Mountain bikers flock to Moab in the Spring for the chance to bike through stunning, mars-like landscapes of red rock. Moab is the hub for world class mountain biking and dozens of other outdoor activities. Here, you can put in for a gentle float down the Colorado river by kayak or raft, discover family mountain biking on easier single track or slick rock, or just enjoy the beauty of Utah’s open country and clear blue skies.
The best feature of Moab camping is how many campgrounds are relatively private and free. The greater area around Moab, once loved and explored by famous western writer Edward Abbey, is relatively uncrowded and it’s possible to get off the beaten path while staying close enough to Moab for supplies.
We’ve found five campgrounds near Moab to establish your basecamp in this recreational paradise, but there are dozens more. The clear night skies provide an astronomer’s dream and the sunsets and sunrises are spectacular. Because this area is so dry, developed campgrounds have running water, but if you camp on BLM land be sure to bring plenty of extra water for cooking and drinking.
Grab your folding camping chairs and tent and build your space at Up The Creek, a developed campground just a couple of blocks outside of town. The campground includes water, nice showers and zero RVs. The campsites are level and include grassy areas. This is a beautiful, mellow campground where you may not even need to unfold your camping chairs, as most sites have picnic tables and grills.
For absolutely no money and a terrific, private area, drive down Willow Springs road, on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) federal land. This dirt road is only 15 minutes outside of Moab proper, quiet and beautiful. You’ll have a little canyon to yourself, with a few campers nearby. This is a dirt and sand road so be cautious when driving in a two-wheel drive vehicle.
Moab has a lot of fabulous primitive places to set up your tent in the sand, sometimes even next to a river or creek. We love Willow Flat campground in Canyonlands National Park. Cost is $15/night and it is a well kept site.
Near Moab, Dead Horse Point State Park is famous for its dramatic overlooks of the Colorado River. It’s also a terrific place to tent or RV camp. for a bargain price. You will need reservations, as this is a popular area.
For a National Forest experience, try out high elevation Warner Lake Campground. At 9400 feet, this area stays cool during the hottest part of the summer. In Manti-La Sal National Forest, there a dense forest and the nearby lake draws boaters and fisherman. Reservations are required for this Moab camping destination.