Camping in Utah National Parks
Utah is an outdoor adventurer’s paradise, with its vast array of national parks and monuments offering a wealth of camping opportunities. Here’s all the information you need to know about camping in Utah National Parks.
This Utah National Parks guide details the campground facilities available and reservation information for camping in all five parks.
In case you can’t get a spot in the parks, we’ll list campgrounds and RV parks near the parks as alternative options.
From the red rock canyons of Zion National Park to the towering peaks of Arches National Park, camping in Utah’s national parks is an unforgettable experience.
Whether you’re looking for a secluded spot in nature or a bustling campground with plenty of amenities, there is something for everyone when it comes to camping in Utah’s national parks.
Use our packing list for Utah National Parks to make sure you have the right clothing and gear for visiting any time of year! Grab your free printable packing checklist by clicking the image below!
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A Photo Tour of Utah National Parks
Take a visual tour through all five Utah National Parks to see the stunning landscapes you’ll see when you visit!
Best Time to Camp at Utah National Parks
The best time to camp in Utah National Parks depends on your preferences and the type of experience you’re looking for.
It’s important to know the best times to visit Utah National Parks so you can maximize your camping experience. Here are some tips on when to plan your trip so you can make the most out of your camping adventure in Utah’s national parks!
Utah National Parks in the Spring – Spring weather in Southern Utah is perfect for exploring the National Parks. While visiting you will see warmer days, but with nighttime temperatures still getting fairly cool. You might see an occasional rainstorm, but nothing that will prevent you from enjoying outdoor activities.
Utah National Parks in the Summer – Summer weather is HOT in Central/Southern Utah where the national parks are located. Bryce Canyon is a bit cooler due to its elevation. Summer monsoon season means heavy rain and lightning. We recommend you talk to the rangers before hitting any trail to get the most updated conditions so you’re prepared.
Utah National Parks in the Fall – Fall weather in Southern Utah is perfect for exploring the National Parks. While visiting you will see days starting to cool down from the intense summer heat. Expect warm days, but nighttime temperatures will start to cool down as the months progress. During September and October the roads, hiking trails and parking lots typically fill to capacity. Typically by November, things start to wind down and crowds begin to thin.
Utah National Parks in the Winter – During the winter you need to be prepared for rain and snow. You will definitely want to pack winter clothing and dress in layers. We recommend you have waterproof hiking shoes, winter coat, fleece jacket, winter hat and gloves when visiting Utah National Parks in the winter.
The park roads might be closed after a snowfall for several hours for plowing. For road conditions around the parks, check the Utah Road Weather Forecast or call 1-866-511-UTAH (8824). Park roads, parking lots, and pullouts can still be icy, especially in shaded areas. Check at the visitor center for the latest information on road conditions.
Camping at Utah National Parks
Here’s the list of the camping options for all five Utah National Parks. There are campgrounds available at all five parks, as well as RV Parks and BLM campgrounds near each park.
Camping at Arches National Park
The small Devil’s Garden Campground is the only place for Arches National Park Camping inside the park.
Arches camping reservations are required from March 1 to October 31. For Arches National Park winter camping between November 1 and February 28, all camping sites at Arches are first-come, first served.
Here’s a list of RV parks near Arches National Park if you’re looking for a campground with more amenities than Devil’s Garden Campground in the park.
You’ll find camping spots at BLM Campgrounds near Arches. Most individual campsites are first-come, first-served (no reservations available). Be prepared to pay at the campground with exact cash or check.
Some campgrounds are closed seasonally from the end of November to mid-February so be sure to check updated information!
Check out these fun ideas for glamping near Arches National Park in deluxe tents, cabins, tipis, or Airstreams!
Camping at Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park has two campgrounds that are near the Visitor Center and the main Bryce Amphitheater.
Due to the high elevation (8,900 feet above sea level), it’s important to be prepared for all types of weather conditions when Bryce Canyon National Park camping.
If you plan to do Bryce Canyon winter camping, temperatures can fall below freezing, so pack warm clothing, especially if you’re tent camping. Rain and storms can pop up quickly here as well, so packing waterproof camping gear is a good idea as well.
There are quite a few locations for boondocking near Bryce Canyon to save money on camping fees and for those who want a little more space.
