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Old 10-31-2018, 02:26 PM   #1
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Free camping, Arches NP, Canyonlands

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Old 10-31-2018, 03:50 PM   #2
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Awesome! Thanks for sharing yet another wonderful experience.
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Old 10-31-2018, 05:45 PM   #3
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started planning a canyonlands/arches trip, was kind of scared reading about the 3000+ daily visitors at Arches and hour long lines at the entrance station, all season from march to october....
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Old 10-31-2018, 07:45 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by John in Santa Cruz View Post
started planning a canyonlands/arches trip, was kind of scared reading about the 3000+ daily visitors at Arches and hour long lines at the entrance station, all season from march to october....

We were there in April this year, cycled in from Moab at sunrise and practically had the place to ourselves until around 11am, cycled back to town for brunch then relaxed for the afternoon then drove back for sunset. More people around for sunset but still no crowds or problems finding parking at any of the parking lots around the park at that time.



Could easily do the same driving in as the crowds didn't appear til mid morning but it's a great ride if you are so inclined!
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Old 05-07-2019, 12:16 PM   #5
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Campgrounds near Arches Nation Park next October

We're going to the Albuquerque Balloon Festival 2nd week of October and starting to put together a trip stopping at Arches National Park for a few days.



Seem to be mostly private campgrounds around there; still looking for any open sites through online registration.



Anyone have suggestions for camping?


Boondocking would be fine.
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Old 05-07-2019, 12:34 PM   #6
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If you don't have reservations at the fiesta, one place that first come works even during the balloon fiesta is the Black Mesa Casino, San Felipe, NM. Everything else was booked solid by the time we decided to go (May, 2018) About 25 miles north on I 25. $20.00 per night for electric only. Showers should be available in the rest stop next door; the food is better there as well, at least compared to the casino.

While it is only 25 miles away, the traffic at 4:30AM was backed up over a mile on the interstate. We did manage to get two days of dry camping at the fiesta grounds during the middle of the week.

We went last October.
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Old 05-07-2019, 12:36 PM   #7
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We're doing a arches/canyonland trip next month, and are staying at dead horse point state park.
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Old 05-07-2019, 12:49 PM   #8
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We're doing a arches/canyonland trip next month, and are staying at dead horse point state park.
Dead Horse Point State Park is a wonderful campground - electric only & they request you bring your water - all theirs comes in by truck. While they do have a few first come sites, most are reservable, and booked well ahead of time.

Even if you don't stay at Dead Horse Point, spend a couple of hours at the point - great views.


HorseThief BLM campground on UT 313 a little before Dead Horse Point is first come, often has open sites, at least if you get there early.

There are lots of BLM campgrounds near Moab, but they fill quickly, and don't take reservations.

Dead Horse Point
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Old 05-07-2019, 01:19 PM   #9
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Dead Horse Point State Park is a wonderful campground - electric only & they request you bring your water - all theirs comes in by truck. While they do have a few first come sites, most are reservable, and booked well ahead of time.

Even if you don't stay at Dead Horse Point, spend a couple of hours at the point - great views.


HorseThief BLM campground on UT 313 a little before Dead Horse Point is first come, often has open sites, at least if you get there early.

There are lots of BLM campgrounds near Moab, but they fill quickly, and don't take reservations.

Dead Horse Point
Jon any suggestions on water and dump station in Moab?
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Old 05-07-2019, 02:13 PM   #10
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Hey Tractors1 we will also be at the ballon festival. Will. E staying at the KOA maybe see y’all there
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Old 05-07-2019, 02:26 PM   #11
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To supplement Jons great info. I typed this up in response to a similar thread some time back. This is current as of April of this year.
Enjoy
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The gold standard for detailed maps of the Western States is the Benchmark Road and Recreation Atlas. You will be glad you bought the Utah map book before your trip.

The Moab visitor center in downtown Moab is a treasure trove of information plus free high speed internet plus comfortable chairs.

Free dump and water fill at the Maverick Gas Station. 923 S. Main St. 30.558256 -109.543818

Almost just across the street on Main St. from the Maverick is a nice Mom and Pop farm-store, hardware store, RV supplies ,etc. $5 to dump and take on water. Propane . Nice people. Support the locals. 38.559941 -109.546773.

Some of the best public , as opposed to commercial, campgrounds. There are many more than these but this is a list of our favorites.

None of the BLM campgrounds take reservations. Generally only trash disposal and pit toilets.

BLM Goose Island. 38.610936 -109.558037
There are several other BLM campgrounds along UT-128 but this is the only one with cell phone and internet service plus it’s convenient to town. Fills early in the day so be there by about 8am and look for people packing up.
The other campgrounds along the Colorado River are also nice especially Upper Onion Creek.

