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Old 04-07-2016, 03:52 PM   #1
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Favorite S. Utah BLM, Forest Service, State Parks...?

Anyone care to share favorite camping areas in South Eastern Utah. Specifically around Canyonlands, Bluff, Moki Dugway, Blanding, Moab, etc. We will be pulling a 16 Sport and plan two to three weeks in May. Thanks.

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Old 04-07-2016, 04:16 PM   #2
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Monument Valley - Goulding's
Bluff - Sand Island CG
Moki Dugway/Valley of the Gods - Goosenecks SP
Grand Gulch/ Natural Bridges - Natural bridges or overflow spot
Blanding - Comb Wash
Canyonlands/Needles - Squaw Flat
Canyonlands/Island in the Sky - Deadhorse SP
Moab - many choices

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Old 04-07-2016, 04:27 PM   #3
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Old 04-07-2016, 05:28 PM   #4
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Thanks Mojo. Some of those I know, some I will look up on the world wide web
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Old 04-07-2016, 11:23 PM   #5
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One of our favourite places is the North San Rafael Swell. The South San Rafael Swell is arguably more scenic, but more for the 4WD crowd. (Which we have, we just don't like beating up our truck with white knuckle driving.) I-70 cuts through the San Rafael Swell between Green River and Salina. If you come this way, take exit 131 (I think it's called Temple Mountain) and drive north to the small BLM CG at the San Rafael River bridge. There is camping on both sides of the bridge. With the small Bambi, you could probably fit on the older south side if you want less company. There is also dispersed camping to the north along the road, in Buckhorn Draw.

Another good place in this vicinity is called the Wedge Overlook. There is dispersed camping up there. What it overlooks is a dramatic area called the Little Grand Canyon.

There is hiking and mountain biking throughout the San Rafael Swell. For more information, contact the Price, UT BLM field office, and ask to speak to someone about the recreation in the area.

We recently spent 2 nights at the inaptly named Cadillac Ranch RV park in Bluff, plus a day driving both sides of Comb Ridge. Beautiful scenery and lots of hiking, including to some ancestral Puebloan ruins for hardy hikers. The Sandpoint BLM CG has spaces for smaller RVs like yours.

Trailers are not recommended on the Moki Dugway (route to Natural Bridges.) It's a very narrow road with steep drop-offs-- and oncoming traffic. If you think you owe it to yourself to drive it, you might drop your trailer at or near Natural Bridges, and do it in just your vehicle.

Campgrounds managed by NPS, as well as the state parks at Goblin Valley and Deadhorse Point are really popular, so if you want to stay in Arches or one of these state parks, reservations are recommended. There are no reservations in and around Canyonlands NP or Natural Bridges, and you might contact the BLM field offices in Moab and Monticello, UT about dispersed camping. and their small designated campgrounds. But the area all around Moab is just one busy place these days. We used to use the Horse Thief CG near Dead Horse Point as our go-to CG, but lately it fills up, also. More distant and hence less busy is the CG at Hatch Point in the Canyon Rim area.

Hint: the BLM campgrounds seldom have on-site water (bring a jerry can plus a full water tank) and no sani-dumps.

One out-of-the way place to consider is Hovenweap NM in southeastern Utah. It has some good hiking and ruins, and I understand the CG doesn't fill up.

Also consider Capitol Reef NP. It is large, beautiful, and a bit less known than the other parks. Come early to stay in its Fruita CG, or book at one of the RV parks in nearby Torrey. You might also enjoy staying at the Shooting Star RV camp-- for Airstreams-- in Escalante. It's an easy day trip from there to Bryce Canyon NP.

You won't fit all of this into 3 weeks, but just some of it would be fun.
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Old 04-07-2016, 11:30 PM   #6
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This is us last October in one of the dispersed campsites in Buckhorn Draw.

