Along with easy access to biking and off-highway vehicle trails, Sand Flats' campgrounds offer spectacular vistas of sandstone domes, canyons, and mesas in addition to the ever-changing La Sal Mountains as a dramatic back-drop. Visitors are awed by beautiful sunsets, the magic of howling coyotes and a night sky of seemingly unlimited stars.
The Sand Flats Recreation Area is home to the Slickrock Bike Trail, a world renowned mountain biking destination. The area is also a premier destination for 4x4 and backcountry motorcycle enthusiasts. There is nearly 40 miles of off-highway vehicle trails to explore within the recreation area.
The group campsites are located in the Echo campground, campsites E-1 and E-10. Both campsites accommodate up to 16 people. E-1 has space for six passenger cars, or two RVs, or two to three trucks with camp trailers. E-10 parking is smaller and can accomodate up to 6 pasenger cars, or 1 RV and one to two trucks with camp trailers. Facilities include shade structures, picnic tables and fire rings. There are nearby vault toilet facilities. Campers will need to bring drinking water.
The campground is set among slickrock domes and fins. The sites offer sweeping views of sandstone domes, canyons and mesas against the backdrop of the 13,000 ft. La Sal Mountains. Pinyon and juniper trees offer limited shade.
The sites are located only five miles from downtown Moab, providing convenient access to many bike and off-highway vehicle trails, Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, Dead Horse Point State Park, the Colorado River and the La Sal Mountains.
Charges & Cancellations
If you do not arrive at the group campsite facility by check out time on the day after your scheduled arrival date, which is 11 am, you are considered a no show and your site will be made available to others.
ADA Access: N
Some of the best dirk biking I’ve done! Every terrain you can think of… slick rock, clay, sand, soft dirt, hard dirt, and hill climbs!
This place is perfect and typical Moab. Right next to the FAMOUS slickrock trail, this location was great to camp in!
One of the best areas in Sand Flats Recreation Area. This site was one of the biggest in the area that could fit multiple tents and has a fire pit and picnic table. It was $15 to camp per night. I went with a group of three guys and made friends with others that shared the site. There is no service in most of the area, however, if you climb up some of the rocks (for example the view from the video or picture) you can get service. It was mostly sand where our tent was set up with some rocks. It does get cold during the night so make sure you have warm clothing. There are multiple activities to do within this area. Consider going during Jeep Safari. Although crowded it is a very cool event especially if you are interested in off-roading.
We stopped by for two nights the weekend after labor day, and I was really pleased with our brief stay. There were SO MANY OPTIONS of open sites, so it was fun to spend an hour driving through the park, shopping for which one we would settle on. We chose one with some shade for the tent and for the dog, and that had room to explore nearby. Site was clean, park was quiet at night, and we did plenty of wandering/exploring around the site
I will start with saying this is my favorite spot i have ever camped. In particular the spot in the pictures (I will not tell you the spot number, find it if you can) Besides camping, the sand flats recreation area offers an array of activities. Slick rock is a famous mountain biking trail that is inside of the recreation area as well as endless trails for 4x4 vehicles. Through out the night you can hear the roar of engines driving around the sand flats. My favorite part of this area is how right around every camp spot you will find slick rock hills and trails to hike around and take in the view. Watching sunset from up above the campgrounds is amazing.
There is a fee upon entering the Sand Flat Area, one for day use ($5 per vehicle) and one for camping use ($15 per vehicle). There are many campgrounds spread out around miles of road, all are first come first served. You will find walk in sites as well as RV and tent sites. Campgrounds are marked with a letter and in each campground there will be around 10 spots. 120 in total.Each spot has a picnic table and a metal fire ring. Vault toilets are available in each campground, some of them are open air. Just a fence surrounding the toilet with nature and sky up above.
Spot size depends on which campground you are in, they will vary significantly. We have had spots with 5+ tents with plenty of room and we had been to areas where 3 of us are on top of each other. Choose wisely but choose quickly, spots fill up very fast in Moab's busy season which runs from late April to Late October. Try to arrive early in the day to get spots as people leave. Remember, temperatures get very hot here, i would bring a canopy or tarp to set up a shelter in the day.
I virtually ALWAYS stay at Sand Flats when I go to Moab (which is often), because it's a nice campground, outside of the craziness of town, but still close to town. It's quiet, and dark at night, and it's CHEAP
This was sensational. We drove about an hour up the mountain to camp right by the rim. If it hadn't been so late I'd have hiked the last hundred feet to pitch my tent right in the spot overlooking the rim. The views were astounding. Moab was a last minute addition to our Colorado camping trip and I am SO glad we added this Utah gem in. Right by Arches National Park, the scenery is breathtaking. And camping up here is totally free! Clean bathrooms and gorgeous skies and views. Now I tell all my friends to GO! Camp the rim. It is SO worth the extra drive up the mountain, though there is also gorgeous camping lower down. (I made a friend in a Chalet camper like the one I have at home and got a pic). They recommend 4 wheel drive. I was in an SUV (not 4 wheel drive) and my friend was in a Volvo 240 wagon. We made it all the way up until those last few feet which can easily be walked up to with equipment.
Close to Slick Rock trail.
Great place to camp, but you need to get there early to find a spot. Dogs are allowed, water is available. Toilets are clean but unique, only a few are in an enclosed building, the rest are enclosed but open to the sky. Great for ventilation, not so great in bad weather.
