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Free Camping Near Arches National Park

Lockhart Road Dispersed Camping

Free Camping Near Arches National Park In Moab, Utah!

GPS: 38.1825, -109.668

About the Campsite: Lockhart Road is a great place to camp for free, even with a large rig. The largest rig reported was 40 feet. Be warned, though, this is a popular location and fills up quickly. And, if you dont find a spot, you might have trouble turning around.

If you do find a spot, youll love it! Rock hoodoos surround the campsites. The road stretches for several miles with dispersed camping sites all along. If youre in a big rig, scouting ahead would be wise.

Some users have reported a vault toilet nearby. But with so many sites, you might have to walk a bit to reach it. Other than that, there are no amenities. Despite the lack of amenities, this receives 5 stars on Campendium for cleanliness, noise, site quality, location, and access.

Reported Cell Service: Basically, theres no cell service out here. Some lucky Verizon users might occasionally get a single bar.

Canyonlands National Park Boondocking Vibes: 9/10. The fact that youre camping among the rock hoodoos will make you feel like youre right inside Canyonlands National Park. The only real downside is the lack of cell coverage.

Free Camping Near Zion National Park

Zion National Park may be the most beautiful park in the USA. From the epic views on Angels Landing to the hikes at Weeping Rock, this park wont disappoint.

Heres the problem, the national park campgrounds fill up quickly and the nearby RV parks are super expensive.

This free campsite is an absolute hidden gem!

Name: North Creek BLM

Exact Location: 37.2203, -113.1616

Miles to Park: 15 miles to the visitor center.

About the Free Campsite: We love this campsite! It has plenty of shade trees, a creek running through it and a wonderful community of campers. The spots can be tightmeaning large RVs wont have access. However, its perfect for vans and tents.

Youll be a short drive from the National Park. Close enough to take multiple day trips inside the park with ease.

What Campers are Saying: Waz on Campendium says, For the time of year we were here it was perfect. Heaps of spots to camp in our minivan and there are fire rings and even a portaloo .

Additionally, we created a comprehensive Zion National Park Camping Guide.

How To Plan Your Arches National Park Rv Camping Trip

With this information, youll be able to plan the perfect Arches National Park camping trip. Whether you prefer glamping or roughing it, and whether youre traveling with kids in a large motorhome or solo in a tiny trailer, theres an option for you. Go ahead and decide what that is and start planning so you can witness the wonders of this wonderful national park!

Start planning your Arches National Park camping trip, and find more great points of interest in the area, with the RV LIFE App and RV LIFE Trip Wizard. Been to a campground lately? Dont forget to leave a review! Reviews help other RVers like yourself, and they help the campground. Leave a campground review today!

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What You Should Know About Free Camping:

Its true, the camping costs nothing. However, there are a few things youll need to consider before getting out in nature.

  • Amenities not included: youll need to provide all your own utilizes. This means electricity, water and bathrooms will be your responsibility. If you have an RV these features are usually included.
  • Get Comfy: just because youre off grid doesnt mean youre uncomfortable. We travel in a 1979 Airstream. With the right accessories, it feels just like a home. We can even run the air conditioner!
  • Pack in, Pack Out. Always leave a free campsite better than when you arrived. Pick up extra trash .
  • Scout out ahead of time. Free campsites are located off-grid, which typically means off the main road system. While RVs can access many of these spots on a good day, bad weather can restrict access.

Best Time To Visit The Arches National Park

All the Best Camping Near Arches National Park

The best time for you to visit Arches National Park is when temperatures are between 60 -80 degrees on average. The best time falls in April, May, September, and October because temperatures are favorable. During summer, exploring the park is difficult because temperatures can go up to 100 degrees. While late summer is full of violent storm cells leading to flash floods. You can visit the Arches national park during winter despite the occasional ice and snow that makes trails slippery.

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Arches National Park Camping For Free

Free camping is abundant around Arches National Park in Moab Utah. Some public lands are Bureau of Land Management and others are State Trust-owned but all allow free camping.

We have visited twice in our RV and both times enjoyed free camping near the airport north of Moab. Its a great location for watching skydivers and hot air balloons.

West Short Cut Road Dispersed Camping

GPS: 38.2301, -109.5284

About the Campsite: If you have a smaller rig and want to beat the crowds, West Short Cut Road is a fantastic place to stay. The longest reported rig was 22 feet. Youll be camping on a sandstone rock outcrop with views of the La Salle Mountains!

There arent any amenities, but there are fantastic views!

Reported Cell Service: Reviewers report three bars for Verizon, but theres no other noted cell coverage.

