20 Best RV Camping Lakes
Some of the very best places to camp in the United States are near lakes. Lakes offer cool breezes, pretty views, and plenty of recreation opportunities. Some of the prettiest sunsets can be found at the lake, and sunrises on the lake are to die for. Of course, the fact that so many campers enjoy lake camping is also a draw for those who enjoy the community aspect of camping.
All that said, some lake camping spots are better than others, and if you have your choice of any lake in your area, you’re probably going to want to choose the very best lake camping option there is. The problem is that it can be hard to know which spots are the best until you’ve visited them all, and considering how many lakes there are in this country, this could take quite a while.
Fortunately, we have the internet, with plenty of camper reviews and articles such as this one.
In this post we will discuss the best RV lake camping spots in the country. After reading this, you will be an expert on lakefront campgrounds, so you can make the best choice for you and your family.
Lake Campgrounds Near Me
The first option is to search for “best lake camping near me” or “lake campgrounds near me”. Depending on where you are, this should turn up a decent list of options. From there, you can use camper reviews to figure out which options won’t work at all and which are the “best campgrounds near me with lakes”.
Unfortunately, this kind of research can take a lot of time. If you prefer to skip the research when searching for “camping lakes near me”, read on to discover our favorite options in each region of the country. There’s sure to be an option close to home, and every lake on this list is well worth visiting.
Best RV Camping Lakes in the West
The western side of the country offers tons of amazing RV lake camping. In fact, if you’re wondering where to travel to find some of the best lakeside campgrounds in the world, this would be the area. We had a really hard time narrowing down the options in this region, but we did manage it, and our final picks are listed below.
Crater Lake — Oregon
Considering it was the 6th place to be named an official national park way back in 1902, you better believe Crater Lake is a gorgeous sight to behold. The incredible blue waters of this lake are over 1,900 feet deep, giving the body of water a mysterious vibe.
In Crater Lake National Park, you can ride a trolley around the lake, go for a bike ride, hop in for a scuba dive, or head out on a hike. Plenty of amazing animals call this place home, making it an even more wonderful park to visit.
Lake Powell — Utah and Arizona
No matter where you go, Utah and Arizona are amazing places to go RVing. That said, Lake Powell is one of our favorite Utah camping locations. This lovely body of water is surrounded by the iconic scenery of Utah and is home to the incredible Rainbow Bridge. This is the tallest natural bridge in the world and is considered sacred by the Native American people.
In addition to the Rainbow Bridge, visitors can also enjoy boating on the lake. Of course, visits to Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, and the Old West-style town of Kanab should also be added to the to-do list.
Lake Mead — Nevada
The largest reservoir in the country, Lake Mead is an awe-inspiring place to visit. This reservoir is on the Colorado River and is contained by the incredible Hoover Dam, a must-see for anyone who visits the area. Additionally, you will want to make sure you make time to see O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Bridge and pay a visit to the nearby city of Las Vegas.
Fishing is a popular activity for lake visitors, with bass and catfish both being caught here on a regular basis. On top of the fabulous fishing, you can also count on some pretty fantastic views to stare at while waiting for a fish to bite.
Bear Lake — Utah and Idaho
Straddling the border of Utah and Idaho, Bear Lake is a unique body of water. You see, the freshwater in this lake contains calcium-carbonate, giving it an extra sparkly quality and an unusual aqua-blue color. As you might imagine, this is mesmerizing to look at and captures the attention of all who visit.
Fortunately, the lake is home to a state park, making it easy to visit often. Beaches are readily available around the lake, as are marinas, making this a great place for boating, swimming, and fishing.
Shasta Lake — California
California has a number of beautiful lakes. One of our favorites is Shasta Lake. This body of water is technically a reservoir (though nobody refers to it as such) and is held in by the 9th largest dam in the country.
Watercraft of all shapes and sizes float on the pretty waters, and those who don’t own their own craft can rent kayaks, canoes, motorboats, or even houseboats. There are also many attractions in the area, including museums, hiking trails, and caverns.
Lake Havasu — Arizona
Most people don’t even consider lakeside camping in Arizona, but it certainly does exist. Not only that, Arizona is also home to Lake Havasu, one of the coolest lakes in the country.
This lake offers sandy beaches, mountain views, and even the relocated London Bridge! Marinas make this a fabulous place for water sports, and the history of the area draws in history buffs of all ages.
Flathead Lake — Montana
Flathead Lake is the largest natural freshwater lake on the western side of the country. It’s incredibly deep, with crystal clear waters that just beg visitors to dive in for a swim. Boating and fishing are also options at this wonderful Montana lake, and we recommend trying all of these awesome activities.
Besides spending time at the lake, we also recommend traveling just 30 miles away to the extraordinary Glacier National Park. Additionally, the town of Kalispell is nearby and absolutely adorable.
Lake Tahoe — Nevada and California
1,000 feet deep and as blue as they come, Lake Tahoe is the second deepest lake in the country, and one of the most popular. It is surrounded by mountains, meaning those who spend time at this lake will have beautiful views no matter where they look.
In addition to lovely things to see, the area offers casinos, ski resorts, museums, Olympic sites, golf courses, and even in-lake scuba diving.
Grand Lake — Colorado
Colorado is easily one of the best states to visit with an RV. You can’t beat the scenery offered here, and the state caters to the outdoorsy crowd for sure. One of our favorite places to RV camp in Colorado is Grand Lake.
Grand Lake is considered by many to be “The Soul of the Rockies.” This gorgeous lake is located in Rocky Mountain National Park and is surrounded by all the beauty you’d expect from an NPS site. Whether you visit in summer or winter, you’ll find plenty of outdoor recreation in, on, and around the beautiful Grand Lake.
