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Free Camping In Southern Utah

Gear Youll Need For Camping In Utah

Fun Finding Free Camping In Southern 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.

Diamond Fork Dispersed Camping

Located just over an hour from Salt Lake City, Diamond Fork Road offers some excellent dispersed camping along the Diamond Fork River. Situated in the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest this is a popular escape for city dwellers. When looking for dispersed campsites here be sure to head up Diamond Fork Road far enough, as dispersed camping is not permitted on the lower-half of the road. You will see a sign that indicates dispersed camping is allowed followed by several great roadside campsites.

While there are no restroom facilities or potable water sources most of the sites do have a simple fire ring and can be accessed by most vehicles. There are even a few spots that can accommodate larger rigs such as RVs or fifth-wheels.

The main attraction besides the beautiful wilderness here is a trek up to the Fifth Water Hot Springs. The trailhead is located just south of where many of the dispersed campsites are located and leads to a few stunning hot springs pools. The hike is around 10 miles round-trip, so be sure to come prepared!

Stansbury Island Dispersed Camping

Stansbury Island is located west of Salt Lake City and sits adjacent to the Great Salt Lake as well as Stansbury Bay. This is a unique place to camp as youll get to experience a side of the lake that most dont ever see. Located on BLM land, Stansbury Island has several large camping areas where you can spread out a bit and enjoy the surroundings.

Do keep in mind that the sand in the area can get exceptionally soft, so dont venture out onto it in your vehicle unless youre sure you can get out. The area is also popular for sport shooting, so dont be surprised to hear a few gunshots while youre out camping.

Stansbury Island has no services, so be sure you have enough water to last you entire trip. The dispersed camping areas are just a short distance off of I-80, so youll have quick access to SLC should you have forgotten anything.

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Thousand Lakes Rv Park

One of the best RV parks in Utah, Thousand Lakes RV Park is your portal to discovering Capitol Reef National Park and beyond.

With 65 pull-thru RV campsites with full hook-ups, cabin rentals, and tent camping, Thousand Lakes offers a little something for everyone. Thanks to its location in Southern Utah, its the ideal home base for hiking, fishing, OHV driving, mountain biking, and so much more. Theres even an on-site auto repair shop if youve been experiencing any vehicle problems on the road!

Learn more about Thousand Lakes RV Park.

Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park

Capitol Reef National Park Dispersed Camping, UT

3,000 acres of rust-colored sand dunes meet stark blue skies at Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park.

The park is also known for its red rock cliffs, juniper and pinion trees, and plentiful off-road vehicle opportunities. Camping here is the best way to explore the state parks unique geologic features. The 22-site campground is also a prime jumping off point for further exploration of nearby Bryce Canyon National Park and Grand Canyon National Park.

Learn more about camping at Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park.

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Best Campgrounds In Capitol Reef National Park

Cathedral Valley Campground

With only 6 campsites located near Torrey, this top-rated campground is perfect for tenters or smaller vehicles and features some of the best views in the area. Not to mention, the site is free.

Fruita Campground

Consisting of 71 full-service sites, Fruita Campground is directly next to the Fremont River and is open year-round. The campground features picnic tables, fire pits, and RV dumps. There are no electrical hookups.

Jug Hollow Dispersed Camping

Our final pick for the best dispersed camping in Utah is also one of the most spectacular. Located in the Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area, Jug Hollow offers dispersed campsites on a beautiful peninsula jutting out into the water. Forest Road 619 leads out to the tip of the peninsula and has several pullouts along its length that make for great campsites.

Boating, fishing, and hiking are all on offer at Flaming Gorge, making this a great dispersed camping option for those looking for a variety of outdoor recreation opportunities. Of course, all this does make the area a popular camping destination, so be sure to arrive early to secure your campsite.

Southwest of the Jug Hollow youll also find tons of camping opportunities in Ashley National Forest, so dont despair if there are no sites available.

Looking to find more dispersed campsites? Check out The Dyrt PRO to get campsite reviews, offline maps, and the best map layers for finding public dispersed camping!

Our Top Camping App The Dyrt PRO

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Incredible Free Campsites In Utah

Utah is home to thousands of campgrounds dispersed all over the state. With nearly 75% of the land being public, campers have an unlimited option when it comes to free campsites in Utah! Yes, free!

Sure, Utahs State Parks and National Parks have their own beautiful campsites but if you truly want to live life elevated and experience what Utah has to offer then these dispersed campsites are guaranteed to take your adventure to the next level.

