Box Elder Campground Mantua Utah
Distance From Salt Lake City: Approximately 1 hour
Box Elder Campground is also located in the Uinta Wasatch Cache National Forest and open from May October for overnight camping. Being only an hour away from Salt Lake gives you the comfort of being close to home, while still feeling like youre out on an epic adventure.
Located right by Mantua Reservoir in a beautiful mountain valley, theres plenty of activities for everyone. From hiking, fishing, and boating, youll be entertained all weekend long.
There are endless wildflowers during the right months, so plan ahead if you want to catch the poppys in season. This campground is $22 a night, but allows up to 8 people at each site.
Rivers Edge Rv Resort
One of the better RV parks near Salt Lake City is Rivers Edge RV Resort. Located north of Heber City and under the Jordanelle Reservoirs dam, this campground is perfect for those who want to visit Wasatch Mountain State Park. You can also try boating at nearby Jordanelle State Park.
How To Find Free Camping On Utahs Public Lands
Public land comprises the majority of the west. With roughly 63% of all Utah land remaining public, there are plenty of opportunities for free camping near Salt Lake City, far into the flat reaches of the West Desert, and throughout the southern red rock. Free camping options throughout Utah offer a way to explore the lesser known parts of the state.
Thankfully, you wont be hard-pressed to find idyllic free campsites across the Beehive state with little to no work involved. Depending where youre located, free camping might be less than a mile off the highway. For last-minute camping, you can use The Dyrt PROs Offline Maps and Map Layers to find free camping near you. These features will show you public lands where you can camp for free whether or not you have service or wifi!
In densely populated areas, however, free camping in Utah requires a little more creativity, patience, and route-finding. Almost always, though, the effort it takes to arrive is well worth it.
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Safe Travels And Peace Of Mind
Are you looking for a safe way to travel within your own country this summer or fall? Going on an old-fashioned road trip by RV is a great way to maximize your freedom and flexibility. Spend time together with your family or friends from the security of your own home on wheels. Our suppliers have implemented COVID-19 protocols for deep cleaning and disinfection of all rental vehicles, and low contact interactions at pickup and drop-off locations. Read all advantages of an RV vacation. Please contact our customer service team for more information or request a free quote on our website. We are here to help you plan your adventure of a lifetime in an RV rental!
Timpooneke Campground Pleasant Grove Utah
Distance From Salt Lake City: Approximately 1 hour
Timpooneke Campground is just about an hour away from Salt Lake, but has so much to offer. Set along the alpine scenic bypass loop in the Uinta Wasatch Cache National Forest, youre in for a treat.
Many people camp here for the amazing 15-mile round trip hike on the Timpooneke trail that leads to the summit of Mount Timpanogos. Horses are allowed on the Timpooneke trail and 9 sites in this campground actually have small horse corrals!
Besides horses, you will see an unbelievable view of the Wasatch range. For $24 a night and only an hour away from Salt Lake, this campsite is hard to beat.
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Amazing Camping Spots Near Salt Lake City
Escape the city and find some peace and quiet.
By:The Outbound Collective+ Save to a List
Salt Lake City’s proximity to amazing outdoor recreation almost eliminates the need to own a tent. Then again, theres something pure and recalibrating about rolling out a mat and sleeping on the lumpy ground. And with so many amazing camping spots hiding around the Salt Lake Valley, the decision to get out and rough it gets a little less rough. Take a quick drive up the canyon, head out to the Great Salt Lake or make it a full weekend trip down to southern Utah you really can’t go wrong with any of these epic homes-away-from-home.
Photo: Colton Marsala
A short drive up Little Cottonwood Canyon will lead you to great camping at Albion Basin Campground. From there it’s an easy but absolutely beautiful hike up to Cecret Lake .Learn More.
Photo: Eric Bennett
Stansbury Island isn’t exactly an island its only mostly surrounded by the waters of the Great Salt Lake but it offers pretty incredible views at the sunrise or sunset. Because most of it is BLM land, you won’t need much planning or notice just pack up and go!Learn More.
Photo: Prajit Ravindran
Photo: Lindsay Daniels
Willow Lake is a gorgeous mountain lake up Big Cottonwood Canyon. It’s a short hike from the parking lot, so not strictly car camping, but it’s close enough to bring an arm full of gear without too much trouble. Call it luxury backpacking.Learn More.
