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Old 09-13-2015, 11:44 AM   #1
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Arches National Park

I have read the information about camping within the park and the need for reservations between March to October. Has anyone stayed at the BLM campsites next to the park? if so do you have recommendations for which one to try? we have a 25' FC.


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Old 09-13-2015, 12:02 PM   #2
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Several years ago we were there and looked at some BLM sites that were fairly rustic (don't remember which ones they were) but we lucked out and found one in Arches. Good luck.
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Old 09-13-2015, 01:21 PM   #3
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We were there this past spring. We checked out the campsites along the Colorado River adjacent to Arches (and near Moab). The campground closest to Arches and Moab (I forget its name) looked fine for our trailer but it was very busy and difficult to get into. This was compounded by the temporary closure of many of the sites along the riverbank for an eradication program of an invasive plant. The several campgrounds upriver (Highway 128 I think) all appeared too small for our trailer.

We eventually moved from a commercial campground in Moab to Horsethief campground which is located on the road to Canyonlands National Park and Dead Horse Point State Park (Highway 313 I think). It's located about 30 km. from Arches and quite close to Canyonlands and Dead Horse. I can't speak highly enough of this BLM campground although it's pricey for a BLM site at $15 per night. There are no services so you will have to bring all your water. The sites are excellent and beautifully maintained. In the four days we were there, a BLM employee came around twice to pressure wash the pit toilets. Since there is no water source nearby (water is trucked into the nearby parks), there is a constant turnover so getting a site wasn't difficult although I suggest getting there early to find a site.
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Old 09-13-2015, 06:42 PM   #4
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Just back from the area. Stayed up 128 at upper Big Bend. Our '72 Globe Trotter was small enough to fit in most spaces. Road noise is terrible next to the highway. It is a beautiful area but take ear plugs. Side bar at Arches try for campsite 10 in the a loop.
It has a cave that is cool, a great place for a noonday nap.


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Old 09-13-2015, 07:01 PM   #5
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Read "Desert Solitarire" by Edward Abbey for some cool tales about Arches.
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Old 09-14-2015, 01:48 AM   #6
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These are all boondocking campgrounds-- pit toilets, probably a picnic table and campfire ring. Generally no water or sani-dumps on site. (We take lots of water in jerry cans.)

The Horse thief CG near Dead Horse Point state park has been our reliable place to camp until the past couple of years: but the area has gotten so popular that it can fill up on weekends now. The nearby state park CG takes reservations and has a few more amenities-- like water. Dead Horse Point State Park, UT - Campground & Camping Details - ReserveAmerica - [UT]

Real boondocking is allowed on BLM lands unless otherwise posted. A lot of people just go off on dirt roads and find a place to pull over. You might inquire about these at the Moab BLM field office. Moab

There are BLM campsites all up and down the Colorado River between the Dewey Bridge and below Moab. These are often heavily used by boaters and mountain bikers.

We've also stayed at the Spanish Trails RV park in Moab Spanish Trail RV Park | Moab Utah |Finest RV Resort and would recommend it, but I think any Moab RV parks that are well rated in the Good Sam (formerly Woodalls) guide would be fine.

It's out of the way, but we sort of like the Hatch Point BLM CG that is well south of town. We've been the only people there several times.
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Old 09-14-2015, 08:20 AM   #7
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I was just there last week, lots of boondocking. Personally Arches is highly highly over-rated and over crowded. I'd spend more time in Canyon Lands, it's more spectacular.
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Old 09-14-2015, 10:34 AM   #8
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You might also look at Dead Horse Point State Park: Dead Horse Point State Park | Utah State Parks

It's about 30 minutes from Moab and Arches, has electric only sites and is very quiet. Reservations suggested.

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Old 09-14-2015, 11:03 AM   #9
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I just read an article about how Arches has been slammed with huge increases in visitor numbers. Labor day weekend they had to shut it down, because of traffic issues. Look into the off-season (when it's cooler, too)
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Old 09-14-2015, 01:36 PM   #10
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I just wanted to add to my comment about Arches; this is from my wife's instagram account:

Quote:
Arches National Park.....not what I was expecting.
I feel the marketing material for this particular park focuses solely on the best aspects. Don't get me wrong, it's a great park, but I didn't see why it gets so much traffic beyond the high accessibility of all the arches. Easy trails, mostly paved. High traffic park.
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Old 09-14-2015, 02:33 PM   #11
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I was just there last week, lots of boondocking. Personally Arches is highly highly over-rated and over crowded. I'd spend more time in Canyon Lands, it's more spectacular.
Over-rated is a bold statement. I have enjoyed Arches, Canyon Lands, Natural Bridges, Capitol Reef, Escalante Staircase, Bryce, and Zion. They all have their own unique qualities and are all worthy of at least one visit.
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Old 09-15-2015, 03:13 PM   #12
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Speaking of Capitol Reef-- well worth a visit and less congested than the other parks in the region. Night time temperatures can get very cold during the shoulder season, but we were there last April, cranked up the furnace, and enjoyed some hiking.

Geologically Arches is a very special place, yet there are some decent short hikes to arches outside the park on BLM lands. Either they or the Moab information center can provide directions. The advantage of these hikes is that dogs are allowed on the trails.

We like Zax pizza buffet in town!
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Old 09-15-2015, 04:20 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoldAdventure View Post
I just wanted to add to my comment about Arches; this is from my wife's instagram account:



I feel the marketing material for this particular park focuses solely on the best aspects. Don't get me wrong, it's a great park, but I didn't see why it gets so much traffic beyond the high accessibility of all the arches. Easy trails, mostly paved. High traffic park.
Gee, with over 2,000 arches located in the park, there are many unpaved trails that never see more than a couple of people in a week. Been there several times and still have not seen it all. Suggest reading Desert Solitaire...
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Old 09-15-2015, 05:09 PM   #14
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I was just there last week, lots of boondocking. Personally Arches is highly highly over-rated and over crowded. I'd spend more time in Canyon Lands, it's more spectacular.
Over crowded yes! Over-rated NO! It is definitely worth a visit. I have been there at least 4 times, twice in the 1980's (not crowded), about 2005 was OK, this year = YIKES! I could not believe how many people we had to fight on the trail to Landscape Arch. It was NOT enjoyable at all. But once we hiked on the lesser known trails it was great. We went all the way out to Dark Angel and found the petroglyph panels out there, only encountered one other group of 4 from Germany. I would recommend the off season, or be in the park before sunrise. Double Arch is a great place to watch sunrise.
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