Sunday, November 27, 2022

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Dispersed Camping Near Bryce Canyon

Some Tips For The Area:

Free Camping Near Bryce Canyon National Park

The main tip I have for you is probably the same reason you are looking at this post. This boondocking location is driving distance from not 1 but 3 of Utahs 5 national parks. Bryce Canyon National Park, Zion National Park, and Capitol Reef National Park. If you plan to stay in this area, purchase a national park pass and go visit each of these national parks.

Unfortunately, we only got to visit Bryce Canyon National Park while we were here, and I am so incredibly disappointed. Within a few days of being in this site, I tripped while walking the dog and sprained my ankle. I cant visit a national park without getting out and hitting the trails, and I knew that would not be possible for a couple of weeks. I could barely walk much less hike on my bum ankle. So, we decided to wait on Capitol Reef and Zion until I was healed.

If you do choose to hit up Bryce Canyon National Park

However, a good tip I do have for you is that if you are staying in this area head in to Panguitch, Utah and have lunch at the Cowboy Smokehouse Café. It is a small restaurant that handles an incredible number of take out orders. It can be a little bit of wait, but it is completely worth it. I had the Famous Cowboy Philly, and it was so good! It has thick, tender chunks of smoked beef in it that has changed the way I think about philly cheesesteaks.

The food here was even Declan approved, and he is a pretty picky eater.

Bryce National Park North Campground

Also centrally located within the park and close to the trailheads at Sunset Point, Sunset Campground has a very similar setting to the North Campground, minus the hills. It’s also closer to the main road, but since this is only the park road, traffic is not a problem after sunset, when the tourists are done with their sightseeing.

This campground is generally open from April 15th to October 31st depending on the weather and conditions at the start and end of the season.

Reservations for the Sunset Campground and its 110 sites, are available on a six-month rolling basis from May 20th to October 15th.

Four loops are available, but some have restrictions. Loops A & B with 49 sites allow vehicles over 20 feet and generators from 8am to 8pm. Loops C & D with a total of 61 sites allow only vehicles under 20 feet, and generators are prohibited. Loops C & D are targeted at tent campers.

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Near Bryce Canyon National Park

There is an abundance of National Forest land surrounding Bryce Canyon National Park, and its free to camp in the forest. Best part about the National Forest? Its actually CLOSER to the park than the expensive RV Parks and cabins in Bryce Canyon City. Thats right, free camping less than a half mile from the entrance of the park! Off of Highway 63 just about 100 feet before you reach the Welcome to Bryce Canyon National Park sign, youll come to Fire Road 090 on the west side of the road. Down this road and the other Fire Roads that spiderweb out from the first road, there are tons of campsites. Privacy is great thanks to the trees in the forest, and you are as close as you can get to Bryce Canyon National Park without paying outrageous camping fees!

Photo: Michael Wigle

Where To Stay Near Bryce Canyon National Park When Campgrounds Are Closed Or Full

Free Dispersed Campsite near Bryce Canyon National Park ...

If you can’t find camping, or if the weather is not cooperating with your trip, a variety of lodging options can be found either in the park or nearby.

  • The historic Bryce Canyon Lodge has the absolute best location and offers an enchanting experience. Just a few minute’s stroll from the edge of the canyon at Sunrise Point, the hotel has a private setting, nestled among huge pine trees. Charming stone cabins are scattered behind the main lodge, and a separate building offers motel-style rooms. The main lodge was built in the 1920s and has a romantic wood fireplace for guests to gather around and a dining room serving up tasty meals.
  • Just a few miles outside the park gate in Bryce Canyon City is the BEST WESTERN PLUS Ruby’s Inn.Ruby’s is a long-standing institution in the community, and this is more than just a basic hotel. You can arrange horseback riding trips, helicopter tours, and other outings through the hotel. In the evenings, they have cowboy shows and other entertainment to help get you into the spirit of the West.
  • For more of a budget option, check out Bryce Canyon Pines, a few miles outside of Bryce Canyon City. This location is slightly less convenient than staying in the town but offers better value. It’s on the highway but set off on its own. The complex, which spans both sides of the highway, includes the motel, a restaurant, store, and a campground.

