Utah is primarily known for two things: its world-class skiing and winding slot canyons. But the Beehive State has much more to offer the outdoor enthusiast. It's home to five national parks and eight national monuments. And that's just the beginning. There is no shortage of exotic camping in Utah.
For desert dwellers, Monument Valley never disappoints. It’s the kind of place that leaves a person searching for meaning. When the sun dips below the monuments and the sky radiates with color, it’s easy to see why the Navajo people revere the land. Media buffs will also recognize the familiar landmarks from film and TV. Those visiting Bears Ears can see Monument Valley in the distance from campsites like Muley Point.
Campers who visit Goblin Valley get a unique experience. An amphitheater of bizarrely-shaped hoodoos greets visitors. Even though there are hoodoos all over Utah, none compare to the “goblins” in this state park. They make an excellent backdrop for photos, adventure, games, and soul-searching.
A worthy Utah destination is Zion National Park, growing more popular by the year. The etched canyon walls make a lasting impression, as they jut thousands of feet up from the earth. The sense of perspective visitors experience keeps them coming back. The Watchman campground is a popular choice for campers. It offers accessibility to trails, the Virgin River, a shuttle bus, and the adjacent town.
Many will also make a trip to nearby Bryce Canyon National Park, to see the infamous spires. Staying at the North campground is a great way to see the best parts of the park.
It doesn’t take a road trip to go camping in Utah. The state capital, Salt Lake City, butts up against the Wasatch Mountains. Fifteen minutes up one of the canyons is all it takes to trade city noise for alpine meadows and lakes. In the summer, Albion Basin blooms with color. Red Pine Lake is a secluded campsite with two lakes and frequent wildlife sightings.
For a different kind of mountain experience, the Uinta Mountains aren’t much farther. They’re the only mountain range in the contiguous US that runs east-west. Still part of the Rockies, they’re Utah’s highest range, with King’s Peak topping out at 13,528 feet. Most of the camping is dispersed, but Mirror Lake is a great campground right off the main scenic highway.
There’s something for everyone in the great state of Utah. From the desert climate to the fresh mountain air; unique experiences found only in the land of Zion. With nooks and crannies waiting to be explored, camping in Utah is, indeed, life elevated.
Easy to access dispersed campground. Coal Creek is a convenient site to stay in if you're checking out Cedar Breaks.
There are quite a few spots suitable for setting up camp and you've got some tree cover to help insulate you from 14. Watch for the pretty big potholes that you'll want to take slow when you first come in if you have a low clearance vehicle but otherwise it's a really solid campground.
I stayed here in May and enjoyed it very much. Each campsite has fire pits and cooking grates. The pit toilets were very clean and well kept. The campground does fill up on busy weekends but there are lots of other dispersed camping areas around.
On a side note the location that shows up on the map isn’t correct. The campground is actually on the south side of the main road. Not every site will fit the large trailers or rv’s but most will.
This is one of the best dispersed camping areas around Moab. The location is north of Moab by 25 minutes or so. Right on two mountain bike trails - Sovereign Single track (great for intermediate and advanced riders) and the Klonzo trial system (great for beginners).
There are great moto options all around too. The road can be a little rough getting back to these sites so lower clearance vehicles may have some trouble.
Great location, great riding, and free.
This is a great option for large groups particularly if Willow Springs area is full. It is not the most scenic area, but it is a great staging area for large groups. This was also a great flat safe area for the kids to play on the motos while we prepared dinners and relaxed.
This is a great place to stay with access to the river. The only disappointing thing is that there are limited sites and they fill up quickly most weekends. And if you have a camper that is larger than 25 foot the dispersed camping areas are very limited. I really hope the BLM has plans to expand this campground by at least 5 sites in the near future as I think they would still be full often.
I have camped here several times and really enjoyed it. It has great access to the river and 4x4 trails all around. The only disappointing thing about the campground is that it only has about 10 sites and fills up quickly most weekends. There are other areas around you can diapered camp but not many that are accessible with trailers bigger than 25 feet.
Tldr: A 4wd dirt road out to the canyon with primitive (open dirt) campsites and a few fire rings.
The sheeps bridge road that gets out through the campsites has camping options from right off the highways to deep into the fields by the virgin river canyon. All are primitive, and many have fire rings. I did see some RVs near the highway, but no hookups or dump sites. A number of hiking and off roading shortcuts can get you in and around the area. While there are no large rocks to worry about, after the first couple miles its best to have a four wheel drive high clearance vehicle, as the roads get rutted and in rain very muddy. I made it around easily in a Mitsubishi outlander sport with 4wd. Many campsites are clearly visible by the signage as well as visible fire rings. The fire rings have spikes and mounts for convenience. Due to the elevation and canyon, this area is slightly warmer in the winter, and was not snowed over when the rest of zion was, so it made for good camping (the ground was still frozen). My friend and I had no trouble staking down, and the local gas stations (less than 30 min drive in any direction) all had firewood in the winter. We drove and hiked into the canyon easily from the campsite. Overall a fantastic primitive campsite for good canyon access, nearby hikes, and a few non sandstone climbs/boulders during rainy seasons.