BLM Kens Lake. On the south end of Moab at 38.477904 -109.422975
Large sites. Generally there is room as long as you get there early.

Dead Horse Point SP. 38.486609 -109.740352 Electric & dump station. No water. Best to have reservations.

Devils Garden in Arches NP. Reservations are basically a must unless really off season.

If you are big on mountain biking, you would like the Sand Flats Recreation Area. Ride the slick rock.

Trails worth riding. If you have a vehicle with perhaps 8” ground clearance and either 4WD or All WD you will really enjoy these easy off-road drives. Get the info at the visitor center.

Onion Creek. Our all time favorite easy off-road Trail. You will drive through the shallow creek perhaps 30 times. Through a deep canyon. Just beautiful.

Potash Road. Drive along a steep walled canyon. If you go to the Dead Horse SP overlook, you can look down and see the ant sized vehicles below. That can be you down there.

Disbursed/ boondocking. Two caveats. Because of the ever increasing number of visitors, and the irresponsible actions of the few, the BLM is imposing more and more restrictions on boondocking so what I say today, may not apply tomorrow. The condition of these dirt, rarely maintained BLM roads is subject to change depending on the most recent weather events. If wet and sloppy looking, stay off. You won’t reach your destination.

If you are so inclined, check this one out. Just amazing. You are on the top of a small bluff surrounded by beauty. Drop your trailer at the nearby info kiosk and take a look. If it looks OK to you, drag the Escape up the fairly narrow trail.

38.643814 -109.819371

Two more disbursed camping options. Both have good VZ and TV reception. Drop the trailer here , check out the road conditions then go exploring for a good spot. 30.679690 -109.692067

Willow Springs Road. (BLM-378) The closest to town disbursed area so it tends to fill first. . Willow Springs Road was the entry into Arches NP many years ago. If you have a 4WD vehicle with perhaps 8” clearance, you can drive all the way into Arches. No lines!! Plus take a short hike to see the dinosaur prints in the rock.

38.696735 -109.698420

Dalton Wells Road.

38.711260 -109.703201
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Old 05-07-2019, 03:17 PM   #12
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Ed it may have been from one of your posts but someone recommended the Benchmarks so I got both Utah and Arizona. I think they're great maps. I also got a dedicated notebook for my camping adventures and I am using your posts along with other's to make notes. Someone mentioned a steak house in Mexican Hat and I did not have my notebook at that time so I'm gonna be trying find the name of that place. Thanks for your input
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Old 05-07-2019, 04:31 PM   #13
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Arches National Park, one of my favorite places to be, here in Devil's Garden campground June 2018, over 100 every day and loving every minute.
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Old 05-07-2019, 04:51 PM   #14
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Jon any suggestions on water and dump station in Moab?
Things change, but the last time I was there I got water at the Farm & City Feed and RV Supply. They had a dump station. I've b been told that the Moab Texaco station also has water & a dump, but haven't used them.
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Old 05-07-2019, 04:55 PM   #15
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Things change, but the last time I was there I got water at the Farm & City Feed and RV Supply. They had a dump station. I've b been told that the Moab Texaco station also has water & a dump, but haven't used them.
Thanks jn
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Old 05-07-2019, 08:10 PM   #16
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We have reservations in Devil's Garden in Arches at the beginning of October - watched the reservation site carefully six months in advance, which is pretty much the only way to get a site there....can't wait! Private campgrounds in Moab have become very expensive.
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Old 05-07-2019, 08:21 PM   #17
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Private is expensive, but Dinosaur Tracks North of Moab is 14 days no fee (not "free", we pay plenty of taxes) and only about 15 minutes from the Moab visitor center.
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Old 05-07-2019, 09:51 PM   #18
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We just spent three nights disperse camping outside Canyon Lands NP Needles District. There are a number of excellent sites on Hamburger Rock Road not far from the park entrance.
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Old 05-07-2019, 10:44 PM   #19
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I plan to spend two night at the Lynden KOA for a systems check then head direct Moab. It looks to me I can do it in two days. I'll be driving 60-65. Is two days a good plan or should I plan on three? I'll be checking later for recommendation on where to stop enroute. Also, I'll be hitting the Moab area late June. Gonna be hot. Does that discourage some folks and might keep the crowd down? jn
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Old 05-07-2019, 11:01 PM   #20
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I plan to spend two night at the Lynden KOA for a systems check then head direct Moab. It looks to me I can do it in two days. I'll be driving 60-65. Is two days a good plan or should I plan on three? I'll be checking later for recommendation on where to stop enroute. Also, I'll be hitting the Moab area late June. Gonna be hot. Does that discourage some folks and might keep the crowd down? jn
Three more leisurely days beats two very LONG days in my book. Or 4!
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