Stars and the moon are visible in a dark night over the desert with the outline of a butte in the background. A glowing green and blue tent is lit from within in the foreground.

Second Century Campground Strategy

Denver Service Center » Second Century Campground Strategy » Document List

Campgrounds provide a low-cost and unique opportunity for visitors to experience National Park Service (NPS) sites across the country. More than 330 million visitors explore parks annually, with tent, RV, and backcountry campers spending an estimated 7.9 million nights at park system campgrounds in 2018.

Growing interest in expanding and supporting public recreational access supports the need to fully understand, optimally manage, and strategically invest in campgrounds throughout the NPS.

The NPS has undertaken a campground modernization strategy to ensure our second century of NPS campgrounds supports both visitors and employees.

Please review background information files for additional details on the overall strategy.

An internal NPS team has developed draft design guidelines to centralize campground design information. These include details on spatial requirements for expanding campsites to accommodate RV use and guidelines on how to meet accessibility codes while maintaining cultural resource integrity. A kickoff workshop was held at the end of January 2020. Internal outreach included interviews of 17 parks and NPS programs. External outreach has been completed with interviews of all public land agencies including state parks. The guide will be a clearinghouse of best practices and the interviews allowed data collection so the team could incorporate existing guidance.

The NPS Campground Design Guide will be available for public review and comment until 12/4/20.

UPDATE: The plan was published in May 2021 and is available at this link:

Contact Information

Tamara Delaplane