Utah is a dream for nature lovers. Whether you want to hike through amazing rock formations, bike over mountain trails, or fish in lakes and rivers, you’ll find what you’re looking for here.
In addition to its 43 state parks, Utah has 5 national parks and the famous Colorado River. This is the third-largest number of national parks in any state. There are also private campgrounds near tourist attractions. With over 7,000 campsites to choose from, you can camp high in the alpine wilderness, pitch a tent close to a lake or sleep under the stars in the desert.
So how do you choose where to go? One way to help narrow the options is to consider the amenities offered at each site.
Do you want to enjoy a variety of activities or focus on a couple? Is it important that the campground offers family-friendly activities? Will you be happy with a rustic experience?
To make it easier for you, we’ve compiled a list of our best camping places in Utah with a list of nearby activities and trip suggestions.
Here we go: Best Places for Camping in Utah
Sun Outdoors Arches Gateway
Phone:435-259-4469 Address: 1773 N Hwy 191, Moab, UT 84532 Available activities:
Just steps away from Arches National Park, Sun Outdoors Arches Gateway boast one of the nation’s most incredible views and offers some the of most enjoyable experiences camping in Utah.
Enjoy the surroundings of Moab with a variety of amenities, such as a pool, mini-golf, life-size checkers and chess, or a hot tub.
The campground features full hook-up pull-through RV sites with 30/50 amp service, tent sites, as well as vacation rentals. Those include cozy cabins and a premium vintage Airstream trailer. Each of the sites has a lunch bench and a BBQ pit.
Guests can also easily access Canyonlands National Park to engage in kayaking, many off-road adventures, or guided hiking tours. And what’s more, the whole area is a great spot for biking.
This is just a place that can’t be missed.
Spanish Trail RV Park
Phone:435-259-2411 Address: 2980 S Hwy 191, Moab, Utah 84532 Available activities:
For a pleasant RV camping experience, check out this beautiful park that is only 3 miles from Moab and within driving distance of Arches National Park and the La Sal Mountains. Here you can enjoy watching the sun set over the nearby red rock cliffs.
Not only is the campsite close to a wide variety of activites, it is also extremely comfortable. There is a heated spa and pool to enjoy on cool evenings after spending a day on hiking trails, biking or riding jeeps in the area.
The newly finished T.V. lounge provides a relaxing place to socialize. There are new washers and dryers in the laundry room and new bathrooms with showers. There is also a covered pavilion and a grassy area for pets.
All of the RV spots are pull-through with full hookups. Most are shaded. Free WiFi is provided. Visitors can sign up for area tours or buy snacks or souvenirs at the gift shop.
Anderson Cove Campground — Best for groups
Phone:801-745-2265 Address: 6702 UT-39, Huntsville, UT 84317 Available activities:
Anderson Cove Campground is a popular recreational facility located just 10 miles east of Ogden. Nestled along the banks of Pineview Reservoir, visitors can enjoy fishing, swimming, and boating. A small cove has been buoyed off to identify the swimming-only beach. Even though the campground is pet-friendly, dogs are not allowed at the beach.
There are five group sites at the campground, each of which can accommodate up to 100 people. They all have a large picnic shelter. Campers can also choose from several single and double-family sites. Vault toilets and drinking water are provided too.
There is an on-site store with various camping supplies, such as food, snacks, ice, firewood, toys, life vests, and more. The store also serves as the public contact and your check-in station.
Reservations are necessary from May 21 through September 6.
Bryce Canyon National Park Camping
Phone:435-834-5322 Address: Bryce Canyon National Park UT-63. Bryce, Utah 84764 Available activities:
Back Country Hiking
There are more hoodoos (irregular rock columns) on this high plateau than anywhere else in the world. You can see them while you hike the trails of Bryce Canyon National Park. You can also try horseback riding, or, in the winter, snowshoe hiking. There are also family-friendly activities and educational programs.
There are two campgrounds in the park. Both have flush toilets, a coin-operated laundry, and showers. The northern one is closer to the visitor’s center and is surrounded by a beautiful forest of ponderosa pines.
It has 86 RV/tent sites and is a nearby general store. Sites are spacious and the surrounding hills add a feeling of privacy. Since the campground is 8,900 feet above sea level, temperatures can dip below freezing overnight, even in the summer.
