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Apple Valley, UTAH
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Beautiful Weekend

We had such a great time last weekend at Sand Hollow State Park! Our friends were participating in the Sprint Tri so we drove up from Vegas to camp with them. It’s clean, beautiful and there’s plenty of space to spread out. There is a ton of razor/side by side activity so if you are looking for a super quiet campsite, this might not be the one for you although, come 11pm there was zero noise. The lake is so pretty and the water is warm right now! Enjoy!

Beautiful scenery you have to see in person.

Just returned from 2 nights, my only negative is the assignment of walk up sites. Arrived the first day in plenty of time only to get the group overflow section, being told we could get a regular site the next day. Showed up the next morning first in line to only be told we want to accommodate the folks staying 2-3 nights not one more. Decided to stay in the what basically is a parking lot for the group site. So note make sure everyone is on the same page for site assignment. Okay the positive it actually is a beautiful camp ground and state park. All levels hiking, climbing etc. Clean facilities and friendly staff. Next time I’ll make advanced reservation since the walk up part is a mess.

Ride and relax

We stayed at a group site without hookups for a week in mid-May and had a great time! The park was not crowded at all. There are trails for all SxS/quad level riders, including dunes and rock crawling. Awesome views at the Top of the World! The lake was perfect for swimming, floating, paddle boarding, and kayaking. We heard about the swimmers itch but didn’t have any issues (showered after swimming). The bathrooms were large and clean with warm showers. Water and dump station are right by the entrance. The location was close to Walmart and other stores. We also drove about 40 minutes to Springdale and Zion National Park.

Great hiking spot

Made several trips through this camping ground to hike through the red rock canyons behind. Super fun and great when the snow melts! The campgrounds were all pretty open but seemed pretty clean with easy access.

Beautiful location

Red Cliffs is a popular location for locals out of St George for day hikes and school outings because of its geological significance and fossilized dinosaurs prints. There are 11 camping sites that have shade structures, picnic benches, and fire rings. Water faucets are located convenient to each site and bathrooms are vaulted. There is lots of traffic throughout the day with day visitors but evenings are peaceful. Not conducive to large RV’S. The campground fills up regularly so plan for an alternate. KOA is just down the road.

Best deal

Very close to Zion and but nothing else around. Newer facilities but WiFi not great at sites- just in main house. Not very busy and price was great!! (Especially after paying unreasonable amounts in Moab). Staff friendly and showers/laundry/comfy couches to chill at and play cards. Full hook ups:)

Beautiful RV park & Staff

This park was such a wonderful respite for us as we journeyed thru SW. Price is amazing at $25 for full hookup- and with Good Sam it was even cheaper. Bathroom/showers/laundry facilities are beautiful. Beautiful patio with comfy chairs and little patio fireplaces. Ping pong table and direct tv and WiFi that works at campsite. I really can’t say enough. We plan on staying a second night after going to see Grand Canyon.

Breath taking

First time to Utah. BEAUTIFUL sites, very clean. Group site was awesome. We didn’t camp with tents, it was awesome waking up and having deer all around you!

This was our home base before heading out on a two night backpacking trip with students. Park Rangers were awesome.

My happy place

Great location, river front, come early if you don’t have reservations. Stayed in a number of sites including the group site. No showers so bring your own, or you can pay for a shower in town.

Great campground

This campground is great for exploring Zion National Park. Each campsite has a fire pit and picnic table. There are restrooms with running water and electricity. Only a short walk from a shuttle station and Visitor’s Center. We also had deer around our campsite every morning and evening.

Treacherous Drive Worth It for the Breathtaking Views

The camping on the BLM land around the Smithsonian Butte Backcountry Byway is my favorite area I've camped up to date. Incredibly close to Zion National Park, yet we hardly ran into a single person.

My boyfriend and I were planning to explore Zion for a few days, so we were looking for a free place to camp close by to the park, and the area around the Smithsonian Butte road hit all those marks. Though there are many of what appears to be campsites right off of the road, NO CAMPING is allowed within 1/2 a mile of the road. The "sites" are marked with no camping signs, so please respect other visitors and their views by not camping there. I very highly recommend going up the road to where we camped, on the Wire Mesa.

