40+ of the Best Places to Go Camping in Utah

Camping in Utah is one of my favorite ways to experience this beautiful state.

It’s home to some of the world’s most extraordinary landscapes including sweeping deserts, breathtaking rock formations, rolling hills, rich farmland, forested mountains, and snowcapped peaks.

Your options include tent camping, RV camping, and even free camping. Set up camp in National Parks, State Parks, private campgrounds, dispersed areas, and more. There are campsites near hiking trails, adjacent to fishing lakes and rivers, and even right outside of Salt Lake City.

So pack your bags, load up the car, dust of the RV (or rent one at Outdoorsy) and use this guide to help plan your next Utah camping trip.

Here are 40+ of the best campgrounds in Utah.

Index

  1. Tent Camping
  2. RV Camping
  3. Free Camping
  4. Gear You’ll Need
  5. Additional Tips

Best Tent Camping in Utah

Tent camping in Utah is hard to beat. Hundreds of campgrounds are scattered throughout the state. We’ve rounded up a few of the most beautiful, scenic, and relaxing for you to choose from.

Here are 20 of the best places to go tent camping in Utah.

1. Antelope Island State Park

Antelope Island State Park Camping in Utah

Antelope Island offers an unparalleled Utah camping experience.

Located in the Great Salt Lake, the island is known for its starkly scenic beauty and abundance of wildlife, including pronghorn, bighorn sheep, bison, and waterfowl. Three primitive campgrounds are available with 52 campsites in total. The isolation of the area makes for almost unmatched stargazing.

Learn more about camping at Antelope Island State Park.

2. Watchman Campground (Zion National Park)

Watchman Campground in Zion National Park

There are few better ways to experience Zion National Park than camping in Watchman Campground.

Note that with 176 campsites, camping at Watchman isn’t exactly private. The tradeoff is amazing views of the Watchman rock formation, easy access to the rest of the park, and 96 campsites with electrical hookups. The classic 2-mile roundtrip Watchman Trail hike is right outside your back door.

Learn more about Watchman Campground.

3. Devil’s Garden Campground (Arches National Park)

Devil's Garden Campground in Arches National Park

Explore the natural sandstone arches of Arches National Park by camping at Devil’s Garden Campground.

Devil’s Garden is located deep within the national park and boasts absolutely unbeatable views. In addition to the natural arches, fins, and spires, the area is all but overrun with desert flora, including yucca, prickly pear, and juniper pine. Reserve one of the 51 campsites ahead of time as they fill up quickly.

Learn more about Devil’s Garden Campground.

4. Sunset Campground (Bryce Canyon National Park)

Tent at Sunset Campground in Bryce Canyon National Park

You have two options to choose from for camping in Bryce Canyon National Park.

Although both campgrounds are nice, we prefer the popular yet spacious Sunset Campground (but North Campground is certainly nothing to scoff at either). It’s made up of three loops with 100 campsites. The first loop is for RV camping only while the second two loops are for tent camping only. This busy Utah campground is located near Sunset Point, home to some of the best vistas in Bryce Canyon.

Learn more about Sunset Campground.

5. Gooseneck State Park

Gooseneck State Park in Utah

Camping in Utah just doesn’t get much more scenic or remote than Gooseneck State Park.

The campground sits high above the entrenched San Juan River, which winds its way through the carved-out desert to Lake Powell. Stunning views of a windy portion of the river, known as the gooseneck, are close at hand. Only 8 first-come, first-served campsites are available.

Learn more about camping at Gooseneck State Park.

6. Snow Canyon State Park

Peace and quiet are prevalent while camping in southern Utah’s Snow Canyon State Park.

The desert campground is surrounded by ancient lava flows and red sandstone. Miles of hiking, mountain biking, and horseback trails are close at hand. Venture slightly further to access breathtaking sand dunes. The campground at Snow Canyon is modern with flush toilets, hot showers, and electric hookups for RV campers.

Learn more about camping at Snow Canyon State Park.

7. Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park

Coral Pink Sand Dunes in Utah

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 park’s 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.

8. Bear Lake State Park

Bear Lake State Park on Border of Idaho and Utah

A list of the best places for camping in Utah isn’t complete without a prominent mention of Bear Lake State Park.

Three campgrounds line the lake’s sandy shores offering easy access to the brilliant blue waters of one of Utah’s deepest lakes. Swimming, fishing, and boating are just a few of the lake’s most popular activities. The campgrounds range from a small 6-site primitive campground to a 136-site campground complete with 46 full hookups.

Learn more about camping at Bear Lake State Park.

