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Keeping Cool: 5 Camping Destinations that Beat the Heat in July and August

RV owners like us are lucky. Finding the coolest camping destinations in July and August is pretty easy. With a tank of fuel and one turn of the key, our homes on wheels carry everything we need for a summer escape away from hot spots to a cool river, mountaintop or breezy beach. Endless choices make pinpointing a destination tricky, but these trip ideas can help you winnow down your options.

Where Are the Coolest Places to Camp in July and August?

Finding reasonable summer weather is tough. Most of us will put in a few hours of driving to reach the coolest place to camp in July and August. Historical weather data shows the five coldest summer states in the U.S. also happen to be filled with excellent RV camping destinations, too. The five best places to stay cool camping in summer are: Oregon, Washington, California, Colorado and Alaska.

These cool summer states are geographically immense. Each state gives you tons of camping choices from busy national parks to remote coastal destinations. Whether you can only book a quick getaway somewhere in the west, or you’ve got time for a longer journey to the far north, one of these great summer RV destinations is practically guaranteed to keep you cooler than where you’re standing now.

A small structure built atop a cliff overlooking a rocky ocean coast.

Shore Acres State Park, Coos Bay. Getty Images

Oregon

I can’t help but feel grateful when I look out my window today. As I write this story, it’s nearly 100 degrees Fahrenheit just a few hours south of where I’m camped in Oregon. But out here, the dense tree canopy is protected by gray and cloudy skies that keep me cool and happy.

You can’t go wrong camping on the Oregon coast. If beach camping is your thing, you have 361 miles of shoreline to choose from. Consider a getaway on beautiful Coos Bay. The idyllic fishing village is home to The Mill Casino Hotel and RV Park, one of Good Sam’s perfectly rated Good Sam campgrounds. This first-class destination delivers a luxury camping experience for guests. Walk or ride a free shuttle to the Mill Casino, where gaming, dining, pool, fitness center and other amenities are available for park campers too.

Sea lions resting on rocks.

Cape Arago State Park, Coos Bay. Getty Images

Further north, cool summer camping adventures are waiting in Tillamook. Come for the world-famous Tillamook Creamery tastings and stay for a railroad pedaling adventure you can’t find anywhere else. Capture your memories at iconic spots along Cannon Beach, hike through Ecola State Park, and end your day at Netarts Bay Garden RV Resort. This big-rig-friendly resort is ideally located for guests to make the most of the Oregon Coast.

Washington

Summer weather in Washington isn’t always cool, but the environment is definitely scenic. Head to the coast, where Washington’s RV camping options are as endless as the coastal breezes that help you beat the heat.

A fishing boat on golden waters during sunset.

Grays Harbor. Getty Images

Start your adventure in Cosmopolis, a tiny coastal hamlet in Gray’s Harbor that’s home to a new RV park. Just launched in 2021, River Run RV Park is a truly modern campground at the gateway to the Olympic Peninsula. Every guest enjoys conveniences like fast internet at every site, and easy access to beachcombing, fishing and Grays Harbor ORV Park (GHORV). This 155-acre off-road motorcycle, ATV and UTV riding facility is a dream for enthusiasts who love playing in mud and dirt.

Since you’re already on the Washington coast, meander up through the Olympic Peninsula to explore the cool, shady rainforests and national park highlights. Then end your hot weather camping adventure at the quaint and cool Port Skagit. Fishing, dining, antiquing and art galleries make up the heart of this artsy coastal village that’s just a short walk from the top-rated La Conner Marina & RV Park.

California

Escaping summer heat is easy in the enormous Golden State, which gives you tons of cool summer camping destinations to find your happy place. As a born-and-bred Californian, some of my personal favorite hot weather camping spots include anywhere in or along the North Coast’s majestic forests and long, chilly coastline.

RVing in a giant forest

Humboldt Redwoods State Park. Getty Images

You can’t go wrong when cool redwood forests are your summer camping destination. These shady sentinels bring instant relief from hot July and August temperatures. Start your journey just north of the Mendocino county line at Ancient Redwoods RV Park in Redcrest. The big rig-friendly park is close to famous forest attractions like Founders Grove, Rockefeller Forest and Humboldt Redwoods State Park Visitor Center.

From there, take a scenic meandering northbound drive to reach the cool, foggy beaches of Humboldt County and even more epic destinations like Redwood State and National Park. End your journey on the Del Norte Coast at Crescent City’s Village Camper Inn RV Park, which puts you close to conveniences and the joys of summer beach living.

Colorado

Colorful building in an Old West town with mountains towering in the background.

Downtown Silverton. Getty Images

Few states do hot weather camping better than Colorado. This makes sense because the state’s mountainous regions serve up a wide array of cool summer getaways. My own personal favorite destination is the remote mountain town of Silverton.

Located in the southwest corner of the state, Silverton isn’t quite as easily reached as Colorado’s more popular cool camping destinations in July and August. The former mining town is a long, six-hour drive from Denver, but it’s worth the trip. Silverton, 9,318 feet above sea level, is an alpine destination for off-roaders, hikers, hunters and bikers who can choose from an endless menu of backcountry adventures. From jeeping the Alpine Loop off-road scenic byway to riding the historic Durango-Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, plan on several days to experience the best that Southwest Colorado offers.

View of small town from high elevation amid high mountain peaks.

View of Silverton from U.S. Route 550

The Bureau of Land Management property around Silverton offers some dispersed camping choices for hearty souls. But for full-hookup comfort at the end of a long day on the trail, Silver Summit RV Park is my preferred home base because it’s walking distance to food and entertainment in downtown Silverton.

Stewart British Columbia/Hyder, Alaska

Got time to take a longer trip but can’t make it all the way to the more popular and cooler Alaska destinations like Homer and Denali National Park? Consider the 19-hour drive from downtown Seattle to Hyder, Alaska.

green meadow in foreground and huge glacier in the background.

Salmon Glacier near Stewart, British Columbia

This fun and quirky U.S. outpost is tucked in Alaska’s Panhandle in the Frontier State’s easternmost point. Hyder lets you experience the coolest summer camping destination in the States without the epic (and expensive) drive up the Alaska Highway. Camp in full-hookup comfort a few miles away in the quaint Canadian town of Stewart, then drive across the only unmanned border crossing in the U.S. to begin your Hyder adventure. The former rough-and-tumble mining and lumber town is an oddity that must be experienced to be believed. It’s a wilderness hideaway where more bears than people walk the streets. The daily entertainment consists of watching black and brown bears catch salmon for dinner at the Fish Creek Wildlife Observation Site. At night, locals love getting tourists “Hyderized” with a mysterious cocktail concoction at the Glacier Inn bar.

These cool summer camping destinations are just a sampling of what’s waiting for you in July and August. Find even more choices; check out Good Sam Campgrounds to discover even more hot weather camping destinations.

The post Keeping Cool: 5 Camping Destinations that Beat the Heat in July and August appeared first on Good Sam Camping Blog.

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