Campspot Outdoor Almanac: Outlook on 2023 Road Travel and Camping Trends

The biannual Campspot Outdoor Almanac reveals that 2023 will be another big year for outdoor travel and highlights where to go and what to expect while enjoying the open road

As the seasons change and we move into the quieter half of the year, we often have more time to reflect and take stock. Which is nice! Really, it is. But when the holiday lights are stored away and the cold creeps into our bones, even the most winter-obsessed of us can start to feel a little cooped up.

Driving Red Rock Scenic Byway, Sedona, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

And that is why planning ahead is important. Just as gardeners plant seeds and are bolstered by the promise of what is to come, so too can RVers make plans for what is ahead. Whether you arrange a short winter getaway in the mountains or the desert or work out the finer details of a family reunion at a camp resort, that plan is how we’re able to look forward to the good times ahead.

In a chaotic and stressful world, plans are our reprieve—the daydreams that get us through. Because when we’re planning, we’re invested in tomorrow. In the road ahead and the time we get to spend together. And when we’re packing up—when we’re camping—we realize what it is we really need. The essentials! What you can fit in the available space of the RV?

The Springs at Anza-Borrego RV Resort & Golf Course, Borrego Springs, California © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

When we’re camping, we’re getting back to the basics. We’re retreating from the din of society and finding safe haven in the great outdoors and the campgrounds offering tucked-away corners, epic adventures, stunning scenery, and even luxury RV resorts.

Whether you’re planning for your cross-country RV trip, snowbird escape, hiking adventure with Fido, or next summer’s trip to a camp resort, the Campspot Outdoor Almanac provides information for plotting out the ultimate road trips and retreats—no matter the season.

Readers can access top destinations for camping in 2023 along with inspiration for top road trips and scenic drives, recommendations for road trips for each season, helpful statistics and data about national and state parks that are trending, and demographic information about road travelers.

Driving the Blue Ridge Parkway © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Some top insights from travelers planning trips include:

  • Budget-friendly trips: Continued increased interest in shorter road trips is expected in 2023 as travelers discover their home states and local region
  • Average road trip route distance: 1,223 miles with a 20.5 hour driving duration
  • Top national parks: Grand Canyon, Arches, and Zion
  • Percentage of campers who are traveling as a couple: 67 percent
  • Top camping destinations: Moab (Utah), Sedona (Arizona), Florida Keys
Tent camping in Arches National Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The latest camping trends

Types of campers:

  • RV (61 percent)
  • Tent (19 percent)
  • Glamper (12 percent)
  • Cabin (4 percent)
  • Car Camper (3 percent)
  • Boondocker/dispersed (1 percent)

Camping and work-life balance:

  • 43 percent of campers take 2-4 weeks off from work annually
  • 36 percent of campers take 4-6 camping trips annually, 19 percent take 7-10 annually
  • 18 percent go camping for major winter holidays and 23 percent are interested in doing so
Driving Newfound Gap Road through Great Smoky Mountains National Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Top 2023 camping goals:

  • Travel to new places to camp (69 percent)
  • Go camping more often (53 percent)
  • Explore more national and state parks (47 percent)
  • Spend more time in nature (37 percent)
  • Spend more time outside with family (30 percent)

Top regions campers are most excited to visit in 2023:

  • Yellowstone National Park
  • Colorado
  • Utah
  • Alaska
  • Yosemite National Park
Badlands National Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Top states campers are most interested in visiting in 2023:

  • Colorado
  • Montana
  • Tennessee
  • Florida
  • North Carolina
  • Wyoming
  • California
  • Michigan
  • Oregon
  • Utah
The Grand Canyon © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Top destinations for RVers:

  • Grand Canyon
  • Las Vegas
  • The Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness, Florida
  • Yosemite National Park
  • Ginnie Springs, Florida
  • Zion National Park
  • Daytona International Speedway
  • Campland on the Bay in San Diego
  • Okeechobee, Florida
  • Moab
Along the Creole Nature Trail, Louisiana © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Road trips and scenic drives

Road trip trends:

  • 37 percent are willing to travel any distance on a road trip if they have time while 26 percent prefer trips that are 6 to 10 hours in length
  • After private campgrounds, public lands and hotels were the next most popular accommodation types for road trips

How far do roadtrippers travel?

