Utah landscape with mountains in background.

Best Campgrounds in Utah Near National Parks

Your next RV park, campsite, cabin, or glamping adventure is just a few clicks away. So whether you’re looking for the top or one-of-a-kind campgrounds, or you’re looking for adventure or a relaxing getaway, discover everything you need to know to find and book your next camping adventure in Utah.

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About Camping in Utah

Camping in Utah is an experience that remains with you forever. It is the destination for an iconic camping trip every family desires. With five National Parks within its state borders, not to mention its additional National Monuments, Forests, and State Parks, Utah is known as America's Adventureland with some of the best camping in America. The state hosts a range of options from dispersed camping on BLM land to premiere RV sites at private campgrounds. From laid-back sightseeing to the thrill of canyoneering, Utah offers an activity for every outdoor skill level. So give in to your wanderlust and explore the wilderness of Utah.

Ways to Stay in Utah

FAQ for Camping in Utah

Why visit Utah?

You should visit Utah because of its diverse and unique landscape, high concentration of National Parks, affordability, and camping options. Camping is the most affordable way for families to travel in the United States. Utah, a haven for campers with its range of camping options with proximity to some of the most beloved National Parks in America, is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts with good reason.

The terrain of northern Utah is incredibly different from the southern's. The same goes for east and west Utah. When visiting, you'll see rare natural structures and rock formations like arches, hoodoos, slot canyons, pinnacles, natural bridges, spires, and more. These rock formations aren't only rare to see in the country but unique across the globe. For this reason, millions of visitors travel to Utah from all over the world. It truly speaks to the grandiosity of Utah.

What are the different ways to camp in Utah?

If you are new to camping or don't have access to an RV, don't fret. There are a handful of ways to camp in Utah.

Dispersed Camping: This is camping on public land, say a National Forest or Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land, outside of a developed or improved campground. Basically, you're out there in the wilderness. Dispersed camping is usually free but must be in an approved area. Utah is a popular location for dispersed camping and those who like to camp rustically. This type of camping includes tent, truck camping, and RV camping. If you have an RV and are looking to disperse camp, research the terrain and whether your rig has high enough clearance or ability to reach the spot.

National Park or State Park Camping: Another way to camp in Utah is camping in the many National or State Parks. They can accommodate tent and RV camping but have limited hookups. Most are either primitive or restricted to an electric hookup. With an influx of National Park visitors the last few years, they also tend to be fully booked.

Private Campgrounds and RV Parks: Private campgrounds are an excellent way to camp in Utah due to the somewhat extreme weather patterns of very high and low temperatures you find in desert climates. Most private campgrounds and RV parks offer at least electric and water hookups that will help you handle the heat or cold. Many RV sites additionally offer sewage to make you feel that extra bit of comfort within your rig. If you're tent camping at a private campground, they offer campers clean and maintained bathrooms with hot showers and toilets. For those new to tent camping, camping near amenities such as these are a terrific way to begin. Lastly, private campgrounds understand that some might be flying into Utah without an RV or tent supplies and offer visitors lodging accommodations such as a cabin, yurt, or RV rental. With different search options and filters, Campspot gives campers the tools to determine precisely the kind of camping adventure they want in Utah.

Can you camp in Utah year-round? Can you camp in Utah in the winter?

Yes, you can camp in Utah year-round, including the winter. Utah is considered high-desert and experiences temperature swings during the winter. In the daytime, temperatures might reach the 50s, but once the sun goes down, temperatures drop to the 20s. Thus, we recommend that you camp in an RV or cabin instead of a tent during the winter. Additionally, if you are camping in an RV during the winter months, prepare to take a few extra steps to avoid the freeze. Campgrounds will ask that you turn your water connection off and unscrew your water hose from it. These actions help prevent pipes from bursting or your water hose from breaking. RVers can instead fill up their freshwater tanks during the day to have access to water during the night.

Additionally, be aware that many areas of Utah get snow. This results in many higher-elevated mountains, like the La Sal Mountains near Moab, being potentially closed off. However, snow in lower-elevated places tends not to stick around too long, and roads usually are quickly cleared.

When is the best time to go camping in Utah?

The best time to go camping in Utah is during the spring and fall months. More specifically, temperatures are ideal when visiting Utah from April to May or September to October. During these months, campers will experience mild daytime highs in the 70s with nighttime lows in the 50s.

What National Parks are there in Utah, and where are they located?

When researching what to do in Utah, you'll frequently come across the term Utah's Mighty 5. Utah's Mighty 5 refers to these five National Parks within Utah:

Arches National Park: Located in southeastern Utah near the Colorado border, Arches National Park sits north of Moab. Over 2,000 natural sandstone arches lie within the park, including the iconic Delicate Arch pictured on Utah's license plate. For more information about Arches National park, visit the Campspot Guide to Arches National Park.

Canyonlands National Park: Just a 30-minute drive away from Arches National Park is Canyonlands National Park. Located in southeastern Utah, the park's landscape boasts infinite canyons carved by the Colorado and Green Rivers.

Zion National Park: Located in southwest Utah outside of the town of Springdale is the state's first National Park, Zion National Park. The most popular activity within the park is hiking the Angels Landing Trail to soak in the views of Zion Canyon.

Bryce Canyon National Park: In southwestern Utah, Bryce Canyon National Park is about an hour-and-a-half drive from Zion National Park. The hoodoos of Bryce Canyon make the park's landscape particularly unique, and visitors can hike among them as if going through a giant maze.

Capitol Reef National Park: About a two-hour drive away from Bryce Canyon National Park and Arches National Park is Capitol Reef National Park, the lesser-known park of Utah's Mighty 5. Located in south-central Utah, Capitol Reef is known for its fossilized sand dunes and domes. Additionally, the park is considered one of the darkest locations within the nation without light pollution, a perfect location for stargazing.

As you can tell, one of the best things about visiting Utah's Mighty 5 is their proximity to one another. As a result, many campers decide to visit by road trip, driving a large loop within the state.

What are the top outdoor activities in Utah?

Because of its diverse landscape, all kinds of outdoor enthusiasts come to Utah to experience its wilderness' ultimate playground. The top outdoor activities in Utah are:

  • Hiking
  • Trail Running
  • Mountain Biking
  • Rock Climbing
  • Canyoneering
  • Fly Fishing
  • Stargazing
  • Off-roading
  • Rafting
  • Kayaking

More specifically, Utah's top outdoor activities include:

  • Hiking to Delicate Arch in Arches National Park
  • Off-roading Hell's Revenge in Moab
  • Touring Monument Valley
  • Hiking Angel's Landing Trail in Zion National Park
  • Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend Tour
  • The Astronomy Festival at Bryce Canyon National Park

Are there any other unique experiences I shouldn't miss in Utah?

If you're looking for something unusual to do during your camping trip to Utah, here are a few suggestions to get you in the funky mood:

  • Hiking the Narrows Trail in Zion
  • Driving the Dinosaur Diamond Highway
  • Pictograph-viewing in Horseshoe Canyon
  • Strolling around the hoodoos at Goblin Valley State Park
  • See Butch Cassidy's Childhood Home outside of Circleville, Utah
  • Visit the Ghost Town of Grafton located south of Zion National Park
  • Walk the Western film sets of Kanab's Little Hollywood