Fall is one of the most beautiful times of the year! In addition to the colors of the leaves changing, the weather has become more comfortable. Nights and mornings are cool. However, fall afternoons are perfect for outdoor activities. Fall is also an excellent opportunity to enjoy a scenic trip in your campervan or RV!
In addition to the beauty and the weather, less crowded campgrounds make for a more peaceful getaway. Browse Classic Vans’ list of favorite fall campgrounds and consider planning your fall motorhome trip.
Did you know?
The brilliant reds, oranges, and yellows that draw so many to the great outdoors in the fall aren’t just a random show – there’s science behind it!
Leaves are green because of a pigment called chlorophyll, which helps plants make food from sunlight. As the days shorten and temperatures drop in the fall, plants get a signal to prepare for winter.
Chlorophyll breaks down and fades, revealing other pigments that are always present in the leaves but hidden. These pigments – carotenes (yellows and oranges) and anthocyanins (reds and purples) – create the dazzling fall colors we love.
So, when you’re marveling at those fiery fall landscapes, you’re witnessing nature’s way of getting ready for the colder months ahead!
West coast campgrounds
Address: 46001 Hwy 62, zip 97536. Located halfway between Medford and Crater Lake National Park on Highway 62 (Crater Lake Highway).
Season: Open year round
Price: Rates vary, starting at $37 per night. However, the longer you stay, the larger the discount you receive. Hi-speed Wi-Fi included, as well as hookups and DirecTV capability.
Crater Lake National Park is one of the nation’s pure wonders. Famous for the lake’s dramatic plunge and deep blue color, the bright autumn leaves make a beautiful contrast. Prospect RV Park is nestled in the forest along the upper Rogue River. This RV park is perfect for a weekend motorhome getaway and is incredibly comfortable for long-term RV living.
Address: Icicle Rd, Leavenworth, WA, zip code: 98826. Located in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest in Northwest Washington.
Season: April 26 – October 19 (peak season)
Price: $100 per night, no electric hookups
While on the pricey side, the Bridge Creek Campground in Leavenworth, Washington, makes up for cost in peaceful beauty and size (ideal for large groups). The thick forest, alpine peaks and picturesque valleys make posting up here stunning in the early fall months.
Address: 548-335 Old Highway Rd. (Lassen County Rd 407) McArthur, CA 96056
Season: Check the website for campground availability.
Price: Varies depending on hookups. Discounts for monthly rates are available as well.
The dramatic and diverse landscape of Mt. Lassen, combined with fall colors, is absolutely stunning. Canoeing and kayaking are great early fall activities along the Fall River, Hat Creek, Big Lake and Baum Lake. Fishing, hiking, and much more are at your fingertips in Lassen National Forest.
Address: 1515 P. Avenue Madrid, Iowa, 50156
Season: Open year round
Price: $14-$16 for standard electric sites and $3 additional charge per night for sewer/water hook-up
Take Canyon Drive and view the vibrant forest as its leaves begin to fall. With 10 miles of hiking along Pea’s Creek Canyon, you will surely not miss out on stunning views. Biking, canoeing and fishing are also popular activities at this park.
Address: E 7609 Otter Lake Rd. Munising, Michigan, 49862. Otter Bay Campground is located on Otter Lake in the Hithiwa Forest near Munising, Michigan. The Upper Peninsula refers to the area on the Northern portion of Lake Superior. Take M-94, south of Munising. Take Buckhorn Rd. and stay to the left.
Price: $20 per night without electric, $25-$30 with electric and $35 with electric and water
Season: Open through November
The Upper Peninsula is regarded as one of the best places to view nature at its best. In the Fall, the foliage turns vibrant colors alongside deep blue lake water. Otter Lake Campground is great for mountain biking, ATVing, canoeing, fishing and much more! The site conveniently features a laundry site, dump station, water station and a shower house.
Address: 200 Irvine Flats Road, Polson Montana, 59860
Price: Cost varies depending on time of year and site type.
Season: Open until mid-October
If you have a Class A motorhome, this resort is the Country Club of Class A RV’s. Amenities include multiple laundry/shower facilities, a dog park, and a luxury gym.
Nearby attractions include scenic Flathead Lake, overlooking Glacier National Park, golf resorts, fishing resorts, horseback riding opportunities, and much more!
East coast campgrounds
Address: The park is located on Route 3, 5 miles south of Bar Harbor.
