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Upscale Cabins Latest Trend in Commercial Campgrounds Bordering National Parks


While cabins long have been a fixture of commercial campgrounds bordering national parks, the newest versions offer almost all the comforts of home. Photos of KOA campgrounds near Glacier National Park and Great Smoky Mountains National Park courtesy of Kampgrounds of America.

There’s a new structure showing up this summer in campgrounds bordering national parks, one that offers a higher level of comfort than the typical family camper or pop-up tent. More and more campgrounds are adding cabins to their available accommodations, for while more people are heading to the parks, not all want to sleep on the ground in a tent.

And while cabins long have been part of commercial campgrounds, the latest versions offer many of the comforts of home.

“Many of them are staying in luxurious 'park model' cabins, cottages and other accommodations that feature all the comforts of home,” said Linda Profaizer, president and CEO of the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds.

Tents and recreational vehicles still house the majority of those who stay in the campgrounds, but the market seems to be growing for cabins, particularly those that are fully furnished. While not as radical as “glamping” accommodations, those elaborately furnished yurts, the trend in campground cabins is showing up in both independently owned campgrounds and the Kampgrounds of America properties that many travelers are familiar with.

According to industry representatives, roughly one-third of the country’s privately owned campgrounds now offer some form of these comfortable cabins.

Among the KOAs that have added the cabins is the West Glacier KOA outside of Glacier National Park. It added six cabins this spring.

“It’s just crazy,” campground owner Theresa McClure said of the demand for 'park model' cabins, which KOA markets as Kamping Lodges. “We could probably put in 12 and they’d all be booked.”

Ms. McClure said the units are popular because unlike the bare-bones cabins of years past, the Kamping Lodges feature bathrooms, kitchens with full-size appliances, and outside decks with great view and barbecue grills.

Campgrounds near national parks with the new cabins


Lassen Volcanic National Park

Mount Lassen / Shingletown KOA

Yosemite National Park 

Yosemite Pines RV Resort and Family Lodging, Groveland

Yosemite West / Mariposa KOA


Rocky Mountain National Park

Jellystone Park Camp-Resort, Estes Park


Acadia National Park

Bar Harbor Woodlands KOA


Glacier National Park

West Glacier KOA

New Mexico

Carlsbad Caverns National Park

Carlsbad KOA


Crater Lake National Park

Crater Lake Resort


Shenandoah National Park

Heavenly Acres Campground


Mount Rainier National Park

Harmony Lakeside RV Park


Grand Teton National Park

Rustic Inn at Jackson Hole

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