“Ranger Review: Renogy Phoenix Generator at Sand Flats Recreation Area, Moab UT”
Famous among mountain bikers, off-road motorcyclists, and 4-wheelers, the campgrounds at Moab’s Sand Flats Recreation Area offer spectacular views of undulating sandstone, dramatic canyons, and the nearby La Sal Mountains. Not to mention, silly quick access to the Slickrock and Porcupine Rim trails (for you mountain bikers). Camping is permitted in designated sites only, and there are over 120 campsites, in 9 loops. But in the spring and fall the campground is typically full Thursday through Saturday, and 85% to full other nights. Like I said, it’s famous.
Campsites cannot be reserved, and are offered on a first-come, first-serve basis only. They all have a picnic table, metal fire ring and nearby vault toilets. Sites are limited to 10 people and 2 vehicles per site, and all vehicles must park in the designated areas provided. You will also need to bring water for drinking, cooking and cleaning, as there is none available at the campground. There are no power hookups or RV dump facilities. Be aware that if you are planning on camping mid-May to mid-September daytime temperatures can be in the high 90's to 105 degrees Fahrenheit or more. Many sites are devoid of trees, so bringing your own shade is highly recommended. Additionally, this area sees frequent windy days, with gusts that have the capability of turning un-staked tents into $500 kites.
Now every site in the campground has its pros and cons, but one of the true beauties of this area is that you’re never very far from slickrock, or sand. And that’s largely all kids, or kids at heart, need. A small bag of sand toys, gardening shovels, and about 20 sq feet of sand, and kids can amuse themselves for days. They can be quite torn between going for a mountain bike ride, or just hanging at camp and creating imaginary worlds in the sand. Some sites have a modicum of privacy, while others are perched in the open, and your neighbors could be dirty hippy climbers, or a posse of jeep fanatics. Thus, one must be prepared to experience the broad spectrum of outdoor enthusiasts, but then again, that’s what makes Moab…Moab.
And remember, it's called slick rock for a reason, and follow good Leave No Trace practices, and Don't Bust The Crust!
(Biological soil crusts are alive. They live on top of the sand and consist of cyanobacteria. These crusts stick to the sand and prevent it from blowing and washing away; they absorb water; and they provide food to the plants. Basically, without biological soil crusts, there would not be many plants in the desert)
As a Ranger for The Dyrt it is a privilege to be able to test a variety of gear, and on this portion of my extended camping trip, I got to spend 10 days testing the Renogy Phoenix Generator 20W All-in-one Solar Kit tent camping at the Sand Flats Rec area in Moab, Utah. Renogy says “The Phoenix is an all-in-one portable solar power system specifically designed for mobile, off-grid applications and is ideal for emergencies. This compact, lightweight backup generator combines two highly efficient Renogy 10W Monocrystalline Solar Panels and can expand up to 120 watts with additional PVs. The Phoenix can be charged by solar, AC power, or car power.”
As with any piece of equipment, the two base root questions are, “What are my needs?” And, “Does this piece of equipment fulfill that need?” Although Renogy uses the terms “compact,” and “lightweight,” the Phoenix is neither if you’re looking for something to take into the backpacking. At 12.78 lbs, and roughly 16”X14”X4”, this is a car camping, river trip, yurt/hut trip, or tailgating piece of gear. In my mind it is perfect for charging phones, ipads, computers, DSLR cameras, any powering any appliances or gadgets (under 150 watts) that a family (especially one with kids) might take on an adventure where space and weight are not primary concerns. It is also touted as a backup power source in case of an emergency. Thankfully, I have yet to experience such an emergency, but if I had (or when I do), I’m sure I will find the Renogy Phoenix Solar Generator to be a lifesaver.
I charged the replaceable Lithium-Ion battery at home prior to the trip. While it arrived with some juice, it takes about an hour to gain an additional 25% charge plugged in to 110. Recharging with pure solar would be my last option. Renogy claims it will charge in 10 hours under the sun, but my calculations would put it at about two days, especially when you leave camp to hike or ride and have to pack the Phoenix up, (or lock it up?) lest it find a new home while you’re away. Solar, however, is a great way to “keep up” with the draw of charging phones and iPads. Even on an overcast day, the Phoenix was harvesting power from the sun! Pretty cool. I was impressed that a single iPhone charge from roughly 0% to full, used only 3% of the Phoenix’s battery capacity, and was super speedy, around 2 hours! And with 4 USB ports it was nice to be able to charge multiple devices at once. The Phoenix also features a super bright LED light that would be helpful in emergencies.
The Phoenix also comes with 5 cords for a host of AC and DC input and output options. Including one DC to light bulb socket, perhaps to be used for that party atmosphere. The plug areas are inset behind cover plates, which helps with Renogy’s claim of water resistance, but the plate must be open to access any port, negating the water resistance and creating a potential point of breakage in an otherwise robust case. That’s about my only nit to pick. The Renogy company offers a great warranty and great tech support in case you are confused by all of the options. In addition, it is incredibly user friendly. It has a replaceable battery with a 1500 cycle lifespan, that can keep all your devices charged on extended adventures, and, well that’s pretty cool. So if that describes your needs, the Renogy Phoenix will fulfill them.