9. Fruita Campground (Capitol Reef National Park)

Fruita Campground in Capitol Reef National Park

Fruita Campground is the only developed campground in Capitol Reef National Park.

Though it’s surrounded by miles of desert, the campground itself is a lush oasis. Historic orchards combined with the nearby Fremont River give the campground a verdant, green atmosphere. It’s an absolutely amazing Utah campground to see for the first time.

Learn more about Fruita Campground.

10. Natural Bridges National Monument

Owachomo Bridge at Natural Bridges National Monument in Utah

Few areas in Utah are more spectacular than Natural Bridges National Monument.

The area is home to three natural bridges, including the 13th largest in the world. Another top attraction is the spectacularly well-preserved Puebloan ruins, abandoned more than 700 years ago. The campground itself is small and primitive yet boasts some of the darkest and clearest night skies in the United States, according to the International Dark-Sky Association.

Learn more about camping in Natural Bridges National Monument.

11. Spruces Campground

Road Leading Towards Big Cottonwood Canyon

The picturesque Spruces Campground is located in the equally scenic Big Cottonwood Canyon.

The campground is notable both for its high elevation (7,500 feet above sea level) and its proximity to Salt Lake City. Visitors can enjoy the plentiful hiking, biking, and fishing opportunities before making the easy drive into the big city. The large campground boasts all the amenities you could ask for.

Learn more about Spruces Campground.

12. Wasatch Mountain State Park

Wasatch Mountain State Park in Utah

Not everyone prefers camping in Utah to be a rustic experience. Wasatch Mountain State Park is perfect for those that want closer access to shopping, dining, golfing, and more.

The state park is located in the Heber Valley. In addition to the beautiful outdoor scenery, the valley is also home to the Historic Tate Barn and Huber Grove. The campground has plenty of tent sites along with RV sites with full hookups. Though camping is limited during the winter months, visitors still flock to the area to partake in winter activities at the famous Solider Hollow.

Learn more about camping at Wasatch Mountain State Park.

13. Squaw Flat Campground (Canyonlands National Park)

View from Squaw Flat Campground in Canyonlands National Park

Bouldering fans rejoice – you’ve found the perfect location for camping in Utah at Squaw Flat Campground.

The remote, 26-site campground is nestled between a towering rock formation. Plentiful bouldering and climbing locations are scattered nearby. Miles of hiking trails are also close at hand. Use Squaw Flat Campground as a jumping off point for exploring the Needles District in Canyonlands National Park.

Learn more about Squaw Flat Campground.

14. Bullfrog Basin Campground

Aerial View Bullfrog Basin and Lake Powell in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area in Utah

Bullfrog Basin Campground is one of the best places for lakeside camping in Utah.

The campground is located roughly a half mile from Lake Powell in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. The lake is a major vacation destination that draws in more than 2 million visitors for fishing, swimming, and boating each year. It’s important to note that very little shade is available and temperatures routinely exceed 100 degrees.

Learn more about Bullfrog Basin Campground.

15. Upper Onion Creek Campground

Road Through Moab on Way to Upper Onion Creek Campground

Upper Onion Creek Campground is the ideal Utah camping location for large groups.

Two spacious group sites are available that are perfect for reunions, weddings, and other group camping activities. The views from both group sites as well as individual sites are striking with the Colorado River Canyon and its red rock formations in the distance. Drive just 40 minutes to the bustling town of Moab.

Learn more about Upper Onion Creek Campground.

16. Lava Point Campground (Zion National Park)

View of Virgin River in Zion National Park

Visitors to Zion National Park that prefer a remote Utah camping experience over a social one should consider Lava Point Campground.

Located an hour and a half drive away from the entrance to Zion, Lava Point Campground is notable for its overall remoteness and stark beauty. Few campgrounds in Utah are better for stargazing. Only 6 primitive campsites are available here. No vehicles over 19 feet in length are permitted in the campground.

Learn more about Lava Point Campground.

17. Twelve Mile Flat Campground

Manti La Sal National Forest Near Twelve Mile Flat Campground

The wildflower meadow that is Twelve Mile Flat Campground is undoubtedly another one of the best places to go camping in Utah

The area immediately surrounding the meadow is filled with spruce and pines. Opportunities for hiking, bicycling, and riding ATVs are numerous. A short drive up the plateau from the campground are jaw dropping views of the nearby mountains, glacial cirques, and lakes. Twelve Mile Flat is even a great place to visit for winter camping in Utah thanks to the world-class snowmobiling trails.

Learn more about Twelve Mile Flat Campground.

