10 Bucket List National Park Campgrounds for Ember OwnersJul 26, 2022
The Ember Overland and Overland Micro Series were designed for camping off-road and off-grid. But the same features that make our trailers well-suited for dispersed camping on BLM or National Forest Service land also make them perfect for camping without hookups in our magnificent National Park campgrounds. Ember’s standard and max solar options, large tank sizes, and double 20-pound propane tanks will allow you to dry camp for days without having to plug in or dump your tanks.
With that in mind, we have assembled a great list of amazing NPS campgrounds to help you plan your next adventure. All ten of these campgrounds have sites that are large enough for your Ember, and all ten of these campgrounds are stunning and beautiful. So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to start creating your own NPS bucket list. We hope you use the list below to get started!
Acadia National Park: Schoodic Woods Campground (Maine)
A rare modern national park campground, Schoodic Woods opened in 2015 and is the only Acadia National Park campground with electric hookups. It’s also the only park campground that is located on the mainland, near Winter Harbor, an hour’s drive from Bar Harbor and the Park Loop. If you are willing to drive a bit to see Acadia’s most popular attractions, staying at Schoodic Woods is the perfect way to be surrounded by epic scenery without battling the crowds. Although 78 of the 89 sites offer electricity, there are no sewer or water hookups. No matter, your Ember’s large tank sizes will help make a longer stay totally doable. Make sure to use your Ember’s rear receiver to load up your bike rack for the trip. Miles of hard-packed gravel bike paths are accessible directly from the campground, leading riders through winding, wooded terrain and along stunning, rocky shorelines.
Assateague Island National Seashore: Oceanside Campground (Maryland)
All of the camping areas in the national seashore are open year-round. From November 16th to March 14th, campsites are first-come, first-served. From March 15th through November 15th, reservations are required and can be made up to six months in advance. Sites are $30 per night, but keep in mind you will also have to pay the park entrance fee. All sites have a picnic table and fire ring, but there are no hookups. So, you will need to have your Ember prepped for a true dry camping experience. Some of the sites right on the beach have magnificent views of the Atlantic Ocean and direct access to the water. Make sure to secure your food at night–wild horses roam through the campground on the regular. Also, make sure to wake up early for at least one sunrise. If conditions cooperate, you will never forget it.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park: Deep Creek (North Carolina)
Deep Creek is one of the most popular creeks in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and the campground fills up quickly in the summer with visitors looking to fish, tube, and swim. The 92 campsites come equipped with fire rings, picnic tables, and grills. Flush toilets and potable water are available, but there is no on-site firewood for sale. The gateway town of Bryson City is just minutes away and hosts plenty of stores for stocking up on provisions, plus an array of outfitters for tubing, rafting, ziplining, horseback riding, and more. There are plenty of RV sites that will accommodate your Ember Overland Series travel trailer at Deep Creek. But you will need to go to recreation.gov and click on the individual site you want to reserve to see the max trailer length–there are no general guidelines posted.
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore: Platte River Campground (Michigan)
The Platte River Campground is open all year, but summer is when the big magic happens. Tubing or kayaking in the clear, warm waters of the Platte River and ending up in the crisp, cool waters of Lake Michigan is a transcendent NPS experience. Booking a site at Platte River can be difficult, so know your booking window and wake up early to snag a site. The stress of booking your site will be a distant memory once you pull into Platte River. The campground is cozy and shaded, and most sites are large and private. Some sites even offer electric hookups. But there is no water or sewer at the individual sites, so plan accordingly. The best spots almost look like two campsites, one for parking your RV and then another space behind that with a picnic table and fire ring for relaxing at night.