Photo: Derrick Lytle
Free Camping On National Forest Land In Utah
I wish free camping on National Forest Service land near Salt Lake City was easier to find, but the close proximity of SLC to the Wasatch range means stricter regulations on overnight stays in most canyons from the valley floor. Within an hours drive, however, youll be able to find plenty of pull-offs and remote campsites with easy access to lakes, hiking, mountain biking, and more.
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Camping Near Salt Lake City
We will be traveling to Salt Lake City in about two weeks, and are planning to camp nearby. We would like to find a campsite within 45 minutes of Salt Lake City. We are coming from Minnesota, so it’d be nice if the campsite was East of Salt Lake. I’m having trouble finding a campsite that has a shower, but that’s really important to us. Are there any campsites that meet those requirements? Thank You!
However, these are all more than 45 minutes away from SLC. East Canyon and Jordanelle would be about an hour. There are campsites in Little and Big Cottonwood Canyons that are accessed directly from the SL valley. But they don’t have showers.
It’s going to be difficult to find camping with showers. Some places I’d look would be Albion Basin and Tanner Flat in Little Cottonwood Canyon. In Big Cottonwood Canyon check for spaces in Spruces or Redman. Might want to book now as these are close to SLC and will get filled quickly, especially on weekends.
Out of the state parks mentioned, I would try for East Canyon before the others because there is a little more shade.
Shake – I did a search of the campgrounds in Little and Big Cottonwood canyons. None appeared to have showers. OP best option will most likely be the state parks. I agree that East Canyon will have the most shade.
You’ll want reservations at any of them.
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.
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Uinta Flat Designated Dispersed Camping Area Dixie National Forest
Image from The Dyrt camper Kristin W.
Our users rave about Uinta Flatespecially OHV users. You might encounter noise throughout the night as ATV riders seem to amble about with no regard to time, but its free, and its absolutely stunning. You wont want to miss the hike up to Amethyst Lake. Park your van with the sliding door facing away from the road and you might feel like you have the forest to yourself.
Find free Utah campgrounds from your car without WiFi. The Dyrt PRO lets you download maps and campgrounds without cell service. My alternative to using pro would be to drive back out to cell service.
Main Cities You Will Pass Through
You’ll find an exciting mixture of things to do and see in Ogden, Utah, including an active nightlife, great restaurants and fun attractions like Union Station. Campground options in Ogden include Century RV Park and Fort Buenaventura. Ogden RV dump station options include Golden Spike RV Park, Lagoon RV Park & Campground and other nearby Utah locations.
Just a short way off your road trip from Salt Lake City to Boise, Albion is one of the state’s oldest cities. Pomerelle Mountain Resort is a fantastic place to play in the snow in the winter, and it offers excellent mountain biking for the rest of the year. Consider camping at Lake Cleveland Campground or Village of the Trees RV Resort. Albion RV dump stations are available at Massacre Rocks State Park, Willow Bay Marina and other Idaho locations.
Twin Falls, Idaho
If you love to hike, follow the 7-mile-long Canyon Rim Trail at Twin Falls, Idaho, for amazing scenic views of the Snake River or head to Centennial Park for a zip-lining adventure. Oregon Trails Campgrounds and Rock Creek RV Campground are highly rated Twin Falls campgrounds. Twin Falls RV dump stations are available at Twin Falls 93 Campground and Dead Horse Point State Park.
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Cache Valley And Bear Lake
Dramatic Scenes in Logan and Cache ValleyStretch your legs on local trails in the Wasatch-Cache National Forest and Cache Valley, including a 2-mile one-way trek to see a triple arch rock formation and the Wind Caves. Then head back to town to explore pioneer life or see a live show.
Two Things You Must Do at Bear LakeStraddling the Utah-Idaho border, this recreational paradise is known for its turquoise waters and a delicious treat.
How To Find Even More Free Camping In Utah
- Apps My go-to apps for finding free campsites include FreeCampsites.net, iOverlander, Campendium, and the Dyrt.
- Online Maps Google Maps is a great tool for finding dispersed camping opportunities. I also like FreeRoam.app and Gaia GPS. Both let you turn on national forest and BLM boundaries to help make sure potential campsites are indeed on public land.
- MVUM Maps Both national forest and BLM ranger stations offer paper motor vehicle use maps to visitors. Dont be afraid to ask rangers for dispersed camping recommendations. Ive found some awesome campsites just by asking a ranger.
Yet another free camping option is to try out blacktop boondocking. Some stores, including Walmart and Cracker Barrel, allow free overnight parking for campers and boondockers. This does vary by locale so make sure to call ahead.
