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Ashley National Forest, UTAH
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Most Recent Ashley National Forest Camping Reviews
Great place to camp after fishing.

I love staying here after fishing the green river. Its in between Little hole and Dutch John. I stayed on Memorial day weekend and there was still plenty of room. Lots of big spots for tent of trailers. Really nice tables and pavilions.

Directions are wrong, paradise is great

If you want to get to paradise, use the paradise guard Station location, then continue down paradise park road.

Ranger Review INNO INH 120 2-tray bike rack @ McCoy Flats Dispersed

Ranger Review: INNO INH120 2-Tray Bike Rack at the McCoy Flats Dispersed Camping

Campground Review: This type of camping is my jam…not crowded, primitive and scenic, and free. The only reason why it is getting 4-stars is because of the wind…not so much my jam. It did die down overnight but then it picked up again the next afternoon. McCoy Flats is located about 6 miles southwest of Vernal, UT and you stay here for the proximity to amazing mountain bike trails. This trail system boasts 46 miles and 15 trials for all skill levels. If you are a mountain biker, this area is not to be missed. The camping, therefore, is dispersed along the main road from the designated trailhead. The main road is paved then you can pull of and set up camp along any unpaved spur road. It is primitive camping…whatever you bring with you is what you have. When you are done, don’t be that guy, and pack out your trash. The area is wide open but is susceptible to wind, which makes this a great area for vans, RVs or trailers. But if there is no wind, tents are awesome. You are also in the high desert plain, so watch for snakes. Because you are within the trail system, you can set up camp close to a trail and not have to move your vehicle, which is nice. The other nice thing about this area is a forest service pit toilet at the trailhead. So if digging a cat hole is not your thing, there is a toilet accessible. Overall, this area is going to become one of our regular haunts not only for the scenery but the trails.

Gear Review: Since we were visiting McCoy Flats, I figured this would be the best time to test out the INNO INH 120 2-tray bike rack and as a Ranger for The Dyrt, I get the opportunity test out gear from their awesome partners from time to time.. The popularity of tray racks have grown over the past few years and this rack clearly demonstrates why. It was super easy to put together right out of the box. It fits both 2” and 1.25” hitches securely so you don’t have to purchase converters which extend the rack out further. It fit our two fatter tire bikes (3” tires) with ease and the grooved channel in the tray would easily fit the skinny road bikes as well. Plus, it can adjust to different size bikes (i.e. kid sizes). 

Sure, it can fit a lot of bikes, but how secure is it? One word…AMAZING! Each tray has two arms which secure over the tires so both the front and back tires are secured. The bikes have very little movement when loaded (any movement detected is normal from the rack in the hitch or due to the car hitting a bump) and the bikes don’t touch each other. This prevents any scratching or potential damage while in transport. The latching mechanisms are durable and easy to tighten/loosen, making loading and unloading super easy. We have had this rack on our car for the past week and due to the ease of use my husband has gone riding every day. When not in use, the rack folds up easily and sleekly (it does not stick out obnoxiously from the back of the car).

Three things I want to warn about. 1) If you are at risk of scraping your car when going over a bump or down a curb, you will definitely scratch with the hitch on. Higher clearance vehicles won’t have any issue, but a car may risk some loud scrapes. The hitch seems to be taking them well, though. One benefit is the trays are slightly tiered, so if you do scrape, you scrape the area where the rack goes into the hitch and not the trays. 2) Be sure to load and secure your bikes with fully pumped tires. While this may be a no-brainer for some, we caught this before heading home. As mentioned, it secures your bike by the tires, so if your tires are low, it may not be as secure. 3) While the rack is metal, it does have plastic coverings and the plastic covering the area between the hitch and the rack has already started to crack along seams. This may be due to the scrapes from bottoming out or perhaps it is designed to come apart as I can push it back together, but in any case it has no impact on the performance of the rack, so I am not too worried about it. 

Overall, the INNO INH 120 is an amazing bike rack and well worth the investment for anyone who is or wants to ability to easily pack up for a ride. I don’t think I will ever own a prong bike rack again.

Breezy Green River camping in the Gorge

A great campground set down along the Green River. This is a loop set up, with each site nicely spaced with plenty of sage between sites for privacy. Most sites have their own covered picnic table (some share a covered area divided by a wall), and all have at least a picnic table and firepit. Some campsites have better views of the River (which kinda looks like a lake), but those sites seemed to be a bit more windy. The shower house was clean if a bit outdated. Nearby is a nice day use area with a boat launch and fish cleaning station. I stayed here two nights since I liked the privacy and quiet at night while I checked out the gorge and looked for wild horses in the day.

