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Utah is literally packed full of amazing place to camp. I should know – it’s where we call home. Truthfully, one of the reasons that we chose to live here is because the access to outdoor activities is so much better than almost anywhere else in the United States. Knowing that, here are some of our all-time favorite places to camp in Utah!
Salt Lake Area Campgrounds
Salt Lake City is tucked right against the mountains and it has some incredible camping close by. All of these Salt Lake campgrounds can be reached within an hour of the city. While some of these are just minutes out of the city, the campgrounds that are a little farther away often offer more solitude and less crowds. Below, you’ll find our favorite campgrounds that are within an hour of Salt Lake City.
Cecret Lake, Alta
This is one of the most popular places for camping in Utah and it’s super close to Salt Lake City. It’s STUNNING! It’s located just 15 minutes from the city and it has amazing views of the valley and the mountains. There’s also a great little lake for swimming and fishing. In the summer the wildflowers are unbelievable here!
Antelope Island State Park, Great Salt Lake, Willard
This Salt Lake campground is a little further from the city, but it’s definitely worth the drive. Antelope Island State Park is located in the middle of the Great Salt Lake and it offers some incredible scenery. This is a great place to camp if you want to see some wildlife–the bison and coyotes are common sights on the island. Its one of the more unique places for camping in Utah.
Mirror Lake Highway, Kamas
This area is known for its incredible fall colors and it’s one of the most popular places to camp in Utah. There are numerous campgrounds located along Mirror Lake Highway, so you’re sure to find one that fits your needs. This is a great place to go fishing, hiking, or just relax and take in the beautiful scenery.
Wasatch Mountain State Park, Midway
This park is located in the heart of the Wasatch Mountains and it offers some beautiful camping spots. There are plenty of trails to hike and bike as well as opportunities for fishing and boating. This would be a great place to camp if you’re looking for some outdoor activities to keep you busy. While you’re there, take the kids over to the visitors center for some free (under 12 years old) fishing at the stocked pond.
Spruces Campground, Big Cottonwood, Salt Lake City
This campground is located just minutes from the city and it offers some great camping spots. There are plenty of trees for shade and the river provides a nice backdrop. This would be a great place to camp if you want to be close to the city but still enjoy some peace and quiet.
Granite Flats, American Fork Canyon
This campground is located in the heart of American Fork Canyon and it offers some beautiful camping spots. There are plenty of trails to hike and bike as well as opportunities for fishing and boating. This would be a great place to camp if you’re looking for some outdoor activities to keep you busy. Just a mile up the road is Tibble Fork Reservoir which is a great place for swimming, canoing or kayaking on a hot summer day!
Spiral Jetty Dispersed Camping, Great Salt Lake,
Spiral Jetty is a manmade art out in the Great Salt Lake that’s fun to check out. It’s a bit of a drive, so plan on bringing a tent and making a campout of the excursion. This is a great option if you’re looking for some solitude. Spiral Jetty is a small, dispersed camping area located on the northeast side of the Great Salt Lake. It offers incredible views of the lake and the sky and it’s the perfect place to watch the sun set. There are no facilities here, so make sure you come prepared with food, water, and a way to dispose your waste (both trash and bathroom waste).
Bountiful Peak Campground, Farmnigton
This Utah campground is conveniently close to most areas in Davis County and has some really beautiful camping spots. There are plenty of trees for shade and the river provides a nice backdrop. This would be a great place Utah campground if you want to be close to the city but still enjoy some peace and quiet.
Tanners Flat Campground, Little Cottonwood Canyon, Sandy
This campground is located in the heart of Little Cottonwood Canyon and it’s a quick an easy way to get out of the city. If you’re planning to combine your camping trip with rock climbing or hiking, this is a fantastic place to camp since it’s close to both.
Timpanookee Campground, American Fork Canyon
Located along the Alpine Loop Highway, the Timpanookee Campground is one of the most beautiful campgrounds near Salt Lake City. If you’re planning to hike Mt Timpanogos, stay the night here first so you’ll have easy parking acess and can get an early start.
Best Campgrounds In The Capitol Reef – Escalante Area
The area between Capital Reef and Escalante is some of the most remote and wild areas of Utah. It also has some fantastic wilderness opportunities in both the mountains and red rock desert. These campgrounds will give you access to it all!
Hole In The Rock Road, Escalante
This isn’t a designated campground, but there are several areas along Hole In The Rock Road that are perfect for dispersed camping. Many people like to camp here for easy access to canyoneering, slot canyons, and 4×4 driving.
Calf Creek, Escalante
The campground is one of the most saught after areas to camp in Escalante. With a river flowing right by it and the popular Calf Creek Falls trail starting from the campground, this is a great place to relax and enjoy the some of best Utah desert camping. The campground has plenty of shade, which can be hard to come by in this area.