No more reservations, lucky lottery drawings, or squeezing your tent in between a mass of loud campers . With this article on the best free campsites in Utah, you will be armed with the coordinates to avoid camping chaos.

These coordinates are a simple navigational tool to help you locate a generalized area that allows dispersed camping. Simply plug it into your GPS or smartphone and go!

If youre not sure how to find the best free camping in the USA, I suggest checking out this guide to free camping in the USA which lists some of the best apps and tips for finding epic campsites that are completely cost-free.

In this article, I will outline the 5 best campsites in Utah. that just happen to be totally free! These campsites are typically unknown, lying just on the outskirts of the most popular tourist destinations like the Mighty 5 and the best part is they are 100% free!

Best Free Camping Near Zion

Incredible FREE Overlanding/Truck Camping next to Zion National Park in Utah!

Utah Campsite #1: N 37°15.221, W 112°46.077

Note: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission if you purchase something through one of these links. Thank you for supporting the free content on this site! For more information on affiliate links and cookies, see my disclosure page for more details.

Zion is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Utah, and for a good reason. Zion boasts some of the worlds most breathtaking hikes like Angels Landing and The Narrows.

But if youre looking for a place to rest your weary feet after your adventures, most tourists are out of luck with only two local campgrounds to choose from which are often extremely full.

However, 16 miles outside Zion National Park is a large area that caters to campers. If youre going East on Highway 9 out of Zion, youll find a small turn off to the right just after Mile Marker 51. An old gravel road will lead you to a ring of campsites with spectacular views!

Fire pits, free firewood and a 360-degree view of the surrounding Zion area await you at this magnificent free campsite in Utah. And if youre lucky, this mostly unknown campsite will be all yours.

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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.

Free Camping Near Park City And The Wasatch Range

Utah may tout itself as having the greatest snow on earth, but that snow wouldnt be too useful without the gorgeous mountains it gets trapped on. These mountains are beloved by skiers in the winter and adventure-loving campers in the summer.

Check out Salamander Flat or Heber Mountain for beautiful boondocking and tent camping on national forest lands. Mud Creek Road BLM dispersed camping near Strawberry Reservoir is another option near the Wasatch.

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How To Find Dispersed Camping In Utah

In general, with a little knowledge of where to look, experience navigating forest service roads, reading USFS maps, and camping in remote locations, it should be relatively straightforward to find dispersed camping in Utah. We like to use a combination of online apps/websites and USFS/BLM maps to find dispersed campsites. Our favorite resources for Utah dispersed camping are below:

  • Our go to resource for finding free camping in the US. Simply enter your desired location and filter through the results.
  • The Dyrt An app that lets you filter for free and dispersed campsites.
  • Campendium A website and app that allows you to see user reviews for campsites and campgrounds across the country.

Check out our Dispersed Camping App guide here.

While these apps and websites are a good starting place for finding dispersed campsites in Utah, we always cross reference the information with public agencies maps and resources. Weve provided contact information for all of the National Forests and BLM offices in Utah in this post, and they will provide the most up to date information on where dispersed camping is permitted.

Looking to find more dispersed campsites? Check out The Dyrt PRO to get campsite reviews, offline maps, and the best map layers for finding public dispersed camping!

Our Top Camping App The Dyrt PRO

Where Is Dispersed Camping Allowed In Utah

Utah has some amazing free primitive camping in Southern Utah. This ...

Generally speaking dispersed camping is permitted on public land managed by the United States Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management. It is broadly permitted on these lands, expect where it is explicitly prohibited. That means that you can likely dispersed camp within a national forest or on BLM land in Utah unless there is an order or rule not allowing it.

Find an overview of each of the different dispersed camping options in Utah below:

US Forest Service Dispersed Camping in Utah

The US Forest Services manages six National Forests within Utah, with an additional two that are in both Utah and Idaho. These forests make a great place to find dispersed campsites, and are located throughout the state. Generally speaking, all National Forests permit some form of dispersed camping and have similar rules and regulations. However, that does vary a bit depending on the specific National Forest and our recommendation is to always research the specific USFS area you plan to camp before setting out.

Utahs National Forests are listed below along with a link to the dispersed camping guidelines for each area:

In addition to the six national forests listed above, both Caribou-Targhee and Sawtooth National Forests have small segments in Utah with the remaining sections located in neighboring Idaho. Check out the map below for more detail.

