Camping in Washington, DC

Hike tree-covered trails or wander into America’s historical sites while camping near DC.

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96% (2178 reviews)

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Camping in Washington, DC guide

Overview

Camp, glamp, or stay in a rental cabin near the capital of the United States. The area around Washington DC offers campers the chance to explore nature-diverse landscapes and the nation’s most notable landmarks. Set up shop at Greenbelt Park for well-maintained campsites not far from the White House. Or journey farther to Virginia for Shenandoah National Park and Prince William Forest Park, both of which offer on-site camping and RV sites, as well. The DC area is a perfect spot for a weekend getaway to nearby parks along the Potomac River—on both the Maryland and Virginia sides. With cityscapes and nature to explore, Washington DC campers will find it easy to balance urban amenities with epic natural adventures.

Where to go

Greenbelt Park

Cozy up for camping less than 15 miles from the White House. With over 170 campsites, Greenbelt Park is the perfect urban camping getaway. It features flower-filled hiking and equestrian trails and Sweetgum Picnic Area, which has a playground for kids. Full hookups, fire pits, potable water, and picnic tables offer RVers and tent campers alike a comfortable home base near the nation’s capital while exploring local nature, historical sites, and NASA Goddard Visitor Center.

Shenandoah National Park

Venture to Northern Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park, less than two hours from Washington DC. Rolling hills, hiking trails, and waterfalls wisp through the land, creating epic views and scenic sites. Traverse a piece of the Appalachian Trail and get a glimpse of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Featuring over 600 RV and tent sites, Shenandoah National Park also offers permit-only backcountry camping. It should be noted that there are no electrical hookups in the park, though campers can find seasonal dump stations and potable water.

Prince William Forest National Park

Pull into Prince William Forest National Park for a perfect blend of history and nature. Preservation and conservation remain top priorities for the park, which was nominated for the National Register of Historical Places. With 15,000 acres to explore, the park features miles of hiking along tree-covered trails with off-road biking options and orienteering classes too. Find two on-site campgrounds and clusters of historic cabins in the park. Campsites include fire pits, potable water, and picnic tables surrounded by lush forest.

When to go

Experience the beauty of changing seasons in Washington DC. The area's subtropical climate creates hot and humid summers and cold winters. Summer temperatures reach an average of 85°F, while winter weather brings lows in the mid 20s. DC area summers are perfect for hiking, biking, and late-night stargazing, though the humidity means mosquitoes and other bugs are prevalent—bug spray, mosquito nets, and after-bite relief products may be necessary.

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