This area does attract local people on 4-wheelers but so far has escaped the crowds attracted to the main national parks.
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Old 04-08-2016, 12:03 AM   #7
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From our visit last spring:

Moki Dugway - Goosenecks SP (no services but inexpensive at $10 with a tremendous view off the cliff. The drive through Valley of the Gods is highly recommended)

Canyonlands - Horse Thief BLM campground (no services and pricey for a BLM site at $15 but a lovely and well maintained campground. It's just before Canyonlands and Dead Horse Point SP. In early May last year it filled up early but there was constant turnover).

Monument Valley - Goulding's (the only show around. It's a short drive from Goosenecks SP).
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Old 04-08-2016, 03:15 AM   #8
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If you get further south Snow Canyon State Park is awesome.
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Old 04-08-2016, 03:27 AM   #9
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Notes from our stay at Dalton Springs (NFS) Campground near Monticello, UT:

Dalton Springs (NFS) Campground
Monticello, UT

GPS: 37° 52.468'N 109° 25.878'W

Dirt interior roads and parking pads. Interior road had some potholes filled with water from Dalton Spring and/or recent rains. No sites are level, but OK with leveling blocks. Most sites have some shade most of the day. Wooden picnic tables and fire rings, with lots of (free) newly cut wood, stacked and ready to burn. Appears BLM cleared the campsites of dead/damaged trees from last winter, and cut the wood for campers. Water, pit toilets and trash dumpster, but no dump station.

TV service is weak, but signal is OK for ABC and marginal for NBC and THIS. Good cellphone & slow 2G broadband. (We passed the cell tower on another mountain a few miles north of Monticello.)

Rate: $10/night; $5/night with Senior Pass.

Campground is a short, 5-mile drive, straight up the mountain, west of Monticello. Road to campground is paved, and I think it goes to a lake and ski area up the mountain. Elevation 8,400 feet, which is 1,200 feet above the city of Monticello. Lots of Gambel oak and aspen, but no pines.

Weather on 06/01/14: 75/50, mostly sunny with a few passing clouds and late-afternoon light sprinkles. Mostly calm winds with an intermittent breeze and a few powerful gusts.

A herd of about a dozen deer frequently walked through our campsite, eating young tree saplings and grass. Dalton Springs has several seeps that drain into channels that flow through the campground and keep everything green.

This campground is a lot like Price Canyon; i.e., it feels remote. However, we can see Monticello down the hill. Lots of local traffic on minor highway/forest road that leads here.


Description from BLM Website:

8200 ft. elevation. 16 sites in an aspen and gambel oak grove. Nearby Blue Mountain ski area offers all kinds of winter sports, transforming into summertime mountain bike adventure. Mule deer may be seen in the campground. Newspaper Rock and the Needles District of the Canyonlands National Park are nice day trips.
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Old 04-08-2016, 05:32 AM   #10
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Thanks everyone for taking the time to give such detailed responses. Very helpful.
"Certainty on any matter is not one of the human attitudes the Gods admire or tolerate."
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Old 04-08-2016, 03:11 PM   #11
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I'm heading that way in late April, very helpful thread. Thanks
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Old 04-08-2016, 04:35 PM   #12
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Windwhistle Campground just north of the entrance to Canyonlands NP on 191. On Needles Point Overlook Rd. Nice campground with excellent water and fantastic camp hosts.
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Old 04-08-2016, 05:27 PM   #13
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Great National forest campground 4 to 5 miles west of Montecello . Lots of visiting Mule Deer , pull thru sites , lots of shade . Paved road from town to camp ground .
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Old 04-08-2016, 05:33 PM   #14
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Everything I was going to list is listed.

So let me add this one, Leeds Canyon, it's beautiful here. 30 mins outside Zion in NF.
GPS: 37.2667, -113.3702


Also in Moab, Willow Springs Trail is BLM - our favorite boondocking spot outside of town. Right next to Arches.
GPS: 38.6967, -109.6751

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