The demands for RV campsites within and near the park are high during spring, summer and fall. Here’s a list of RV parks near Bryce Canyon National Park in case you can’t grab a spot in the park.
If you’re looking for a unique outdoor experience, there are spots for glamping Near Bryce Canyon National Park in cabins, luxury tents, and yurts!
Camping at Canyonlands National Park
The two most-visited regions of Canyonlands are Island in the Sky and Needles. Both are remote areas with very few guest services. You will find no food, lodging, or gas services available within the park.
You must be prepared and pack everything that you think you’ll need for Canyonlands National Park camping!
For anyone wanting to do Canyonlands winter camping, services are limited or closed this time of year. After a snow storm, paved roads may close temporarily so crews can plow. Unpaved backcountry roads may be impassible for longer periods of time so check road conditions before you head out!
Island in the Sky Camping
There is only one small developed Island in the Sky campground in addition to a few backpacking camping areas. The Willow Flat Campground only has 12 sites. It’s fully operational all-year-round.
During the spring and fall, Canyonlands overnight backpacking permits are in high demand! If you plan to backpack and camp at these two Island in the Sky campsites, you may have to reserve your permit up to four months in advance.
- Murphy Point Overlook Campsite
- Syncline Campsite
The 3 BLM Campgrounds in the Moab area near Canyonlands Island in the Sky:
- Lone Mesa Group Sites (seasonal closures)
- Horsetheif Campground (seasonal closures)
- Cowboy Campground
Needles Canyonlands Camping
The options for Needles Canyonlands camping is one developed campground and a variety of backcountry campsites. You’ll find 26 individual camping sites at The Needles Campground: 14 campsites in Loop A are always on a “first come, first served” basis and 12 campsites in Loop B can be reserved in the spring and fall.. and they fill quickly!
Needles Canyonlands backcountry permits are required for all overnight stays and must be reserved online at least two days before start of trip for these 5 sites:
- Devil’s Kitchen
- New Bates Wilson
- Bobby Jo
- Horse Hoof
Since there are only small campgrounds at Island in the Sky and Needles, here’s a list of RV Parks near Canyonlands National Park. You’ll find RV sites in north Moab close to Arches and Island in the Sky or south Moab between Island in the Sky and Needles.
There are plenty of options for glamping near Canyonlands National Park in luxury tents, cabins, Airstreams, and yurts!
Camping at Capitol Reef National Park
The Fruita Campground is open year-round, and is the only developed tent and RV campground for Capitol Reef National Park camping. Restrooms have running water and flush toilets, but no showers. There are no electrical hookups, but there is an RV dump and potable water fill station.
Anyone interested Capitol Reef winter camping from November 1 – February 28, all campsites are first come, first served.
There are three Capitol Reef primitive campsites open year-round, but bad weather will make the roads to access these site inaccessible. Check road conditions with the Capitol Reef Visitor Center (or call the information line) prior to planning an overnight stay.
If you can’t get a camping spot in the park, there are RV parks near Capitol Reef National Park located in the small towns to the west and east of the park. There are only two open in the winter. They will offer more amenities than the Fruita Campground in the park.
Enjoy an elevated camping experience by glamping near Capitol Reef National Park! You’ll find tipis, Conestoga wagons, luxury tents, and rustic cabins!
Camping at Zion National Park
There are three campgrounds for tent and RV camping in Zion National Park: the Watchman Campground, the South Campground, and the Lava Point Campground.
For winter camping at Zion, the Watchman is the only campground open year-round, but has reduced availability in the winter.
From March through mid-November, the park-wide camping limit is 14 nights. An additional 30 nights is permitted the rest of the year. These limits apply to all park campgrounds.
If you can’t get a camping spot in the park, there are RV parks near Zion National Park located in the small towns to the west and east of the park.
The options for glamping near Zion National Park include: canvas tents, yurts, tipis, and covered wagons!
Plan a Utah National Parks Vacation
- Utah National Park Road Trip Itinerary
- Best Time to Visit Utah National Parks
- Arches National Park Travel Guide
- Bryce Canyon Travel Guide
- Canyonlands National Park Guide
- Capitol Reef National Park Guide
- Zion National Park Travel Guide