Goose Island Campground Moab Utah
When we camped at Goose Island, it felt a lot like camping in Sedona. The rock walls are spectacular they are actually the boundary to Arches National Park. The two places are separated by the Colorado River. See our VIDEO and get our review of the low-cost Goose Island Campground Moab Utah that is operated by the Bureau of Land Management.
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.
Fossil Valley Rv Park
Fossil Valley RV Park is the perfect place for RV camping in Utah when exploring Dinosaur National Monument.
The shady, tree-lined RV park and campground is located within the town of Vernal. This town is known as Dinoland thanks to the huge number of dinosaur fossils found in this area. The RV park has roughly 50 RV sites with full hookups. Its within walking distance to local businesses, including restaurants, shopping, and more.
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Additional Tips For Camping In Utah
Keep the following tips in mind to make your next Utah camping experience even better:
- Book Early Campgrounds that accept reservations should be booked as far in advance as possible, especially if youre visiting during spring, summer, or fall.
- First-Come, First-Served Traveling without reservations? Target first-come, first-served campgrounds. Be sure to arrive at these as early in the day as possible to secure a site for the night.
- Summer/Winter Camping in Utah is most popular in summer. However, spring and fall are arguably better due to lesser crowds and lower temperatures. Yet winter camping in Utah is still a popular option depending on the specific area and your equipment.
And, remember, dont hesitate to let us know in the comments below if you have any additional questions about camping in Utah.
Toms Best Spring Road
Location: Dixie National Forest, near Bryce Canyon National Park
For convenient boondocking and dispersed camping near Bryce Canyon, look no further than Toms Best Spring Road.
Also known as Forest Road 117, Toms Best Spring Road is lined with countless campsites, many ideal for even the biggest RVs and trailers.
Luckily, the gravel road is almost always in decent condition. RVs and trailers as well as passenger vehicles will be fine here. Although several flat, spacious campsites are located just off the highway, I recommend driving a bit further in to find something more private.
RVs and trailers should probably stick to one of the campsites off of Toms Best Spring Road itself but I do encourage other campers to explore the various spur forest service roads to find a little more privacy.
Dixie National Forest is absolutely stunning. And the abundance of trees coupled with the higher elevation means its usually much cooler here than many other top Utah dispersed camping areas.
One quick gripe it does get busy here. Its also very dry during the summer. Dust can be an issue if youre parked just off the main road. Youll likely also hear the hum of RV generators at all hours, unless you venture in deep on a back road.
What I Like:
What I Dont Like:
Toms Best Spring Road is part of Dixie National Forest.
Call the Powell Ranger District for more information: 676-9300
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Castleton Towers Climbers Campsite
Castleton Tower is an imposing red rock tower located roughly 20 miles away from Moab.
Famous for its rock climbing, its a popular destination for rock climbing in Utah. A free campsite is located nearby. Although called a climbers campsite, its open to everyone, including RV campers. Theres only a handful of proper campsites but theres plenty of places to park a car to sleep if youre just looking for somewhere to lay down your head for the night. Make sure to hike the trail to the base of the tower and bring your camera. The views are phenomenal.
Learn more about Castleton Towers Climbers Campsite.
Goblin Valley State Park
Goblin Valley State Park is one of the best Utah campgrounds for those that prefer a slightly more luxurious form of camping.
The campground features two spacious yurts as well as ten tent sites with tent pads and fourteen RV sites. The camping area and state park get their name from the thousands of hoodoos scattered throughout. These mushroom-shaped rock pinnacles are locally known as goblins.
Learn more about Goblin Valley State Park.
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A Word On Dispersed Camping Etiquette
Much of the land surrounding Moab is public, with the majority of those public lands falling under the umbrella of the Bureau of Land Management. BLM land in Moab is utilized to its full potential, usually by ranchers, farmers, and recreationists.
Dogs are also allowed on BLM land! Just be sure to pick up after them and bring enough food/water for them.
As nice as free camping can be for your wallet, it comes with a few sacrifices and a lot more responsibility.
All dispersed camping in Moabs BLM land requires solid human waste to be packed out. All garbage needs to be packed out of these areas, and you must bring your own water .
For all the water youll need, you can go to a gear store in Moab called GearHeads to fill your water jugs for free! For tips on what to do with your dirty dishwater, check out this helpful guide on grey water.
Leave No Trace ethics are a little different in the desert due to its sensitive ecosystem. To learn more about how to Leave No Trace in the desert, read through this helpful article on Desert Considerations for Minimum Impact.