The Smithsonian Butte road from Rockville is not for the faint of heart, and is only passable when completely dry. A 4-wheel drive is highly recommended, as well as a vehicle with high clearance. Lots of rocks, ruts, and washed-out areas on this dirt road. It is uphill all the way if you're coming from Rockville. Going up is questionable, but going down is downright scary. Do not attempt after a rain. Was driving down to Zion one morning after it rained at night, and genuinely almost slid the car off a cliff. However, the adrenaline made it very fun and the spot we found was completely worth it.

The first major road off of the byway (to take you the obligatory 1/5 mile away to camp) is the road to the Wire Mesa (there's a clear marker). Farther down is the larger Grafton Mesa. We went with the Wire Mesa, and wouldn't trade it for anything. Down this road, you can see a solid amount of areas that have been used as campsites, most of which have clear fire rings. You can camp at any of these, surrounded by the native plants and wildflowers! There are some car-wide paths that you can drive down that jut off the main road. Google maps satellite view was very helpful in picking one that went to the edge of the mesa; I wanted a view! We followed the first offshoot, passed a bunch of perfectly adequate campsites, but found THE ONE at the very edge of the mesa. Could drive the jeep right up to it, was a nice durable surface to camp on (shout out to those LNT principles), and near the mountain biking trail, which made for amazing sunrise strolls by our east-facing campsite. The BLM allows downed would to be collected to fires in existing fire rings, and there was lots of dry wood on the ground to be collected.

There are no water sources nearby, so make sure you have enough water with you for drinking, cooking and washing. Carry out all your trash, including toilet paper, but solid human waste can be buried in appropriately deep cat holes. It may get a little breezy on top of this flat mesa at times, so make sure tents are really tied down! I would be highly surprised if any sort of camper/trailer/RV could make it up the Smithsonian Butte Byway. As an unexpected perk, I had full LTE cell service--and I have Sprint. That never happens. The stars at night are also incredible.

The drive from our site right at the east edge of the mesa to the south entrance of Zion was about 30 minutes, mostly due to the snail pace the dirt road requires. We were there mostly during the week and were completely alone up until Friday, where we saw some more mountain bikers and a few more campers. Again, this was the best camping site I've ever had. Camping in this area has that awesome back country feel with front country car accessibility (if you like thrill rides). So close to Zion, but I never even got to the National Park, I would have been okay with it. The area has so much to offer on its own.

Sorry for the very long review! Really wanted to share my experience and talk this place up. Here's a really helpful map of the BLM land in the area. Please respect the rules and private land!

https://www.nps.gov/zion/planyourvisit/upload/blmcampingsouth.pdf

Wake up to a view

This campground was beautiful, we arrived in the dark and woke up to the best view. Watchman is positioned near the information center. The bathrooms were near by and we were able to easily drive into town for groceries.

Great spot

A great place to camp. No sign to attract crowds of people. Scenic setting and you are surrounded by buttes in several directions. Some assigned sites but most are dispersed camping. In early May no wind, however few trees are present if wind is an issue

Good stop over for the night

A nice little stop over for the night. Going down gravel/dirt road you find a few pull out areas big enough for multiple RVs and a number of smaller spots for tents. Peaceful spot, a few rock fire rings and good cell service (ATT).

Rains may make road questionable and road is close to river. End of BLM land is clearly marked at end of road.

Beautiful

Beautiful campground. Shuttle near by to get to a lot of hikes.

EXCELLENT

Great place for camping with younger kids. Lots of shorter trails, nice bike path, great variety in geology and hikes.

