State Parks vs National Parks

We’ve been in a lot of National Parks and even more State parks on our journey, that’s why we thought, we give you a little list, what the advantages and disadvantages are of State Parks and National Parks in our personal view:

We like National Parks because

  • You see the big stuff, the world-famous landmarks, the really breath-taking landscapes
  • It’s usually easy to visit, you have a visitor center, you get a park map at the entrance and you find out really quickly where to go and what to see. Usually you can see most of the landmarks directly from your car or by hiking a couple of yards
  • Most campgrounds have no hookups and are first come first serve – so no reservations but you have to arrive early and not on weekends – this gives you more flexibility but always is a little scary when you are not sure where to spend your night…
  • You buy a National Park Pass which is good for one year… For the State Parks there are different Passes in every State, which is more expensive for us…


We love State Parks because

  • You see less mass-tourism, less rental RVs and more the hidden gems. Things that are usually less famous but often as beautiful as the big National Parks.
  • You usually can bring your dog and walk with it on most of the hiking trails. In National Parks dogs are only allowed in the campgrounds and on the paved streets.
  • Most campgrounds have partial hookups (Water-Electric), so no generator noise and the possibility to charge the computer and run the AC, toaster and microwave…
  • You usually can make reservations for State Park Campgrounds. This is good, if there is still a good lot available, but also not so good, if everybody makes his reservation 6 months in advance…

Hear the views on campground decisioning from Three on the Road in our next blog soon.

2 thoughts on “State Parks vs National Parks

Add yours

  1. Interesting – I’ve been traveling around for quite a few years and have yet to stay in a National Park. It’s just never come up. I love most state parks – plenty of things to do, usually well kept, reservations – not always a great thing, and state parks are plentiful. Nice post


  2. Nice review of the relative attributes of State and National Parks here in the US. We love to use State Parks in our travels and I always like to point out that in general there is a reason for a state do designate an area as a “State Park”

    Stay well!!


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