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Three “Must-Camp” Spots in Utah (and They’re All Free!)

  National Parks, Trip Ideas & Guides

May 15, 2024 Three “Must-Camp” Spots in Utah (and They’re All Free!)

By Megan Hanson

With the recent opening of Escape Campervan’s newest camper van rental location in Salt Lake City, camping in Utah is easier and more comfortable than ever. Utah is a true gem in the spring and fall months, when the climate is at its most moderate and ideal for camping.

After picking up your campervan from the depot, try these three “must-camp” spots in Utah as you travel through the state.

Willow Springs Trail 

Just north of Moab and a 10-minute drive from Arches National Park, the Willow Springs Trail has ample dispersed camping spots along an easy-to-drive road.

While there’s no electricity or water hookups, there are port-o-potties along the road and pit toilets at the end. Located on BLM land, it’s entirely pet-friendly and, best of all, free! A local favorite, what it lacks in seclusion it makes up for in friendly and adventurous camp neighbors who are more than happy to share tips about the best mountain biking and hiking trails nearby over a fire.

With quick and easy access to nearby Moab, Willow Springs Trail is the perfect spot for campers hoping to enjoy the area without the crowds and congestion of town.

Temple of the Sun and Moon

Temple of the Sun Utah

Try to visit Temple of the Sun and Moon during sunrise or sunset.

A bit further west from Moab in a remote region of Capitol Reef National Park is the Temple of the Sun and Moon. These gorgeous rock formations in Cathedral Valley are worth visiting for at least one sunrise and sunset, and, depending on the day, you may not see another soul during your stay.

While there are several routes to the Temples, the easiest way in is off Highway 24 via the Caineville Wash Road. While slightly washboarded, this 16-mile stretch of dirt is easy to navigate in your campervan — just be prepared to go slow, the one-way trip takes about an hour. One note of caution, if it has recently rained this road may be impassable. 

Stop and make camp along the road on the nearby BLM land less than a mile from the Temples and hike the rest of the way in, or drive in if you wish. In this remote area of the park, there is no entrance fee!

Muley Point

Muley Point Utah view

See San Juan River Valley and Monument Valley from Muley Point.

One of the finest car-camping sites in North America, with incomparable views of the San Juan River Canyon, Goosenecks State Park and Monument Valley, Muley Point should be at the top of any Utah camp spot list.

From Mexican Hat, head towards Goosenecks State Park on State Road 261. Before heading for camp, make a pit stop at the State Park to see the canyons up close, before continuing on up the Moki Dugway. Take it slow, while well-maintained, this three-mile gravel road gains 1,200 feet of elevation before topping out on Cedar Mesa. Turn left on Muley Point Road towards the edge of the mesa, where you’ll find numerous campsites along the mesa’s edge, providing amazing views of the valleys and canyons below.

While remote and with no amenities, this free spot is more than worth it.

Now that you have your list of some of the best places to camp for a night or two in Utah, book your campervan out of the Salt Lake City depot today! With so many amazing places to explore, there’s no time to waste!

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