The Best Places to Go Glamping in Utah, USA

© 4k-Clips / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Mandi Keighran
8 July 2021

From prehistoric dinosaur fossils to towering sandstone formations and hidden geothermal springs, Utah has some of the country’s most unique landscapes – and there’s no better way to discover them than with a camping trip. Whether you’re looking for family-friendly sites with playgrounds or a site with access to world-class fishing and watersports, these are the best places to go camping in Utah.

Moab

Historical Landmark
Map View
A colorful sunset lights up the La Sal Mountains behind iconic Delicate Arch in after a Febraury 2019 snowstorm in Arches National Park, Moab, Utah.
© Colin D. Young / Alamy
Looking for adventure in Utah? Head to the city of Moab in the state’s east, which is known for its hiking, biking, canyoneering, rafting, 4×4 driving and camping in the surrounding wilderness at sites such as Fairview Acres organic farm. It’s within easy reach of some of the region’s most spectacular natural wonders – including the red rock formations of Arches National Park and the mesas and buttes of Canyonlands National Park. Aspiring paleontologists can discover fossilized dinosaur tracks at Bull Canyon Overlook and Copper Ridge, whilst dinosaur bones and other artifacts sit in the Museum of Moab.

Fairview Acres

Camping
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Fairview Acres_t1
Courtesy of Fairview Acres / Tentrr
This working organic grain farm in the rural community of Summit Point in San Juan County – an hour from Moab and five national parks – has been in CampKeeper Freddy Hall’s family for three generations. The canvas tent is set amidst pinon – Utah juniper trees – and sagebrush, with mountain and desert views abound. The site is home to local wildlife and you might even find elk or mule deer antlers here. Hike up to Fairview Lookout Point to enjoy a picnic or explore the nearby Old Spanish Trail. Just keep in mind that you’ll need to bring all your own food, as the nearest grocery store and restaurants are 25mi (40km) away.

Junction

Architectural Landmark
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Near Marysvale, Utah which is located at the heart of Utah's famous Paiute ATV Trail. Ties into many miles of beautiful off-road trail system
© Murry Dalton / Alamy
This small town, at the junction of the East Fork and Sevier River, is nestled in the heart of ATV country. The Paiute Trail System – which is 275mi (443km) long and boasts over 1,000mi (1,609km) of marked side trails – is regarded as one of the best ATV trails in the country. You can get easy access from the nearby Piute State Park, with the park also a popular destination for fishing, hunting, water sports, boating and camping at either the primitive campground or one of the comfortable canvas Tentrr tents located on the shore of the Piute Reservoir.

Piute State Park Single Site B

Camping
Map View
Piute State Park Single Site B_t1
Courtesy of Piute State Park Single Site B / Tentrr
Wake up on the shores of the Piute Reservoir at this campsite in Piute State Park in Southern Utah. The sturdy canvas Tentrr tent boasts a queen-size bed and a private timber deck, which is perfect for sitting back and taking in the view. The park is popular with anglers for trophy fishing and there’s plenty of rainbow, cutthroat and brown trout, as well as smallmouth bass. Alternatively, catch your own dinner and cook it up over the firepit grill back at camp. The park is also known for its access to the Paiute Trail System, a popular ATV trail.

Duchesne

Architectural Landmark
Map View
Fred Hayes State Park at Starvation- Single Site 1_t2
Courtesy of Fred Hayes State Park at Starvation: Single Site 1 / Tentrr
The tiny town of Duchesne is located two hours southeast of Salt Lake City and offers a variety of conveniences for campers staying at the nearby Fred Hayes State Park. The park is best known for the 3,495-acre (1,4,14ha) Starvation Reservoir and is popular for water skiing, boating, swimming and fishing – the annual walleye fishing tournament regularly sees trophy fish weighing more than 10lbs (4.5kg). Looking for the perfect picnic spot? The reservoir’s shoreline is dotted with remote beaches and coves accessible only by boat, with the surrounding 3,500 acres (1,416ha) of parkland home to miles of hiking trails and secluded campsites.

Fred Hayes State Park at Starvation: Single Site 1

Camping
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Fred-Hayes-State-Park-at-Starvation--Single-Site-1_t
Courtesy of Fred Hayes State Park at Starvation: Single Site 1 / Tentrr
Searching for a campground that offers easy access to watersports and some of the region’s best fishing? This site at Fred Hayes State Park is just moments from the Starvation Reservoir, which is popular for boating, water skiing, swimming and fishing. There’s also a sandy beach, plenty of hiking trails and even a 3D archery course. The campsite is furnished with a canvas tent with a queen-size bed, as well as a picnic table, fire pit with grill, solar shower and portable camp toilet.