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Go & Do: Satisfy Last Minute Camping Fix Before Season Endsyour Browser Indicates If You’ve Visited This Link

Meadow Lake is located 35 miles north of New Castle via the Buford-New Castle Road in a popular area for fishing, hunting and OHV riding. The campground also provides an easy staging area for accessing numerous non-motorized trails in the southwest Flat Tops.

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Things To Do At The Bryce Canyon National Park

Make your first stop at the Visitor Centre to gather information about Bryce Canyon National Park. Next, check out the 20-minute film and the history museum. Then, go on an 18-mile scenic drive up to the end of the park to catch primary sites like Ponderosa Canyon, Yovimpa Point, and the National Bridge. The scenic drive is 1000+ feet high at the parks highest elevation point of 9,115 feet at Rainbow Point.

Remember to carry a good camera and take photos early in the morning or later in the afternoon. In the early morning, capture Sunrise Point and Bryce Point. To capture some of the best sunset shots, go to Yovimpa Point, Inspiration Point, and Sunset Point. Early in the morning, you can also watch out for wildlife sightings of small mammals like jackrabbits, chipmunks, and squirrels scampering along the rim trail.

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Recommended Free Camping Areas In Dixie Nf Nearest To Bryce Canyon Np

You may camp in a dispersed area for up to 16 days. After 16 days, you must move at least 10 miles for camping in another dispersed area.

As shown on the map below, there are four popular FREE camping areas within an easy drive from Bryce Canyon NP. These are:

  • East Fork Road many sites off forest roads from East Fork Road all the way down to the King Creek camping area
  • Daves Hollow a few campsites very close to the Park but beware of camping restrictions
  • Toms Best Spring Road many campsites in a large area with easy access
  • Corral Hollow several campsites close to Red Canyon

NOTE What about Johns Valley Rd to the north of Bryce Canyon? You can see the green NF land to the very top left of the map above.

I know some folks camped successfully on the west side of Johns Valley Rd near a cow pasture but that is private land on all the maps I studied. I do not recommend it at this time.

Across the road on the east side, a few opportunities exist along with FR 419 and FR 418 towards Henderson Pt. I plan to check it out in the future.

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Kolob Reservoir Dispersed Camping

Summary – BLM lakeside camping, roughly 20 minutes further up the road from Lava Point.

Pros – Beautiful area with TONS of privacy. Youll find beautiful aspen tree groves surrounding the far end of the lake, making this area exceptionally beautiful during a lush, green spring or early summer season. No reservations are ever needed, and theres literally no limit to where you can set up a tent, so its a great backup option for a beautiful, open campsite if your other options fall through.

Cons – No bathrooms or facilities whatsoever. Being quite a bit higher in elevation than the Zion valley floor, nights will be noticeably colder. Its also nearly a 45 min. drive each way from Hwy 9, adding quite a bit of extra time if you’re trying to access Zion National Park early the next day. You wont find a single gas station along the way, so fill up in town before you make the trek.

Directions – Continued from our last example, if you continue following Kolob Terrace Rd. all the way up , youll eventually run into Kolob Reservoir, where you can camp anywhere theres a dirt pull-out.

Resources

Best Free Camping Near Moab

Utah Campsite #2: N 38°287.26, W 109°228.88

Moab is the gateway to Utahs legendary red rocks formations that make up Arches National Park, Canyonlands, and Dead Horse Point State Park.

Millions of visitors flock to Moab each year to catch a glimpse of its otherworldly sights. Permits and local campgrounds fill up quickly but nestled 5 miles outside the city of Moab lies a campers dream!

Manti La Sal Road is the mecca of dispersed camping in Moab. This long winding road will take you up and above the hustle and busy-ness of Moab. You will be welcomed with expansive sites of the desert on your left and massive mountains surrounding you on your right.

There are hundreds of established yet free campsites tucked away on this well-traveled road, yet youre still just outside the city to make those emergency grocery and libation runs!

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Get Out There And Enjoy The Wilds

Need help integrating some dispersed sites into your next trip? We’re here to help! While we certainly haven’t seen them all, we love helping folks discover what for some is a whole new side of camping and for others a homecoming. We hope that this article helps you get further and stay longer in the places that make overland travel and our public lands so special.

Accommodations Outside Death Valley

USFS Dispersed Camping near Bryce Canyon â Working on ...

