV campgrounds in Gardners. These parks are ready to welcome hikers and RVers alike!
RV Camping Near the Northern Terminus of the Appalachian Trail
The peak of beautiful Mount Katahdin marks the Northern Terminus of the AT. A hike to the top of this milestone requires a visit to Baxter State Park, where it’s located. Be warned that it’s a busy place. You’ll need to plan ahead to secure a Mount Katahdin hiking permit. This segment requires plenty of advance RV trip planning before arriving.
Nearby, RV parks in Millinocket, Maine offer tons of great options for RV camping near hiking adventures on the AT. A popular full-service RV campground near the Northern Terminus of the AT is Wilderness Edge Campground.
Triple Crown Trail #2: The Continental Divide Trail (CDT)
Want to tackle the country’s most difficult thru-hike? This epic journey is for you. According to the CDT Trail Coalition, the trail stretches for about 2,800 miles vertically through the United States. You’ll hike from the border of Mexico to the edge of Alberta, Canada. Rugged, isolated and lonely, the CDT is legendary for its remote, tough, high altitude hiking experiences. Thru-hikers consider it the most challenging National Scenic Trail in the USA.
RV Camping Near the CDT Southern Terminus, Animus New Mexico
Your CDT journey begins at the Crazy Cook Monument in Animas, New Mexico. Located just a few miles north of the Mexican border, it’s a rugged little outpost. The spot greets a fair number of eager CDT thru-hikers each year. The best place for RV camping near the Continental Divide’s Southern Terminus is Smugglers Roost Campground. It’s basic, but run by friendly folks ready to help make your journey unforgettable.
RV Camping Near the Continental Divide Trail Halfway Point
Cruise up to the Colorado / Wyoming border to a remote outpost called Encampment (aka Riverside). Like the trail itself, the halfway point of the CDT is remote and wild. But you’ll be comfy while RV camping near the Continental Divide Trail. A basic campground for RV camping near long-distance hiking access to the CDT is the US Forest Service Bottle Creek Campground. Or, you can stay in full-hookup comfort at nearby Lazy Acres Campground and Motel.
RV Camping Near the Continental Divide Trail Northern Terminus
Get out your passport to hike the CDT Northern Terminus at Alberta’s Waterton Park. This is the lowest point of the CDT at 4,200’ elevation. It’s relatively easy to get there by RV. Just drive about one hour from St. Mary, Montana in Glacier National Park. Then cross the Canada border into Waterton, Alberta. The northern terminus of the CDT is well-marked at Waterton Provincial Park.
You have a few choices for RV camping near the CDT terminus. Stay inside the park at Waterton Park Townsite Campground. Or, make your full-hookups base camp just 15 minutes away at Crooked Creek Campground.
Triple Crown Trail #3: The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT)
The PCT is an estimated 2,650 miles long (give or take 10 miles). Nobody really knows for sure how long it is, according to the Pacific Crest Trail Association. “The PCT has never been mapped with tools that would provide a truly accurate distance for the trail,” they say. This long-distance hiking trail crosses through federal and state wilderness lands in California, Oregon, and Washington.
RV Camping Near the PCT Southern Terminus in Campo, California
Similar to the Southern Terminus of the CDT, the PCT begins along the Mexican border. The route starts in a remote outpost east of San Diego, known as Campo, California. You have a few options for RV camping near long-distance hiking access to the start of the Pacific Crest Trail. RV camping near this long distance hiking trail includes public dry camping sites and private full-hookup campsites at Lake Moreno.
RV Camping Near the PCT Halfway Point near Chester, California
The PCT’s notable halfway monument is a well-marked spot near Lake Almanor in California. Located at mile 1320.7, it shows you’re at 1320 miles to the northern terminus in Canada, or 1320.7 miles to the southern terminus at the Mexican border.
The cute mountain town of Chester is ready to make your long-distance hike dream come true with plenty of RV campgrounds near the halfway point on the Pacific Crest Trail.
RV Camping Near the PCT Northern Terminus in British Columbia
Get your passport ready and cross the Canadian border to reach the end of your long-distance PCT hike. British Columbia is where you’ll find the PCT Northern Terminus marker in Pasayten Wilderness next to E. C. Manning Provincial Park.
You have a few choices for Manning RV parks near the end of the Pacific Crest Trail. A popular favorite for PCT hikers is the gorgeous, remote campground at Lightening Lake.
Find More RV Camping Near Long-Distance Hiking Trails
Ready to get started with your epic long-distance hiking dream? The RVers at Campground Reviews are ready to help make it happen. Turn to the Campground Reviews community for trip tips and things to do around your bucket list RV camping near long-distance hiking trails.