Boulder Mountain, Boulder
Boulder Mountain is one of the most diverse camping areas in Utah. With elevations ranging from 7,000 to 9,500 feet, it offers something for everyone. With higher elevation, the temperatures on Boulder Mountain are often colder than the surrounding desert, so it’s a great place to escape the summer heat.
Fruita Campground, Capitol Reef National Park
This campground is one of the most popular in Capitol Reef National Park, and for good reason. It’s located close to the park’s visitor center and has some great views of the Waterpocket Fold. The campground offers both paved and primitive camping sites, as well as a dump station and showers.
Goblin Valley State Park, Hanksville
Goblin Valley State Park is a great place to camp if you’re looking for a great place to explore and play in the desert. The park is known for it’s strange, goblin-like rock formations and there are plenty of hiking trails to explore. The campground has 61 sites, most of which are available on a first come, first serve basis. If the campground is full, there is plenty of dispersed camping available nearby.
Moab Area Camping
Finding camping in and around Moab can be incredibly difficult, especially during school breaks. For the best campgrounds around Moab, look to the National and State Parks,
The Needles, Canyonlands, Moab
These campgrounds are located in some of the most beautiful areas of Canyonlands National Park. If you’re looking for a great place to camp and want to be close to Moab, these are the campgrounds for you! There are reservable campgrounds in the Needles or if you want to camp in Chestler Park, you can get a backcountry permit where you can backpack or 4×4 into your campsite.
The Needles is the least visited area around Moab, so it’s also usually the least crowded place to camp near Moab.
Dead Horse Point State Park, Moab
Located just outside of Moab, Dead Horse Point State Park is a great place to camp if you’re looking for amazing views of Canyonlands National Park. The park offers both RV and tent camping, as well as yurts that can be reserved for camping as well.
There are hiking and biking trails within Deadhorse Point and there are also some of the best viewpoints in the area inside this Utah State Park.
Devils Garden, Arches National Park, Moab
Devils Garden is one of the most popular campgrounds in Arches National Park. It’s located close to the park’s entrance and offers some amazing views of the La Sal Mountains. The campground has both RV and tent camping, as well as a dump station and showers.
Island In the Sky, Canyonlands, Moab
Island In the Sky is located in the northern part of Canyonlands National Park and offers some of the best views in the park. The campground is a great place to camp if you’re looking for amazing views of the Colorado River and the surrounding canyons. The campground has both RV and tent camping, as well as a dump station and showers. You are quite far from any stores here, so make sure to bring everything you need for camping with you.
Southern Utah Campgrounds
Camping in Southern Utah is one of the best things to do when you visit. The sandy desert is a literal playground for outdoor lovers, and camping can get you right where the fun is!
Watchman Campground Zion National Park, Springdale
This campground is located in Zion National Park and is one of the most popular campgrounds in the park. The campground offers both RV and tent camping, as well as a dump station and showers.
Zion is a great place to camp because it offers something for everyone, from amazing hikes, canyoneering, to floating the Virgin River.
Snow Canyon State Park, Ivins
Snow Canyon State Park is known for it’s beautiful red rocks and stunning landscapes. It’s also home to some of the best star gazing in the state.
There are plenty of hiking trails to explore in Snow Canyon, including a few that will take you to some of the best views in the park. Snow Canyon is a really easy place to camp because of its close proximity to the town of St George.
Sunset Campground, Bryce Canyon National Park,
This campground is located in the heart of Bryce Canyon National Park and offers some of the best views in the park. The campground is a great place to camp if you’re looking for amazing nighttime views of the stars or if you want to catch sunrise over the hoodoos. The campground is connected to other areas of the park by a multi use path that allows both walkers and bikers, so it’s easy to get around.
Coral Pink Sand Dunes, Kanab
If you’re looking for a place to camp that feels like you’re in the middle of nowhere, then look no further than Coral Pink Sand Dunes.
This state park is located in Southern Utah and is known for its beautiful pink sandstone cliffs and sand dunes. The sand dunes are perfect for all ages, and sand board rentals are also available there. Be prepared to take lots of sand home in everything you own!
Lake Powell Beach Camping
Lake Powell is easily the best beach camping in Utah.
The views of the red rocks and Glen Canyon are unbeatable and the sunsets are unreal.
When you camp at Lake Powell, you’re also close to other amazing places like Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and Antelope Canyon.
There are several campgrounds located around the lake, and dispersed camping is also available in many areas too.
Best Northern Utah Campgrounds
Bear Lake State Park, Garden City
Bear Lake State Park is located in the heart of Northern Utah and is a great place to camp if you’re looking for a beautiful view of the lake.
The park has both RV and tent camping, as well as a dump station and showers.
If you’re looking for something to do while you’re at the park, plan on lots of water play. The water in Bear Lake can be incredibly cold, so come prepared!
As you can see, Utah is home to so many amazing places to camp, and we’ve just scratched the surface with a few of the best Utah campgrounds.
No matter what you’re looking for in a campground, Utah has something for everyone. So get out there and explore everything that this beautiful state has to offer!