I've visited Zion a couple of times and have stayed at the South Campground. This trip I stayed at the Watchman Campground. We arrived into Zion around mid-day and immediately hit the trails.
I hiked the Angels Landing Trail while my friend hiked some other trails. We finished at around 4pm then drove into town for a bite to eat. We ended up eating at the Thai Sapa Restaurant right outside the park in the nearby town of Springdale.
I knew that there were not showers within Zion NP so I inquired where I might be able to find a pay shower within Springdale. I was directed to the nearby Zion Outfitters Store. Attached to the store there is a shower room and laundry room that anyone can use. The showers operate on tokens that you can purchase from a machine and cost $4 for about 5 minutes. After showering, we ventured back into Zion NP to find a campground.
We were camping in the winter time, so the park was pretty empty and we had our pick of campsites. We drove around the grounds and found a spot close to the restroom. The restrooms do have sinks and toilets, but no showers. We were camping in a campervan, so setting up camp was easy. We simply pulled into a space, paid our camping fee at the after hours kiosk and we were all good.
We didn't really have a chance to explore the campground much. But the real advantage of this campground is that it is conveniently located within the park. During Spring, Summer and Fall you can access the free shuttle. And it is close to the exit of the park so that you can easily travel to the nearby town of Springdale to pick up any supplies, shower or do laundry.
We were on a road trip around Utah and decided to stop in the town of Saint George to get a bite to eat. We ended up taking our time to eat. By the time that we finished it was already dark and a little bit late. We didn't feel like driving far to a State or National Park, so we looked on TheDyrt app for nearby campgrounds. We found the McArthur's Temple View RV Resort right in the middle of town.
We first attempted to call the resort to see if they had any openings, but it was a Sunday evening and their office was closed. We were close by so we decided to just cruise over to the site. We found the office and luckily they had an after hours info kiosk with information about available campsites. We found one that was located right behind the office and adjacent to the restroom which worked out perfect for our needs.
The resort has many other amenities that we did not have time to take advantage of such as a pool, shuffleboard, cable tv, movie theatre, etc. It appears that this is both a long term and short term RV resort with many amenities. We paid the fee via the dropbox which was about $42. The restrooms and all the facilities were clean and accessible. At this resort, you're located in the middle of town, so don't expect easy access to natural areas. However, there are natural areas nearby the town of Saint George.
The next day we drove to the nearby Valley of Fire State Park and had a blast.
Caveat: The resort's name is McArthur's Temple View RV Resort which kinda indicates that while at the resort you may view the Saint George Mormon Temple. We could view the temple from an open area within the resort, but not every campsite has a temple view. It's best to simply drive to the nearby temple and check it out if you are so inclined.
We spent a fun day exploring Cedar Breaks National Monument. However, we lost track of time, the sun was setting and we had not chosen a place to camp.
Campground Review of Fremont Indian State Park:
We searched on TheDyrt app for nearby campgrounds and found Fremont Indian State Park. We drove down the mountain and around another mountain and found the campground. It was totally dark by the time that we arrived and so we quickly parked and set up our campervan to sleep.
A gentleman emerged from the shadows and approached our site. It seemed a little sketchy at first. However, he ended up being friendly and inquired if we’d like to join him and his friends around their campfire. After we prepared our campervan and cleaned up a bit, we dropped by the campfire. It turns out the party included some park staff and researchers. One lady was researching dark skies and one gentleman was researching astral alignment with ancient rock art. They shared about their research and showed us some of their amazing photos of the night sky. A warm way to end the day.
The next morning, we woke up to snow on the ground and the nearby mountaintops. Having learned from our new friends that the park contained some pretty significant rock art, we decided that we should check it out. We hiked on a couple of the trails and discovered quite a few of the rock art pieces created by the Fremont Indians. There's an easy trail that is located adjacent to the park office. There are other trails that run along the river. It is amazing that so much of the rock art was in such good condition.
The campsites provide the basics like a parking space, picnic table, electrical & water hookup and firepit/grill. The restrooms were conveniently located close to our campsite and were clean. There are showers behind the restrooms. During the winter the showers may be closed. The campground is somewhat small, but is surrounded by beautiful mountains and bluffs. The staff were super friendly and helpful.
For more info: https://stateparks.utah.gov/parks/fremont-indian/
Product Review of Travelers Autobarn Campervans:
As a Ranger for The Dyrt, from time to time I am provided products to test. For this outing I was provided a Travelers Autobarn Kuga Campervan.
For more info: https://www.travellers-autobarnrv.com
The best thing about traveling in a campervan is the ease, flexibility, and ability to make detours if needed.
We picked up our Kuga Campervan in Las Vegas. The Travelers Autobarn office is just west of the the main strip and easy to find. We arrived early in the day to begin the registration process and campervan orientation. The process was quick and easy. The Kuga Campervan is a hightop van conversion with couches, a table, two beds, propane stove, sink, water, kitchen, interior lights, fan, window shades and solar power. We also had the free living package which included kitchen pots, pans, utensils, cups and accessories. It also included sleeping bags, sheets, pillows and towels. The package pretty much made it super easy to get in the van and go.
