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Which Campgrounds Have Access to Your Activity?

March 19, 2016 Destination North America No Comments Print Print Email Email

With the fabulous weather camping is predominantly sought in the desert around Moab Utah. The tricky bit is determining the location for the convenient access of specific adventures.


Which adventures? Mountain biking, hiking, climbing, 4-wheeling and OHV trail riding are among those.

Sand Flats Recreation area is home to the Slickrock Bike Trail and contains the Porcupine Rim Trail. Camping is limited to 9 various locations amounting to 120 individual sites. Besides the mountain biking to be had, motorized use enjoys, Hells Revenge and the Fins and Things trails. Sand Flats is attractive for the owners of OHV’s which are NOT street legal. These OHVs – UTVs/ATVs/Motorcycle trail bikes can be ridden right out of camp to the trails in Sand Flats.

Similarly, Horsethief Campground off of Hwy 313 serves OHV users desiring to ride out of camp. There is a tremendous network of trails in the region north of Moab. It is best to have maps of the area to see how all the segments mesh. Nearby is Cowboy Camp, a little spot for tent camping – no camp trailers allowed. From this Hwy 313 camp, mountain bikers can connect to the Navajo Rocks trail system, the Intrepid Trail system in Dead Horse Point State Park and/or the many routes in the Gemini Bridges area, like the Magnificent Seven and the newest Horsethief bike trail network.

For the climbers, Wall Street on Hwy 279 is a popular hang out to belay buddies. Close to the climbing are Jaycee Park and Williams Bottom camping areas. Those have nice tent camping and have the essential pit toilet for conveniently fulfilling the Leave No Trace adage. Near Big Bend Campground on Hwy 128, the Bureau of Land Management has established a proper parking area for bouldering. Find a map in Karl Kelley’s, High on Moab, the newest and all around informative climber guide including 21 challenging boulders. Drinks Canyon, Hal Canyon and Oak Grove Campgrounds would also be places to stay to be close to Big Bend Boulders.

Also on Hwy 128, consider Lower Onion Creek for camping access for rolling right out of camp to 4-wheel or OHV Onion Creek and connecting with Top of the World and Polar Mesa. Fisher Towers is best as a tent camping spot and serves up some nice hiking and climbing.

Out on Kane Creek Road, Moonflower Canyon shall have fewer walk-in tent sites. Spring Canyon walk-in tent sites out along Kane Creek Road will be closed and reclaimed.  Find additional walk-in sites added to Kings Bottom to balance out the removal of the others. Got a motorhome? Toy hauler? Head out to the Ledges camping area where there are 105 sites with access to dirt trails from camp.

Prefer a full hook-up? Make reservations with a commercial campground in Moab. Street Legal UTVs are able to drive to trails. Archview Resort is the only campground near Moab to ride an ATV out of camp and get that full hook up for an RV. North 38 miles, in Thompson Springs are hookups at the Ballard RV Park. Trails can be ridden out of there. Find out more in the Third Edition of Charles A. Wells, Guide to Moab, UT Backroads & 4-Wheel-Drive Trails.

Behind the Rocks is 14 miles south of Moab. Turn west off of Hwy 191. There will be no camping signs posted here.  Camping is not allowed from the turn off for about 3 miles. After that distance some sites for tent camping appear. Keep going. The first two dirt roads off to the south go to houses. Keep going. The next roads lead to a tear drop design of RV sites. The most important matter here is to have a portable toilet to use in the Behind the Rocks area. Tent campers can purchase wag-bags (a means of packing out human refuse) from the Moab Information Center. Nice trail riding out here, dappled with arches.

The Moab Information Center is teeming with area maps. Stop in to get maps or guide books to see the many trail options available in and around Moab Utah. It is located at the corner of Main and Center Street, open 7 days a week.

Arches National Park is reserved online using recreation.gov. It sells out months in advance. No hookups. Dead Horse Point, Utah, State Park also reserves camping online. Dead Horse has electrical hookups. It too sells out months in advance. Canyonlands National Park has first come, first served camping. No OHV use allowed in the national parks of Moab.  So the parks are great for hikers especially.

When the weather is fine, camping is popular. Most important about backcountry use, enthusiasts are required to Leave No Trace, which means using portable toilets or camping in sites with pit toilets. Gathering firewood is prohibited. Bring your own or buy bundles from many shops in Moab. South town Maverick has a free dump station for RVs. Bring a hose to fill up with water from the side of the Maverick store seen from the dump station. Spanish Trail Shell can refill propane tanks and allows filling water from a faucet along the curb near where the propane is dispensed.  Again bring a hose to fill an RV. Farm and City Seed and Feed does it all, dump, water ($5 fee), and propane in one stop.

Find more camping details on http://discovermoab.com/campgrounds.htm or call 435-259-8825.

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