There’s no better way of finding some solitude and reconnecting with nature than going on a camping trip, and where better than the National Parks of Utah. The state is filled with mountains, rivers, some of the most dramatic deer scenery the world has to offer. If you love looking at views of dramatic landscapes, hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking, and fishing, then Utah is the place to visit.
Finding campsites in the national parks is a bit of an art though, especially if you’re looking to pitch your tent somewhere away from the crowds. You’ll need to pick a campsite before you go and book it in advance, which makes choosing one a little tricky if you have never been there before.
Not to worry, below you’ll find some of the best campsites in Utah for you to pitch your tent in some secluded wilderness with all the information you need about local sites, activities, location, pricing, and how to reserve them for your trip.
Address: Lone Rock Rd, Page, UT 86040
Open: All Year
Price: $14 per vehicle per night
Lone Rock Beach Campsite sits inside Utah’s Glen Canyon National Park along the shores of Lake Powell. There is no need to reserve a spot to camp at Lone Rock Beach, just pay $14 per vehicle and drive right to the beach and pick your own perfect spot to camp at. No reservations, no fuss, camp freely as you please.
Every camping spot has long stretching views over the lake and because you’re camping on sand, you’re going to find some soft ground to sleep on. Every morning, wake up to magical sunrises over the lake and enjoy a refreshing morning swim before you start cooking up your breakfast on last night’s campfire embers.
There’s a load of hiking trails around the lake to keep you entertained during the day, and you can rent kayaks and paddleboards nearby to launch straight from your campsite. There’s also some great fishing to be had in Lake Powell, so don’t forget your rods either.
Just down the road is Wahweap Marina where you’ll find restaurants, bars, shops, and a place to launch a boat or jet ski if you have brought one with you. You can also rent boats for the day, jet skis, and find someone to take you fishing on the lake if you don’t have your gear with you.
The scenery surrounding the campsite is beautiful and it’s a peaceful place to get away from it all and get some solid relaxing time in. The campsite can get busy in the summertime but there seems enough space for you to find your own spots no matter how busy it gets.
The campsite has some facilities to help you manage your stay including 6 toilets, a cold outdoor shower, and potable water. The potable water is seasonal, so it’s wise to bring your own just in case.
Address: Goblin Valley, Green River, UT 84525
Open: All Year
Price: Given upon inquiry
Goblin Valley Campground sits slap bang in the middle of Goblin Valley State Park, a place famed for its hoodoos and awesome hiking trails. Summer days get very hot and there is no shade, and winter nights get below freezing often, making the best time to visit the park spring and fall.
Access to the park costs $15 per vehicle, and camping fees will be given upon your booking inquiry. Inside the park, you have some amazing hikes that’ll take you through some of the most incredible architecture nature has ever created.
The winds have carved canyons, walls, and standing structures all of which are naturally carved and full of patterns and shapes. It’s a beautiful place to take your camera to practice some photography, see expansive views across the park, and walk about the dramatic desert landscape to look at all the goblins and other landscape features.
The campground has excellent facilities with how showers, bathrooms, waste disposal, drinking water, and moor. There is nothing quite like spending the day hiking and getting back to camp to wash all the sand off and then enjoying a drink with your buddies as you watch the sunset over the desert.
Address: Bryce Canyon National Park, Bryce City, UT 84764
Open: All Year
Price: Group rate – $5-8 per person per night
If you’re looking to find your own personal camping spot for a group of friends and family, you can’t go wrong with Sunset Campground in Bryce Canyon National Park. You can reserve the entire campground so you can have a private camping experience and you can take anywhere between 7-30 people with a maximum of 8 vehicles.
From the campsite, you’ll get magical views over Bryce national park and have the luxury of being in a great spot to watch the sunset every evening. There are hundreds of hiking trails available in Bryce Canyon, a lot of which begin from the campground. You can spend your days hiking through the canyons in awe of the incredible scenery.
If you want to go further afield and hike back to camp, you can hop on the park shuttle that’ll take you to your chosen starting point, and then you can spend the day slowly meandering your way back to camp.
In the evenings, once the sun has gone down, make sure to look up at the stars while sitting around your campfire. There is no better place to stare into the Milky Way and see the stars clearly and up close than Bryce Canyon.
At the campground, you’ll find minimal facilities including a disabled bathroom and picnic tables to have your dinners around. Just down the road, there are more bathrooms, a place to put your trash, and a drinking water station, so you’re never too far from what you need.
Bryce Canyon does get busy, so booking a private group campsite is never a bad idea. Also, it’s best to visit in spring or fall, as there is no shade and summer is hot, and winter nights are often below freezing.
