Things to Do in Utah While Camping
Although most people immediately think of Moab when they think of the state of Utah, that isn’t the only thing to do while camping there. Utah is full of natural wonder that needs to be seen to be believed, which will leave you wondering why it took you so long to visit. Whether it’s your first time visiting the Beehive State or the hundredth, there’s always something new to explore if you know where to look.
Moab is often the star of the show when it comes to camping in Utah, and it has definitely earned that place. There are plenty of areas to camp, which means that you’ll easily be able to find one that accommodates exactly what you want in your outdoor camping experience.
There are many commercial campgrounds and RV parks, but that’s not the best way to enjoy the area. When you travel to Moab in your Bowlus, you don’t have to worry about staying in the busy, commercial campgrounds. The freedom inherent in a luxury travel trailer like a Bowlus means that you can go off-grid and still enjoy all of the same amenities as you do when you park at a traditional RV park.
Instead of staying at a crowded campground, boondock at one of the many properties owned and managed by the Bureau of Land Management. There are 25 different campgrounds to choose from, and most are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Nearly every campground is located in an extremely scenic area so that you can really enjoy your natural surroundings. The vast majority of those campgrounds don’t have hookups of any kind.
In between relaxing in the luxury of your travel trailer, make sure to get out there and relish any of the vast number of outdoor activities offered in Moab. The most obvious place to do that is at Arches National Park, also located in the city.
Arches National Park
Arches National Park is known for being a wonderland of red rock formations, as well as a diverse collection of contrasting colors, textures, and landforms. In addition to the soaring pinnacles, giant balanced rocks, and massive fins, the park is perhaps most famous for its more than 2000 natural stone arches.
Hiking is one of the top draws of visiting the park, as it contains a variety of accessible trails for hikers of all skill levels. The trails are designed to get visitors as up close and personal to the scenery as possible, sometimes going under the arches and providing views that simply aren’t available from anywhere else. They vary from easy to difficult, and some can only be taken with a ranger or a permit. The Delicate Arch Trail, although rated difficult, is one of the most popular in the park because it takes hikers past the park’s most famous arch.
An activity that is even more popular than hiking is canyoneering. Canyoneering is a mix of hiking and rock climbing, where adventurers rappel, climb, and hike their way through the rocky canyons of Arches National Park. People interested in canyoneering at the park should follow one of the established routes or acquire a permit if interested in pioneering a new route. If you haven’t gone canyoneering before, there are also guided opportunities to ease you in and introduce you to the basics.
There is only one campground inside of Arches National Park, but it can accommodate RVs. Reservations are strongly urged at the Devils Garden Campground, as it can get full quickly. The sites are perfect for your Bowlus, allowing for privacy without being chained to electrical hookups or generators.
Once you settle into your campsite, don’t forget to look up at the stars, whether from outside or through the skylights in your Bowlus. Arches National Park is designated as an official International Dark Sky Park due to the incredibly low light pollution. In fact, the park is said to have some of the darkest skies in the contiguous 48 United States.
Dead Horse Point State Park
Don’t let the name scare you off; Dead Horse Point State Park is another of the best camping opportunities available around Moab. It’s a visual masterpiece and is located about 2000 feet above the Colorado River.
Inside the state park, there are two different campgrounds: Kayenta Campground and Wingate Campground. Both are incredibly scenic, and reservations are strongly urged ahead of time due to their popularity. Some of the campsites in both campgrounds have electrical hookups, but you won’t feel limited to them while you travel in your Bowlus.
The state park is home to a hiking trail and a mountain biking trail.
The mountain biking trail system is known as the Intrepid Trail System, with just over 16 miles of tracks. They wind through trees, mixed terrain and slickrock, and showcase views of the canyons from a unique vantage point. There are also trails meant for anyone from the total beginner to the extremely experienced.
When it comes to hiking, there are also seven miles of trails to explore. Each is fairly easy, and there are eight outlooks from which to view the canyon. The main attraction is the Dead Horse Point Outlook Trail, as it has the most breathtaking views of any of the trails.
Zion National Park
Another great place to camp in Utah with your Bowlus is Zion National Park. Zion was the first national park in the state and was established on land that‘s been in use for hundreds of years. It’s full of massive sandstone cliffs, a unique variety of animals and plants, and brilliant blue skies.
When camping at Zion National Park, there are multiple options to choose from. The Watchman Campground or the South Campground are great choices for your luxury travel trailer, but keep in mind that all of the campsites in the park must be reserved ahead of time.
One of the more unique things to do at Zion National Park is to take the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive. It is 54 miles from start to finish and takes about an hour and a half to drive. The scenic drive will take guests past the visitor center, cuts through the Checkerboard Mesa, and provides access to the ghost towns in Grafton and the Zion Canyon. It’s a great way to see the park from a different perspective. It’s a good idea to unhitch your travel trailer before driving, but considering that your Bowlus was designed to be as lightweight and easy to drive as possible (especially when compared to other RVs), you’ll be fine either way.
If you want to get up close and personal with the park, there’s plenty of hiking to be found. Two of our favorite hikes are the Angels Landing Trail (via the West Rim Trail) and a hike known as The Narrows (via Riverside Walk). Both can be difficult but are worth every second of energy for the views alone. You can even bike on the Pa’rus Trail if you brought your mountain bikes with you. With so many different options, as well as backpacking through the backcountry of Zion National Park, you can spend days without ever taking the same trail twice.
There are also opportunities in the park for enjoying the various rivers, like the Narrows and Virgin River. This is recommended only for experienced rafters and kayakers, though, as the rivers can get dangerous quickly. Permits are required.
The best part about camping at Zion National Park is how many different activities there are to take part in. At the end of a long day, you’ll be thrilled to be able to come back to your Bowlus and enjoy your evening in the comfort and luxury of your own travel trailer. Cook a delicious meal either inside or outside of your RV, and sleep comfortably on your memory-foam king mattress. Then, wake up in the morning and do it all over again!
Utah is one of the best states in the US for camping. Not only are there plenty of different areas to boondock and enjoy your Bowlus doing what it does best, but there are also lots of outdoor activities to take part in as well. It makes for a great getaway, either for the weekend or for a longer period of time.
When you travel Utah in your luxury travel trailer, you can go where the wind takes you without worrying about hooking up or fighting for a spot in an RV park. It makes the great American road trip even greater.