Midway

Historical Landmark
Map View
Menacing storm clouds frame an old barn at sunset in Midway, Utah. (c) 2013 Tom Kelly
© Andrey Dmitriev / Alamy
The city of Midway is perhaps best known for its proximity to Soldier Hollow Nordic Center, the site of the 2002 Winter Olympics cross-country and biathlon events – but there’s more to the area than world-class winter sports. Homestead Resort is home to The Crater, a geothermal spring hidden beneath a 55-ft (17m) limestone rock that offers otherworldly swimming, diving and snorkeling experiences in the warm water. Meanwhile, Wasatch Mountain State Park is just five minutes away. Here, you’ll find four golf courses, miles of hiking, biking and ATV trails in addition to pristine campsites.

Wasatch Mountain State Park: Rabbit Den Site C

Camping
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Wasatch Mountain State Park- Rabbit Den Site C_t1
Courtesy of Wasatch Mountain State Park: Rabbit Den Site C / Tentrr
No matter what kind of outdoor adventure you’re into, chances are you’ll find it at Wasatch Mountain State Park in the beautiful Heber Valley. This 23,000-acre (9,300ha) park, just 25 minutes from Park City, is both a summer and winter destination – with hiking, biking, horseback riding and ATV trails as well as four golf courses, a fishing pond stocked with trout, skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling. There are also 122 camping and picnicking areas, including the comfortable Rabbit Den site which features a canvas tent set in a grassy meadow.

Vernal

Architectural Landmark
Map View
Pink Dinosaur at the entrance of Vernal Utah advertising the area as Dinosaur Land
© Luc Novovitch / Alamy
Step back in time with a camping trip to this small town in northeastern Utah. Known as Dinosaurland, thanks to the many dinosaur fossils that have been discovered in the surrounding area, it’s home to the National Dinosaur Monument where you can see an entire wall of real fossils. Discover the region’s more recent history at The Daughters of the Utah Pioneer Museum or the Uintah County Heritage Museum and head to one of the three nearby state parks for spectacularly rugged landscapes, hiking, mountain biking, ATV trails and even white water rafting. Steinaker State Park offers comfortable canvas tents with beds and lake views.

Steinaker State Park: Campsite 2

Camping
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Steinaker State Park- Campsite 2 t
Courtesy of Steinaker State Park: Campsite 2 / Tentrr
Play paleontologist for the weekend and set up camp in Steinaker State Park, an area famed for its fossils and other paleontological relics, including 200-million-year-old dinosaur tracks. There’s also plenty of fun to be had on the lake – think fishing, wakeboarding, water skiing, kayaking, canoeing and paddleboarding. This private lakeside campsite is equipped with a comfortable Tentrr canvas tent and boasts views of the lake and mountains. It’s a 10-minute hike down a sandy road to reach the site, so you’ll need to carry all supplies in and with the help of a wagon supplied by the CampKeeper.

Red Fleet State Park: Waterfront Campsite

Camping
Map View
Red Fleet State Park- Waterfront Campsite t4
Courtesy of Red Fleet State Park: Waterfront Campsite / Tentrr
Red Fleet State Park, just north of Verna, is another hotspot for discovering dinosaur fossils – and many of the hiking trails follow in the footsteps of these creatures who walked the earth more than 200 million years ago. The Waterfront Campsite is ideally located near the Red Fleet Reservoir, where you can go fishing, boating, paddleboarding, canoeing and kayaking. The canvas tent is furnished with a queen-size bed, whilst there’s another pop-up tent available for additional guests.

Morgan

Historical Landmark
Map View
Morgan, Utah
© BOB WESTON / Getty
The city of Morgan is located around 25 minutes north of the East Canyon State Park – an area rich in pioneer history, in the mountains northeast of Salt Lake City. Take the nearby Mormon Pioneer Trail, which was once used by Mormons traveling more than 1,300mi (2,100km) from Illinois to Utah; many farmers also crossed through the area on their way to California. The East Canyon Reservoir is another highlight and is popular for boating, fishing and camping. For a taste of life as a pioneer in the old west, book one of the wagons, which sleep up to four and feature a king-size bed and bunk beds. Alternatively, stay in one of the comfortable canvas tents in the Mormon Flats area.

