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


"Beautiful!"

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Absolutely stunning dispersed camping only 20 minutes from Zion NP. Beautiful 360 view Rainbow hills and snow capped mountains. Some spots have fire rings, road is a little bumpy but nothing our RWD couldn’t handle. Would def recommend this place.

camper-900579
3 reviews
Feb 19, 2024

"Great Stay "

active staractive staractive staractive staractive star
Amazing Views, Quiet, Plenty Of Space And Fire Rings At Each Site.

camper-900579
3 reviews
Richfield, UT

Home Depot

Feb 16, 2024

"Party In The Parking Lot"

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I parked around 10:30 and everything was quiet and fine, but close to 12:30 a big group of people showed up and were drinking and being really loud in the middle of the parking lot. Thankfully there was a Walmart around the corner.

camper-867526
3 reviews
Feb 06, 2024

"Quiet with big sites"

active staractive staractive staractive staractive star
Campsite was quiet and empty. Rain and freezing temperatures kept us in our tent most of the evenings. The site we stayed in could fit 3 or 4 different groups. Road noise was almost non-existent but not sure if one of the first sites would get more. Same road as the Belly of the Dragon tunnel. Right next to the Virgin River. This is close to...
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ABGAdventures
1 review
Jan 28, 2024

"Excellent January Canping!"

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We arrived the day after a large storm January 26th. I have 4x4 on my truck so it wasn’t too bad getting in. My friend with a 2WD sprinter van made it up the hill in the mud as well. Not recommended, but it would totally be doable with a 2WD with chains the day of or after a storm. Weather was sunny and 60 degrees during the day. Right below...
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camper-901401
1 review