Beautiful and packed with snow!

Went there in January of this year to see some great contrasts at Red Canyon overlook! Was sad the restaurant was closed but so was everything else so it made sense. Theres good ice fishing on the northern reaches of the reservoir on both the east and west sides. If you want to cliff dive theres good spots near Mustang Rdge CG, which is one I need to add! This is also a good spot to set your boat off to explore the upper walls of the canyon!

Remote getaway from civilization

This campground is super remote and offers 4 primitive campsites. There are pit toilets and no accessible water. The river runs directly behind camp and trails run through the hills. If you're lucky, you will come across the herd of elk roaming the grounds. There are amazing petroglyphs a short drive down the road. The Dinosaur Nat'l Monument Quarry Visitors Center is approx 45 minutes away but completely worth the drive. Make sure your gas tank is full as there is no cell reception at the campsite.

I liked it

It got a little busy and on the holiday weekend but we did some great fishing!

Nice spot on the river and near quarry

Few miles into Dinosaur NP is a large but spacious and very green camp on the Green River. Friendly camp host, nice bathrooms, and potable water. Camp spots are large and flat.

Right by the river!

We camped in A10 and it is the best spot. It is right by the River Trail which is perfect for a late evening before dinner out and back hike. Amazing views in every direction! #10 is secluded by a bunch of sagebrush and has it's own mini trail to your own private beach! I would definitely recommend!

Nice Campground under a reservoir

It’s $5 a night for a good camping spot and nice bathrooms for how far you drive into the mountains. The spots are below the reservoir where people were fishing and plenty of cows were grazing and drinking. There’s dispersed camping if you take the dirt road past the old rangers cabin but we found broken glass all over the place so it’s not as clean as the actual campground. Nice spot.

Ranger Review: Nature's Coffee Kettle @ China Meadows Trailhead

Campground Review:

I have been backpacking 4 times in the Uintas and have climbed Kings Peak (Utah's tallest mountain) twice, but this place was by far my favorite and most picturesque visit! On the way to the trail head you pass Stateline, Bridger Lake, Marsh Lake, and China Meadows Campgrounds respectively, so if you don't want to backpack then these are some great options in the area that allow you to day hike the trailhead instead. At each one of the campgrounds there is also great fishing with Stateline Reservoir being the largest (and busiest!) Fees for the trailhead are $3 a day and they only accept cash or check.

Now for the back country dispersed camping you came here for! There are numerous places to camp along the trail just remember to follow the minimum distance rules from trails and water bodies so you can help make others' trips as serene as yours. The first popular spot to stop on the trail head occurs after a few miles in at a fork east that takes you to Lake Hessie. Round trip to the lake and back is around 7 miles. Beyond this intersection you pass through a tunnel of trees until you get to one of the only truly steep spots on the trail, a series of 5 switchbacks that gain a couple hundred feet of elevation. After these you get your first good look at the immense Red Castle in the distance! Not too far past the switchbacks is another intersection followed by Lower Red Castle Lake where most people stop to camp. There are 2 trails in this area: the lower trail will take you down to the lake but is very muddy and almost impassible during early spring. It is better to take the upper trail that continues to the main lake and then backtrack from the south end of the lake. Getting here puts you about 9 miles into the back country.

Where we decided to stop was at a small unnamed lake about a mile below Main Red Castle Lake. If you want to stop here it is the only lake that the trail passes right next to (I mean literally right next to it) We really loved camping here as we were able to fish for Tiger and Cutthroat trout extremely close to our campsite! It also has amazing views of Red Castle at sunset. While we were up there we only had neighbors the first night and the next 2 nights we had the lake all to ourselves! It takes a lot of effort to get up there but the solitude is absolutely worth it! From this base camp we were able to explore the Main Lake and Upper lake of Red Castle. If you've ever fished in the Uintas (especially along Mirror Lake Hwy) you know that most trout are fairly small <10 inches. At the main lake, however, there were huge Tiger and Cutthroat trout averaging at least a foot in length with many reaching towards 16-18"! The water is also amazingly clear so you can watch an entire school of fish chase your lure as you reel it in! We had good luck with black and silver spinners and a fly and bubble set up.

We plan on making a return trip as we did some bouldering and free climbing by the immense waterfall that drains the upper lake. Red Castle itself also holds tremendous potential for adventure mountaineering routes although they might need a decent amount of cleaning! However, please do not attempt any climbing there if you don't have helmets or are inexperienced in alpine style mountaineering and building trad anchors (also bring 50' of cording or webbing if you need to sling for your anchors, which of course you will!).