Address: Wasatch Moutain State Park, Albion Basin Rd, Alta, UT 84092
Open: All Year
Price: $21 per site per night, 7-day maximum stay
Albion Basin Campground sits inside Wasatch Mountain State Park just outside of Salt Lake City. You’ll find the campsite in Little Cotton Wood Creek at an elevation of 9500 feet. It’s the perfect place to camp if you’re looking for stunning mountain views, and a comfy spot to sleep under shady pine trees.
From the campsite, you have the trail to Cecret Lake on your doorstep, a beautiful hike that takes you along mountain ridges to a hidden magical lake with crystal clear waters. That’s not the only trail in the area though, just down the road from the campground you find the Catherine Pass and Sunset Peak Trail that gives you incredible views over the park, and of course the sunset.
The area is known for its beautiful summer wildflowers, hidden lakes, crystal clear streams and is the perfect spot to go for long hikes, enjoy some mountain biking, rock climbing, and some fly fishing in the rivers. You’re also likely to stumble across moose and deer while you enjoy the national park.
Just down the road from the Albion Basin Campsite is the Snowbird Resort where you’ll find grocery stores, tram rides, mountain biking, bars, and restaurants. The resort also hosts numerous festivals and concerts during the year and it’s worth timing your visit with some of them.
The campground has 16 single sites to choose from, and make sure you book a week in advance. The facilities are minimal and include toilets, picnic tables, and campfire rings.
Address: White House Trail Rd, Kanab, UT 84741
Open: All year
Price: $5 per person per night
White House Campground sits just north of the Vermillion Cliffs Monument on the Utah/Arizona border. It’s an easy campground to get to with a short desert drive off of Highway 89 just past the Paria Outpost.
Sitting in the heart of the Paria Canyon is the perfect place to enjoy some hiking adventures in the surrounding Vermillion Cliffs area. The sandstone cliffs around you are full of colors and patterns and there are numerous quick and long hikes that take you deep into the surrounding areas where you’ll get some magical views of the stunning scenery on offer.
Just south of the camping area you’ll find the Paria River which makes for some lovely hikes and it’s the perfect place to cool off on hot summer days.
Some of the most famous hikes in the area can be accessed from the campsite including The Wave, the Wire Pass, and Buckskin Gulch. They take you into some of the most scenic parts of the area with the most incredible rock formations but some of them do require permits so plan ahead if you want to go on them.
At the White House Campground, you’ll find 5 pitching sites each with a fire pit and picnic tables plus some bathrooms but there is no shower. It’s the perfect place to get away from it all and camp amongst some of Utah’s most dramatic scenery.
Address: Zion National Park, Springdale, UT 84767
Open: All year
Price: $20-30 per person per night
Watchman Campground is found in the heart of Zion National Park in southern Utah. It’s suitable for RV’s, campervans, and tents. The tent pitches are walk-in only, so don’t fret if you’re hiking, as you’ll get quite a ways from all the noisy vehicles before you pitch your tent. The campsite requires a reservation, so remember to book in advance if you want to go.
It’s an easy campsite to reach, being under a mile from the southern entrance to the park, and once you’re there you’re in for a treat. The views stretch over the incredible mountain scenery for miles in both directions including a view of the Watchman Cliffs that glow red and orange in the morning light.
Just down the road from the campsite are some great hiking trails including the Watchman and Canyon Junction Bridge that crosses the Virgin River. If you’re looking for an iconic photograph of Zion National Park, the bridge is the place to take it. You get a stunning vista down the river’s canyon with the Watching Cliffs hanging over it.
Zion National Park is a great place to enjoy some time in nature. There are endless hiking trails, rivers to follow, excellent rock climbing, canyoning, and you can book horse riding trips down the rivers too. The wildlife is also a great as the scenery and whilst there you’ll have the chance to see mountain lions, bighorn sheep, deer, condors, falcons, and a lot more.
The campsite has good facilities including running water, drinking water, bathrooms, picnic tables, fire pits. Each spot is well spread out so no matter how busy it is, you still feel like you have a little space to yourself. You can also book private group campsites for 9-40 people if you’re traveling with family and friends.
There are no showers at the campsite so be prepared, and the ground can be hard to stake out your tent in, so a heavy mallet is a wise packing choice. There is minimal shade too, and it’s freezing in winter making the best times to camp there spring and fall.
The Visitor Centre is conveniently just down the road from the campsite where you can find information about everything to do in the parks and pick up and permits you might need.
As you can see, the camping options in Utah are pretty diverse with options ranging from sandy beaches to desert canyons and mountain vistas. Remember to book in advance, camp in spring and fall if you can, and to check out all the facilities available, as we wouldn’t want you to arrive unprepared.
If you love hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking, fly fishing, and dramatic landscapes, there is nowhere better than Utah for your next camping trip.
Roger is a little obsessed with travel. He has been to over 40 countries, broken 3 suitcases and owned over 10 backpacks in 12 months. What he doesn't know about travel, ain't worth knowing!