Are you tired of the same old crowded camping spots with noisy neighbors and limited space? Utah is famous for its stunning rugged landscapes, soaring peaks, and breathtaking national parks. Every year, millions of tourists flock to this western state to hike, ski, and explore its natural wonders.
But some of the best camping spots are hidden gems tucked away in remote areas. These secret camping spots in utah offer breathtaking views, secluded surroundings, and a sense of adventure that is hard to come by in popular, overcrowded tourist destinations.
So pack your bags, grab your tent, and get ready to discover the 10 best secret camping spots in Utah that will blow your mind. So let’s explore:
1. Henry Mountains
The Henry Mountains in Central Utah is an amazing secret camping spot located 70 miles east of Moab. This remote mountain range offers rugged landscapes, unique wildlife, and several primitive camping options, including the Horseshoe Bend and Doll House campgrounds.
The Doll House features interesting rock formations that resemble a dollhouse. Visitors should be prepared with plenty of food, water, and supplies, but for those who are up for an adventure, the Henry Mountains offer an unforgettable camping experience.
2. San Rafael Bridge Campground
The San Rafael Bridge is an extremely primitive and secluded camping site known for its dark skies, making it a great spot for stargazing.
There are 16 primitive campsites available, and travellers can enjoy hiking, fishing, and exploring the nearby canyons and rock formations.
There are many chasms, canyons, and grottos at San Rafael Bridge. But you must be extra cautious because the road has drop-offs and labyrinths that make walking hard.
So it’s best not to go alone and to bring a map and compass . There is also no trash service or water, so visitors should pack out all their garbage and bring plenty of water.
3. Lone Peak
Lone Peak has an elevation of 11,260 feet and is located on the Wasatch front. It is a really nice place to hike, as well as a nice camping spot. Lone Peak is not very crowded because climbing there can be a little difficult.
If you go to Lone Peak in the spring, you can fill up your water bottles at the natural springs, but if you go in the summer or fall, you should bring water with you.
The beautiful views in the morning and sunset are the best part of camping at Lone Peak. So, be ready for rugged terrain and possible wildlife sightings!
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4. Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument
Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument is a beautiful place that offers stunning views of the desert, cannons, and the Colorado River. Egypt, Davis Gulch, Harris Gulch, Coyote Gulch, 50 Mill Creek, and other cannons-like oases are among them.
If you were backpacking through this National Monument, it would be easy to find streams that flow through the cannons and from which you could get water.
This is another camping spot where you can set up your tent anywhere. However, you should not go alone because many views look the same and you could get lost.
5. Logan Canyon
The Canyon cuts through the bear river mountains. You can rock climb, hike, camp, fish, snowmobile, and ski here.
The Canyon has an elevation of approximately 7800 feet above sea level, but the trip is worth it because you can see the scenic overlook and dramatic views of Bear Lake.
You can camp anywhere in this area as long as you ensure that you and your family and friends are safe in the location of your choice.
When you finish your camping, then you must clean the trash, etc., that you have thrown.
6. Escalante Petrified Forest State Park
The Escalante Petrified Forest State Park has the world’s largest collection of petrified wood, including pieces that are 150 million years old.
You can also hike the trails that lead through the spooky forest and offer beautiful views of the area. Escalante Petrified Forest State Park also has a campground with 22 campsites, and each spot has a fire pit and a picnic table available.
Apart from climbing and camping, there are many other fun things to do in this state park, such as fishing and boating at Wide Hollow Reservoir. You can also take a guided tour of the spooky woods there, which includes a stop at the park’s museum and a closer look at some of the oldest fossils.
7. Cedar Mesa Campground
Cedar Mesa is known for its beautiful rock formations, canyons, and ancient ruins. It’s also a great place to camp because it’s quiet and different from other places.
The campground is near the Grand Gulch Trail and the Natural Bridges National Monument, both famous hiking spots. Cedar Mesa is known for its long cultural past. In the nearby canyons, visitors can see old Native American ruins and rock art.
Cedar Mesa Campground is a primitive campground that doesn’t have water or facilities, so people should bring plenty of water and supplies with them.