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Product Review:

As a Ranger for The Dyrt, I get to test products from outdoor and lifestyle brands from time to time. On this trip we got to test some coffee and cocoa from Nature's Coffee Kettle.

Nature's Coffee Kettle: Hazelnut Coffee and Hot Cocoa Mix

If you're tired of having to drink instant powdered coffee on your backpacking trips to save weight then look no further for a great tasting, lightweight substitution!

Hazelnut Coffee w/ Refill Packs

PROS:

This Brazilian hazelnut coffee was by far the best cup of coffee I've had while backpacking. Usually when we go backpacking we bring along the mini single serve powdered coffee packs that usually are pretty bitter and acidic. I doubt we'll ever do that again however as this was great coffee shop quality coffee that weighs as much as the same amount of coffee in an instant style. We really liked that you're able to reuse the kettle which keeps trash out of the landfill! The coffee had a nice mellow taste but rich in hazlenut after the first steeping. We decided to repour into the top to make it a little darker and the coffee still had a great taste without getting too much more bitter. The refill packs are also really nice because you can change up what flavor of coffee you make from morning to morning!

CON:

Again there was only 1 thing we thought could be improved in the design. It would have been easier to pour the first cup of coffee into the bag if the bottom was a little more rigid and could stand up on its own. Even with two people we still managed to spill some as the top of the bag where the filter is is very floppy until the bottom starts to fill up.

Other than that this is better than instant coffee in every way!

Hot Cocoa Mix

PROS:

The hot cocoa mix was very very rich and delicious! It was as if someone melted a pound of rich pure milk chocolate into the bag! Because of this it took us a couple days to actually finish one bag because of the sweetness of it. If you wanted to I'm sure you could drink some and then water it down some more, but if you've got a sweet tooth then this is the perfect convenient hot chocolate for you.

CON:

We had a few more issues with this than we did with the coffee, but that was mainly because we were backpacking and trying to keep a light load. Unlike the coffee the cocoa mix is in powder form and each kettle weighs almost half a pound. Because of this we would definitely not recommend this for back country trips and instead recommend it for car camping or simply hanging out by the fire with a convenient cup of hot chocolate.

It would be a great thing to bring on ski or snowshoeing day trips or on any trip where a warm drink would awaken a chilly soul!

My favorite camping!!!!!

This is a once a year MUST!!!! Free, dispersed camping in the beautiful Flaming Gorge! The drive in is beautiful, the camping is beautiful…don’t miss it. No services, but just a dirt road to get there. Lots of RVs were also using this area! Beach camping, swimming, amazing sunsets…it has it all. We were there in July on a Thursday, many spots were open. Take time to drive around and go down the little side “roads”, that’s how we found our little gem of a site!

Dinosaur National Monument

This campground is in the National Monument and is along the gorgeous Green River. It has clean flush toilets (lighted at night), potable water, fire pits, picnic tables and a variety of sites. You can camp a few feet from the river or walk a short distance to it’s sandy, rocky banks. Great place for birding, a short drive to the Park Service Visitor Center which is worth spending at least a few hours at! Take the shuttle to the Quarry for an entire bank exposing dinosaur bones and more.

Beautiful mountain lake with a nice campground.

When we arrived the campground was almost empty. There were a handful of folks fishing at the lake but overall it was a very quiet visit. Except for an unusually aggressive cow that decided to yell at my family for 15 minutes or so. Other than that it was great. If you come here, make sure to take the time the drive Red Cloud Loop Scenic Byway. Within a few miles of the campground we saw 4 moose.

Great campground

This has become one of my favorite campgrounds. What we have learned is that if you will go online and make a reservation (loop B), you can move your reservation to one of the non-reservable loops (A or C) once you get there. So if you find a site on the river or one with more trees in the outer loops, the camp hosts will let you change your site number. I love this feature as it also helps us to avoid noisy neighbors or shadeless sites. The park in general has lots of interesting, educational, and/or scientific sites. Plenty to stay busy plus the added bonus of having a river to cool off in. We have AT&T and had enough 4G throughout the campground to stream a Broncos game with minimal interruptions.

First to Review
Green River Sites

Dispersed camping on the 125 mile stretch of the Green river from Green River, UT to the confluence of the Green and Colorado rivers at Spanish Bottom. We stayed at the BLM sites on the Colorado in Moab the first night. These are all pack in/ Pack out sites so get your “groover” ready. Fires (when allowed) need to be in a fire pan that meets NPS specs. No water so you will need to bring with you. The Green is a silt river and I am sure will clog filters. Stillwater and Labyrinth Canyons are a marvel. Take your time and hop from site to site getting some hikes in. One important note: The BLM sites in Moab are first come first served so if you may need to look for other accomodations on your way out of town. We got back in town late in the evening from the shuttle back to town from Spanish Bottom and weren't able to secure a campsite when we returned.