  • Average route distance: 1,223 miles
  • Average driving duration: 20.5 hours
White Sands National Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Top national parks where travelers planned road trips:

Picacho Peak State Park, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Top state parks where travelers planned road trips:

  • South Yuba River State Park, California
  • Maquoketa Caves State Park, Iowa
  • Cumberland Falls State Resort Park, Kentucky
  • Hanging Rock State Park, North Carolina
  • Watkins Glen State Park, New York
  • Palo Duro Canyon State Park, Texas
  • Niagara Falls State Park, New York
  • Letchworth State Park, New York
  • Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada
  • Weeki Wachee Springs State Park, Florida
  • Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site, Illinois
  • Custer State Park, South Dakota
Fredericksburg, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

A road trip for every season

Take inspiration from these road trips and scenic drives to plan your 2023 adventures.


New Orleans, LA, to Fredericksburg, TX

Distance: 469 miles

With pit stops in Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Beaumont, Houston, and Austin, this route is a Cajun food-lover’s dream. Be sure to drive the Willow City Loop just north of Fredericksburg for wildflowers galore.

Where to stay:

  • Sun Outdoors New Orleans North Shore, Ponchatoula, Louisiana
  • The Retreat RV and Camping Resort, Huffman, Texas
  • Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Fredericksburg, Fredericksburg, Texas
Blue Ridge Parkway © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved


Blue Ridge Parkway

An epic drive filled with stunning vistas of the Appalachian Highlands, this route is known as America’s Favorite Drive for a reason.

Where to stay:

  • Montebello Camping and Fishing Resort, Montebello, Virginia
  • Halesford Harbor Resort, Moneta, Virginia
  • Catawba Falls Campground, North Carolina
Covered Bridge Tour near Terre Haute, Indiana © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved


Covered Bridge Tour in Indiana

Distance: 35+ miles

Indiana has 31 covered bridges that are super quaint and historic. According to locals, Sim Smith Bridge is even haunted.

Where to stay:

  • Turkey Run Canoe and Camping, Bloomingdale
  • Peaceful Water Campground, Bloomingdale
  • Hawthorn Park, Terry Haute
Amelia Island, Florida © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved


Florida East Coast

Distance: 470 miles

Whether you start in the northern or southern part of the state, a drive along the east coast is a perfect way to say goodbye to the winter blues.

Where to stay:

  • Ocean Groove RV Resort, St. Augustine
  • Indian River RV Park, Titusville
  • Sun Outdoors Key Largo, Key Largo

Worth Pondering…

Road trips have beginnings and ends but it’s what’s in between that counts.

The Expanding Camping Community

1 in 5 Americans went camping in 2021

As the world navigated through the pandemic, the popularity of camping continued to grow and people turned to the outdoors to find solace and reprieve. Over 66 million people went camping in the U.S. last year and over 8.3 million tried camping for the first time. Amid this growth, a camper visited The Dyrt every second. With overbooked campgrounds, new expectations from campers, and continually emerging technologies, the camping industry is shifting.

A survey by The Dyrt, an app designed to help campers find camping information and book campsites has found the number of campers is expanding and an increased interest in winter camping.

Camping at Goose Island State Park, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

First-time campers on the rise

The camping community is nothing if not resilient. While the pandemic uprooted so many aspects of everyday life, it also served as an inspiration for new campers to pack up their gear and greet the great outdoors.

What inspires 8.3 million first-time campers?

  • Family & friends (21 percent)
  • Time outdoors (19 percent)
  • The pandemic (16 percent)
  • Travel the U.S. (11 percent)
  • Relaxation (8 percent)
Camping at Picacho Peak State Park, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Comforts of home in the woods

Campers were drawn to the West for top outdoor destinations and opted for comfort and predictability as they tried new forms of camping.