The Travelers Autobarn staff member was super friendly and provided an orientation of the basic operation of the campervan. The campervan drives like a normal van, but learning about the camper functions was helpful.
We had charted a route around Utah and Arizona visiting a number of towns, parks, roadside attractions and hot springs. The day that we started a weather system passed through which made the temperatures drop in the northern part of our route. We simply flipped our route to avoid the cold weather and traveled the southern route first. By the time that we circled north the weather had warmed up and it was perfect weather for exploring. Traveling in a campervan made it super easy to be flexible with our route and schedule.
On our seven day trip we visited Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, Horseshoe Bend National Monument. Monument Valley National Park, Arches National Park, Mystic Hotsprings, Zion National Park, Cedar Breaks National Monument, Meadow Hotsprings, Valley of Fire State Park and Fremont Indian State Park.
If we were not traveling in a campervan it is unlikely that we would have had the flexibility to camp anytime and anywhere. We would have never found and stayed at Fremont Indian State Park. It ended up being a gem of a park and a great overall experience. This campervan camping adventure opened up my mind to new opportunities and travels. So much fun!
For more info: https://www.travellers-autobarnrv.com
This was my first time camping at this campground. There was snow everywhere, and quite a few available spaces. The spaces are decently far apart, and the bathroom facilities are warm and clean.￼ (Theres warm water from the faucets and the toilets flush). This place is like a winter wonderland if you come during or after a snowfall. Breathtakingly beautiful.
Many individual sites have great shade front the trees. However, the group site has little. Also, at the time I camped, the water fill station was contaminated, so you had to pack in all you water. There is no nearby dump station. However, their are a lot of great things about this campground. The nearby river is great, and we had a lot of deer we saw nearby.
Having grown up near here, I love going back to camp at this site. It had flushing toilets, a fill station, and a dump station. The trees are very thick, so from many camp sites, you can’t see the adjacent one. There are nearby trails and a great view of Stillwater dam.
Have camped here for years. The road in the campground is tight on some corners for longer rigs. A lot of spots are difficult to back into with a trailer. Small trailers and tents will work best up here. There are vaults and some flushers during the peak season. Lake gets very busy on weekends but is fun.
We stayed in site 8 and literally could have gone for a swim from our site. The sites are too close together for my liking, but we were the only ones at the campground. The pit toilets were clean (and not smelly)..The sites all had fire pit/grate, picnic table and flat spot for a tent or RV parking. The highway noise was a bit annoying, but not unbearable.
The sunrise over the river was incredible!
This campground is located about 10 minutes outside of Canyonlands - Island in the Sky and 35 minutes from the Arches entrance station. The sites are spread out enough, but I could see it being loud and crowded in the busy season.
We were one of three groups in the whole canpground, including group sites. The pit toilets were clean, there's a dumpster available and each site had a leveled tent pad, fire ring with grate and picnic table. We set up to a gorgeous sunset, and woke up to a full on blizzard.
We arrived at Zion on a Thursday evening in mid-November'19 without any plans. The Zion South Campground is closed for the season at this time, which we were unaware of. We did not have a reservation, and the sign at the entrance said full. We drove around a bit anyway.
In the 'F' loop, which has access to the walk-in sites, we noticed a parking spot without a reservation tag. So we knocked on the door of the on-duty campground host to ask about its availability. Sure enough, it was a no-show and they allowed us to stay after paying the standard $20 fee. The host made sure to explain how rare this occurrence is and we shouldn't bet on it in the future. Worth a try though if you have no other plans!
It is a very short walk from the parking lot to the 'walk-in' campsites. Maybe a few hundred feet. Sites are pretty close together, and the walk-in sites do not have their own fire pit. Instead, they have a few communal fire pits with benches around.
The sites each have a nice flat tent pad, an awning for shade, a picnic table, and a bear box.
Stayed here for a night before checking out the Delicate Arch at sunrise. Works pretty well for that as it is only a 10 minute drive to the entrances of Arches NP.
We didn't venture very far down the main road, and at the beginning it is pretty dense with campers. Probably not the best choice if you're looking for more secluded camping.
Mid-November it got down to about ~30 degrees F. Down to ~24F when we entered the park at 5:30am.
We camped off the second labeled mesa road/path - the one after Wire Mesa - I think it's labelled Grafton mesa? Drove pretty far down the mesa, maybe 2 miles, and found a great spot overlooking the valley.
This is challenging to get to coming from Rockville over the single-lane bridge (Bridge Rd). The section of the road that ascends to the mesa/butte is very rough. Lots of rocks, dips, washboard, etc. It is like this for maybe a mile? And then it turns into a fairly decent gravel road. We made it up and down in a Subaru Crosstrek, but I would recommend a higher clearance vehicle unless you are very comfortable in your vehicle.
Takes about 30 minutes to get from site to Zion.
Very worth it though! Not many people here in November. Much better experience than the tightly packed campgrounds south of Zion.