I love this place!!!

I have been camping here for about 30 years and I'm only 30 years old. My family and our camp friends have been going here, year after year, for the great camp sites, fun hiking and most of all, the sublime waterskiing. To keep it fairly brief, the camp sites are mainly situated around a large, open, slightly uneven grass area which is great for tent camping and day activities (volleyball, frisbee, catch, BBQing.) Not much shade from the smaller trees but there are shaded picnic tables for each site. Around that are the RV sites with full hookups. The surrounding tent sites are in a more desert like, sandy area where I haven't spent much camp time. The bathrooms are usually clean and in good working order with running water, but nothing fancy (no showers.) The lake has a plethora of awesome acitivites including boating, kayaking, canoeing, swimming, cliff jumping, fishing and does provide some rentals. We usually try to go during the week as it does get quite busy/crowded on weekends.

Green River Campground - Dino Nat’l Monument

Green River Campground is located inside Dinosaur National Monument - on the ‘Quarry side’ of the park, in Utah. It is a short drive from the vistitors center and quarry, and is next to the Green River.

BEWARE: We trusted Siri's directions, and she steered us in the wrong direction - she sent us across the Colorado border and to the ‘Canyon side’ of the park. We saw a sign reading DNM, and passed a visitors center, so we figured we were in the right place - we should have stopped at the visitors center, we may have saved ourselves from getting a little lost. After driving 15 miles or so we came to a stopping point - you needed a 4 wheel drive vehicle to continue down a couple of the roads. There was a sign post with a map, but the Green River Campground was nowhere to be seen. Since we didn’t have 4WD we figured the campground was not accessible through the roads within the park, so we had to backtrack back to highway 40 towards Utah to the Quarry side. Lesson learned - follow the directions on the park's website, NOT SIRI!

If you have an easy-up or some sort of shade canopy, I highly suggest bringing it with you when you are camping in this part of Utah! As stadard for the area, most of the campsites do not have much in the way of shade. We camped this past July, and it was extremely hot for most of the day and well into the evening. There were a couple sparse trees in our site, but they did not provide any shade. We tried to rig up a shade canopy with an extra tarp, but there wasn't much to tie it to, nor did we have much rope.

Warning: The area does have black bears, but there were no bear bins in the campground, so you have to lock all of your food and toiletries in the car at night. There are bear-proof dumpsters for trash and recycling though. I was once told by a ranger in Yosemite NP that bears can recognize coolers when peering into car windows - he suggested putting put a towel and gear over your coolers when keeping them in the car overnight in bear territory.

The bathrooms were clean - no showers are available, though.

There were not any water spigets around by the sites, but there was a faucet outside the rest rooms for dish washing and water bottles.

The fire pit had a very nice cooking grate - we always bring a small collapsable grate in case the fire ring doesn’t have one, but no need to use it this time!

It got very windy during the day, and after coming back from a hike we found our tent blown over, despite having staked it down. Stake your tents down well!

We only saw one scorpion in our site for the two nights we stayed - one crawled up by the fire ring and hung out with us next to the camp fire. He was small. I would still suggest always zipping up your tent completely every time you open and close it, and to check your shoes if you leave them outside!

Some sites in Green River are "riverside," but are not directly next to the river - perhaps 30 yards away. We walked down to the river - we did not see any true trails to the river, but we didn't take the time to look around. The river and surrounding moutainous region was beautiful, and the cold water was a great way to cool off after a hike in the heat.

I was able to get some cell service down in the campground, but it was definitely better up near the visitors center.

Green River Campground is a great basecamp for those wishing to explore Dinosaur National Monument! Bring lots of water - it is HOT in the summer! We chose to get up early to hike and beat the heat - afterwards we packed up lunch and drove over to Josie Morris cabin. The Josie Morris cabin is an interesting historical site - what one women accomplished out in the middle of nowhere was impressive! Josie planted a lot of trees on her land, so there is a nice shady lawn with picnic benches and a view - it was the perfect lunch spot! The petroglyphs around the park are a must see, as is the quarry exhibit hall!

CAMPSITE SPECS

Fees: $18/night

Plumbed Toilets: Yes

Drinking Water: Yes

Showers: NO

Picnic Table: Yes

Firepit: Yes

Cooking Grates: Yes

Shade: Limited!

