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What Is The Average Campsite Cost


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Elsy Mcmahan



When it comes to planning a camping adventure, one of the important factors to consider is the cost of the campsite. Understanding the average campsite cost can help you budget for your trip and make informed decisions about where to stay. The cost of a campsite can vary depending on various factors such as location, facilities and amenities, and the season.


In this article, we will explore the factors that can affect campsite costs and provide insights on the average cost of campsites in different locations and seasons. We will also discuss additional expenses to consider and share tips on how to save money on campsite costs. Whether you are a seasoned camper or a novice explorer, this information will help you plan your camping adventure within your budget.


It’s important to note that the cost of a campsite is not solely determined by the site itself but also by the surrounding natural beauty, accessibility to hiking trails, proximity to attractions, and the level of privacy provided. Therefore, the cost is often justified by the overall experience it offers.


So, let’s dive into the world of campsite costs and discover how you can make the most of your camping experience without breaking the bank.


Factors Affecting Campsite Cost

Several factors can influence the cost of a campsite. Understanding these factors will help you better gauge the average cost and make an informed decision based on your preferences and budget. Here are some key factors that affect campsite costs:

  1. Location: The location of a campsite plays a significant role in determining its cost. Campsites in popular tourist destinations or those located near natural attractions tend to have higher prices. Remote and secluded campsites in less popular areas might be more affordable.
  2. Facilities and Amenities: Campsites offering more amenities such as electricity, water hookups, showers, laundry facilities, and Wi-Fi are likely to have higher costs compared to primitive campsites with minimal amenities.
  3. Size and Privacy: Campsites that offer larger spaces or more secluded areas for enhanced privacy and an immersive nature experience may come with a higher price tag.
  4. Demand and Availability: During peak seasons or holidays, campsites tend to be in high demand, leading to higher prices. It’s important to book well in advance to secure a spot at popular campgrounds.
  5. Campground Type: Different types of campgrounds, such as national parks, state parks, private campgrounds, or RV parks, may have varying cost structures based on their locations, amenities, and operating expenses.

Keep in mind that these factors are not mutually exclusive, and a combination of factors will contribute to the overall cost of a campsite. It’s essential to consider your specific needs and preferences to find the right balance between cost and the camping experience you desire.


Campsite Cost by Location

The cost of a campsite can vary significantly depending on its location. Here is an overview of campsite costs by different types of locations:

  1. National Parks: Campsites within national parks are often highly sought after due to the stunning natural beauty and preserved landscapes they offer. However, this popularity often comes with higher prices. On average, campsites in national parks can range from $20 to $40 per night.
  2. State Parks: State parks are another popular option for camping enthusiasts. They usually offer a range of amenities and recreational activities. The cost of campsites in state parks can vary from $15 to $35 per night.
  3. Private Campgrounds: Private campgrounds are owned and operated by individuals or organizations. They often provide additional amenities like swimming pools, playgrounds, and organized activities. The cost of campsites in private campgrounds can range from $20 to $50 per night.
  4. RV Parks: RV parks cater specifically to recreational vehicles, offering amenities such as hookups and dumping stations. The cost of campsites in RV parks can range from $30 to $80 per night, depending on the location and facilities provided.
  5. Backcountry Camping: Backpackers and adventure enthusiasts often opt for backcountry camping, where campsites are located in remote, undeveloped areas. Backcountry camping permits can range from $5 to $20 per night, depending on the park or wilderness area.

It’s important to note that these price ranges are approximate and can vary based on the specific location, season, and demand. Some popular or highly-desired campsites may have higher costs compared to others. Additionally, some campsites offer discounted rates for seniors, veterans, or other special categories.


When planning your camping trip, consider the location that aligns with your preferences and budget. If you’re open to exploring different types of campgrounds, you’ll have more options to find a campsite that fits your needs and budget.