Season: Open year round
Price: $30 drive-up tent, camper and motorhome $60 group tent sites
Blackwoods Campground is located in Acadia National Park in beautiful Maine. Fall foliage is absolutely spectacular! Drive Park Loop Road and take in the amazing colors of the forest, shores and mountain peaks. Make a reservation quickly! When the weather’s nice, campsites fill up fast.
Address: Located off Interstate 20 at exit 77 on Highway 13 in Morton, Mississippi.
Season: Open year round
Price: $28 per night for full electrical, water and sewer hook-up
Roosevelt State Park in Morton, Mississippi (located between Meridian and Jackson) features a gently rolling landscape, which is particularly beautiful in Autumn.
Roosevelt State Park has something for everyone with a long list of recreation opportunities, including boating, disc golf, hiking, tennis courts, fishing, deer viewing, biking, bird watching and much more.
The park also is excellent for all different levels of camping. You can bring your motorhome or RV, tent camp and rent or rent a cabin. Conveniently close to town for shopping, dining, medical care, churches and much more.
Our top pick for fall camping
Pisgah Inn Campground: Brevard, NC
Address: 408 Blue Ridge Pkwy, Pisgah Forest, NC, zip code: 28768. Nestled in the heart of the Smoky Mountains.
Accessible from various cities, including Clyde, Waynesville, and Asheville, the Pisgah Inn is a prime location for those wanting to bask in the splendor of fall foliage. The journey is a treat as you drive on the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway, winding through the mountains, with fall colors painting a breathtaking landscape around you.
Once you reach the Pisgah Inn, you have options:
- Stay at the Pisgah Inn: Operated by the park, this hotel offers comfortable accommodations with the added luxury of a fancy restaurant. The rooms provide panoramic views, allowing guests to enjoy the fall colors without even stepping outside.
- Opt for Mount Pisgah Campgrounds: Located just across the street from the hotel, the campground is split into tent and RV camping sections. It’s an ideal spot for those who prefer the rustic charm of camping but with modern conveniences. The bathrooms are equipped with showers, ensuring comfort for all campers.
Whether you choose the hotel’s elegance or the campground’s simplicity, the Pisgah Inn area is a must-visit spot in the fall. The vibrant colors of the Smoky Mountains during this season make it a favorite among tourists and camping enthusiasts alike.
Season: Open year-round, after November 1st, walk-up season
Price: Check the website for current pricing.
Located in the beautiful Great Smoky Mountains, Smokemont is open year-round and features diverse plant and animal life. During the fall months, foliage is spectacular! Bundle up. Temperatures are beginning to drop, but it is well worth the winter coat.
Address: Located on the Kancamagus Highway (Route 112), 5 miles east of Lincoln, New Hampshire.
Season: Open year-round. However, services are not available in the winter months.
Price: Check the website for pricing and availability.
White Mountain National Forest is one of New England’s most fantastic places to take in amazing fall scenery. Hiking trails, plant and animal viewing, and winter sports (skiing, snowboarding, tubing, sledding, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing) will keep you active, even in the winter months.
Best campgrounds for stargazing on your fall motorhome trip
Who doesn’t love looking up at the stars? Stargazing is a great way to unwind, especially when you’re out camping. There’s something special about being out in nature, with the quiet around you and watching the sky.
If you’re hitting the road with your motorhome this fall, we have some top campgrounds to check out—places where the stars shine bright and the views are amazing.
Did you know?
The starlight we see on a clear night has traveled across unimaginable distances to reach our eyes. The universe is like a grand time machine. Some of the stars we gaze at might have emitted that light millions of years ago.
This means that every time you look at the stars, you’re peeping into the past.
Now, onto our list of five campgrounds that offer unforgettable stargazing opportunities:
Address: 4639 Cherry Springs Rd, Coudersport, PA, zip code: 16915. Located in the Susquehannock State Forest in Northern Pennsylvania
Season: Open year-round (peak season for stargazing: May to October)
Price: For current state park prices and services, please visit this pricing page on the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation & Natural Resources.
Cherry Springs is a haven for stargazers. Its remote location keeps light pollution to a minimum. The Milky Way shines so brightly on clear nights that it can cast your shadow. It’s a favorite spot for amateur astronomers and anyone who loves a starry sky.
Address: Lake Powell, UT, zip code: 84533. Located in the southeast corner of Utah.
Season: Open year-round (peak season for stargazing: March to November)
Price: $10-$20 entrance fee
Check out the National Park Services Fees & Passes for current pricing.
