Ah, Utah. The land of abundant beauty, red-stone canyons, ancient history, and home to the Mighty 5 National Parks – a staple on all van lifer bucket lists. But, let us share an insider tip – the best time to visit this natural wonderland is not in the peak of summer, crammed with people and massive RVs. It’s the snowy season you want to check out. Utah’s breathtaking in the winter and we wanted to give you some campsites to check out.
Visit the horseshoe-shaped stone amphitheaters and scenic vistas at Bryce Canyon National Park, before heading down to the dramatic views of the Zion River Valley. Explore the oft-overlooked gem of Capitol Reef National Park, famous for the towering monoliths of Cathedral Valley and Chimney Rock pillar. Or, if a lake-side chill session is your wintertime vibe, head to Lake Powell and soaks up some peace and quiet.
Whatever your speed, Southern Utah has something for every outdoor lover. And don’t worry about where to set up camp in your Native Campervan, we’ve got you covered. Make sure to read 5 Ultimate Camping Apps for a Vanlife Roadtrip for a debrief on where to book campgrounds. Here are the places we recommend you check out.
Starting off Utah’s winter campsites, located in the heart of Arches National Park, Devil’s Garden is the park’s signature campground, as you camp among natural sandstone arches and jaw-dropping scenery. Hiking trailheads are located all over the campground, with the Broken Arch scenic trail being our favorite. Bookings are strongly encouraged, even in winter. Amenities include flush toilets, potable water, dump stations, and fire pits, but no showers onsite.
A beautiful BLM managed riverside campground just north of Moab off Highway 128. Amenities are basic, with pit toilets being all that is available on-site. Make sure to bring your mountain bike to explore the nearby Porcupine Rim Trail, or lace your hiking boots up and hike the Grandstaff trail. Moab weather is milder than the surrounding areas, so make sure to get here early as the 16 sites are first-come-first-serve.
Specifically designed for large groups like school trips or family reunions, this expansive open-space campground is an awesome winter camping spot. The areas have fire pits, picnic tables, and shade shelters, with no water, electric hookups, or dump stations available. From the campground, you have views of nearby canyons and are a stone’s throw from Arches and Canyonlands National Parks. Moab is a short 30-minute drive if you want to grab some groceries and cook up an epic camping dinner.
Located inside Bryce Canyon National Park, North Campground has 99 sites available for campers of all types. With easy access to hiking trails, the visitor center, bathrooms, showers, and a dump station (potable water available). The campground is first-come, first-serve, and fills up quickly in the winter and summer months, so make sure to get here early. The Rim Trail is the most accessible hiking trail, with the trailhead starting at the campground.
A mere 1.5 miles south of North Campground is Sunset Campground with another 100 sites available for campers. Amenities are similar to those above, with a dump station and potable water available, however, toilets are only available in the summer months. The site gets it to name from the famed Sunrise and Sunset Points at the heart of the Bryce Amphitheater – make sure to bring your hiking boots and camera to this spot.
Camping in southern Utah is notably easier at Fruita, as sites won’t immediately be booked after being released online. You’ll still want to plan ahead, though, just in case you hit a peak of popularity. The campground sits next to an apricot orchard, making for an extra special treat after a long trek.
Bullfrog RV & Campground – Small, intimate, off-the-beaten-path camping location in the Glen Canyon Recreational Area. This is one of Utah’s greatest winter campsites. 80 concrete padded tent sites are available for Campers, and the facilities on-site include restrooms, showers, grills, fire pits, and tables. Entry to the recreational area does require a $30 fee for a week-long entry. You can also take the Ferry across to Halls Crossing if you want to shorten your drive south to Monument Valley.
Wahweap RV & Campground – Massive campground with full-service RV sites to Tent/Camper sites. Full Amenities, free WiFi, fire pits, pet-friendly. Within walking distance to Wahweap Swim Beach, you can enjoy the Wahweap Grille restaurant and lounge at the neighboring hotel if you want to treat yourself one evening.
Looking for a more primitive Utah camping option, Red Cliffs Campground is a BLM-run spot running you $15/night for a standard site. Only 10 sites are available, on a first-come-first-serve basis, so make sure to get there early in the day. Basic amenities include a shaded picnic area, running water, and a fire pit. This spot is right off I-70, but so secluded, you’ll be a world away. Popular activities in the area include hiking, climbing, and perusing dinosaur tracks.
One of Utah’s newer state parks has two campsites (Sandpit, Westside) on the BLM land and is a mere 45 minutes west of Zion, perfect in the wintertime. Each of the campgrounds has its own separate fee system (ranging from $25-$38), with everything from full hook-ups to group sites and primitive sites where you pull a campervan. Amenities are basic here, with pit toilets being all that is on offer.
Zion’s signature campground is located a mere ¼ mile from the South entrance and easy park shuttle access. 190 tent and hookup sites are available year-round and are accompanied by epic views of red-stone canyons. Amenities are basic with clean toilets, and dump stations all that are available, however, you are a short drive from downtown Springdale.
Live the lavish camping resort life at Zion River Resort. Loaded with all the amenities you would need camping, from a laundromat to a game room, dog parks, and full bathroom facilities. Rates will run you ~$40/night or book a week-long stay for a discounted rate. Or if you feel like upgrading to a lodge, there are plenty of options available.