Campsite Cost by Facilities and Amenities

The facilities and amenities offered at a campsite can have a significant impact on the cost. Here is an overview of how different amenities may affect campsite pricing:

  1. Basic Amenities: Campsites that offer essential amenities such as picnic tables, fire rings, and access to restrooms without showers tend to have lower costs. These campsites are ideal for those who are looking for a simple and budget-friendly camping experience.
  2. Electricity and Water Hookups: Campsites equipped with electricity and water hookups are typically in higher demand. These amenities provide convenience for those camping in RVs or trailers. However, the availability of these hookups may vary depending on the campground and can result in higher campsite costs, ranging from $25 to $40 per night.
  3. Showers and Bathrooms: Campgrounds with shower facilities and clean restrooms are more desirable for many campers. The availability of hot showers is especially appreciated after a long day of outdoor activities. Campsites with showers and well-maintained bathrooms may have slightly higher costs, typically ranging from $30 to $45 per night.
  4. Additional Recreational Facilities: Some campgrounds go beyond the basics and offer additional recreational facilities such as swimming pools, playgrounds, hiking trails, fishing ponds, or onsite activities. These enhanced amenities contribute to a more enjoyable camping experience, but they can come at a higher price. Campsites with additional recreational facilities can cost between $35 and $60 per night.
  5. Wi-Fi and Other Modern Amenities: As technology becomes increasingly integrated into our lives, some campgrounds now offer Wi-Fi connectivity, allowing campers to stay connected even in the great outdoors. However, campsites with Wi-Fi and other modern amenities may come with a premium price, ranging from $40 to $80 per night.

It’s important to evaluate which amenities are essential for your camping trip and budget accordingly. If you are comfortable with a more rustic or basic camping experience, you can opt for campsites with fewer amenities to save on costs. On the other hand, if you prefer a more comfortable and convenient camping experience, you may be willing to pay a higher price for campsites with enhanced facilities.


Campsite Cost by Season

The season in which you plan your camping trip can have a significant impact on campsite costs. Here’s a breakdown of how campsite costs can vary by season:

  1. Peak Season: The peak season for camping varies depending on the location and climate. Typically, summer months, holidays, and weekends are considered peak times for camping. During peak season, campsite costs tend to be higher due to higher demand. Popular campsites may even require reservations months in advance. Expect to pay premium prices during peak season, with costs ranging from $30 to $70 per night.
  2. Shoulder Season: The shoulder season refers to the transitional period between peak and off-peak seasons. During this time, campsite costs are typically lower as there is less demand compared to peak season. The weather may still be favorable, allowing for an enjoyable camping experience. Campsite costs during the shoulder season can range from $20 to $50 per night.
  3. Off-Peak Season: The off-peak season is the least busy time for camping. It is characterized by lower demand and reduced campsite costs. This could be during the colder months or outside of popular vacation periods. If you don’t mind cooler temperatures or fewer amenities, camping during the off-peak season can save you money. Campsite costs during off-peak season can range from $15 to $40 per night.

It’s important to note that pricing during peak season can vary significantly depending on the popularity of the campground and location. Additionally, some campsites offer discounted rates for longer stays or midweek bookings, even during peak season.


When planning your camping trip, consider the season that best suits your preferences and budget. If you have flexibility in your travel dates, opting for the shoulder or off-peak season can help you save on campsite costs while still enjoying the beauty of nature.


Additional Costs to Consider

While campsite costs make up a significant portion of your camping budget, there are additional expenses to consider when planning your trip. Here are some common additional costs to keep in mind:

  1. Reservation Fees: Some campgrounds charge a reservation fee when you book your campsite. This fee is usually non-refundable and varies depending on the campground. It’s essential to factor in these reservation fees when budgeting for your camping trip.
  2. Park Entrance Fees: Many national and state parks charge an entrance fee to access the park. These fees can range from a few dollars to upwards of $30, depending on the park and the type of pass you purchase. If you plan to visit multiple parks, consider getting an annual pass or multi-day pass to save money.
  3. Firewood and Propane: If you plan on having campfires or using a propane stove, you may need to purchase firewood or propane. These costs can vary depending on the location and availability of firewood or propane refill stations. It’s recommended to check the campground’s regulations on firewood collection or purchase firewood locally to avoid spreading invasive species.
  4. Equipment and Gear: If you are a first-time camper or need to upgrade your camping gear, you may need to consider the cost of purchasing or renting equipment such as tents, sleeping bags, cooking utensils, and hiking gear. These costs can vary depending on the quality and brand of the equipment you choose.
  5. Food and Supplies: Don’t forget to budget for food and supplies for your camping trip. This includes groceries, snacks, cooking ingredients, and personal hygiene products. Planning your meals in advance and buying supplies in bulk can help you save money.
  6. Gasoline or RV Rental: If you are traveling to your campsite by car or RV, you need to consider the cost of gasoline for transportation. If you don’t own an RV, renting one can be an additional expense to factor into your budget. Take into account the distance you need to travel and the fuel efficiency of your vehicle.
  7. Activities and Excursions: Depending on the location and your interests, you may want to participate in activities such as guided tours, boat rentals, or guided hikes. These activities often have additional costs associated with them, so make sure to research and budget for any activities you plan to do.