18. Calf Creek Campground

Road Towards Calf Creek Campground in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

Another popular campsite in Utah, Calf Creek Campground is located within the magnificent Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

Only 13 first-come, first-served campsites are available so arrive early. The campground fills particularly quickly during the summer. Despite its popularity, the campground is quiet and peaceful thanks to its small size. The biggest highlight of camping here is the easy access to nearby Calf Creek.

Learn more about Calf Creek Campground.

19. Goblin Valley State Park

Camping Area at Remote Goblin Valley State Park in Utah

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 (complete with heating and air conditioning) 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.

20. Dead Horse Point State Park

View of Colorado River from Dead Horse State Park Campground in Utah

It’s hard to find a better place to go camping in Utah if dramatic views are at the top of your agenda.

Dead Horse Point State Park is located 2,000 feet above the Colorado River. The view of the river below is complimented by the pinnacles of nearby Canyonlands National Park. The popular yet quiet campground also gives visitors easy access to miles of high desert hiking and mountain biking trails.

Learn more about Dead Horse Point State Park.


Best RV Camping in Utah

Looking to go RV camping in Utah? In addition to dozens of fantastic rustic campgrounds for tents, Utah is home to several RV parks with full hookups and amenities as well as pull-thru RV sites.

Don’t have an RV of your own? Check out our guide to renting an RV before your next trip. Our new camper rental tool will help you find an affordable RV or trailer rental in your local neighborhood (or wherever you’re traveling).

Here are 10 of the best places to go RV camping in Utah.

1. Salt Lake City KOA

View of Salt Lake City Skyline

Salt Lake City KOA is one of the best places to go camping near Salt Lake City, period.

The campground is actually located within the city, just a mere 14 blocks to downtown. This makes it an excellent jumping off point for exploring everything Salt Lake City has to offer as well as the rest of Utah. Like most KOAs, it has back-in and pull-thru RV sites with full hookups, a spacious tent camping area, a handful of cabin rentals, and a host of additional amenities like a swimming pool and hot tub.

Learn more about Salt Lake City KOA.

2. Thousand Lakes RV Park

Small Child RV Camping in Utah

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, it’s the ideal home base for hiking, fishing, OHV driving, mountain biking, and so much more. There’s even an on-site auto repair shop if you’ve been experiencing any vehicle problems on the road!

Learn more about Thousand Lakes RV Park.

3. Zion River RV Resort

RV Camper Driving Near Zion National Park

Not only is Zion River RV Resort known as one of the best places for RV camping in Utah, it’s considered one of the best RV resorts in the United States!

Nestled in a green oasis next to a trickling river and surrounded by high rocky formations, Zion River RV Resort is a paradise for RV campers exploring the Zion National Park and beyond. Not only that, but it’s ideally located near Bryce Canyon National Park and even the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park as well. Over 130 RV sites are available in addition to a playground, dog park, and large swimming pool.

Learn more about Zion River RV Resort.

4. Moab KOA

RV Driving Through Rock Tunnel Near Moab in Utah

Home to some of the best RV camping in Utah, the Moab KOA is just minutes from stunning Arches National Park.

Make a stop at the Moab KOA a priority on your RV camping trip, especially if you’re traveling with kids. In addition to RV sites with full hookups, a grassy tent camping area, and KOA cabin rentals, there’s a swimming pool, free Wi-Fi, and on-site general store. Best of all, gorgeous views of the surrounding red rock mountains are available from nearly every campsite.

Learn more about Moab KOA.

5. Leeds RV Park

RV Parked Near Red Rock in Utah

Camp in luxury at Leeds RV Park near Pine Valley Mountain in Southern Utah.

This top-ranked Utah campground has over 50 RV sites with full hookups in addition to tent campsites and even an on-site motel. The peaceful RV and tent areas are filled with towering shade to provide plenty of shade. The convenient location is ideal for visiting Zion National Park as well as Bryce Canyon National Park.

Learn more about Leeds RV Park.

6. Fossil Valley RV Park

Dinosaur National Monument in Utah

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. It’s within walking distance to local businesses, including restaurants, shopping, and more.

Learn more about Fossil Valley RV Park.

7. Monument Valley KOA

RV Pulled Off to the Side of the Road in Monument Valley

The Monument Valley KOA is hard to beat for top-quality RV camping in southern Utah.

Located just minutes from the breathtaking Monument Valley, this campground is ideal for exploring the world-renown red rock buttes and mesas as well as the area’s Navajo and Anasazi culture. The campground itself has plenty of spacious full hookup RV sites plus a large tent camping area. Unlike some KOA campgrounds, this one doesn’t currently offer any cabin rentals.

Learn more about Monument Valley KOA.

