This article about free camping near Salt Lake City is brought to you by Midland. Their radios and long distance walkie talkies will keep you connected as you explore dispersed camping in Utah.


Utah is one of the U.S. states with the largest amount of public land. Around 65% of Utah’s land is public and the Bureau of Land Management manages roughly 42% of land in the state, making for plenty of free camping opportunities.

Dispersed camping is an excellent option if you want to camp for free. It means camping on federal lands right outside a designated campground managed by the Bureau of Land Management or the U.S. Forest Service. The areas are usually quiet, isolated, and surrounded by pristine nature.

You can do dispersed camping with an RV, but you won’t have electrical, water, or sewer hookups. Also, you can only access many dispersed camping areas near Salt Lake City from hiking trails. If you are looking for free camping near Salt Lake City, check out these great dispersed camping spots.

Camping Near Salt Lake City


Twin Peaks Wilderness Area Dispersed Camping

Image from The Dyrt camper Alan B.

Any dispersed camping at Twin Peaks Wilderness Area must be done at least a half-mile from any road. When driving through the park looking for a place to camp, beware of moose since they are often seen in the region. To keep this immaculate slice of wilderness intact, ensure you practice no-trace camping techniques.

Twin Peak Wilderness Area has three peaks you can hike that provide excellent views: Broads Fork Twin Peaks, Sunrise Peak, and Dromedary Peak. There’s plenty of hiking trails and amazing rock climbing spots, as well.

“Beautiful backcountry camping close to the city!” – Alan B.

Campground Details

  • Price: Free
  • Number of sites: N/A
  • RV sites: No
  • Fires allowed: Yes
  • Pets allowed: Yes

Lone Peak Cirque Dispersed Camping

Image from The Dyrt camper Alan B.

Lone Peak Cirque is an excellent place for avid rock climbers and mountaineers. This dispersed camping area offers spectacular views and wonderful hiking trails. Most of the dispersed camping is near the main hiking trail and some are up near the cirque. If you camp near the cirque, make sure to bring enough water and supplies because you’ll need to hike into your campsite. Lone Peak Cirque dispersed camping is a remote and beautiful place to hike.

“Best Cirque Camping in all of Utah!” – Alan B.

Campground Details

  • Price: Free
  • Number of sites: N/A
  • RV sites: No
  • Fires allowed: Yes
  • Pets allowed: Yes

Millcreek Canyon Dispersed Camping

Image from The Dyrt camper Derek E.

To camp for free in this area, you’ll have to hike up Millcreek Canyon. The hike has an average difficulty level and the trail is quite popular with runners, so you’ll likely meet other people on the path. In this area, you’ll be able to enjoy quiet and peaceful camping in the middle of a beautiful canyon. Millcreek Canyon dispersed camping is one of the free camping options close to Salt Lake City.

“I would recommend setting up at Mt. Aire, and then camping to the summit (45-minute uphill trek) for sunset or sunrise, both are beautiful.” – CK M.

Campground Details

  • Price: Free
  • Number of sites: N/A
  • RV sites: No
  • Fires allowed: Yes
  • Pets allowed: Yes

Albion Basin Dispersed Camping

Image from The Dyrt camper Alan B.

This dispersed camping location sits right at the base of Mt. Wolverine, next to the Albion Basin Campground and the Albion Basin road. You can camp anywhere you like as long as it is a half-mile from the road. The area offers breathtaking views of the rocky, mountainous landscape and you can take a short hike to three small lakes that offer great fishing. Overall, Albion Basin dispersed camping is a remote and beautiful area for camping off the beaten path.

“Beautiful area with access to many lakes.” – Alan B.

Campground Details

  • Price: Free
  • Number of sites: N/A
  • RV sites: No
  • Fires allowed: Yes
  • Pets allowed: Yes

Pittsburg Lake Dispersed Camping

Image from The Dyrt camper Preston B.

Though it’s a little over an hour away from Salt Lake City, this is a remote but beautiful dispersed camping area right by a small alpine lake. Pittsburg Lake is located in the Uinta National Forest and the middle of the Wasatch Mountains. The lake offers great trout fishing and many human-made fire pits scattered around. To get there, you’ll have to drive to the Pittsburg Lake hiking trail from the town of Midway. Then, the hike to the Pittsburg Lake dispersed camping area is about 1.5 miles.

“The area was beautiful, and I wish I saw more wildlife (I have heard rumors of elk and moose sightings.” – Jenny R.

Campground Details

  • Price: Free
  • Number of sites: N/A
  • RV sites: No
  • Fires allowed: Yes
  • Pets allowed: Yes

Horseshoe Knolls Dispersed Camping

Image from The Dyrt camper Sara A.

Unlike other areas with free camping near Salt Lake City, this place is easily accessible for RVs and cars. The area has some fairly level sites for parking and offers beautiful views all around. Horseshoe Knolls dispersed camping is conveniently located near the I-80 and it’s a useful overnight spot for those passing through the area. It’s located east of Salt Lake City, within a short drive of the city.

“Beautiful landscape upon waking up!” – Alice C.

Campground Details

  • Price: Free
  • Number of sites: N/A
  • RV sites: Yes
  • Fires allowed: Yes
  • Pets allowed: Yes

Squaw Peak Road Dispersed

Image from The Dyrt camper Kyler

This free camping spot is located within the Uinta National Forest and, though it’s over an hour away from Salt Lake City, it’s truly a hidden gem. The road leading to the area is quite bumpy and rough, so a truck or vehicle with four-wheel drive is often recommended by campers who have visited the area. The road is sometimes closed, which means you’ll have to hike to the camping areas.

Squaw Peak Road is a beautiful free camping spot offering epic mountain views and memorable sunrises. However, this area is beloved by locals, so it can get busy during peak camping season.

“Had to hike in because it was closed to vehicles when my wife and I went. It was a fun and beautiful hike. Plenty of campsites!” – Kyler

Campground Details

  • Price: Free
  • Number of sites: N/A
  • RV sites: No
  • Fires allowed: No
  • Pets allowed: Yes

All these sites offer the opportunity of camping for free in beautiful remote areas while still being reasonably close to vibrant Salt Lake City. For more information on free camping near Salt Lake City, look at the Dyrt’s full list of campgrounds in the area.


This article about Salt Lake City camping was brought to you by Midland. Be sure to bring along one of their radios or long-range walkie talkies on your trip to any of these campgrounds.

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