It’s important to factor in these additional costs when planning your camping trip to ensure you have a realistic budget. By considering these expenses and budgeting accordingly, you can avoid any surprises and fully enjoy your camping experience.


Tips for Saving Money on Campsite Costs

Camping doesn’t have to break the bank. With careful planning and smart decisions, you can save money on campsite costs without compromising on the quality of your camping experience. Here are some tips to help you save money:

  1. Camp during the off-peak season: As mentioned earlier, camping during the off-peak season can significantly reduce campsite costs.
  2. Look for discounted rates and promotions: Many campgrounds offer discounted rates for seniors, veterans, or members of certain organizations. Take advantage of these discounts to save money.
  3. Consider primitive or less-developed campsites: Primitive campsites, which offer fewer amenities, are often cheaper than campsites with full facilities. If you’re comfortable with a more rustic experience, these campsites can save you money.
  4. Share campsites with friends or family: Splitting the cost of a campsite with friends or family members can significantly reduce the expense for each individual.
  5. Opt for day-use or walk-in campsites: Some campgrounds offer day-use or walk-in campsites that are more affordable than traditional overnight campsites. These options are perfect for day trips or short stays.
  6. Bring your own food and cook: Eating out at restaurants near the campground can quickly add up. Save money by bringing your own food and cooking your meals at the campsite.
  7. Plan your meals and buy in bulk: Plan your meals in advance to avoid unnecessary food waste and overspending. Buying in bulk can also help you save money on groceries.
  8. Use park passes or loyalty programs: If you frequent national or state parks, consider purchasing annual passes or joining loyalty programs. These passes can offer significant discounts on campsite fees.
  9. Research free or low-cost camping sites: Some public lands, such as Bureau of Land Management (BLM) areas, offer free or low-cost dispersed camping opportunities. Do your research and explore these options to save on campsite costs.
  10. Stay longer for discounted rates: Some campgrounds offer discounted rates for longer stays. Consider extending your camping trip to take advantage of these reduced rates.

Remember, saving money on campsite costs doesn’t mean sacrificing the quality of your camping experience. By being mindful of your budget and making smart choices, you can enjoy an affordable and memorable outdoor adventure.



Understanding the factors that influence campsite costs is crucial for planning a camping trip within your budget. By considering the location, facilities and amenities, season, and additional expenses, you can estimate the average cost of a campsite and make informed decisions.


Location plays a significant role in determining campsite costs, with national parks, state parks, private campgrounds, and RV parks having different price ranges. The amenities provided, such as electricity, showers, and additional recreational facilities, can also impact campsite costs. Additionally, the season in which you plan your camping trip can significantly influence the price, with peak season being more expensive than off-peak or shoulder seasons.


While campsite costs are important, it’s essential to consider other expenses such as reservation fees, park entrance fees, equipment rentals, and food costs. Planning ahead, utilizing discounts and promotions, and making budget-friendly choices can help you save money on your camping adventure.


Remember that camping is not just about the cost; it’s about immersing yourself in nature, creating memories, and enjoying the great outdoors. With careful planning and a bit of research, you can find a campsite that suits your budget while providing an unforgettable camping experience.


So, pack your gear, prepare your meals, and embark on your camping journey knowing that you have the knowledge to make informed decisions about the average campsite cost. Happy camping!