Cell Service: Limited

Animals Bins/Food Lockers: NO

Trash: Yes

Spirit Lake in the Unitas

Beautiful campground with so much gorgeous area to be explored. It was a busy July weekend with some bouts neighbors but we found ourselves able to get away and go hiking and take in the views. Bathrooms were cleaned and maintained. We happened to go during mosquito season, but the views were with it. Beautiful place.

Immaculately maintained oasis

We stayed here one night on July 20, 2018.  

This KOA was a welcome stop after the long hot time we had in the Arches area. After going over an 8500 foot pass and stopping in the close by town of Rangely, UT (visiting the town museum), we arrived.  The park was pretty full but the atmosphere was welcoming and calm. The folks who run the KOA are both friendly and attentive.  They helped spot us into our back-in trailer site and our kids visited with their dog while we got the rundown on their facilities. We visited at the height of the season and there were 20 plus kids in the play areas at all times, but the sound did not carry which was nice. The pool is expertly maintained and located right next to the laundry room (handy). The showers were excellent and again, clean and well maintained like the rest of the facilities. The small store has just about anything and everything you could need including RV/trailer repair parts.

This is the first time we stayed at a KOA but will use them again after this great experience on the road.

Tucked in along the Green River

We spent one night on July 19th, 2018. 

This campground is located within Dinosaur National Monument right on the Green River. The sites were open and average but it was all dry camping. This would normally be fine but the temperatures were >100 degrees and it was too hot to really enjoy. The rest rooms were functional but had no showers or towels/dryers. They have wood for sale if you want a campfire. The water was comfortably cool with a small rocked in area for little people to play in the water. 

It sits at the bottom of the hill right on the river so once the sun drops, the campground is in shade which dropped our temperature by a good 20 degrees. There were nice clean pads for tents, fire rings and wood picnic tables.

I recommend this park for cooler temperatures.

Perfect place to camp prior to Lodore put-in

19 tent & RV sites. One site is ADA accessible. A bit buggy so bring the bug spray. This is the perfect place to stay prior to your Gates of Lodore river trip put in. No cell service that I remember & it's a long drive from "civilization" so make sure your car is filled with gas, is in good repair & that you have all the items you'd need for your trip. Vault toilets & water spiggot are great to have to fill up water jugs prior to rafting. No electric, sewer or water hook ups for RVs. No reservations so it's 1st come, 1st served. They have bear proof containers for anything with a scent. No trash containers so pack everything out. Only cash & checks accepted so bring $10 (although discounts for Seniors & when water is not available at the campsite).

China Meadows trailhead. Parking great during week, but crowded on weekend

Going to Red Castle - great trailhead and clearly marked. Going to Big meadow or Dahlgreen trail? Better have a compass sine the trail is poorly marked! Still beautiful!

flaming Gorge

stunning views and wide open spaces . The best ice cream around at the resort

Fireman's memorial campsite

We stayed in spot #21 with amazing views and every spot had a paved place for the truck (since we have a roof top tent, being level where we park is important). Also- flush toilets! A lot of mosquitos but it's near water in July so that's to be expected!

The best place in the world

My family has been camping here for 29 years!!! It our favorite spot in the lake!!! Somewhat protected from the storms and it’s a very quiet place!!!

Step Back in Time

An NPS Park, it’s situated on the banks of the Green River. Electricity is available, which can come in handy as the area can get seriously warm in the summer. There are two loops, one which has trees, the other mostly without. Reserve ahead as shade is a commodity.

The Park visitor center is amazing. A preserved 90’ wall of dinosaur bones. It doesn’t get any better.

Great Spot for setting out backpacking

we started here on a 3 day trip and took advantage of the vault toilets. From here we set off on the Swift Creek trail that ascends quickly. the Yellowstone trail however goes through a dense tunnel of forest for quite a few miles.

This is one of the ways to approach Kings Peak but the round trip mileage is around 40, so it is by no means short. if you've only got a day or two at the campground I would recommend Swift over Yellowstone due to the great views and a plethora of lakes within a short distance.

Very rough long dirt roads, but nice campground

Nice campground, fire pits, picnic tables, pit toilets, had water, no power,, NO Verizon service at all,, very dark out in the middle of nowhere,, but glad we did it, stayed 3 nights in May 2018

Free BLM land dispersed campsite

What can you say, nothing here, grass parking spot with beautiful views, quiet, dark, it was great!! Stayed one night,,spot is off main road around a mile on left there is a pull out spot big enough for our 26’ travel trailer to turn around and get level,,