Crazy Caterpillar Camping

Seems like a crazy title BUT have you ever sat around the campfire and had it raining caterpillars? Literally? There is apparently an invasion of caterpillars in Zion right now(end of April), millions of caterpillars everywhere.. Beyond the take-over this is a beautiful campground with the Virgin River at its side. Our Family enjoyed this campground tremendously, our 5 year old loved the caterpillars even more! Speaking of tiny humans be sure to pick up their Junior Ranger Program either at the Visitor Center(off season) or the Nature center(peak season) and they too can Earn a nifty Junior Ranger Badge! With plenty to do for all ages in the nearby museum there are also 2 trails that are accessible from the campground, the watchman trail (moderate 3.3) and the Pa’rus trail that is paved for handicap and cyclists with gorgeous views of the swift Virgin River. I would advise everyone to make your reservations 2 weeks in advance! We got lucky but spent half the day just waiting to know IF we could get a site. The town of Springdale just on the outside of the park is accessible from the campgrounds with a Market and several gear outfitters. Not to mention the Zion Brewery which was fantastic too! Overall great experience even with all the creepy caterpillars!

Cozy Utah camping

The Watchman Campground was quiet and seemed way less caterpillar infested like it’s sister camp (South Campground). Super kid friendly and tons to keep the tiny humans entertained. Be sure to visit the Nature center during the peak season or the visitor center in the off season to pick up a Junior Ranger work book for the kiddos. Complete given instructions and you too could receive a nifty Junior Ranger badge! Several trail heads such as the watchman and pa’rus trails are accessible from the campgrounds and the visitor center is right in between. The town of Springdale is just beyond that across the bridge of the virgin river where you can find an array of restaurants (we visited the brewery and loved it!), shopping and several gear outfitters. Zion National Park has some of the cleanest restrooms I’ve ever experienced while camping. The visitor center is making some major improvements that look fantastic! I would recommend camping in Zion via reservations! We got lucky with the lottery and cancellations but definitely make reservations at least 2 weeks in advance! Overall great experience!

Great primitive site!

It's primitive with no bathrooms or water, so know that going in. For a primitive campground, very nice! There are only 5 of them, so plan ahead if you want to camp here. I saw quite a few wildlife while here including deer and raccoons. True to Zion fashion there are TONS of squirrels who will steal your food, so watch out for that :)

It's okay. I prefer South Campground!

This campground is fine, but a bit crowded. Lots more RVs in this one than in South. Amenities are nicer, but there is construction on one of the loops right now so there is some noise from that. It's close to the visitor's center and right next to the Virgin River, so that was cool! Better bathrooms than South. More family friendly, but also more crowded!

BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!

This campground was great for us! Large campsites, ours held our car and an 8 person tent with plenty of room to cook, hang out, and kick a soccer ball around. Bathrooms are clean and drinking water is cold! It's also GORGEOUS with amazing views of The Watchman from the site and two hiking trails next to the campground. Be sure to book online ASAP (2 weeks in advance is the earliest allowed) because these sites fill up super fast.

A Wonderful Surprise After a Week of Sleeping on the Ground

We finished out our Spring Break Outdoor recreation trip by clamping in one of the canvas tents at Ponderosa. I'd never been so excited to sleep in a bed. We slept with 5 people in each tent. The tents were accommodated with 4 beds (2 twin, 1 Queen, and 1 pull-out couch). We were provided with a power strip for phone charging as well as electricity, extra blankets, and towels.

While we were too tired to take advantage of all the activities offered at the resort, we spent a good amount of time in the hot tub and pool which we had all to ourselves. We then finished out the evening by cooking burgers over the fire and taking showers.

We woke up the next morning to a light dusting of snow, but were not cold during the night. We then enjoyed the all you can eat breakfast which was very nice, especially after having to wake early and make our own food over a temperamental stove each morning.

All in all, Ponderosa was a fabulous experience and I would highly recommend it (Plus it's located literally just outside of the Zion Park border).

A welcoming and beautiful environment

I went on a week long trip through several of Utah's national parks with my university Outdoor Recreation club for Spring Break. We spent 2 nights at Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park, driving into Zion each day. Upon arrival we were greeted by a very friendly ranger who provided us with a warm welcome and all the information we needed during out stay.

The campsites were all spacious and each had their own waterspouts and picnic tables. This was super exciting since we had previously stayed at a campground without any water access. The bathrooms are fully functioning as well and were a nice change from the pit toilets we had been using. It was a relief to come to CPSDSP and find that we could all shower as well. Basically we were very happy with all of the amenities.

