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.
Use our guide to the best places to go camping in Utah to help find the perfect campground for your next trip.
1. Antelope Island State Park
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
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
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. North Campground
One of two campgrounds located in Bryce Canyon National Park, North Campground is perfect for those that prefer to camp next to the park’s visitor center.
The quiet, pleasant campground sits in the shade of ponderosa pines. It’s one of the best jumping off points for exploring the beauty of the national park. Miles of hiking and horseback riding trails are close at hand (as well as cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trails in the winter). All 99 campsites are first-come, first-served.
Learn more about North Campground.
5. Sunset Campground
Bryce Canyon National Park’s other camping option, Sunset Campground is best suited for those that prefer to camp near the park’s lodge.
The campground is welcoming and shaded. It has 100 first-come, first-served campsites. It offers quick access to the gorgeous rock spires that Bryce is known for. Dozens of miles of hiking trails are located close at hand.
Learn more about Sunset Campground.
6. South Campground
South Campground is one of the best options for camping in Utah for those set on exploring Zion National Park.
The striking campground is surrounded by towering canyon walls and sculpted mountains. As one of only two campgrounds in the national park, South Campground’s 100+ sites fill fast. A handful of beautiful rock formations are visible from the campground with many more just a short drive away.
Learn more about South Campground.
7. Gooseneck State Park
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.
8. 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.
9. Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park
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.
10. Bear Lake State Park
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.
11. Fruita Campground
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.
12. Natural Bridges National Monument
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.
13. Spruces Campground
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.
14. Wasatch Mountain State Park
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.
15. Squaw Flat Campground
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.
16. Diamond Fork Dispersed Camping Area
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 camping at Diamond Fork Dispersed Camping Area.
17. Bullfrog Basin Campground
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.
18. 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.
19. Lava Point Campground
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.
20. 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.
21. Lower Bowns Campground
Lower Bowns Reservoir is hard to beat for social camping in Utah, especially during the summer months.
The popular Utah campground sits on the shores of Lower Bowns Reservoir. It’s the ideal location for boating, fishing, hiking, and more. Note that very little shade is available – many RV campers run their generators all day long to stay cool. Capitol Reef National Park is under an hour drive away.
Learn more about Lower Bowns Campground.
22. Twin Hollows Campground
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.
23. Calf Creek Campground
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.
24. 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 (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.
25. Dead Horse Point State Park
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.
Additional Tips for Camping in Utah
Utah is an extremely popular camping destination, even during the “off season.”
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.
Still didn’t find the campground you’re looking for in our list of the top 25 places to go camping in Utah above?
Final Thoughts on Camping in Utah
Are you an experienced Utah camper? Where’s your favorite place to camp in Utah? I’m always looking for great new places to stay when I visit this amazing state!
Also, let us know which state you’d like to see us cover next?
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