8. Wonderland RV Park

RV Driving Down Scenic Road in Utah

Wonderland RV Park, sometimes called Capitol Reef RV Park, is one of the the best Utah campgrounds for RVs, bar none.

It’s located in a beautiful setting with many shaded sites to help you get some respite from the sun. For RVs, pull-thru and back-in sites are both offered with full hookups. Other options include tent camping in an open grassy area or renting a log cabin. A unique sheep camp with cozy wagons reminiscent of the Oregon Trail is a fun way for children to camp in Southern Utah.

Learn more about Wonderland RV Park.

9. Sandcreek RV Park

A Historic Barn in Capitol Reef National Park

Explore the heart of Utah, including the beautiful Capitol Reef National Park, with a stay at Sandcreek RV Park.

This Utah RV park has a mixture of full hookup RV sites, tent camping sites, and even cabin rentals. The campground atmosphere is relaxed and laidback. Easily walk into the town of Torrey for a bite to eat – try Cafe Diablo just across the street. If you’re done exploring Capitol Reef, this beautiful area is also notable for its hiking, biking, and fishing opportunities.

Learn more about Sandcreek RV Park.

10. Ruby’s Inn RV Park

Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah

RV campers rejoice – Ruby’s Inn RV Park makes for an incredible Utah camping experience just minutes from Bryce Canyon National Park.

Also home to a historic hotel (first opened in 1916), this RV park has roughly 250 shaded campsites for RVs of all sizes. Of course, full RV hookups are available. Extremely clean restrooms with hot showers are also available on-site. Another unique lodging option is to try out one of several camping tipis for a night of glamping under the stars.

Learn more about Ruby’s Inn RV Park.


Best Free Camping in Utah

Not only does free camping save you money, but many free campsites are also much more remote and secluded than more built-up modern campgrounds. Luckily, there’s plenty of free camping in Utah that’s ideal for primitive camping, dispersed camping, and boondocking.

Don’t forget to check out our guide to free camping for even more tips on free camping in Utah and the rest of the United States. And, if none of the suggestions below work for your trip, you can’t beat FreeCampsites.net for locating other free campsites in the state.

Here are 10 of the best places to go free camping in Utah.

1. Diamond Fork Dispersed Camping Area

Diamond Fork Hot Springs Near the Diamond Fork Camping Area in Utah

Free camping in Utah doesn’t get much better than the Diamond Fork Dispersed Camping Area.

Note that while dispersed camping is free, it’s 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.

2. Spiral Jetty

Spiral Jetty in Great Salt Lake in Utah

Just minutes from the small town of Corrine, Spiral Jetty is one of the best free campsites near Salt Lake City.

Located on the northern end of Great Salt Lake, Spiral Jetty is a well-known earthwork sculpture that extends out into the lake. Free dispersed camping is available close at hand, although it’s primitive with no toilets or other services. There are plenty of spaces to spread out and camp with most spacious enough to accommodate large RVs. Do note that reaching this free Utah campsite requires traveling down roughly 15 miles of gravel road.

Learn more about Spiral Jetty.

3. Twin Hollows Campground

Horse in Field Near Twin Hollows Campground in Utah

If you’re looking for the best free camping in Utah, you’d be hard-pressed to beat Twin Hollows Campground.

Just minutes from Zion National Park, the camping area is situated down a ravine from the nearby highway. Despite the proximity to the highway, nighttime noise is minimal thanks to its lower position. A number of campsites are available with access to the slow-moving river. The area is located on BLM land so all the campsites are primitive without toilets or running water.

Learn more about Twin Hollows Campground.

4. Castleton Tower’s Climber’s Campsite

Castleton Tower Near Moab, Utah

Castleton Tower is an imposing red rock tower located roughly 20 miles away from Moab.

Famous for its rock climbing, it’s a popular destination for rock climbing in Utah. A free camping area is located nearby. Although called a climber’s campsite, it’s open to everyone, including RV campers. There’s only a handful of proper campsites but there’s plenty of places to park a car to sleep if you’re 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 Tower’s Climber’s Campsite.

5. Crystal Geyser

Crystal Geyser on the Green River in Utah

Crystal Geyser is notable for the unique nature of its eruptions. Unlike most geysers, it’s not geothermal activity that causes it to erupt. Instead, it’s a cold-water geyser driven by carbon dioxide.

A free camping area is located in the general vicinity with plenty of room to spread out whether you’re in an RV or a tent. If the campsites around the geyser are too busy for your preferences, camping is allowed in the sandy flat area further away down the road. Do note that this area is primitive with no bathrooms. It also requires a 5 mile drive down a dirt road to access. Thanks to its incredibly remote location, the star gazing is unbeatable.

