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Rving in October can be a great experience. From cuddling up by a campfire and telling scary stories to sharing a cup of hot cocoa and s’mores, fall puts everyone in a good mood! With October comes flannel season, pumpkin spice, Halloween, and football, all American staples.
October is arguably the best time to go camping, because you get the best of both worlds. The leaves have changed colors and look absolutely beautiful, and the heat of the summer has been taken over by cool, brisk breezes.
In some places, snow has just begun to fall, lightly dusting the tops of mountains.
We’ve found over 9 different bucket list-worthy destinations that are perfect for your October RV road trip.
This is part of our series on RVing. Did you know you don’t need to own and RV to enjoy these destinations? You can rent one and take a fall road trip or arrive at your destination and rent and RV. We are here to help with many resources for renting an RV.
- 9 Foolproof ways to rent a cheap RV
- 17 Questions to ask before you sign a rental agreement.
- What you need to know to reserve an RV campsite
Moab and the nearby Arches and Canyonlands national Parks are best seen in the fall with cool weather and fewer people are in the area. We have visited the Moab in the fall a couple years in a row. The nights are cool and the days are sunny and warm.
The springtime is beautiful but can be overrun by tourists, especially during the ATV rallies. Fall is just right in the Moab area. In fact, we have an entire series on visiting Moab including Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park
We suggest staying in an RV park in town like Archview RV Resort & Campground or at Dead Horse Point State Park. This nearby state park is a destination in itself and offers electric hookups so you can stay warm in the fall.
Where to Stay: Archview RV Resort & Campground
Such high elevation may be an unusual choice for an October camping trip, but with an RV you can stay nice and cozy in the chilly nights. Aspen is known for fall foliage as the aspen trees turn bright golden hues. It is perfect for families because is one of those places that has a little bit of everything.
If you want to enjoy the outdoors, you can go hiking, fishing, hunting, horseback riding, and bicycling at the White River National Forest.
Want to just enjoy the scenery? The famously breathtaking Maroon Bells are in White River National Forest. The shuttle runs into October
- Pro tip: If you would rather sleep at a lower elevation and avoid the high elevation, you should consider staying in Glenwood and visiting Aspen for the day. A good choice would be Glenwood Canyon Resort See our entire series on Glenwood starting at the Guide to visit Glenwood page.
Fall in the Ozarks is nothing less than spectacular. You can see the brilliant oranges, pinks, and scarlets from a boat on the lake, backcountry dirt roads or right from your own camp chair
You can drive route 265 and get a view of Table Rock Lake or go to the scenic overlook at the Ruth and Paul Henning Conservation Area.
Branson also has no shortage of fun activities for your family:
- Silver Dollar City theme park – This was named America’s Best Theme Park by USA Today!
- Branson Scenic Railway – This iconic railway is an unforgettable 40-mile roundtrip journey through the Ozarks.
- National Tiger Sanctuary – Love animals? You’ll love this tiger sanctuary that’s just north of Branson. You can see African Lions, Leopards, a Bengal Tiger, and more!
Dinosaur National Monument
Surprisingly the best thing about this National Park is not just the bones! There are so many things to do and the weather in October is perfect for an outdoor adventure. You can hike in the cool breeze and explore the area for petroglyphs as if you were the first to discover them.
The campgrounds are open until late November. We camped at the Green River campground in October with the kids and a toddler. We had a spot right by the river and the days were still warm enough to splash in the water. Read more about our adventures at Dinosaur National Monument here.
Gays Mills, Wisconsin
Sunrise Orchards basically invented fall. They offer an amazing family camping experience that you’ll remember for years to come. The apple orchards are beautiful and boast twenty-two different kinds of apples. What better way to end a day of camping, hiking, or exploring than with a nice cup of fresh hot apple cider.
They’ve got fall events every weekend in October like Caramel Apple Weekend, Cheese Curd Weekend, Sunrise Cider, and Trick-or-Treat Weekend for the kids.
This is a Harvest Host location, which means it’s only available to Harvest Host members. Members pay an annual fee to gain access to hundreds of RV camping sites across the US. They offer spaces for any size RV, and thanks to reservations there’s never a competition for parking spaces. The catch is, this campsite is only available from fall to December, and October is the best time to go.
