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Mammoth Cave is a unique national park that should be on every traveler’s road trip bucket list. Since the park is located in rural Kentucky, camping is the best lodging option for exploring the cave and surrounding area. In this comprehensive guide, we detail all the best tent and RV camping option near Mammoth Cave National Park. If you are not up for camping, we also have recommendations for the best cabin rentals near Mammoth Cave.
One of the best things about Mammoth Cave is that the park is super dog friendly! RV camping is definitely the best lodging option for visitors who are traveling with a dog.
RV Camping near Mammoth Cave
In my opinion, RV camping is the best way to stay near Mammoth Cave National Park. An RV or camper provides all the amenities of home, while allowing you to be close to nature. If you don’t have your own RV, you can easily rent one in the area from RVshare.
- Cave Country RV Campground: Cave Country is a peaceful RV campground located just 15 minutes from the national park. This campground has everything you need with full hookups, pull-thru sites, a dog park, beautiful landscaping, a swimming pool and laundry. The RV park allows visitors of all ages, but caters mostly to adults without children.
- Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park: This Jellystone RV Campground near Mammoth Cave has everything imaginable to entertain kids. The parks offers a 300 foot waterslide, pools, mini golf, beach, jump pillows and more fun amenities. Full hook up pull-thru and back-in RV sites are available, and tent campers can also book a campsite.
- Diamond Caverns RV Resort: Diamond Caverns is an RV campground just 10 minutes from the Mammoth Cave visitor center. The campground offers full hookup sites, a swimming pool and a connected 18 hole golf course. It is a Thousand Trails campground so members can stay for free. See our complete guide to Thousand Trails to learn about all membership options.
- Horse Cave KOA Holiday: Another great family friendly option is the KOA in Horse Cave, about 20 minutes from the national park. The KOA offers pull-thru campsites, a dog park, a swimming pool, mini golf and free fishing. There are both pull-thru and back-in gravel campsites available.
- Maple Springs Campground: Located on the north side of the park, Maple Springs is the only campground within the national park that offers RV hookups. There are eight sites in the campground, but only two have electric hookup, so these premium spots should be reserved well in advance of your trip.
Tent Camping near Mammoth Cave
If you are on a budget or looking for more of an adventure, then tent camping in or near Mammoth Cave may be the best lodging option for your trip. If you plan to camp in a tent, make sure you have all the essentials for rustic camping.
- Mammoth Cave Campground: The main campground within the national park, Mammoth Cave Campground, is the prime location for tent campers. Hiking trails connect directly to the campground and it is located within walking distance of the visitor center and cave entrance. The campground also has bathrooms with hot showers and flush toilets. RVs are also permitted but no hookups are available.
- Houchin Ferry Campground: Also located in the national park, Houchin Ferry offer riverfront tent camping sites. The 12 spot campground is in a quiet area of the park 15 miles from the visitor center. There are no showers but portable toilets are available for campers.
- Misty Valley Farm: For more private tent camping options near Mammoth Cave, check out listings from local landowners on Hipcamp. One such spot is Misty Valley Farm which offers flat, wooded campsites with a firepit and chairs on the property of a working farm.
- Historic Farm: Another Hipcamp listing near Mammoth Cave is a mid-1800s land grant farm. The historic farm offers tent camping sites in a country setting. There are several spots, both in open and shaded areas, where visitors can pitch their tent. On-site amenities include a firepit, grill, camp stove and portable potty.
- Nolin Lake State Park: North of Mammoth Cave, about 40 minutes from the visitor center, Nolin Lake State Park offers 27 primitive campsites for tent campers. The campground sits on the shore of the lake and offers a bathhouse and playground. There are also RV campsites with partial hookups available.
Cabins near Mammoth Cave
If RV and tent camping area bit too close to nature for your taste, there are also great cabin rental options in and near Mammoth Cave National Park.
- The Lodge Historic Cottages: The Lodge at Mammoth Cave, inside the national park, offers 10 historic cottages located next to the visitor center and close to the cave entrance. The well-appointed historic cottages are fully furnished, air-conditioned and include a mini fridge and private bathroom. Pets are not allowed in the cottages.
- The Lodge Woodland Cottages: On the other side of the visitor center, The Lodge rents out several Woodland Cottages. These small cabins are fully furnished with a private bath and mini fridge. These rooms do not have air-conditioning or heat, so they are only available during the summer and fall seasons.
- Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park: In addition to RV and tent campsites, the Jellystone has 93 cabins available for rent. There are 13 different types of cabins ranging from a 175 square foot efficiency to a large bungalow that sleeps 15 people. All the cabins have air-conditioning and include access to all the fun Jellystone activities and amenities.
- Horse Cave KOA Holiday: The KOA in Horse Cave also offers a variety of cabins for visitors who do not want to camp. Their Covered Wagons offer a unique sleeping experience, but do not include a private bathroom. For a more comfortable stay, book a deluxe cabin with a full bathroom and partial kitchen.
- Rock Cabin Camping: This property, just 10 minutes from the national park visitor center, has 9 historic cabins available for rent. The cabins were originally built in 1928. The rental cabins vary in size, but they all have air-conditioning and private bathrooms. Pets are not allowed in the cabins.
For more awesome Kentucky destinations, see our list of the best RV parks in Kentucky. If you are interested in RV camping in America’s most scenic spots, check out our guide to RV camping in every national park.
Where is your favorite place to go camping? Share your top spot in the comments below.