Utah offers some of the most magnificent camping in North America. If you’re looking for some excellent hiking among beautiful backdrops, cozy campfires to bundle up to, and immaculate night skies to watch until you fall asleep, look no further than these 15 prime camping locations in Utah.
Nestled up Big Cottonwood Canyon not far from Salt Lake City, Willow Lake is quite literally, a beautiful clear water lake situated next to a grove of willow trees. The water reflects the image of the trees so that the entirety of the location is ridiculously picturesque.
American Fork Canyon in Utah Valley is home to some of the nation’s coolest caves. Even better, you can hike to the caves and book a tour with a professional guide to see these caves up close and personal. A great summer activity, a day at the caves is punctuated by one or two nights of camping at one of the many nearby campsites.
Another spot up the super accessible American Fork Canyon, Tibble Fork Reservoir is a beautifully situated body of water with plenty of nearby hiking and fishing for all skill levels. Camping at the nearby Granite Flats Campground is the most popular choice of Utah campers.
A nice foray into Utah’s highest mountain range, Uinta Canyon Campground is not only easy to access, but offers access to several other impressive sights in the Uintas. This campground offers sites scattered along the Uinta River, making it perfect for cooling off in the summer time.
An annual tradition for many Utahans, camping at Bear Lake in Northern Utah is a real treat. This is not only due to the watersports, laughs, and swimsuit tan lines, but also to the area’s famous raspberry milkshakes.
Located near Payson and Spanish Fork, this campground is perfect for some classic family camping. Why? It offers all the necessary “amenities:” Barbeque grills, firewood, picnic tables, etc. The spot is also great for fishing and hiking, with Payson Lake a mere five miles away.
With a stunning red rock atmosphere unlike anywhere else in the world, Goblin Valley certainly has a strong reputation. Fortunately, there 25 camping sites and two yurts available for some unforgettable Southern Utah camping.
The Escalante National Monument encompasses a pretty large swath of land that is completely saturated in supernal beauty. Camping options are also extensive here and no matter which campground you choose, you can’t go wrong. Escalante is especially great if you’re interested in Southern Utah, but uninterested in the typical tourist experience at Zion or Arches.
Fruita Campground is legendary. Why? It’s the main campground within Capitol Reef National Park, but it’s also weirdly lush. Back in the day, the area was mainly used for orchards (which remain to this day) which is where the campground got its name. Unfortunately, spots at Fruita Campground are just as coveted as they are magical. If you want to camp here, plan on booking in advance.
Spanning 42 square miles, Antelope Island State Park is the largest of 10 islands on the Great Salt Lake. Boasting plenty of wildlife as well as opportunities for horseback riding, star-gazing, and even floating (!), the state park’s various campsites get the attention they deserve.
If you’re looking to camp in Utah’s famous Arches National Park, look no further than Devils Garden, which is a hiking loop and campground all in one. If you do decide to camp here, hiking the loop is obligatory. On the trail, you’ll see a total of seven natural arches.
Home to many memories for many Utahans, Flaming Gorge is a man-made reservoir situated within the Ashley National Forest. A popular destination for house-boaters, campers, and nature lovers, Flaming Gorge nevertheless does not feel overrun.
Appropriately named, Fish Lake is definitely the spot for fishers. It’s also great for those who like escaping the hustle and bustle of everyday life in favor of some nature-enhanced relaxation. Regardless of whether you want to fish, your cohorts who are uninterested in fishing will not be bored.
Yes, Utah is bursting at the seams with stunning views. Nowhere is this truer than near Moab, where Dead Horse Point pretty much takes the cake. A juxtaposition of steep cliffs and swirling canyons, Dead Horse Point is a place you’ll have to see to believe. Spending a few days at a nearby campsite? Not a bad idea.
Although maybe not a completely natural wonder, Lake Powell is nevertheless one of the most stunning locations in Utah. It’s shocking contrast of deep blue water and bright orange rock attracts people from across the state for summer vacation. Whether you want to rent a boat or stick to traditional camping, Lake Powell is definitely an experience you will not regret.