- Gays Mills at Harvest Host Website
Green Mountains, Vermont
Route 100, through the Green Mountains, was recognized as “one of the most scenic drives in New England”. This fall road trip offers spectacular views filled with history and culture, and you can choose from any destination along the way.
This is a 146-mile route located in Vermont that zigs and zags through the Green Mountains. Besides the wonderful views, you can visit the Black River Academy Museum, Plymouth Artisan Cheese (which has been around since 1890!) , or enjoy some of the nature trails.
Willamette Valley, Oregon
This one is for all the beer and wine lovers! Willamette Valley (also called Oregon Wine Country) is a 150-mile area in the northwest part of Oregon that has more than 500 wineries!
We were thinking this would be a perfect multi-generational destination. Get the “Heart of Willamette Wine Passport” for an opportunity to taste the local wineries and breweries in Corvallis and Salem, OR area!
For other road trip ideas along the Oregon Coast (in late summer) check out our suggestions for best beaches in Oregon.
Highway 158 (AKA June Lake Loop), California
If you rent a small RV or campervan this scenic drive should be on your list.
Highway 158 (also known as June Lake Loop) goes is a short route that loops around a canyon and four different lakes. Driving 40 miles you will see June Lake, Gull Lake, Silver Lake, and Grant Lake.
The June Lake area also has hiking trails, and opportunities to go swimming, sailing, boating, canoeing, and rock climbing. On one end of June Lake, you can find a quaint little community that filled with lodges, shops, and restaurants!
Chicago Area, Illinois
A big city may not come to mind for the perfect RV destination but Chicago area, but I am intrigued by the idea of Rving near Chicago.
Thanks to the nearby Kankakee River State Park [https://www2.illinois.gov/dnr/Parks/Pages/KankakeeRiver.aspx], you’ll be able to enjoy the regular activities like hiking, canoeing, and fishing.
Urban Kayaking – Through the Kayak Chicago [https://kayakchicago.com/] company, you can go on one of their many tours that go through the city of Chicago! This is a special way to enjoy the architecture, the city lights, and just the Chicago River in general! This activity is a must for anyone looking for something truly unique.
The best place to spend fall is undoubtedly in New England. From fall festivals to breathtaking scenery, Connecticut should be your RV camping destination for October. Connecticut has the longest fall foliage season in New England, with its peak during October and November. Woodstock is the site of many historical landmarks and fall family outings; from vineyards to pumpkin picking to Oktoberfest, there’s always a fall activity to check out.
Chamberlain Lake Campground is the perfect rural spot to park your RV and enjoy the scenes. Located on a lake, fishing is a popular attraction, and they host fishing derbies and tournaments throughout the year. Your stay will be packed with fun things to do, the campground is located near orchards, wineries, speedways, ziplining, and even hot air balloon rides. Halloween weekend is particularly exciting at Chamberlain because they decorate the campgrounds, host trick or treating, hayrides, and even a Halloween Party that all campers are invited to.
Final Thoughts on RV Destinations for October
RV camping in the fall can be an epic experience! There are still lots of parks and attractions that are open for all of October (and beyond), and there are the new fall colors to enjoy.
CEO of ARVC, Paul Bambel, said, “Autumn used to be a quiet, slow period in the country’s parks, but things have changed. Although fewer campers are traveling, park operators have discovered they can sometimes fill their campsites and cabins to capacity if they provide enough activities.”
More and more RV campers are realizing that you don’t have to travel far from the campsite to find something exciting and fun for the whole family. Campsites in October are offering many more activities than ever before, like apple and pumpkin picking, harvest festivals, fishing derbies, Halloween weekend events, and much more.
I hope you enjoyed the variety of destinations on this list!
For more ideas for camping in the fall read our other suggestions for
- 9 Best RV destinations in September
- Best RV destinations in November
- Foolproof Ways to Rent a Cheap RV
Hi, I’m Shauna – Welcome to Family Travel Fever. We are a large family, that was bitten by the travel bug! We travel with kids and extended family. I take the kids by myself sometimes because I don’t mind flying or driving solo with my crew to discover the coolest places.
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