Designated as the world’s first International Dark Sky Park, Natural Bridges offers some of the clearest night skies. Three natural stone bridges become even more magical under a blanket of stars, making for a unique stargazing experience.
Did you know?
“International Dark Sky Park” is a designation the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) gives to protected public lands that possess exceptional starry skies and natural nocturnal environments. These parks take extraordinary measures to minimize light pollution and promote astronomy-based public education and outreach.
The primary goals of this designation are:
- Protection of night skies: By reducing light pollution within the parks, the natural night sky is preserved, allowing visitors to experience the beauty of a pristine starry night.
- Promotion of astronomy and science: These parks often have programs, events, and facilities that educate visitors about the importance of dark skies, the basics of astronomy, and the science behind stars, planets, and other celestial bodies.
- Public education: The parks aim to educate the public about the negative effects of light pollution on wildlife, human health, and cultural heritage and how to reduce light pollution in their communities.
The designation encourages parks and protected areas worldwide to adopt responsible outdoor lighting policies and public education efforts that align with the mission of the IDA. Over time, the number of International Dark Sky Parks has grown, offering stargazers many beautiful spots worldwide to enjoy the night sky in its natural state.
Address: Big Bend National Park, Terlingua, TX, zip code: 79834. Located on the U.S.-Mexico border.
Season: Open year-round (peak season for stargazing: October to April)
Price: $15-$30 entrance fee
Important: Check for alerts on the National Park website. The park will be closed during the first week of October.
Away from city lights, Big Bend offers spectacular stargazing. You can see the Milky Way, planets, and even occasional meteor showers on clear nights. It’s a vast, open space where the sky feels endless.
Address: Death Valley, CA, zip code: 92328. Stretching across California and Nevada
Season: Open year-round (peak season for stargazing: November to April due to cooler temperatures)
Price: $22-$60 per night
Important: Check for operating hours and seasons on the National Park website.
While Death Valley is known for its scorching heat, it’s also a stargazer’s dream. The dry air and remote location mean very dark skies. It’s a place where stars, planets, and galaxies pop out in incredible detail.
Address: Mauna Kea Access Rd, Hilo, HI, zip code: 96720. Located on the Big Island of Hawaii
Season: Open year-round (peak season for stargazing: April to October)
Price: Base camps are free, but no electric hook-ups.
Although not a traditional campground, Mauna Kea is worth a mention. At nearly 14,000 feet, you’re above the clouds. The air is thin and clear, making stars appear incredibly bright. It’s a spot where you’ll feel like you’re touching the stars.
Respect campground rules for everyone’s enjoyment
When visiting any park focusing on preserving the natural night environment, campers should be aware of some common rules and guidelines to ensure they contribute to the park’s mission.
- Light restrictions: Use only necessary lighting, and keep it directed downward. Red lights are often recommended since they are less disruptive to night vision and the nocturnal environment. Many parks sell or lend red cellophane to cover white flashlights.
- Limit vehicle use at night: Driving around can disturb wildlife and other campers, and vehicle lights can contribute to light pollution. Stick to designated parking areas.
- Stay on designated trails and campsites: This helps reduce environmental impact and minimizes the chance of getting lost.
- Quiet hours: Respect designated quiet hours, usually late evening to early morning, to provide a peaceful experience for all visitors.
- No drones at night: Flying drones can be disruptive and potentially dangerous in the dark and may not be allowed in certain parks.
- Pack it in, pack it out: Always practice leave no trace principles, including packing out all your trash and minimizing your environmental impact.
- Respect wildlife: Remember that nocturnal animals are active at night. Give them space, don’t feed them, and observe them from afar.
- Check for fire restrictions: Some parks might have fire restrictions, especially during dry seasons. Always use designated fire rings or grills if fires are allowed.
- Reservations and permits: Some popular parks require reservations or special permits, especially during peak stargazing events like meteor showers.
- Prepare for the elements: It can be hot during the day and cold at night in many desert locations. Bring appropriate clothing and gear.
Ready for your next camping adventure?
Now that you’re equipped with some fantastic destinations in mind, it’s time to gear up for the journey! The right camper van can make all the difference, turning a simple trip into a memorable family adventure.
Whether you’re looking for something cozy for a couple or spacious for the whole family, we’ve got the perfect fit. Check out our affordable camping van selection and find the ideal companion for your next escapade.