Are you feeling lucky? Grabbing one of the few first come- first served sites at Canyonlands National Park is tough because this section of the park is immensely popular and there are only twelve available. But it's worth the gamble.
We arrived at Willow Flat Campground around noon on a Monday to find it nearly full. As other folks mentioned, the campground doesn't have electric or water, so it attracts a more rugged crowd. Larger rigs might find the pads too small, but it was perfect for my 13' foot camper and the vault toilets were clean and accessible. I had brought an extra bottle of wine in hopes that we might be able to share it with some friendly neighbors and trade adventure stories, but the sites were too large and private to be that kind of spontaneously social.
Staying right in the national park let us experience a bit of desert therapy on a deeper level. We walked to the Green River Overlook for the most spectacular sunset and then hopped in the car for a quick 5 minute drive to Mesa Arch at sunrise and saw the rocks glow florescent orange. Those pictures are the stuff social media is made for. But the best memory that I couldn't capture via my iPhone was the magic of seeing the Milky Way at midnight. Sitting under heavy blankets in the inky quiet of a night sky, filled with more stars than could have imagined, made us feel very lucky indeed.
This is the only campground in the Islands of the Sky unit of Canyonlands National Park. I drove down from Salt Lake City on a Sunday in mid-March and snagged the last site at this small campground (it was just about noon). This campground fills quickly and has no reservations so you may want to come prepared with a backup (I recommend the BLM sites on the Colorado River closer to Moab). There are other campgrounds just outside the park as well that seemed available. The campground has large secluded sites, but only has a total of 12. The campground has clean vault toilets and each site has a picnic table under a shade cover and a fire ring. The fee is $15 per night. One important thing to note is that this campground has NO running water, so be sure to stock up at the visitor center and bring a 5-10 gal container. The nights we stayed it was a bit windy, but this is to be expected for a desert mesa top.
This campground is walking distance to Green River Overlook which is a beautiful spot to enjoy the sunset. There is plenty of hiking nearby to keep you busy during the day. I enjoyed hiking to upheaval dome and Aztec butte. I also woke up at sunrise to catch the spectacular views from Mesa arch. My one complaint about the campground is that it was far from Moab which I had wanted to check out and enjoy. It takes about an hour to get there from this campground. However, this is the tradeoff for being very close to the sites and hikes of the park. Overall this was a quiet and clean campground with all of the basic necessities, but I may have preferred to camp closer to Moab for convenience. For more info about the campground, click here.
Wonderful cozy campsite. We got there thanksgiving morning. Barely slept and went straight to having our turkey feast… yes Turkey, while camping. There was grill, bench, a lil shade and couple of nice spots for 2 tents. But the main attraction is all the view loints surrounding the campsite. Known as the island in the sky. For us, it was extremely weird weather. It was snowing, but there was sunlight and barely any clouds. We drove around the area to see all the view points. Oh My Oh My Gosh
my fav.. mesa arch… must see in at sunrise
This is the quietest, darkest national park i've ever camped at. There are only 12 sites, and they have great spacing, and most that camp way up in the Island In the Sky area of Canyonlands, are there for the stars, the peace, and the quiet. No barking dogs, revving engines, or loud music. This is the best spot for meteor showers, try to make it for an August Persed meteor show in the future. No reservations allowed for the campground at Willow Flat, it's a first come, first served camp. No water available either. Bring what you need! And enjoy the amazing hikes in the area!
I love Canyonlands and it's a vast national park. However if you're looking to hammock at willow flats, you're probably out of luck as there are little to no trees.