Visiting Utah for the first time is almost like traveling to another planet. The red rocks stretching toward the sky in strange and beautiful formations give the landscape a sense of other-worldliness, and you know you are in a place unlike any other on Earth.
Campers who choose to visit this state will not be left disappointed. Utah offers plenty to explore, and enough opportunities for hiking, fishing, camping and kayaking to please any outdoorsman.
Utah is a beautiful place to visit any time of year, but campers should know that winters can be bitter cold and snowy, and summers can be very hot and dry. Spring and fall are both relatively mild and a perfect time to visit Utah. Otherwise, make sure you are prepared with the appropriate gear to withstand the elements.
Here are our picks for the best campgrounds in Utah.
1. Arches National Park
This national park is the pride of Utah. With over 2,000 rock formations spread out over almost 120 square miles, Arches is sure to amaze. Those wishing to see the entire park should plan to stay there for several days. Fortunately, the park offers 50 campsites close to the park entrance for the comfort and convenience of its visitors. Click here to learn more.
2. Canyonlands National Park
In the same area of the state as Arches lies another popular destination, Canyonlands National Park. The park is divided into four districts: the Island in the Sky, the Needles, the Maze, and the river district. Each section of the par offers its own unique sights and topography, all created by the Colorado River and its tributaries carving their way through the wilderness. All campgrounds in this park are primitive, and campers should bring their own water. For more information about the park and camping, click here.
3. Snow Canyon State Park
Lava flows and sandstone cliffs give this peaceful, serene park its breathtaking natural beauty. Enjoy horseback riding, boating, fishing and hiking as you take in the scenery of the surrounding canyons. At the end of the day, you can retire to your site in one of the park’s 31 campsites. Learn more here.
4. Green River State Park
Boaters and fisherman will love this state park, where the Green River begins to wind its way through Labyrinth and Stillwater Canyons. While much of southeastern Utah consists of desert landscapes, this park stands out with its tall cottonwood trees providing plenty of greenery and shade. The park is also unique in that it offers an 18-hole golf course. Campers are sure to find what they’re looking for in one of the park’s 40 campsites. Click here to learn more.
5. Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon is known for its world-famous hoodoos (oddly-shaped pillars of rock formed by erosion, like the ones shown above.) The desert landscape mixed with forest and plenty of hiking trails make this national park a treat. Campers will love the wide, open spaces of the plateaus, which are perfect for stargazing at night. Learn more about camping at Bryce Canyon.
6. Dead Horse Point State Park
Dead Horse Point offers some of the most breathtaking views of the southeastern Utah landscape. The area is especially beautiful at sunset, where the fading light casts long shadows on the canyons below, changing it from minute to minute as the sun fades. Given the desert environment, this park is not for the faint of heart or inexperienced campers, but those adventurous enough to camp at Dead Horse State Park will not be disappointed. Learn more here.
7. Capitol Reef National Park
Tucked away in the red rock country of south-central Utah, this lesser-known national park is truly a hidden gem. Campers will find a variety of campgrounds to fit their needs, including developed, primitive, backcountry and group camping. Click here to learn more about camping at Capitol Reef.
8. Goblin Valley State Park
This fascinating state park is known for bizarre sandstone rock formations, known as goblins (pictured above.) Summer temperatures can rise quickly in the area, making spring and fall the perfect time to visit Goblin Valley. For more information on camping in this one-of-a-kind state park, click here.
9. Zion National Park
True to its name, Zion National Park leaves visitors feeling as though they’ve ascended to the heavens. The contrast of the pink-orange sandstone cliffs against the brilliant blue sky is sure to leave you breathless and wanting to return. Camping is popular in this national park, so get there early to secure a spot. Learn more here.
10. Jordanelle State Park
For those who prefer more developed camping, Jordanelle State Park is a great choice as it offers more accommodations for RV campers and boaters than the other parks listed here. If you’re a fisherman or enjoy any type of water sport, this stunning state park is the perfect camping destination for you. Learn more about the park here.
We hope you enjoyed our list of the best Utah campgrounds! Did we forget one? Let us know in the comments!
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Discover the Spirit of the West at These Utah Campgrounds