The southern campground has 110 sites in three loops. One loop is reserved for RVs, the others are for tents. It is close to the Sunset Point trailhead and is lower in altitude.
If you looking for the iconic best camping in Utah, Bryce Canyon is the spot!
Arches National Park Campgrounds
Phone:435-719-2299 Address: Arches National Park PO Box 907, Moab, UT 84532; located five miles north of Moab on US 191 Available activities:
With over 2,500 natural sandstone arches, Arches National Park feels like a fantasy. Many images on postcards from Utah feature wonders from this park. In addition to the many arches, there are also hundreds of balancing rocks as well as spires and other fantastic structures. Exploring the hiking trails here is a magical experience.
Located 18 miles north of the park entrance is the Devil’s Garden, which features the long and thin Landscape Arch and has a campground with 51 sites. These include two group sites and one that is handicap accessible. There are also flush toilets, picnic tables and fire rings and drinking water is available. However, there are no hookups for RVs and no showers.
The campground is surrounded by a forest of Utah juniper and pinyon pine, while flowering prickly pear cacti, along with wildflowers and yucca offer a vivid contrast to the red rock desert. In addition to the scenic hiking trails, there are also guided tours of the Fiery Furnace as well as an off-road vehicle route.
Check out best camping in neighbouring states:
Zion National Park Campgrounds
Phone:435-772-3256 Address: Zion National Park, 1 Zion Park Blvd., State Route 9, Springdale, UT 84767 Available activities:
Canyoneering (Permit required)
Climbing (Permit required)
Be prepared to be awestruck by the massive sandstone cliffs at Zion National Park. Not only is the park filled with beautiful vistas wildlife, history, and hosts some of the best Utah campgrounds. You can learn about the ancient native peoples who lived in this area at the Visitor Center.
There are opportunities for hiking, biking, swimming, and star gazing. If you’re so inclined, you can get a permit to go climbing or canyoneering. In addition, the nearby town of Springdale offers entertainment options.
There are three campgrounds within the park. Of these, the Watchman Campground is most conveniently located as it’s near the park’s southern entrance and the Visitor’s Center. It has RV sites with electrical hookups and trash collection. There are also bathrooms with flush toilets and a ranger’s station. Picnic tables, fire pits, grills and utility sinks make this a comfortable place to relax. Pets are welcome and drinking water is provided.
Pony Express RV Resort
Phone:877-421-7002 Address: 1012 Recreation Way, North Salt Lake, UT 84054 Available activities:
Life-Sized Game Boards
Salt Lake City
Have you ever wanted to see what it’s like to camp in an Airstream trailer and have the best camping in Utah experience? The Pony Express RV Resort & Campground lets you rent one for your stay near Salt Lake City. Or bring your own RV and rent a site, or rent a cabin. Whatever you choose, the resort provides all the amenities you could want.
There are multiple swimming pools as well as a playground, dog park and DVD library. Free WiFi and Cable are available as well as free ice. An onsite store and laundry are convenient and a life-size chess set adds to the fun. There are even bicycles you can rent.
Nearby attractions include Salt Lake City, the Cherry Hill Water Park and the Canyons Ski Resort. You can also head over to Deer Valley Park, Donut Hills or the Antelope Island State Park for hiking, biking and bird-watching.
Bear Lake State Park
Phone:435-946-3343 Address: 940 N Bear Lake Blvd, Garden City, UT 84028 Available activities:
Known as the Caribbean of the Rockies for the bright blue color of its water, Bear Lake State Park is a popular vacation destination set at the border of Utah and Idaho.
It features a beautiful sandy shoreline, a number of watersports to enjoy, as well as some of the best fishing opportunities in the area. The waters are shallow, so it’s also a great option for families with kids.
There are various campgrounds in the park. One of the most favorite ones is Rendezvous Beach near Laketown. There are plenty of campsites spread around the lake and the valley suitable for tents, vans, trailers, and RVs. Facilities include restrooms with flush toilets, hot showers, full hookups, and fire pits.