Glacier National Park: St. Mary Campground (Montana)
While other Glacier National Park campgrounds offer a more remote camping experience, the St. Mary Campground has easy access to Going-to-the-Sun Road, great wildlife viewing opportunities, and otherworldly mountain views. Plus, it is close to the St. Mary visitor center and shuttle service. The interior roads and the campsites themselves are not super friendly for larger RVs, but you will do fine in your Ember Overland Series travel trailer. Restrooms are clean and potable water is available, but other amenities are sparse. There can be bear activity in this campground, so please take caution, learn how to use bear spray and have it nearby, and follow guidelines for cooking outside and storing your food.
Badlands National Park: Cedar Pass Campground (South Dakota)
When it comes to campgrounds, sometimes it is all about location. There is absolutely nothing spectacular about the Cedar Pass Campground facility. The RV sites are unlevel, the bathrooms are less than sparkling, and the amenities are spartan at best. But the campground is in a spectacular location in Badlands National Park that is surrounded by astonishing beauty. Camping at Cedar Pass is a visually spectacular experience, particularly when a blood-red sunset colors the mountains that are just steps away. The best hikes in the park are nearby and when you come back to your site, just sitting in a camp chair and having a cold drink is a magical and profoundly relaxing experience. The NPS lodge is a short walk away from the campground and has an excellent camp store and a surprisingly good restaurant if you don’t feel like grilling back at your site.
Yellowstone National Park: Madison Campground (Wyoming)
If you want to be close to Yellowstone National Park’s most iconic locations, then Madison Campground will serve as a terrific basecamp. It is situated near the Madison River under a canopy of fragrant Lodgepole Pine Trees. West Yellowstone is 14 miles away if you want a nice dinner after exploring the park or if you need to make a run for supplies. The campground is perfectly located for exploring the wonderland that is Yellowstone’s lower loop. Magical locations like Grand Prismatic Springs, Old Faithful, and dozens of others are a short drive away. Most campsites are spacious and offer a bit of privacy, but many sites are not level, so come prepared. With almost 300 sites, Madison tends to get jam-packed in the summer months. But it holds a crowd incredibly well and still manages to serve as a peaceful, rustic retreat.
Grand Teton National Park: Gros Ventre Campground (Wyoming)
With almost 300 sites, Gros Ventre Campground (pronounced grow-vont) is the largest campground in Grand Teton National Park, and it might be the most beloved. You will see everything from solo campers pitching tents to veteran RV owners pulling in with massive motorhomes. Finding a site that is big enough for an Ember Overland Series travel trailer should be easy at Gros Ventre. Pretty much everyone loves this delightful campground because of its level sites, magnificent views, great location in the southeastern section of the park, and abundant opportunities for spotting wildlife. Moose wander in and around the campground almost every day. Anglers also love walking from their campsites to the Gros Ventre River, where they can catch whitefish and trout and plenty of ‘em.
Olympic National Park: Kalaloch Campground (Washington)
For those adventurous Ember owners who want to experience coastal Olympic National Park in all of its rugged glory and are willing to camp without hookups or shower facilities, there is no better place than Kalaloch Campground. There are a wide variety of site sizes, and only a handful have ocean views, but all of them have easy access to the beach just below the bluff. The mile-long Kalaloch Creek Nature trail also makes for a lovely walk as you follow the water out to the ocean. Plan on spending hours at Kalaloch exploring tide pools and looking for crabs and sea urchins. Swimming is allowed, but please take caution. Also, keep your eyes peeled for dolphins and seals; they make regular appearances.
Denali National Park: Riley Creek Campground (Alaska)
With 6 million acres of wild land, Denali is almost hard to comprehend. Riley Creek is the biggest campground in the park, and it offers the most services and the most convenient location. The campground is right inside of the park’s entrance, and it offers almost 150 sites that can accommodate RVs up to 40.’ So, you won’t have a problem finding a big enough site for your Ember. The best sites are semi-private and situated near fragrant spruce trees near Riley Creek. This campground is a good choice for most people because it is close to the visitor center (which is a hub for hiking trails) and Riley Creek Mercantile which offers basic camping supplies, groceries, and fresh coffee.