Great Salt Lake — Utah
While camping at the Great Salt Lake isn’t quite like traditional lake camping, it’s still an experience everyone should have at least once. The area is rich with history and culture, meaning there is plenty to see, do, and learn. The ecosystem of the Salt Lake is absolutely fascinating and well worth learning about, and the bizarre feeling of floating in the salt-laden water is unlike anything else you’ll ever experience.
Best RV Camping Lakes in the South
Because it tends to be such a warm area, the south is a wonderful place to do some lake RV camping. Doing so allows you to get outside and experience the wonders of nature in comfort, even in the extremely hot southern summers.
There are quite a few good campgrounds with lakes in this region, but we’ve pointed out our favorites in the list below.
Smith Mountain Lake — Virginia
Considered the “Jewel of the Blue Ridge Mountains” Smith Mountain Lake is an absolutely gorgeous body of water found in the equally beautiful state of Virginia. As the host of competition fishing events, you can bet this is an excellent place to fish, and the nearby town offers plenty in the way of eateries and shopping.
Nearby attractions include the Booker T. Washington National Monument, as well and The Crooked Road Music Trail. That said, even just sitting and looking out at this gem of a lake is enough for many.
Lake Lanier — Georgia
Georgia is full of surprising little gems. One of these is the reservoir referred to as Lake Lanier. This pretty body of water is located just 45 minutes north of Atlanta, meaning camping here gives you the best of both worlds; access to the city and the peace of camping in nature. Fishing, swimming, and boating are all popular activities, and the lake even has a water slide for young campers to enjoy.
Lake Ouachita — Arkansas
Arkansas is a surprisingly pretty place. And one of the things that makes it so pretty? Dozens of sparkling lakes, ponds, and rivers. One of our favorites of these bodies of water is Lake Ouachita.
Lake Ouachita sits right outside of Hot Springs, Arkansas and is surrounded by the beauty of the state. Check out the hot springs at Three Sisters’ Springs, do some fishing in the lovely lake, and leave feeling refreshed and reconnected with Mother Nature.
Lake Livingston — Texas
Looking for lake RV camping in Texas? If so, Lake Livingston is the place for you. This lovely lake is surrounded by nice campgrounds and RV parks, making it a cinch to find somewhere awesome to park the rig.
Because it’s located in the Pineywoods of Texas, you can expect a gorgeous natural setting with lots of hiking and geocaching opportunities. That said, the area is only about an hour outside of Houston, meaning you can easily visit the city to see local attractions.
Best RV Camping Lakes in the Northeast
Do you live in the northeast part of the US? We found two fantastic lakes that we absolutely adore in this area. There are of course plenty more, but by visiting one of the options listed below, you can rest easy knowing you’ll be treated to a wonderful camping experience full of water fun and gorgeous views.
Lake George — New York
The Adirondack Mountains are among the most beautiful places in New York State. It should then come as no surprise that a lake within these mountains is one of our favorite lake camping spots in the northeast. Lake George is the name of this sparkling body of water, and it is lovely.
Little islands provide fun places to explore, and hiking and mountain biking are both popular activities for visitors to the lake. Fishing is another great pastime, and mini golf, eateries, and attractions help ensure you won’t get bored while visiting the area.
Moosehead Lake — Maine
The largest mountain lake on the eastern side of the US, Moosehead Lake is a truly beautiful body of water. In fact, it’s so glorious that people often refer to the lake as “Maine’s Crown Jewel”.
The lake offers fabulous fishing opportunities, and the surrounding forests are a hiker’s dream come true. This is the place to go for solitude in nature, and it’s a spot that will truly help you reconnect with the world around you.
Best RV Camping Lakes in the Midwest
Finally, there is the midwest. In this area, a day at the lake is the only kind of “beach day” you’ll get. Therefore, the people of the midwest really know how to do a day at the lake up right. Lucky for them, they also have some lovely lakes to enjoy on these lakeside beach days. Our favorites are listed below.
Lake of the Ozarks — Missouri
Known for its caves, caverns, and other amazing natural features, Missouri is also a wonderful place to go RV lake camping. Besides the two state parks near the lake, you’ll also find wineries, water parks, mini golf, and plenty of live music in the area. Clearly, there’s something for everyone in this magical Missouri haven, and we highly recommend it to anyone looking to camp in the state.
Lake Michigan — Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin
There’s something magical about the Great Lakes, and Lake Michigan might just be our favorite of the five. Offering miles and miles of lovely, sandy beaches, this lake can be visited from four different states and boasts plenty of wonderful campground options.
Enormous sand dunes grace one side of the lake, making a gorgeous and unique landscape that is well worth seeing for yourself. Meanwhile, the city of Chicago sits next to the lake, making the city-dwellers feel more at home during their visit.
Lake McConaughy — Nebraska
The largest reservoir in Nebraska, Lake McConnaughy is a lovely sight to behold, especially during a warm Nebraskan summer. The sand on the beaches surrounding this lake is a brilliant white, and the natural beauty of the area will not go unnoticed.
Be sure to visit the Lake McConaughy visitor’s center, which is home to a theater that plays educational films about the lake, as well as some aquariums.
Table Rock Lake — Missouri
Another super popular Missouri lake, Table Rock Lake is located in the fun and exciting tourist destination of Branson, MO. This lake offers guests a beautiful place to camp, fish, and enjoy water sports, all while staying very near attractions such as Silver Dollar City, the Titanic Museum, mini golf, musical performances, and more.
As you can see, there are plenty of absolutely wonderful RV lake camping options in this beautiful country of ours. For this reason, we highly recommend visiting as many of these lakefront campgrounds as possible. To do this, you’re going to need to get started as soon as you can.
Why not rent an RV today so you can go on your first lake RV camping trip soon? We know you’ll be glad you did!