Goosenecks State Park
Phone:435-678-2238 Address: c/o Edge of the Cedars State Park Museum, 660 W 400 N, Blanding, UT 84511 Available activities:
Hiking (Honaker Trail)
Stay at this small park in some of the best Utah campgrounds to see how the San Juan River changed the geology of the area over 300 million years. Once the river wandered over relatively flat terrain. Over time, the land rose and the river cut through the Colorado Plateau as it twisted and turned down to the desert below.
Not only will you see the carved “gooseneck” of the river, you will also see the Alhambra Rock, a dark volcanic shape that rises on the horizon, and the spires and buttes of Monument Valley.
While the views are magnificent, the campsite is rustic. You will need to bring your own firewood and water, and the only services provided are vault toilets. However, with only 8 designated campsites along the rim of the deep canyon, you will enjoy a truly private experience.
You’ll feel at one with nature and really appreciate the beauty of the stars here
Snow Canyon State Park Camping
Phone:435-628-2255 Address: 1002 Snow Canyon Dr, Ivins, UT 84738 Available activities:
Located where the Colorado Plateau meets the Mojave and Great Basin Deserts, Snow Canyon State Park is home to species not found elsewhere in the state. These include 13 protected species, including peregrine falcons, desert tortoise and gila monsters.
There are also kit foxes, coyotes and roadrunners as well as desert adapted plants like narrow leaf yucca, desert willow and sand sage. In the spring and fall, wildflowers briefly fill the park with vibrant color.
This scenic 7,400-acre getaway is tucked amid lava flows and sandstone cliffs. Ancient dunes became Navajo sandstone over time, which was cut into canyons by water. Then lava rose up and filled these spaces with basalt, and water carved them into new canyons. This process has left a unique and beautiful environment for visitors to enjoy.
Seasonal nature programs are designed to help families learn about this unique landscape, and there are horseback tours for all ages. There are also opportunities for hiker, bikers and rock climbers.
There are 14 RV sites with water and electrical hookups as well as 17 multi-use campsites.
Antelope Island State Park
Phone:801-725-9263 Address: 4528 West 1700 South, Syracuse, Utah 84075 Available activities:
Antelope Island is the largest island on the Great Salt Lake. It is 15 miles long and 5 miles wide and has exposed rocks that have been dated to 1.7 billion years old called gneiss.
The island also has 40 freshwater springs that support its abundant wildlife. From bison to pronghorn antelope, bighorn sheep, coyotes, badgers and bobcats, you’ll find many species to observe. Birdwatchers will thrill to spot owls, hawks and falcons.
To get to the island, you’ll drive across a causeway over the lake. The island feels isolated and pristine after the bustling cities of northern Utah. It’s a great place to bird watch or just enjoy the serenity. You can also rent a horse if you’d like to explore the island or take a swim in the salt water.
There is a historic ranch house, the Fielding Garr, that you can visit. This is the oldest Anglo home in the state of Utah that was continually inhabited. The campground itself has 52 campsites with vault bathrooms and showers.
It’s pet friendly and has picnic tables, a Visitor Center and a boat ramp. You can also rent horses or buy a snack here.
Which are the less crowded parks in Utah?
Capitol Reef National Park, Dixie National Forest and Bear Lake State Park are considered off beaten path parks with less crowds.
Does the Colorado River go into Utah?
Yes, the Colorado River originates in Colorado and crosses Utah also.
Which are the most popular State Parks in Utah?
Arches National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park are the most visited parks in Utah State.
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As you can see, there is so much more to Utah than the lights and bustle of Salt Lake City. There are gorgeous natural wonders to explore, trails to hike, and wildlife to see.
You can stay in RV parks and campsites which have all the amenities you could require or you can stay in primitive settings where the privacy and isolation really help you feel closer to nature. You will find places to enjoy a campfire under a dazzling night sky far from civilization and watch the sunrise over dramatic rock formations.
If you are an adrenaline junkie, then you can try rock climbing or going off-road on a jeep. Mountain biking and horse riding are other options for those who want to explore the many trails.
Many campsites are located within national or state parks which have programs to teach visitors about the history and geology of the area. Other sites are located close to some of Utah’s cities, so you can combine urban escapes with your camping vacation. There are also opportunities for fishermen, skiers, and swimmers. Whatever your favorite hobby, you can find a place in Utah to enjoy it.