Canyonlands National Park Boondocking Vibes: 7.8/10. It offers some amazing views but isnt quite as unique as the Lockhart Road camping. Bonus points for less crowding, though!

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Canyonlands Rv Resort And Campground

Canyonlands National Park combines a luxury feel with the breathtaking visuals that only a spot in nature can provide.

This campground can be reached by driving 10 minutes from Arches, and contains hiking areas, a gated swimming pool, and plenty of areas to just relax and enjoy yourself.

As far as amenities go, there are cabin rentals, free parking, WIFI access, an RV area, and sites for tents. A reservation will be needed to access this area, as it is only open during the months between March and October.

Best Free Camping Near Zion

Camping Near Arches National Park

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

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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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Willow Springs Road Dispersed Camping

Distance to Moab: 13 milesRestrooms: NoMap

At just 15 minutes from town, Willow Springs Road offers some of the most convenient dispersed camping near Moab. These sites arent glamours, and can get quite busy and loud, but they do provide some easy to access campsites very close to Moab and Arches National Park.

Not much more than a dirt road with a few pull outs off the highway, camping at Willow Springs Road isnt for those seeking solitude, seclusion, or stunning natural beauty. Instead, youll get very convenient camping that can be accessed by most vehicles.

Given how popular Willow Springs Road is, it is very important to practice Leave No Trace camping. Please be sure to pack out all of your trash and minimize your impact as much as possible.

With the creation of Utahraptor State Park, there is some speculation that dispersed camping will no longer be allowed here in the future, so be sure to check with the Moab BLM office before settling on a camping trip here.

Considerations Before Camping In Utah

Dispersed camping is defined as camping outside of a designated campground . This means that there is limited to no camping facilities available .

Dispersed camping is offered to campers through the Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service Lands. These are undeveloped federal lands that are available for public use. When considering a dispersed campsite it is important to remember a few things.

1) A 14 day stay limit is imposed on all public lands. This means you can stay in a particular area for 14 days, after that time is up, you must move 25 miles to your next destination.

2) Dispersed campgrounds do not have facilities. There are no bathrooms, wash rooms / showers, and often limited cell service.

3) Always pack enough water, food, and emergency belongings.

4) Always use the Leave No Trace Rule. Pack out what you pack in even your waste!

With those camping rules in mind dont let dispersed camping in Utah intimidate you! It is one of the easiest and most enjoyable ways to experience all of what Utah has to offer.

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When To Camp Near Moab

It is possible to camp in Moab year-round, although the most popular season will be the Spring and Fall. From March May and September October is when youll find the most pleasant weather with warm days, cool nights, and the best chance to settled weather. During the summer months Moab can get very hot, with temperatures often exceeding 100 degrees.

The winter sees freezing temperatures and even the occasional snow.

For those camping in a van, trailer, or RV, your Moab camping season will be a bit longer as you can use your heat of AC to extend your options.

Budget Vacation: Free Camping Near The 10 Most Popular National Parks

Photo of Camping in Arches National Park

Once America opens back up, summer will nearly be in full swing. Camping vacations are projected to be the hottest type of travel in 2020.

This makes perfect sense! Its inexpensive, you can easily control your environment and it connects you to nature . Sounds like the ideal budget vacation, right?

Were here to share the best free camping sites near each of the 10 most popular National Parks. You heard me rightthe camping costs nothing!

In the RV-world free camping is also known as boondocking and it typically takes place on federal park lands .

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Backcountry Camping Rules & Tips

  • A distance of at least a mile from a designated road should be used as a camping spot.
  • A distance of at least 0.5 miles from a designated trail should be used for camping, while staying out of sight.
  • Before the sun sets, establish the camp.
  • Keep a distance of 100 feet from flowing water, 300 feet from archaeological sites, and 300 feet from water that isnt flowing when making campsites.
  • Every footprint you make into the fragile desert crust can damage it. Use the rocks and dry washes to walk.
  • Slick rock is the best place for this.
  • This is the desert and you will need to bring a lot of water to stay hydrated.
  • Dig a hole of 4 to 6 inches to bury your human waste, or pack it.
  • Any trash you make, included hygiene products and toilet paper, should be packed.
  • Keep food away from any wildlife.
  • Keep an eye out for venomous animals, such as black widow spiders, scorpions, kissing bugs, and rattlesnakes.
  • Let the peace and quiet of the public lands give you an enjoyable experience.

La Sal Loop Road/manti

Distance to Moab: 17 milesRestrooms: NoMap

The La Sal mountains set a spectacular backdrop for the area and also are home to some of the best dispersed camping near Moab. Although youre less than 20 miles from town here, youll feel a world apart as you enter these mountains, which are often at least 10 degrees cooler than Moab itself.