Bureau of Land Management Dispersed Camping in Utah

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Blm Camping: Dispersed Campsites Around St George

If you are a self-contained unit, interested in dry camping, there are some areas around St. George where you can head off into the desert and literally set up camp. Sites are defined and have fire pits, but they are scattered around, and are few and far between.

You can find out about these free sites and obtain maps at the BLM field office in St. George. A few convenient sites can be found off Hwy 7, just off BLM 1069, near the road to Little Black Mountain Petroglyphs.

If you want to be ideally positioned to enjoy everything that St. George has to offer and make day trips to Zion National Park, consider some of the BLM sites in the following areas:

Smithsonian Butte National Back Country Byway. This roadway is 6.2 miles from the park entrance. Your best bet here is to look for a gravel road or trail off the byway and continue for two miles. Getting to the byway can be tricky for 5th-wheel trailers, as the bridge in Rockville has a low clearance of 13 feet 4 inches

North Creek Dispersed Area: This area is much closer to St. George. You’ll find it off the Kolob Terrace Road.

Sheep Bridge Road. Along this route are 48 marked campsites.

BLM Address: 345 East Riverside Drive, St. George, Utah

Diamond Fork Dispersed Camping Area

Free camping in Utah doesnt get much better than dispersed camping near Diamond Fork.

Note that while dispersed camping is free, its very primitive. There are no facilities, including no bathrooms or running water. However, the beauty of Diamond Fork cancels out these slight setbacks. Numerous campsites are available along Diamond Creek, most of them spacious enough for 30 foot RVs and larger. Fifth Water Hot Springs is a short hike away.

Learn more about Diamond Fork Dispersed Camping Area.

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Sheep Bridge Road/hurricane Cliffs Dispersed Camping

Restrooms: NoMap

Sheep Bridge Road is located near Zion National Park and Hurricane, Utah. The road cuts its way through a popular BLM dispersed camping area known as the Hurricane Cliffs. Dispersed camping is permitted only in designated sites here, typically marked by a sign post and fire ring. Many campers still opt to set up outside of these designated areas, but we dont recommend it as this damages the fragile ecosystem and risks a fine.

Youre only a short drive from Zion here and close to the Virgin River as it winds its way through Southern Utah. Mountain biking is also very popular in the area and there are several excellent trail systems nearby.

Given how popular camping in the Hurricane Cliffs has become in recent years it is essential to follow the BLM regulations and always Leave No Trace. There are no services here so please properly dispose of your waste and remember to bring plenty of water.

Toms Best Spring Road Dispersed Camping

Free Camping near St. George, UT / Saint George, Utah

Restrooms: NoMap

If youre looking for a great dispersed camping option near Bryce Canyon National Park look no further than Toms Best Spring Road. A short 15-minute drive from the park, this Forest Service Rd has tons of campsites and small spur roads that lead to even more camping opportunities. Also known as Forest Service Read 117, the camping area is comprised of multiple loop roads that stem from both sides of Toms Best Spring Road.

The FR 3626 and FR 3627 loops are the most suitable for RVs, while the FR 646/FR3625 loop is pretty rugged but has the best views. Campers are required to use existing sites to minimize environmental impacts.

There are vault toilets located at the intersection of Toms Best Spring Road and Scenic Byway 12, but youll need to pack in all of your own water when camping here.

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The Best Utah Dispersed Camping

*This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure for more info.

Utah is a land of stunning contrasts. From the dramatic Colorado Plateu to the peaks of the Wasatch Mountains and the states famous national parks, Utah contains some of the most incredible public lands in the country. The state is also home to some incredible dispersed camping opportunities that let you explore these vast landscapes firsthand.

All across Utah youll find ample possibilities to pitch your tent or park your trailer. Weve created this Utah dispersed camping guide to help you navigate the rules, regulations, and endless camping options to find your perfect campsite.

Lets get started.

Blm 144 Dispersed Camping In Crescent Junction

Coordinates: 38.8788, -109.8083

About: Theres plenty of room to roam here, and youre almost at the edge of Arches National Park. Its hard to believe its not always jam-packed, but thats one of the fantastic things about boondocking. Watch out for cows and cactus thorns as you scout for your perfect spot. Hopefully, its one where you can catch the sunrise and sunset just by turning your head. Another plus is that this site is very convenient to I-70.

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