Best Free Camping in Utah

Free Camping in Utah

By Sara Sheehy

Utah is a land of extremes. From the achingly beautiful red-rock desert of the south to the powder-filled slopes of the Wasatch Range, Utah has a little something for everyone. Utah also has over 35 million acres of public land, much of which is managed for camping and other uses by the Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and other entities.

If you’re looking for a place to enjoy free, dispersed camping areas, Utah might just be the right place for you. Here’s where to find some of the best free camping in Utah.

See a map of all free camping in Utah.

Free Camping Near Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City is not only Utah’s biggest metropolis but also one of the largest cities in the mountain west. Sprawling from north to south and hemmed in by the Great Salt Lake and the Wasatch Range, this city’s free camping options are best suited to RVers looking for a night’s rest while passing through.

Walmarts in Syracuse, Saratoga Springs, and Springville allow overnight parking, as does Cabelas in Farmington. Flight Park State Recreation Area is another Campendium community favorite.

Free Camping Near Park City and the Wasatch Range

Utah may tout itself as having “the greatest snow on earth,” but that snow wouldn’t be too useful without the gorgeous mountains it gets trapped on. These mountains are beloved by skiers in the winter and adventure-loving campers in the summer.

Check out Salamander Flat or Heber Mountain for beautiful boondocking and tent camping on national forest lands. Mud Creek Road BLM dispersed camping near Strawberry Reservoir is another option near the Wasatch.

Free Camping Near Utah’s “Big Five” National Parks

Have you heard of Utah’s “Mighty Five” national parks? If not, it’s time to get this epic road trip on your bucket list. The Mighty Five parks—Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Bryce, and Zion—are all located in southern Utah, and full of the kind of red-rock landscapes that will have your wanderlust dreams firing on all cylinders. There is no free camping inside the parks, but nearby BLM and Forest Service land provide excellent options.

Let’s move from east to west, starting at otherworldly Arches National Park. Those who need to stay in cell phone range will gravitate toward the popular Willow Springs Trail along the original entrance road to Arches. This spot gets overcrowded fast, so those with a high-clearance rig who prefer a quieter experience might check out Lower Gemini Bridges.

Canyonlands National Park is a short drive from Arches. Make your home base at Lone Mesa to explore the Island in the Sky region, or Lockhart Road to check out the lesser-visited, and stunningly beautiful, Needles District.

Next up is Capitol Reef, a gem of a park that often gets overlooked by its flashier neighbors. This spot is absolutely worth a visit if you like soaring cliffs and hikes through the canyons. Settle into Pleasant Creek Dispersed to be just a stone’s throw from the park itself.

It may be hard to catch your breath on the 9,000-foot elevation of Bryce Canyon National Park’s rim, but you won’t mind once you see the wildly beautiful hoodoos. Cabin Hollow is the preferred free camping near Bryce Canyon for many in the Campendium community.

Last but certainly not least is Zion National Park, one of the most-visited national parks in the country. Park-goers (and mountain bikers) love the free camping at Hurricane Cliffs, where the beginner-friendly JEM trail runs right through the sites.

Some of the best camping in Utah is free! From BLM land to the outskirts of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, you can find a place to stay for a night, a week, or more. Find it all here on Campendium.

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Recent Utah Free Campsite Reviews

Sep 27, 2022

"In a pinch..."

active staractive starinactive starinactive starinactive star
It's really just a field. Several others camping but it's quiet and good for an overnight or 2. It was fine, nothing special. Fire pit was full but we didn't need it anyway. There was an evening breeze, Thank goodness since it was hot. No shade, no amenities. Verizon service was awful and spotty. The more that came in, the worse it...
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Kestrel20
38 reviews

"Good for overnight "

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Looks better for overnighter, but a few looked like they have been here awhile. It's a bit crowded and nothing but dirt/gravel for the most part. Google Maps calls this Yellow Cicrle road. Either way, you need to travel about a mile up for sites. Seemed to be room for a dozen vehicles of various sizes on flat level sites.

Michael
10 reviews
Sep 27, 2022

"Peaceful "

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Really nice stay. Turned right on branch road after 6 minutes and found quiet spot. This place on Google is called Dixie National Forest Dispersed camping area. From it's perspective, Tom's was farther inland. Either way they're are many large sites but you need to watch your clearance due to ruts and "plowing". It looks like a few sites could...
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Michael
10 reviews
Sep 27, 2022

"Great BLM Spot! "

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Just spent 3 nights there during our Zion trip. 30 min to park gate. Very nice designated camping spots with a fire ring. Amazing views, very quiet. Sheep’s Bridge road was easy in/out gravel road, some washboard spots. The side roads to the camp spots were ok if you go slow, it may be tough if caught in any kind of rain. Spot 19 is at the...
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TeamShaw
1 review
Sep 26, 2022

"Beautiful Views! "

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Amazing views, dispersed camping, plenty of space. We rode our bikes to Broken Spur Steakhouse in Torrey.

JFitz
1 review