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Old 02-22-2018, 02:29 PM   #1
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Question boondocking spots in Utah? specific areas.

Hi all

We currently own (and love) our Escape 21', but are considering changing to a 2019 24’ Sprinter gas 170 EB 4x4 with custom built interior by an ‘upfitter’.

We are soon planning on renting a similar 24’ class B and doing a 6 day road trip from Los Angeles this early summer, to try 24’ van glamping out.

I have a very good idea of what Id like to do with the family, (i have been before) so the question isn’t what to see (I have a good amount planned for the 6 days - hitting my favorite spots)

but rather - what boondocking spots very near our desired overnight spots exist?

I’d welcome quiet, scenic spots that are pretty much guaranteed a spot for us. Free is a bonus. Dont mind paying if need be.

Want to not be cheek to jowl next to other sun blockers.

Dont want WallyWorld free. Want dirt road, away from folks camping.

Day 1 - leave Los Angeles, drive about 7 hours to Zion National Park area. Boondock in Zion National Park area.

Day 2 - AM: quick look at Zion National Park, then drive towards Moab area.
Boondock maybe 1/2 way to Moab.
Fishlake National Forest?
What is more scenic up to there - the 15 north, (about 20 minutes faster than the 89) or the 89 north?

Day 3 - explore Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park and area. Boondock nearby.

Day 4 - explore Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park and area. Boondock nearby.

Day 5 - leave Arches + Canyonlands, drive to Monument Valley area.
Boondock near Monument Valley.

Day 6 - early AM explore Monument Valley, and drive about 3/4 (about 7 hours) towards LA.
Boondock about 3 hours out of LA.
Maybe Mojave National Preserve near Baker? can one boondock near there? Is it pretty?

Day 7 arrive home to LA about lunch time. :-)

thanks for any and all boondock location tips!!



John
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Old 02-22-2018, 04:26 PM   #2
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Gooseneck state park is free, just east of monument valley. Even better is valley of the gods, across the street sort of.

Horsethief BLM near Moab worked, but it was a campground. If you look off to the right as you drive to it you see more Boone docking a little ways off 313. Depending on your route, goblin valley SP looks like an excellent stop between zion and moab, it was full when we tried.

There are a lot of FS campgrounds along 12, also occasional boondocking you can see from the road.
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Old 02-23-2018, 01:06 PM   #3
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Gooseneck state park is free, just east of monument valley. Even better is valley of the gods, across the street sort of.

Horsethief BLM near Moab worked, but it was a campground. If you look off to the right as you drive to it you see more Boone docking a little ways off 313. Depending on your route, goblin valley SP looks like an excellent stop between zion and moab, it was full when we tried.

There are a lot of FS campgrounds along 12, also occasional boondocking you can see from the road.
super helpful - thanks Bob!

and....

Valley Of The Gods looks 100% perfect and stunning.
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Old 02-23-2018, 05:06 PM   #4
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super helpful - thanks Bob!

and....

Valley Of The Gods looks 100% perfect and stunning.
It is, there are washes here and there but 4x4 should do the job, I did fine without it, but then I didn't tow the camper in, left it at Gooseneck.

The best spots go fairly early at Gooseneck.
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Old 02-23-2018, 05:56 PM   #5
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After typing in my post, the forum session promptly locked up as I was looking at the Preview, so I'm attaching a screen grab cuz I don't particularly want to type everything in again. Click to enlarge.
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File Type: jpg camping.jpg (170.3 KB, 37 views)
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Old 02-23-2018, 07:56 PM   #6
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Day 2 - AM: quick look at Zion National Park, then drive towards Moab area.
Boondock maybe 1/2 way to Moab.
Fishlake National Forest?
What is more scenic up to there - the 15 north, (about 20 minutes faster than the 89) or the 89 north?
Given the choice and the time, I would strongly recommend avoiding both 89 (5 hrs 2 mins Zion to Moab) and I-15 (5 hrs 16 mins). I think that 15 in particular is "just another freeway", and 89 really doesn't have too much to offer. Plus, 15 involves some backtracking.