Campers who tried a new form of camping in 2021:

  • Camper van (35 percent)
  • Dispersed (23 percent)
  • RVs (22 percent)
  • Cabin (7 percent)
  • Tent (7 percent)
Sedona, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Top 25 searched camping destinations on The Dyrt

  • 1. Denver, Colorado
  • 2. Grand Canyon, Arizona
  • 3. Seattle, Washington
  • 4. Moab, Utah
  • 5. San Diego, California
  • 6. Portland, Oregon
  • 7. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
  • 8. Zion National Park, Utah
  • 9. Las Vegas, Nevada
  • 10. Los Angeles, California
  • 11. West Yellowstone, Montana
  • 12. Salt Lake City, Utah
  • 13. Sedona, Arizona
  • 14. Phoenix, Arizona
  • 15. San Francisco, California
  • 16. Austin, Texas
  • 17. Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • 18. Glacier National Park, Montana
  • 19. Key West, Florida
  • 20. South Lake Tahoe, California
  • 21. Bend, Oregon
  • 22. Jackson, Wyoming
  • 23. Nashville, Tennessee
  • 24. Tucson, Arizona
  • 25. Asheville, North Carolina
Camping with pets © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

What campers want

When it came to searching for the perfect campgrounds, campers had a few specifics in mind.

Campers’ must-have features:

  • Campfires allowed (57 percent)
  • Drinking water (44 percent)
  • Toilets (43 percent)
  • Pets allowed (38 percent)
  • Showers (33 percent)
Hiking in Great Smoky Mountains National Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Camping must-haves

There really is no wrong way to spend a camping trip, but these were some of The Dyrt users’ favorite activities.

Campers’ must-have activities:

  • Hiking (87 percent)
  • Relaxing (86 percent)
  • Cooking (60 percent)
  • Swimming (48 percent)
  • Drinking (43 percent)
  • Fishing (43 percent)
Camping at Cedar Pass Campground, Badlands National Park, South Dakota © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Reserving a campsite

Planning makes perfect. In 2021, the majority of campers booked their campsites in advance:

  • 53 percent of campers booked at least a few weeks in advance
  • Over 50 percent of RVers and trailer campers booked at least a few months ahead
  • Over 70 percent of car and tent campers booked less than a month ahead
Dispersed camping at Quartzsite,

The battle for campground bookings

It’s no secret: Camping’s popularity skyrocketed in 2021. Whether you chalk it up to more people having free time or a desire to escape everyday life, this increase meant a shortage of reservable campsites. Campers reported that it was nearly three times more difficult to find bookable campgrounds in 2021 than in years prior. Nearly half of all campers reported difficulty finding available campsites in 2021 with western regions being the most difficult.

Dispersed camping along Utah Highway 24 Scenic Byway © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The rise of dispersed camping

Campers met the campground shortage head-on expanding into dispersed camping. Members of The Dyrt community went dispersed camping twice as often in 2021 as they did in 2020. The four most saved campgrounds in 2021 were all dispersed campgrounds where campers are free to camp anywhere within certain boundaries.

  • Blue Lakes Camping, Colorado
  • Edge of the World, Arizona
  • Shadow Mountain, Wyoming
  • Alabama Hills, California
Winter camping at Angel Lake RV Park, Wells, Nevada © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Camping season is extending

There is no off-season. Campers have taken more trips year over year since 2019 and there’s no sign of stopping in 2022. Camping is on the rise in every season but winter is the fastest-growing season with far more campers braving the cold this winter than they did pre-pandemic.

Fall camping at Fort Camping, Fort Langley, British Columbia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Camping growth by season

Increase in camping by season from 2019 to planned trips in 2022:

  • Winter (40.7 percent)
  • Spring (27 percent)
  • Fall (15.1 percent)
  • Summer (2.3 percent)

Worth Pondering…

As you go through life, when you come to a fork in the road, take it.

—Yogi Berra