The Best Places to Go Camping in Utah, USA

Camping allows you to unplug and reconnect with nature and loved ones
Camping allows you to unplug and reconnect with nature and loved ones | © Mint Images Limited / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Doug ONeill
24 June 2021

Utah is home to an array of geological features, from twisting canyons and towering red rocks to sheer mountains and sandy desert terrain. The Beehive State also has hundreds of lakes, including the largest saltwater lake in the western hemisphere – the Great Salt Lake. Whether you’re dipping into Dinosaurland or relishing the gorgeous landscapes, get back to nature at these campsites – bookable on Culture Trip.

Kodachrome Basin State Park

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Kodachrome Basin State Park, Utah
© Joseph Becker / Alamy Stock Photo

In the 1940s, the National Geographic Society visited this area in southern Utah and named it after the once-popular color film first developed by Eastman Kodak in 1935. It was used to capture photos of Kodachrome Basin State Park’s 67 monolithic stone spires and sandstone layers of red, pink, white, yellow and gray. Some 5,800ft (1,768m) above sea level, it’s only 20mi (32km) from the crimson-colored hoodoos at Bryce Canyon National Park.

Kodachrome Basin State Park Site G

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Courtesy of Kodachrome Basin State Park Site G / Tentrr

Imagine waking up each morning in your canvas tent on a wooden deck to views of the rock spires that have made Kodachrome Basin State Park so alluring. Campsite amenities include a queen-size memory foam mattress, side tables, a picnic table, a firepit and grill, a solar shower and a washroom. Dark skies make stargazing a delight.

Piute State Park Single Site C

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Courtesy of Piute State Park Single Site C / Tentrr

This furnished campsite in Piute State Park, on the main fork of the Sevier River, offers lots of comfortable amenities, including a memory foam mattress, a propane tent heater, a picnic table, a firepit with a grill and a solar shower. There’s also an additional pop-up tent to give your fellow campers some space. You can enjoy fishing, waterskiing and other sports at the reservoir.

Willard Bay State Park

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Box Elder County, Utah tourism photos
© Marc Piscotty / Visit Utah

Willard Bay is a freshwater reservoir on the floodplains of the Great Salt Lake. The state park is popular with anglers and boaters, as well as swimmers and waterskiers who especially enjoy the warm waters of the reservoir. It’s possible to spot bald eagles during the winter months.

Willard Bay State Park Site B: Double Campsite

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This furnished campsite near the Willard Bay freshwater reservoir sits close to the park’s front entrance and is within walking distance of the campground restrooms. Nature paths lead to the beaches, and there’s a playground for kids. The boat dock is a short drive down the road. Also, there’s no electricity at this off-grid campsite, and you’ll need to bring firewood and bedding.

Red Fleet State Park

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Red Fleet State Park, Vernal, UT
© Dean Krakel / Visit Utah

Say “dinosaur tracks” to a budding paleontologist, and they’ll tell you about the 200m-year-old dinosaur prints preserved in the Navajo sandstone at Red Fleet State Park. If ancient tridactyl and bipedal dinosaurs don’t tickle your fancy, there’s boating and fishing in the Red Fleet Reservoir, or you can hike through the desert landscape.

Red Fleet State Park: Waterfront Campsite

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This waterfront campsite in Red Fleet State Park is perfectly situated if you’re keen to explore the nearby Dinosaur National Monument, Utah Field House of Natural History State Park Museum or the Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area. The reservoir is excellent for campers who want to spend their days fishing, boating, stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking or canoeing. Depending on the time of your visit (and evening cloud conditions), you can join the Red Fleet rangers for a free naked-eye astronomy presentation.

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  • Fred Hayes State Park at Starvation: Single Site 2

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    Courtesy of Fred Hayes State Park at Starvation: Single Site 2 / Tentrr

    About two hours southeast of Salt Lake City, this campsite offers a sandy beach, a 3D archery course and numerous hiking trails. The reservoir, of course, is where you can go boating, waterskiing, swimming and fishing.

    Otter Creek State Park Double Campsite A

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    This furnished campsite, with amenities such as a memory foam mattress, a propane tent heater, a picnic table and a solar shower, in Otter Creek State Park offers a robust choice of activities. The campsite sits along the Pacific Migratory Bird Flyway, making it ideal for birdwatchers. You can also go ATVing, boating and fishing. There’s an additional pop-up tent if your camping group grows – all you need to do is remember to bring a mattress or a sleeping pad.

    Steinaker State Park: Campsite 2

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    Combine your love of the outdoors and paleontology at Steinaker State Park, which is known for its fossils and dawn-of-time relics, plus Dinosaurland is just 45 minutes away by car. Exploring close to the campsite? Take your pick of hanging at the beach, fishing, wakeboarding, waterskiing, canoeing, kayaking and paddleboarding. Remember to bring a tent and some gear.

    These recommendations were updated on June 24, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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