https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Zion...5!2d38.5733155

If you take 9 east out of Zion, and go up 89 to 12, you'll be in for an absolute treat. Highway 12 over Boulder Mountain to Torrey is about as good as it gets roadtrip-wise, and not significantly longer (6 hrs 8 mins to Moab). Then through Capitol Reef NP to Hanksville on 24, past Goblin Valley SP (good BLM'docking along the road from Goblin Valley to Little Wildhorse and Bell Canyons hiking and then on toward Temple Mountain), then up to 70 east and a speed run into Moab via 191 south. Can't recommend this highly enough.

https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Zion...38.5733155!3e0

Or even better: from Hanksville head south on 95, by Hite Marina and the Dirty Devil River, Cedar Mesa, and on to Moab (8 hrs 12 mins).

https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Zion...38.5733155!3e0

I hope that the Google Maps links work ok, and that it's ok to include such links...
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Old 02-23-2018, 10:08 PM   #7
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^^^Second what Great Egg suggests, all on the money.

Also second the camping suggestions along the road to Island in the Sky. But if you haven’t been to Moab in a few years, be warned- visitation has been off the charts (especially at Arches), and camping options are a lot more restricted and crowded than even three or four years ago. You’ll have better luck if it’s mid-week for that portion of the trip.
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Old 02-23-2018, 10:26 PM   #8
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For camping near the Needles district: there is at least one BLM campground off of the Needles Overlook Road, and also lots of dispersed spots closer to Needles on the road to Hamburger Rock/Indian Creek.
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Old 02-24-2018, 02:33 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Great Eggstrications View Post
Given the choice and the time, I would strongly recommend avoiding both 89 (5 hrs 2 mins Zion to Moab) and I-15 (5 hrs 16 mins). I think that 15 in particular is "just another freeway", and 89 really doesn't have too much to offer. Plus, 15 involves some backtracking.

https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Zion...5!2d38.5733155

If you take 9 east out of Zion, and go up 89 to 12, you'll be in for an absolute treat. Highway 12 over Boulder Mountain to Torrey is about as good as it gets roadtrip-wise, and not significantly longer (6 hrs 8 mins to Moab). Then through Capitol Reef NP to Hanksville on 24, past Goblin Valley SP (good BLM'docking along the road from Goblin Valley to Little Wildhorse and Bell Canyons hiking and then on toward Temple Mountain), then up to 70 east and a speed run into Moab via 191 south. Can't recommend this highly enough.

https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Zion...38.5733155!3e0

Or even better: from Hanksville head south on 95, by Hite Marina and the Dirty Devil River, Cedar Mesa, and on to Moab (8 hrs 12 mins).

https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Zion...38.5733155!3e0

I hope that the Google Maps links work ok, and that it's ok to include such links...
thanks so much for all the very very cool info.



For when we are exploring the Arches / Canyonland area - how would this free BLM dispersed camping be, as a base? to spend 2 nights. While exploring by van days.

Klondike Bluffs Road -free BLM dispersed camping

supposedly not too busy.

nice.

23 min drive to Moab.

https://www.campendium.com/klondike-bluff-road

GPS:*38.7536, -109.7296

supposedly: "....The road its self is pretty rocky in spots, but accessible in any vehicle....

*.... It was a rocky ride for the first mile or so but the road became more graded as we drove to our site.

the first 1/10 to 1/4 mile of road from 191 were a bit rough, but otherwise, aside from a few rocks, easy to navigate with our 25' trailer...."

thanks,

John
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Old 02-24-2018, 12:10 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Losangeles View Post
thanks so much for all the very very cool info.

For when we are exploring the Arches / Canyonland area - how would this free BLM dispersed camping be, as a base? to spend 2 nights. While exploring by van days.

Klondike Bluffs Road -free BLM dispersed camping
I'm delighted to provide suggestions, and am pretending that it's me that's going. Just love that whole Southern Utah scenario.

I've never stayed at this particular camping area, but I suspect it's as good as any of the others up off of 191. The key is avoiding the noisy drunk ATV contingent.

It's a ways north, so that would obviously put you further from Moab, Arches, and 313 to Island-in-the-Sky, and cut into your hiking / biking / activity time.

P.S. Sorry about those links to Google Maps - it seems like from one time to the next they can show different routes and/or times, e.g. sometimes the first link shows the route going way up to Provo, sometimes not.
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