Keep in mind that there are maintained campgrounds managed by the BLM that are NOT free, so if you are planning on staying on BLM land, make sure its not a campsite that you have to pay for. The campgrounds will be well-marked if you have to pay, and they usually have more amenities such as fire rings, grills, and toilets.
Manti Lasal National Forest
Cell Service: Yes – Verizon, AT& T, Sprint/T-mobile
Elevation: between 6693 and 7670 or so
This free camping spot in the national forest just southeast of Moab is one of our favorites. It isnt super convenient if youre wanting to come and go from Moab, but if youre looking to escape the crowds , head to this free spot.
As soon as La Sal Loop Road enters the Manti La Sal National Forest, youll start seeing free camping. Many of these first sites are just off the road and looked good. But if you have the time and patience, keep driving!
The higher up you go, the more breathtaking the sites, and the fewer people youll see. We drove long enough to find a large open free camping spot back off the main road and we boondocked all weekend, only hearing a few other vehicles drive by.
This road should be easy for any vehicle to navigate, although high clearance may be required to get back into some campsites.
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Discover The Best Free Camping Across The Usa
To be honest with you, we hate paying for camping. There are so many free campsites in America .
You should give it a try!
As a matter of fact, these free campsites are yours. Every time you pay federal taxes, youre contributing to these lands.
Become a FREE CAMPING INSIDER and join the 100,000 campers that love to score the best site!
Well send you the 50 Best Free Campsites in the USA . Access the list by submitting your email below:
Best Time Of Year To Visit Pineview Reservoir
Pineview Reservoir is accessible year-round and is only 10 miles from Ogden, providing a summer or a winter playground, depending on your choice.
With ice skating on the lake and downhill ski resorts close by, many opt for snow sports at Pineview Reservoir. Others might prefer wakeboarding and fishing on its waters during the summer months. But one thing is obvious: this lake has added a new dimension to relishing the outdoors, no matter what time of year!
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Onion Creek Moab Utah
You can camp in a low-cost Bureau of Land Management campground just a short distance away from the awesome Onion Creek Road that is a breathtaking scenic drive through fantastic red rock formations that almost dance against the crystal clear blue sky. You wont be disappointed if you visit Onion Creek Moab Utah.
Camping Near You Find A Free Campsite
Whether you just need to know where to camp nearby or you want to plan a free camping road trip, we’ve got you covered. You can simply use your smart phone’s GPS to find camping near you or even use our trip planner to plan your route from coast to coast.
Our community provides the best free camping information available. Free campgrounds can be hard to find. Freecampsites.net makes it easy. We give you a simple, map based search engine to find free and cheap camping areas. Community reviews and ratings provide you with up to date information and help you select the best camp site for your next camping trip.
This is a platform for sharing campgrounds and camp sites you have discovered. We are community driven, and while we will be adding many free camping spots, we hope that you will add some of your favorite camping places as well. By sharing camping information freely, we can all spend less time researching campgrounds, spend less money, and more time camping. If everyone contributes a few campsites, we’ll all have more places to go camping.
Please come back and let us know what you find!
We are not actively seeking Wal-Marts, truckstops or other parking lots and will not be adding very many of these. There are enough Wal-Mart and truck stop directories out there already. However, if a member of the community finds one of these locations to be useful for overnight RV parking and creates an entry, we may approve the listing.
Please come back and let us know what you find!
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Gear Youll Need For Camping In Utah
Camping in Utah is relatively straightforward.
Start with all the basics like a tent, sleeping bag, and sleeping pad. Our family camping checklist will help get you started.
Beyond that, just make sure to prepare for the expected weather conditions on your trip. Utah gets very hot in the summer, so bringing shade and plenty of water is a must.
Our guide to staying cool in the summer heat offers up a few more hot weather camping tips.
If you rarely go camping, dont have your own gear, and dont really want to buy your own, check out our partner Outdoors Geek. They offer affordable camping rental packages no matter the specifics of your trip.
What Was Life Like At The Home Of Truth
Residents at the Home of Truth abstained from all vices, including alcohol, sex, and tobacco. They also gave up their worldly possessions and money in keeping with Ogdens ideals of simplicity and self-deprivation.
She also required everyone to eat a vegetarian diet mainly comprised of vegetables they grew. Men spent most of their time farming and mining, while women did all of the domestic work.
After building the Home of Truth, Ogden purchased the San Juan Record newspaper. From the compound, she wrote and published articles about her religious beliefs.
