Campsites are tucked in the pygmy pinyon-juniper forest on the mesas above Moab, yet offer great views. Individual sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis. One group site, Horsethief Group Site, is available for reservation through Recreation.gov. The area has many 4WD roads and mountain bike routes nearby. The campground is close to Canyonlands National Park and Dead Horse Point State Park. Individual Sites: 55 (limited to 10 people & two vehicles per site); Group Site: 1 (reservable); Water: No; Toilets: Yes; Hook-ups: No. (Note: this is a different recreation site from the "Horsethief Camp" located in the Needles, CA area).
Horsethief is one of many BLM campgrounds in the Moab area. Most are along the Colorado River but this one is about 30 minutes from Moab on the way to Canyonlands and Dead Horse Point State Park. Arches is also easily accessible from here.
There are almost 60 sites. There is no electricity, water or dump station, and there are vault toilets. Only complaint is that the large sites mean you get some big campers that need to use their generators. Generators are allowed between 8 am and 8 pm, but some people ignore that rule. It would be nice if the BLM divided a campground like this into generator and no generator sections. There are 3 loops here; it's large enough for that.
Activities: mountain biking trails, 1.5 mile loop hiking trail with a nice view of mountains to the south.
Campground Review:We stayed at the Horsethief Campground for 10 days in April. Horsethief is North of Moab between Canyonlands and Arches. This was a very clean and kept up campground with three loops and one way roads. The bathrooms are standard pit toilets but very clean and well stocked. The campground was sold out many of the nights we were there as people tend to head to the desert for a few days when ski season ends and you could not tell the heavy usage of the bathrooms. Camp host is very nice and there when you need them. Sites were close to each other but you didn’t feel on top of your neighbor or in a position where you didn’t have some privacy. Standard amenities: picnic table, fire pit, 2-car parking spots, tent areas or longer driveways to accommodate RVs or trailers. Obviously, some spots are better suited for trailers/RVs then others. There is also a campground dumpster which was awesome so you didn’t have to go to town to pack out your trash. The only negative is not really the fault of the campground but it was really windy many of the days. This made us alter our outing plans just a little and started to wear on our nerves/patience as cooking in the wind can be quite a challenge. This is definitely a campground we will return to when we visit Moab.
The best part of the campground was its location to our desired activities. This trip was mostly for mountain biking then off-roading. There are so many awesome mountain bike trails right next to the campground that you don’t have to drive to a trailhead unless you want to. Even then, the trailheads are a 5-10 minute drive away. There are trails for all ability levels but definitely more options if you are an intermediate and above rider. You are also close to state and national parks and a 20 minute drive into Moab as well as close to many good Jeep trails. Due to the wind and my newness to mountain biking we ended up doing more in car activities then usual such as new Jeep trails, fossil hikes, and state park visits. Finally, the campground is on BLM land so the roads pass through a lot of open range so watch out for cows crossing and being herded down the road. With the open range, the super fun part about visiting in the spring is seeing all the baby cows while you are driving in.
Gear Review: X-TALKER T51X3VP3 Two-Way Radio Three Pack
As a Ranger for the Dyrt, I get the opportunity to test out gear from our partners once in a while. So, while we were at Horsethief, we got to try out the Midland X-Talker two-way radio three pack. We used these primarily when we were on our jeep trails. Since it is important to be in communication between vehicles when running a trail, these radios were awesome and worked as good as or better than a CB.
- Long battery life. These lasted longer than expected with just the factory charge.
- Clear audio. These were used in primarily close range but between vehicles and the sound quality was super clear—no static or garbled transmissions. We could even hear other people from across the river as if they were standing right next to us.
*Good distance. Obviously the number of objects between radios can affect your distance but for what we were using them for it was great and I would feel comfortable having the radios farther apart and still be able to use them.
- We got a 3 pack! The more radios in use the more sites can stay connected.
- Easy to use. These radios have so many functions and abilities that it can get overwhelming but navigating the functions was pretty easy and the owner’s manual was clear.
- We got a 3 pack but the charging cradle only holds 2. This isn’t really a negative but does require additional planning if you want to use all three radios and ensuring they all have the same charge.
- Not really a con, but I may never utilize all the features that these radios offer, they are that awesome.
We are super excited to have these radios as part of our car camping and general gear arsenal. Because cell phones don’t always work or have service (especially in the backcountry), having another form of communication is important. Being able to use these in the winter when snowshoeing or touring will be great or for jeeping, mountain biking, hiking, and hunting in the summer/fall. They are compact, powerful, and easy to use.
Beautiful big campground 🏕
On Utah 313, 12 miles from Hwy 191 Elevation 5800 and offering 56 sites and can accommodate RV's (no hookups). Great views for sunrise and sunset! All BLM campgrounds and camping areas have vault toilets, fire rings, are open year round, and a fee is charged / collected at self pay station at entrance. No firewood gathering (available at convenience stores in Moab). Camping at all sites is limited to 14 days within a 30 day period. Be prepared for wind. Ground is pretty hard and tough to get tent stakes in - we tied down to rocks on site. About a 15 min ride from Arches and about 30 min from Moab. A great place to get away form the crowds!