Although casino parking lot camping is another alternative in most states, its not an option in Utah. The state outlaws all forms of gambling, including tribal casinos. But you might be able to find a decent spot for casino camping just across the border in a neighboring state, such as Nevada.
My final recommendation is stealth camping. Although I personally only use this as a backup plan, a lot of campers swear by it. But, Utah has so many places for dispersed camping that you shouldnt have a problem finding a free campsite.
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Utah Dispersed Camping Rules And Regulations
Utah is an incredibly special place and you must treat it as such.
Please, please, please always follow the 7 Leave No Trace principles and leave your dispersed campsite even cleaner than it was when you arrived.
Always pack out all your trash and always properly dispose of human waste .
Follow all other area rules, regulations, and restrictions, such as campfire restrictions, camping stay limits , and closed areas.
The goal is to limit human impact on Utahs natural areas as much as possible. Failure to respect our public lands can lead to shutdowns. No one wants that!
Free Camping Near Salt Lake City
Dont feel like paying for a campsite at an established campground? Worry not public lands account for almost two-thirds of real estate in the state of Utah, so free camping is always a viable option.
Utah State Parks dont allow dispersed camping, but youre generally free to set up camp in the national parks and on BLM land. Just be sure to check the appropriate government website for restricted areas, practice Leave No Trace principles, and follow all applicable guidelines.
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Best Free Camping Near Bryce Canyon National Park
Campsite #5: N 37°40.205, W 112°12.226
The Alice-in-Wonderland-esque landscape of Bryce Canyon is one of the most underrated parks in Utah, often overshadowed by Arches and Zion.
A picturesque park set among an arid desert landscape, this place resembles something off of Mars. Most visitors will spend the day hiking Bryce Canyons Queens Garden and Navajo Loop then retreat back to their hotel rooms for the night.
But if youre looking for a truly unforgettable adventure, find yourself a quiet and free campsite on the land that surrounds Bryce Canyon and enjoy a night under Utahs beautiful stars!
Bryce Canyon is surrounded by free public land that is part of the Dixie National Forest. Just to the west of Bryce Canyon National Park lies a plethora of free dispersed campsites.
Heading west on Highway 12 from Bryce Canyon, there is a turn off on E Fork Road. Follow E Fork Road down to Forest Road 088 and make a left. From here, youll begin to see pull-outs full of fire rings and free Utah campsites hidden among the pine trees.
This is the perfect spot if you want to spend your day hiking the hoodoos, then rest at night under a blanket of peaceful stars!
The Dyrts Guide To Free Camping Near Salt Lake City
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 Utahs 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 wont 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.
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Best Free Camping Near Salt Lake City
Utah Campsite #4: N 40°36.506, W 111°7.505
Salt Lake City is the heartbeat of Utah. A colorful, vibrant city that boasts luxury resorts and five-star restaurants but nestled just outside this stunning, bustling city is a campers paradise!
Miles of trails and millions of acres of dispersed camping await those who want a more primitive adventure camping in Utah but close to the convenience of the capital.
Less than an hour south of Salt Lake, high above Utah Lake, sits a ring of established free Utah campgrounds with breathtaking views. Tent campers and big rigs alike will enjoy this quiet Utah campsite with lakeside views and the city of Provo in the distance.
Located just off Highway 68, West of Provo, this free Utah campsite makes a great location for those wanting a small dose of the big city without the hustle and bustle.
Navigating Blm Land In Utah
BLM land comprises the majority of public land in Utah and is mostly concentrated in the southern desert regions. However, parts of this land are inaccessible and unusable for the general public. The BLM operates under a multiple use and sustained yield policy, meaning portions of the land can be used for pursuits other than outdoor adventure, like oil mining, grazing, and timber harvesting.
That being said, there are still millions and millions of acres of Utah BLM land with roads leading to the perfect camp spot, if youre willing to search.
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Backcountry Dispersed And Undeveloped Camping
When it comes to doing an overnighter near Salt Lake, you don’t have to be in a developed campground as long as you follow a Leave No Trace ethic. The many nearby national forests as well as the several designated wilderness areas give people the chance to camp while immersed in nature and solitude. Please study this page for the specific rules involved when camping in the backcountry around Salt Lake City. Some of our favorite places to throw up a tent in the wild are Ruth Lake , Lake Blanche and Silver Lake .
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 youll 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.
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