Learn more about Crystal Geyser.

6. Chicken Creek Campground

Road Leading to Manti La Sal National Forest

You won’t find better Utah free camping in an established campground than Chicken Creek Campground.

With just 8 total campsites, this medium-use campground is perfect for tent camping as well as small RVs and trailers. It’s tucked away near a small creek in a gorgeous valley in the Manti La Sal National Forest. Remember to bring your fishing gear as Chicken Creek is an excellent spot for angling.

Learn more about Chicken Creek Campground.

7. Vernon Reservoir

Rock Near Vernon Reservoir in Utah

Head out for a stay near Vernon Reservoir for some of the best free camping in Utah.

This wide open dispersed camping area is remote and gorgeous. It features spacious campsites, many right on the edge of the lake. The area is popular for ATV and OHV riding. Although this is nice if you also like to ride, it does means this campground is far noisier than most. The reservoir is stocked each year with rainbow trout making it a popular fishing hole for those living near Provo.

Learn more about Vernon Reservoir.

8. Valley of the Mortally Inspired

Mexican Hat Rock Structure Near Valley of the Gods in Utah

Valley of the Mortally Inspired used to be something of an Utah camping secret – but it’s become very popular in the last couple of years.

Located just minutes from Monument Valley as well as the famous Mexican Hat geologic structure in the San Juan Canyon, the views at this dispersed camping area just can’t be beat. Beautiful red rock surrounds the entire camping area. But be prepared – the road in is very rough. 4×4 isn’t necessarily required, but is probably a good idea.

Learn more about Valley of the Mortally Inspired.

9. Koosharem Reservoir

Koosharem Reservoir in Utah

Managed by the Bureau of Land Management, Koosharem Reservoir is another popular free campground in Utah.

Most of the spots are located right on the reservoir with fantastic views of the water and beyond. The remote location makes Koosharem Reservoir ideal for star gazing at night. Tents and RVs are welcome with a lot of space to spread out. There’s even a pit toilet on site.

Learn more about Koosharem Reservoir.

10. Valley of the Gods

Valley of the Gods, Utah

Fans of remote backcountry camping will love the rugged beauty of the Valley of the Gods.

A popular scenic destination just north of Utah’s famous Monument Valley, this area is filled with red rock mesas, buttes, and canyons. The 17-mile gravel road that allows you to tour the valley is also home to several pull-outs that can be used for camping, some more private than others. There are no designated campsites or marked areas, but the Bureau of Management allows tent and RV camping along the entire road. Just remember to pack out what you pack in. No campfires are allowed.

Learn more about Valley of the Gods.


Gear You’ll Need for Camping in Utah

Camping in Utah is relatively straightforward.

To ensure the enjoyment of your trip, you’ll need all the standard camping gear, like a tent, sleeping bag, and sleeping pad.

Other important gear is a camping cooler to keep your food cold (check out our top 25 make-ahead camping meals), a camping stove to cook your food, and a camping lantern to illuminate the night.

Depending on where you’re camping, it might be beneficial to consider a camping toilet or a camping shower, especially if you plan on dispersed camping for a couple of days or more at a time.

If you rarely go camping and really don’t want to buy all the gear new, check out our partner Outdoors Geek. They offer affordable camping rental packages no matter the specifics of your trip.


Additional Tips for Camping in Utah

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 you’re 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.

If you’re brand new to camping, our family camping checklist will help you make sure you pack all the right gear. Don’t forget our camp cooking guide while you’re at it!


Find Other Great Campgrounds Near You!

Camping in Utah Pinterest Image

Utah is undoubtedly one of the best states for camping – but it sure isn’t the only one with fantastic campgrounds for tents and RVs.

Here are some of our other popular state camping guides:

And, like always, let us know if you still have any questions about how to find the best camping in Utah!

2 COMMENTS

  1. Echo Park campground on the Utah side of Dinosaur National monument is a seclusion lovers dream. A long trek down into the canyon brings you to a peaceful oasis surrounded by large canyon walls and bumped up against the green river. An old ranchers home sits at the bottom that you can tour at your leisure and petroglyphs mark the walls from ancient times. Steamboat rock towers your view as rafting tours pass by taking on an adventure all their own. Mule deer and big horn sheep call this area home and often pass thru unconcerned.
    High clearance vehicles are recommended but I did the trek in a minivan and was just fine. Bring everything you need and watch the weather. Rainfall can make the road in/out impassible….RV’s are discouraged. Shaded and open sites available. Vaulted toilets and water spickets offered but besides that you are on your own.

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