Camping is one of the best ways to surround yourself with Utah’s natural beauty, and there’s almost no end to the number of gorgeous campgrounds around the state. Here are some of our favorites.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Alta Campground, Little Cottonwood Canyon
This gorgeous spot is located inside the Alta Ski Area, in the Albion Basin. You’ll be surrounded by pines in the clean, crisp air at this site. While some sites are first-come, first-served, you’ll want to make advanced reservations with the U.S. Forest Service.
2. American Fork Canyon
You’ll find two campgrounds in American Fork Canyon: Little Mill, with 66 campsites; and Granite Flat with 64 sites. Both are very scenic spots, but the Granite Flat sites are more spacious.
3. Antelope Island
You’ll find three campgrounds on Antelope Island with 52 campsites total. The scenery is amazing, but the sites are pretty primitive with just pit toilets. If you want to shower, you can always head over to the day use area.
4. Bear Lake State Park
Camp in one of two areas at Bear Lake State Park. Rendezvous Beach, on the south shore, has three campgrounds with modern restrooms and showers. Reserve these well in advance. Eastside campgrounds are primitive, and most are first-come, first-served.
5. Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park offers campers two sites: North Campground and Sunset Campground. The North site is near the visitor center; Sunset is located near Bryce Lodge. Both are nice campgrounds with plenty of ponderosa pines to provide shade. They fill up by early afternoon, especially during the summer months.
6. Calf Creek Campground
The Calf Creek Campground is located near the trailhead to Lower Calf Creek Falls. You’ll find just 14 sites here, so arrive early.
7. Dead Horse Point State Park
Camp atop the mesa, 2,000 feet above the valley below. You’ll wake up to a killer sunrise view in the morning.
8. Devils Garden Campground, Arches National Park
You'll find plenty of desert flora at this campground, along with natural arches and fins. Reserve one of the 51 campsites in advance.
9. Fruita Campground, Capitol Reef National Park
This is the view from the Fruita Campground, which offers 71 sites with picnic tables and firepits. The campground has flush toilets and running water. Sites are first-come, first-served.
10. Goblin Valley State Park
Now is the best time to visit Goblin Valley State Park - before it gets too hot. The campground offers 24 sites, modern restrooms and showers. You won’t find any shade here, but the goblin formations and red rock cliffs are fabulous.
11. Goosenecks State Park
There's no shade here, but just look at this sky! The eight primitive sites are first-come, first-served.
12. Mirror Lake Scenic Byway Campgrounds
The Mirror Lake Scenic Byway has numerous campgrounds, many with little lakes. The snow melts pretty late this high up, so plan your trip for later this summer. Pictured is Lost Creek Campground.
13. Natural Bridges National Monument
Get here early to snag one of the 13 campsites. Each has a grill and picnic table, and vault toilets are available. You can get up to 5 gallons of water per person at the nearby Visitor Center.
14. Spruces Campground, Big Cottonwood Canyon
When you camp at Spruces, just 10 minutes from Salt Lake City, you'll feel like you entered another world. It sits at an elevation of 7,500 feet. Book well in advance - these tree-covered sites go fast.
15. Watchman Campground, Zion National Park
Camp in the shadow of the Watchman at Zion National Park. This large campground offers 176 sites, but you'll want to book early.
16. Wasatch Mountain State Park Campground
Wasatch Mountain State Park offers tons of recreation opportunities and a large, 127-site campground with hookups, showers and amenities.