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.
Hole In The Rock Road
Location: Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, near Escalante
An abundance of free camping is available just east of the town of Escalante south of Highway 12.
These dispersed campsites are located on BLM land within Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. A good place to start your search is near Hole in the Rock Wayside and down Hole in the Rock Road.
Also known as BLM 200, the road is unpaved and somewhat rocky but well-maintained . Several campsites, especially the large meadow less than a half mile after the turnoff, are perfect for RVs and trailers of all sizes.
Car and tent campers should drive in a little further to find a more peaceful campsite. There is a huge variety of campsites here many private, some with shade, and almost all with outstanding desert views.
This area is filled to the brim with awesome hiking opportunities, such as Zebra Slot, Peek-a-Boo Gulch, and Coyote Gulch to name just a few. Definitely give yourself enough time for one or two hikes.
Capitol Reef National Park is only about an hour and a half away from Hole in the Rock Road. And the drive there along Scenic Byway 12 is among the most scenic in all of Utah.
Unlike most BLM dispersed camping, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument does require a permit for all overnight campers. Pick one up at the visitor center in Escalante.
What I Like:
What I Dont Like:
Hole in the Rock Road is part of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.
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Nearby: Middle Fork Campground
North 7900 East, Huntsville, UT 84317
If youre looking for wide-open spaces when Pineview Reservoir camping. Located northeast of the reservoir, Middle Fork Campground is tucked away in a sunny pasture. Campsites are not designated, but there is room for almost all sizes of RVs.
A vault toilet is available however, there are no hookups or other amenities. Much of the space is used by horse trailers to load and unload for trips into the backcountry, but Middle Fork offers a free option for overnight boondocking in the area.
Have A Blast Camping In Utah
Theres something truly special about Utah whether youre visiting Salt Lake City, its five national parks, or any of its other natural areas.
And, in my opinion, the absolute best way to enjoy all of its beauty is by dispersed camping off the beaten path in a quiet, remote, and uniquely beautiful free campsite.
If youre on a larger camping road trip, or just want to check out free campsites in other states, our other free camping state guides are well worth a look.
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Leave No Trace Ethics For Free Camping In Utah
In the effort of preserving and protecting our natural environments, its important to practice Leave No Trace ethics when establishing a free campsite in Utah. If there are semi-established campsites, use them! LNT states that if you create a campfire ring in the backcountry, you should destroy the ring before you leave the site and if you find an already established campfire ring, its better to use it than build your own.
To reduce the effects of site creep, stay within the relative confines of an established campsite. Otherwise, year over year, users will eventually expand the boundaries of a campsite until the site creeps farther and affects a larger space than necessary. This applies especially to pull-offs in national forests like Dixie and Fish Lake which see high usage from ORV vehicles and pull-behind trailers.
A special consideration for the Utah desert is for users to ensure additional caution around cryptobiotic soilthe soul of the desert. Because the desert is such a delicate environment, cryptobiotic soil helps maintain moisture in the arid dirt with its blend of algae, cyanobacteria, and fungi. When these patches of soil are damaged they can take years, even centuries to rebuild. A good rule of thumb and desert hiking motto: Tiptoe around the crypto!
Public Utah Rv Camping
Public campgrounds in Utah are located in beautiful and historic areas. State and federal campgrounds offer facilities from primitive to full RV hookup sites. The following list is only an example of the available public campgrounds available in Utah.
BLUFF Our is located just outside Bluff. This BLM campground is an oasis for RV travelers. Any size RV campsites, vault toilets, water, trash, and more.
Remotely located Natural Bridges National Monument offers first-come, first-serve RV camping at its 13 site campground. 26-foot maximum length limit, but weve heard larger rigs up to 33 feet will fit.
BRYCE CANYON RV camping is available at Bryce Canyon National Park. The beautiful scenery, hiking and mule trails, and comfortable summer weather make Bryce Canyon well worth visiting.
CANNONVILLE Primitive campsites and developed campgrounds are available for RV camping in the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument Archived Page. Administered by the BLM, these campgrounds are well off the beaten path and worth the visit.
LOGAN RANGER DISTRICT The USDA Wasatch-Cache National Forrest offers great camping locations. The Logan Ranger District, for example, has 16 developed campgrounds. The Box Elder Campground is one example. From Highway 89/91, travel 4.5 miles east of Brigham City, Utah. Look for highway signing at the town of Mantua.
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