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  • East Canyon State Park: Mormon Flats Triple Site F

    Camping
    Map View
    East Canyon State Park- Mormon Flats Triple Site F_t2
    Courtesy of East Canyon State Park: Mormon Flats Triple Site F / Tentrr
    The Mormon Flats area of East Canyon State Park forms part of the original Mormon Pioneer Trail, which was first travelled by the Donner-Reed party in 1846. Today, the site is home to a beautiful campsite equipped with three canvas Tentrr tents, making it ideal for large groups of friends or family. Each tent boasts a queen-size bed and there’s a fire pit and grill to gather around in the evening. Walk in the footsteps of the early pioneers and follow the trail from Mormon Flats to the summit of Big Mountain.

    East Canyon State Park: Wagon Site A

    Glamping
    Map View
    East Canyon State Park- Wagon Site A_t1
    Courtesy of East Canyon State Park: Wagon Site A / Tentrr
    One of the most unique experiences at East Canyon State Park is spending the night in a full-size pioneer wagon that evokes the spirit of the old west. If, however, you fancy a more traditional tent, book one of the nearby canvas Tentrr tents. It’s conveniently located to the park’s most exciting activities, including hiking, boating, paddling, swimming and water skiing. In the winter months, you can even go cross-country skiing and ice fishing.

    Cannonville

    Architectural Landmark
    Map View
    Kodachrome Basin State Park near Cannonville, Utah - USA
    © Henk Meijer / Alamy
    Cannonville, the closest town to Kodachrome Basin State Park, is known as the ‘Gateway to Grand Staircase’ thanks to its proximity to the impressive Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, which is home to Grosvenor Arch. With its towering sedimentary spires (or ‘pipes’) hewn from the multi-hued sandstone layers over 180 million years, the park is one of the most striking and otherworldly landscapes in the country. Unsurprisingly, the park is a popular destination for photography and camping – and it’s one of the state’s best sites for stargazing thanks to its dark skies.

    Kodachrome Basin State Park Site B

    Glamping
    Map View
    Kodachrome Basin State Park_expedia 2
    Courtesy of Kodachrome Basin State Park / Expedia
    Immerse yourself in the otherworldly Kodachrome Basin State Park with a stay in a comfortable canvas tent, pre-pitched on a flat plain surrounded by some of the park’s 67 monolithic stone spires. Explore Kodachrome’s most interesting geographical features – including Cool Cave, Secret Passage, and The Hat Shop – on the winding Panorama Trail, or take the more challenging Eagle’s View Trail to enjoy panoramic views over the park from the top of the white hills that form the basin. Back at camp, relax on the private timber deck and watch the setting sun transform the color of the sandstone landscape.

    Willard

    Architectural Landmark
    Map View
    A marina on the reservoir bay of Willard Bay State Park in Box Elder County, Henefer, Utah
    © Norm Lane / Alamy
    The city of Willard in northern Utah sits on the shores of Willard Bay and the Willard Bay Reservoir, making it a popular destination for boating, swimming, water skiing and fishing. The Willard Bay State Park has two areas – North and South Marinas – with boats, kayaks, water trampolines, wakeboards, jet skis and wave runners for hire. Fancy exploring the mountains instead? Rent an ATV and take to one of the many trails in the surrounding landscape. The park also boasts a number of campsites, which include both comfortable pre-set canvas tents and sites to pitch a tent beneath the cottonwood trees. In the winter months, the area also attracts birders keen to spot nesting eagles.

    Willard Bay State Park Double Site C

    Glamping
    Map View
    Willard Bay State Park Double Site C_t3
    Courtesy of Willard Bay State Park Double Site C / Tentrr
    Enjoy all the perks of a family-friendly campsite, all while maintaining a feeling of seclusion and privacy, at Site C in Willard Bay State Park. The site features two canvas tents, each with a queen-size bed, side tables, and tent heater, alongside a picnic table and fire pit with grill, which is perfect for toasting marshmallows over at night. There are plenty of nature trails, including one that leads to the reservoir – which offers excellent fishing and boat launches – and another that leads to a playground in the neighbouring campground. The campsite is also within easy walking distance to the campground bathroom.

    This is an updated rewrite of an article originally by Amanda Ogle.

    These recommendations were updated on July 8, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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