When we start planning our trip every summer we plan it around Red Canyon Campground. Unfortunately last year they had an unusual amount of rain and they had a slide in the upper campground trapping some campers in rock. After digging them out, they closed the upper campground and said they would fix it over the winter.
Has great established camp spots with all your basic amenities, with a short drive over to Bryce if you need groceries or to one of the numerous gas stations along 12. This was a nice break from crowds atnBryce during the busy months as most people simply stop on their way to Bryce.
There are plenty of trails to hike amongst more scattered and shorter hoodoos. As with any of the campgrounds around the nat'l parks the winter is the best time to visit for solitude and the contrast between rock and snow is beautiful.
This 37 site, first-come-first-serve Forest Service campground was quite a find. It's in the Dixie National Forest about 12 miles from the entrance to Bryce Canyon NP.
We enjoy staying in national park campgrounds, but we also love Forest Service campgrounds and decided to try Red Canyon because it's close to the park. Showing up early in the morning on a Wednesday guaranteed we'd get a site…and once we got it, we could have it for as long as we wanted (subject to the usual 14 day limit). We were surprised that the campground was not full in mid-July, but we also noticed that the private campgrounds and North Campground at Bryce Canyon were not full.
This campground has everything we want: flush (and vault) toilets, sinks, potable water, trash dumpsters and showers ($2.50 for 8 minutes, located in loop A with sites 1 through 18). There is also a dump station. Cost is $18/night ($9 with our America the Beautiful Senior Pass). I can't think of anything wrong with this campground.
Our site 22 is a backin/pullin site with no one across the road. Site 23 is 50 yards away and 21 is at least 25 yards away. Other than a bit of road noise, we thought it was the best site in the campground. If you have a tent, there are two places where you can pitch it; see photos.
Site parking is backin/pullin, pull through and parallel. All sites from 19-37 in loop B except one are on the outer part of the loop so no one is across from you; the middle is green space and the dump station. I like sites 20 through 23 that are against a hill. Some of the sites in the loop A are closer together, and many sites on both loops are next to the highway with a buffer. That is the only drawback to this campground. 10, 10A, 11 and 12 are very close, but it looked people were using it as a group site.
In case you don't know much about the area:
Shop for food before you arrive if you don't plan to eat in restaurants all the time. The grocery store in Bryce Canyon City has a VERY limited selection and high prices. We're traveling for many months and eat out often, but we need a well stocked grocery store once a week. Other than Moab which has City Market, the grocery stores in the areas near Utah's 5 national parks have limited choices.
Bryce Canyon NP is the big attraction and rightfully so, but Red Canyon is worth a stop for hiking. We hiked two days in Bryce, spent a day at the stops on the scenic park road, and hiked one day in Red Canyon. It was necessary to get out early in July because the afternoons brought thunder and lightning every day except one.
Leaving from a trailhead st site 24, you can hike Buckhorn Trail to Golden Wall Trail and come out near the Red Canyon Visitor Center (about 1/2 mile from the campground). Views toward the campground as you hike up Buckhorn are spectacular even if you don't hike all the way up.
The paved Red Canyon trail is a great bike ride from the campground into Bryce Canyon. There is climbing in both directions, but more on the way to the park. The entire trail is 18 miles and starts about one mile west of the campground.
Every time we are near Bryce, we stay here. The tent sites are spacious and you don’t feel right on top of the other campers. The scenery is beautiful and it is very quiet at night. The toilet facilities are clean and sanitary. Great spot to ride the Thunder Mountain Trail for mountain bikers. Easy access to Bryce Canyon NP.
Great red-rocked canyon like only God and Walt Disney could create! Friendly campground host. Firewood available.
Beautiful views, with the extremely challenging Red Canyon Bike Trail close by. Highly recommend getting a drop off 10 miles up the road, and take your time enjoying the downhill ride back to the campground. The hiking paths behind the campground are easy and fun, with spectacular views and NO crowds!! During the day, the campground is quite noisy from Scenic Highway 12, but it's peaceful after 5 pm when trucks and buses are not traveling. Clean sites, clean bathrooms, water taps, no hookups, but there's a very convenient dump station!!
This is a nice alternative to camping in Bryce Canyon National Park. About 38ish mixed use sites (tents and campers mixed in, although most RVs and campers were on the one side and tents on the other loop) right on Highway 12, so there is road noise all day (but it quiets down around 10 or 11 at night). Flush toilets and showers were fairly clean, and there is a nice paved biking/walking trail that cuts right next to the campground. Word has it that if this is full, you can just take one of the forest service roads out a ways and camp there for free, no services. There is a nice visitors center across the road and down about 1/2 mile. Its a good home base if you want to play in Dixie National Forest (several great hiking trails- I recommend the Golden Wall Trail- and mountain biking trails if thats your thing), or if you want to visit Bryce but don't or can't camp there.
Red Canyon Campground is conveniently located near the road into Bryce Canyon. I would suggest driving down a forest service road though and finding yourself a free campsite. Great views, quiet, free. Can't beat that. Campground is good if you need the amenities.
This is a great campground that can be accessed by Vehicle or you can be adventurous and hike the 4 miles in on the Rim Trial. We chose to hike in and tent camp. The hike itself is a beautiful, easy hike. We went in the early summer with temperatures in the mid 70's You cross over skull creek and some other water run off. The campground itself is in the pines, with a beautiful view of the canyon overlook with Flaming Gorge lake at the bottom. The sites were clean with picnic tables & fire pits. The restroom facilities (pit toilets) were also clean. There is a visitor center within walking distance and Red Canyon Lodge is also within 1/2 mile of the campground and offers a small general store, cabins and a nice restaurant. My only complaint was that they did not have the water tuned on. After hiking in (with dogs) we were in need of water. Luckily the lodge was close by.. so 40 dollars later, we had enough water for the dogs, dinner and hiking out.
Of all the places I've been to in Utah, including the more well known places like Zion and Bryce, Red Canyon is my absolute favorite! The canyon is so gorgeous and more importantly, so empty! I liked it especially more because it felt like we had the canyon all to ourselves! So vast, gigantic, huge, and beautiful!
The campsite was nice and had coin operated shower system. The rangers were super friendly and helpful as well! The night sky was AMAZING! Because it was quite a distance away from the city or any other kind of light sources, the night time was pitch dark and the stars were spotless on the sky. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!