The sand dunes themselves are gorgeous and we had a great time sand-surfing and rolling down them. We returned in the middle of the night to do some astrophotography and star gaze. These were probably the best dark zones I've ever seen.

Our second night at CPSDSP we switched campgrounds because we had originally only planned to stay one night. However, it was decided that we didn't want to take the chance with not getting a campsite in Zion so we talked to the ranger and he was extremely helpful in making sure we had a campsite for our second night. He moved us to the group site (there were 10 of us in our group) which was fully equipped and even had picnic tables under a covered area as well as a grill that can be used if you bring your own fuel.

Overall we had a great stay in the park and I am hoping to come back someday.

Don't take a chance, plan ahead!

My husband and I typically plan our trips pretty loosely and I think that's part of the fun. We don't know where we will sleep every night and don't plan out every second of our day. When we decided we wanted to take a trip to Utah, we had a rough idea of what we wanted to see and do. The ONLY solid plans we made were reservations at this campground 6 months in advance and knowing we had to be in Zion by a certain date to keep that site.

I had a calendar reminder set for 6 months to the day and we barely got a site! There were months of studying the map and tiny pictures on the recreation.gov website; contemplating shade, bathroom locations, and proximity to the Virgin River that runs the outer edge. It was all in vain as by 9am PST, I had my choice of the three remaining tent sites in the C or D Loop. At least we got a reservation. The popularity of Zion is unbelievable. The amount of people moving through the park, on the trails, and the lines for the shuttles are massive. I personally think that detracts from the experience overall, but you can't discount that all the popularity is for a reason. Zion is incredible and this is a great campground to experience it from.

The bathrooms are big and clean. Flush toilets and stalls. Multiple sinks on counters with mirrors, important if you have been showerless in a van for over a week and finally want to access the damage. You can fill your water outside the bathrooms and there are dish washing stations as well. The sites have picnic tables, fire pits, and are pretty large and spread out. We had spotty tree coverage. It was warm out and I would imagine this site would be tough in the summer when you could not escape the sun. Not much privacy, at least in C and D loop, but that as much the natural landscape as it is the campground. The campground was clean, quiet, and the Rangers were friendly.

Nearby Springdale is a neat town. We rode the shuttle from the Visitor Center close by the campground. Had a nice meal, some drinks, and a good walk.

We hiked the Narrows, Hidden Canyon, Emerald Pools, and a few others. Drove down to the nearby ghost town of Grafton which is a fun side trip if you are into that sort of thing. Make sure your car can handle the rough road.

Getting a site at Watchman can seem daunting, that's the only reason it's not a 5 in my book. That and the crowds and wait lines, but that's really the park, not the campground. Keep at it. It's a great base camp for exploring Zion and its surroundings!

Awesome in the winter

Stayed here in the winter and had a lovely time. The park was pretty empty, and this gave me a chance to explore so many great areas, including The Narrows, with limited interruption. Highly recommend Zion in the winter!

No Sleep

Dune buggies are zipping around all night… finally stppped around 1:30 am. Loud drinking parties too. Sad cause it’s a beautiful spot.

Great Assessability to Zion NP

Location is great for access to Zion NP. Has all amenities. Reserve early is a must. Within walking distance to many Springfield restaurants.

Impressive

Very well maintained and friendly service. Has a the bells and whistles. 5 star resort!

Easy to Find off the Road

We needed a spot not too high in elevation (there was still snow) and right off the road so we could just pack up in the AM and get going.

It was easy to set up and was far enough off the road where we didn't hear the loud trucks passing by. Easy to get to Cedar Breaks from there. Just up the road you can see the overlook of Zion, which was super cool!

I wouldn't camp here in the rain, it seems easy to flash flood through this canyon.

Windy but beautiful

Ended up here as a last minute change in camping locations, and it didn’t disappoint. Spots are a little rough, with some concrete tables (a couple with missing benches) and other spots with old weathered wooden tables. Saw a mountain lion while out on a stroll in the campground, which was exciting. Will be back for sure, when it warms up and the cold wind that comes out of the canyon isn’t so bone chilling.