8. Dark Canyon Wilderness
Dark Canyon Wilderness is a remote and rugged wilderness area known for its beautiful red rock canyons, high mesas, and pristine streams.
Dark Canyon Wilderness offers you a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, camping, fishing, and wildlife watching. Several trails wind through the canyons and mesas, ranging in difficulty from easy to strenuous. The trails offer stunning views of the surrounding landscape and opportunities to see wildlife like deer, elk, and mountain lions.
Camping in Dark Canyon Wilderness is primitive, with no facilities or amenities. Several designated campsites are located throughout the area.
Visitors to Dark Canyon Wilderness should be prepared for the rugged terrain and challenging conditions. The area is remote and lacks cell phone service, so visitors should bring a map and compass and be comfortable with wilderness navigation.
9. Gooseberry Mesa
Gooseberry Mesa is a popular spot for mountain biking and hiking in southwestern Utah, near Hurricane. The mesa offers great views of Zion National Park and the Pine Valley Mountains.
Visitors can enjoy several hiking and mountain biking trails with varying difficulty levels. Camping is primitive, so bring your own supplies. There are designated campsites and opportunities for dispersed camping.
So be prepared for rough terrain and hot temperatures, and practice Leave No Trace principles.
10. Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest
The Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest covers more than 2 million acres in northern Utah. It’s great for hikes, camping, fishing, skiing, and snowboarding, among other things.
More than 1,500 miles of trails, many campgrounds, and beautiful places to see, like alpine lakes, woods, and canyons. It’s a great place for people who love the woods and want to see how beautiful Utah is in the wild.
Camping is popular in the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, with over 30 campgrounds. Many campgrounds have amenities such as toilets, picnic tables, and fire rings.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)
Is it safe to camp in secret locations in Utah?
No, it is not safe to camp in Utah’s secret locations. These areas may contain potential safety risks, such as unstable ground, falling stones or trees, or wildlife. Additionally, camping in secluded areas can increase the possibility of encountering strangers or illegal activities.
Camping in designated campsites or public lands where permitted and regulated is safer. Take precautions to ensure your safety if you camp in a hidden location, such as telling someone where you’re going, bringing the appropriate equipment and supplies, and being aware of your surroundings.
Is it legal to camp anywhere in Utah?
No, You can’t just set up camp anywhere you want. You can only legally camp in designated campsites or on public land where camping is allowed.
Ensure you follow the rules and guidelines when you camp, like where to set up your tent, how to get rid of your trash, and fire restrictions. This helps keep the natural environment safe and ensures that everyone can camp in Utah safely and responsibly.
Can you camp on the side of the road in Utah?
No, camping on the side of the road is not permitted in Utah unless the area is designated for camping. Before camping, verifying with local authorities and land management agencies is essential to ensure it is legal.
Some areas may permit dispersed camping, but campers must always adhere to Leave No Trace principles and respect the natural environment.
Can I build a fire at a secret camping spot?
Fires may not always be allowed at secret camping spots in utah, so checking the rules before making a fire is important. If fires are allowed, make sure to use a fire ring or start a fire safely away from trees and other things that can catch on fire. Make sure to put out the fire completely before leaving the area.
What should I bring with me when camping at a secret location in Utah?
If you’re camping at a secret location in Utah, you should bring a tent or shelter, a sleeping bag and pad, food, and water, cooking supplies, a first aid kit, appropriate clothing, and a way to communicate.
Researching the area beforehand and bringing any necessary equipment like a map or compass is also important. Always be respectful of the environment.
What are some tips to find more secret camping locations in Utah?
Avoid any designated campgrounds and target wilderness areas, state forests, BLM lands, etc. Use expert locals like park rangers to point out their favorite hidden gems not listed in guides or online.
Detailed topographical maps can reveal areas away from main access points. Once onsite, hike into the backcountry instead of camping near trailheads.
Conclusion: Secret Camping Spots in Utah
For those willing to venture off the beaten path, Utah offers a plethora of beautiful and secluded camping locations.
We have discussed the 10 secret camping spots in Utah that are ideal for camping, trekking, and other outdoor activities.
However, it is essential to outfit appropriately for unpredictability in the weather and to always use caution when traversing the terrain.
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