Unfortunately, convenient options for accommodations located nearby but outside the park are limited. Due to the enormous size of Death Valley, it can take a couple hours just to get from one destination to another inside the park! Below are a few options:

  • Ridgecrest, California: located 1 hour 15 minutes from Panamint Springs.
  • Lone Pine, California: also located about 1 hour 15 minutes from Panamint Springs.
  • Bakersfield, California: about 3 hours from the southeast entrance to Death Valley.
  • Beatty, Nevada: located just 10 minutes from the north entrance to the park, but honestly there isnt much here and I wouldnt recommend it.
  • Las Vegas, Nevada: about 2 hours from the north entrance to the park.

Wed recommend staying in either Ridgecrest or Lone Pine. We spent a month living in Ridgecrest, and visited Lone Pine many times. Ridgecrest is a larger city that feels safe, clean and has all the necessities. Lone Pine is a cute, small town with a few good restaurants and shops.

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Toms Best Spring Road

10.0 miles to Bryce Canyon NP Visitor Center Toms Best Spring Road starts at Highway 12 at the south, about 6 miles west of the town of Bryce. The first 11.7 miles of this road travels through Dixie National Forest. Its along this portion that dispersed camping is permitted, as long as you remain within 150 feet from either side of the road. Most people who camp here choose to camp somewhere along NF-3626, which branches off of Toms Best Spring Road on the southeast side. However, there are dozens of other forest roads that branch off too, and you can boondock on any of these. If you were to travel the full 11.7 miles to the other side of the Forest, will you reach the actual Toms Best Spring, located along NF-124.

Capitol Reef National Park

Capitol Reef National Park is one of Utahs lesser-known Mighty 5. Many visitors tend to overlook this natural wonder. You dont want to miss this park! Capitol Reef is home to the Waterpocket Fold. This should-be world wonder contains multiple layers of golden sandstone, canyonlands, and idyllic rock formations. If youre into monoliths, the Cathedral Valley is nearby.

Whether youre looking for a scenic drive, other-worldly views, historic petroglyphs, or hiking Capitol Reef NP has something for everyone.

Established Campsite

Fruita Campground is an idyllic and established camp spot nestled in the cliffs and canyons of Capitol Reef NP. It is located inside the Waterpocket Fold. This is the only established campsite in Capitol Reef NP.

Have you ever heard of desert mirages? Images of water and grass that appear to wary travelers in the desert? Fruita campground is a desert mirage come to life. With lush grass, surrounded by multi-colored sandstone rock, and potable water nearby – there is truly nothing like it!

Dispersed Campsite

Capitol Reef National Park Dispersed Camping offers a more intimate experience. This dispersed campsite does feature porta pottys nearby but that is the extent of the comforts of home youll experience while camping here.

At Capitol Reef, you arent located inside the park but you do get some of the feel of Capitol Reef NP. Sandstone cliffs surround you. You can truly get some peace and quiet at this campsite.

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Our Community Provides The Best Free Camping Information Available

Dispersed camping near zion national park. To camp longer than that, you need to move at least 10 miles to continue camping within the forest boundaries. Video footage of the free camping areas Be sure to get there early as there are no reservations available !

Here are a few of our favorites! Glide through the pristine beauty of zion national park without spending a dime. Video footage of the free camping areas

Rv parks are abundant nearby. Zion national park has three campgrounds. Ive stayed at two dispersed camping areas near zion canyon.

Coal pits wash blm dispersed area between virgin utah and springdale utah is a popular primitive tent camping area for visiting zion national park adjacent to the highway on blm land. Campsites listed below are all located on blm lands, and are free to camp. If youre willing to drive down some dirt roads, you can find free camping near bryce canyon.

Dispersed camping is allowed in most areas and is limited to 16 consecutive days. Zion national park has three campgrounds. Camping inside or near zion national park.

One can get good results asking locally where these blm parcels are. Camping near zion national park. Zion scenic byway dispersed camping zion scenic byway dispersed camping.

The lava point campground is about 80 minutes from the south entrance along the kolob terrace road. The dixie national forest covers nearly two million acres of southern utah and has thousands of miles of dirt roads. Utah one of my 3 favorite states.

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