6 Utah Campgrounds to Pitch a Tent at This Summer
Whether it’s a weekend getaway or an extended backpacking trip, camping is the perfect way to enjoy Utah’s summer months.
But with hundreds of public and private campgrounds located throughout the state, finding the right destination can be a daunting challenge. Choose the wrong site, and you could end up surrounded by growling generators or swarms of mosquitoes.
We’ve picked six of the best Utah campgrounds for all sorts of campers: dog lovers, family types, hardcore hikers, and more. No matter what kind of outdoor adventure you have in mind, you’re sure to find a campground that’s perfect for it. Once you’ve chosen your favored site, make an online reservation at reserveamerica.com.
CAMPING WITH YOUR CANINE
Kayenta Campground, Dead Horse Point State Park
Have a dog who loves the outdoors as much as you do? Fido is welcome at this fully-equipped campground. Lighted shade structures at each site provide respite from the desert sun, while RV electrical hookups let you bring those critical comforts with you. (There are no showers or water hookups, though—be prepared!) Miles of dog-friendly hiking trails crisscross the park, giving both you and your pet the chance to enjoy the incredible red rock vistas.
GETTING AWAY FROM IT ALL
Lava Point Campground, Zion National Park
While Zion’s bigger, fully-developed South Campground and Watchman Campground are scorching hot and jam-packed during the summer months, remote Lava Point offers a quieter, more traditional camping experience. Located at the highest point in the park, its six primitive sites are first-come, first-served. For a challenging but memorable day hike, catch the park shuttle to the campground, then hike 16 miles down the West Rim trail to the main canyon. (You can also stretch this hike into a more leisurely two-day adventure.)
Devils Garden Campground, Arches National Park
For an outdoor getaway with up to 55 of your closest friends, head to the Canyon Wren or Juniper Basin group camping sites in Devils Garden. At just $3 per person per night ($33 minimum), they’re a great Utah campground option for a family or class reunion. No RVs or trailers are allowed in these sites. Nearby hiking options range from a leisurely 15-minute stroll to an intense 7.2-mile scramble around the full Devils Garden Loop.
WET AND WILD
Hailstone Recreation Area, Jordanelle State Park
Need to escape the heat? Boaters, anglers, and swimmers will appreciate the convenience of Hailstone’s waterfront campsites located along the Jordanelle Reservoir. Eight of the 221 sites include boat slips; if you’re not a boat owner, rentals are available nearby. Kayaks and paddleboards offer 100% people-powered options for staying cool on the water.
Blackhawk Campground, Payson Canyon
Out of the tent and into the saddle! This large campground offers plenty of sites for groups of every size, but the real draw is its proximity to world-class singletrack trails. Tackle the 18-mile, tree-lined Blackhawk Loop or the lung-searing 12-mile Sheepherder Loop. Prefer skinny-tire adventures? The 69-mile Nebo Loop offers a stunning but challenging road ride.
East Canyon State Park Yurts, Morgan
Not feeling up to a night on a Therm-a-Rest? Perhaps enjoying a glass of wine while watching the sunset from a cozy deck is more your style. These yurts are perfect for the avowed non-camper, offering (relatively) comfy beds, basic cooking facilities, and the assurance that a midsummer squall won’t rain you out. Nearby running water and showers help keep things clean while preserving the rustic ambiance.
CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE
There are plenty of review resources for Utah campgrounds available, but most are sadly deficient at giving you a real sense of a place. The Dyrt is hoping to change that. “Our aim is to have pictures and videos of every campground in America,” says co-founder and CEO Kevin Long.
The Dyrt users contribute their reviews, pictures, and short videos to the site in exchange for points. Each month, top users in every state receive prizes from national sponsors as a thank-you. Utah’s sponsor, ColdPruf, is offering $100 gift cards to the site’s top 10 users every month from June through September 2016.
Get started contributing your reviews and getting other users’ takes on local campgrounds at TheDyrt.com.