The La Sal Loop road is a popular dispersed camping destinations and features dozens of opportunities for camping on one of the many spur roads in the National Forest. Youll also be able to explore some of the less visited highlights of the area, such as the La Sal lookout.

To get here from Moab your best bet is to head south along Highway 191 before taking a left on Old Airport Road. From here, keep an eye out for La Sal Loop Road signage and be sure youre in the National Forest before setting up camp. There is no water or other facilities here, so please be sure to pack out your trash and come prepared.

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Places And Things To Do And See

In Arches national park, there are several great places you can choose to stay while camping. Since the park has thousands of natural scenic features, its the best place to camp due to the availability of numerous activities to do. Below is a list of the best places to be when you visit Arches National Park:

Best Free Camping Near Kanab

Free Dispersed Camping Near Moab & Most Popular Hikes In Arches National Park (Full-Time RV Vlog)

Utah Campsite #3: N 37°3.200, W 112°15.581

Kanab is home to some of the most slot canyons in the world. Miles of winding slot trails, amazing wave rock formations, and the beginnings of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument can all be found in the heart of Kanab.

But also lying in the heart of Kanab are some of the most alluring, quiet campsites in the world and some of the best free campsites in Utah!

Spanning from Lake Powell to Hurricane and beyond, Highway 89 is home to hundreds of dispersed Utah campsites that are totally free for campers to enjoy.

If youre looking to hike the Peekaboo Slots, or grabbing that infamous Instagram picture at The Wave , Seamens Canyon Road off Highway 89 is the perfect middle ground for your southern Utah adventure.

Located 32 miles west of The Peekaboo Slot Canyon trailhead, Seamens Canyon Road offers multiple pullouts underneath the cliffs of Grand Staircase-Escalante.

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Do You Need A Reservation For Arches National Park

Due to overcrowding, Arches National Park implemented a timed entry reservation system for the 2022 peak season. From April 3rd to October 3rd, reservations are required to enter Arches National Park between 6 am and 5 pm.

Reservations are in addition to National Park entrance fees. Check out to America the Beautiful National Park Pass: Is it Worth it and Will it Save You Money before your next National Park visit.

Gemini Bridges Designated Campsites

Gemini Bridges Designated Campsites is a BLM campground. It might just be one of the prettiest boondocking spots outside of Moab. This campsite is in a quiet box canyon, so although its nice and peaceful, you wont find much cell signal. This is definitely a place you should scout with your tow vehicle first. If you feel you can make it in, itll be worth your efforts.

Reviewers report that having a 4×4 to access this campsite is best. The longest RV reported here was 35 feet. Like we said, just scout it out first before determining if you want to camp here. Per reviews, one of the roads in is rough with a sheer cliff on one side , but accessing this area from 313 is a bit easier. The GPS coordinates for this spot are 38.6118, -109.667.

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Hotels In Moab Near Restaurants And Shopping

If you want to experience the vibe of Moab, then stay close to the city center. Youll be within walking distance of yummy places to eat and fun places to shop.

  • Gonzo Inn
  • Purple Sage our all-time favorite place to stay in Moab
  • Moab Flats we havent stayed here, but its just a bit down the street from Purple Sage and it would be our second choice

Willow Springs Trail Dispersed Campsites

All the Best Camping Near Arches National Park

Willow Springs Trail Dispersed camping is a beautiful free camping area managed by Utah BLM. RVs of any size can easily find a great spot here. Although theres plenty of open space, its easy to find seclusion and privacy, as well.

Campers have found adequate cell signals among all major carriers, too. What more could you want in a dispersed campsite? The GPS coordinates for Willow Springs Trail are 38.6968, -109.6981.

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Have Fun Dispersed Camping In Moab

There are a thousand reasons to visit Moab from visiting Arches and Canyonlands to rafting, mountain biking, hiking, and climbing to just chilling out in town.

And, although the many developed campgrounds around Moab are top-notch , nothing quite beats wild camping off the beaten path.

Check out my favorite free campsites in Utah for even more dispersed camping recommendations. My guide to finding free campsites near you is also super helpful.

And, like always, feel free to shoot me a line if you have any more questions:

Arches National Park Camping List

If you are planning on going camping in the Arches National Park often referred to fondly as the red rock paradise, you should be armed with a comprehensive plan prior to starting your adventure.

In desert conditions such as those found in this park, temperatures can rise to triple digits during the day and then suddenly plummet to freezing levels as the night sets in.

With this in mind, when going camping, it is better to overpack rather than find that you packed less than you actually need.

Below is a detailed list of essentials that you should pack when camping for a few days in this park.

Basic Camping Gear:

  • Hand sanitizer

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