Summer is flying by but there is still time to get out all the outdoor gear for picnics, days at the lake, and camping! Eric and I try to go to new exciting places all the time and now that the good weather is here we especially like to go camping. He is into more boondock camping (in other words with no amenities, out in the dirt somewhere). Occasionally I like these ones because of the beautiful spots you can find, but as you can imagine, these can be difficult sometimes because there is a lot to prepare for since there won’t be water, pavement, or even bathrooms. We have talked many times about how boondocking would be a lot easier with a trailer that had water and bathrooms because unfortunately Dorothy (our vintage camper) does not. Being out by yourselves in the great outdoors can make that whole experience worth it though.
In this post I want to talk more about the places around us here in Utah that are good to just drive up to and camp, my preferred style of camping. These places usually cost but the fees are usually only $10-$20 a night. If you think about it, that’s way less than a hotel and you get to be in some of the most beautiful places on earth.
1. Blackhawk Campground
This campground is located up Payson Canyon. The drive to the campground is beautiful and there are many kid-friendly places to stop by either way up to these sites. If you come from the north side of the loop there is a small waterfall called The Grotto that is just a short hike up to. If you come from the south side of the loop there is a place called The Devil’s Kitchen. This is an overlook of a Bryce Canyon like area that is basically a large red rock formation. The actual campground has many different loops to choose from including some loops that have group sites which are great camping with extended family. The best time to come to this campground is between June-September. For more information on the different sites and reservations visit the recreation.gov website.
2. Mount Timpanogos Campground
Timpanogos campground is a family favorite. It’s so close to us so it makes for an awesome getaway while still being 20 minutes away from home and only about 10 minutes from my parents. Even with being so close to home, it’s like being out in the deep woods because of the large pine trees and the majestic Timp in the background. There is lots to do around this campground and honestly needs at least a couple of days to do it all. There is a fun hike to a little waterfall called Stewart Falls. The hike may be a little hard for little ones because there are parts that are slightly steep but definitely doable with kid carriers; it’s worth the hike! Also there are the Cascade Springs. This is an easy walk through a large area that is basically one large spring. Almost the whole walk is paved which makes it a fun thing to do with the little ones. Not only are there these fun hikes but Sundance, Mount Timpanogos Trailhead, and the Alpine Loop are great places to go all right around this amazing campground!
3. Smith and Morehouse
We love the Uintas so this won’t be the only campground in the Uintas that you will see in this post. As many of the destinations in the Uintas, Smith and Morehouse is right next to a lake (reservoir actually). This is one of the best place to just have a day at the water, go fishing, or just simply relax at the water’s edge. This campground has over 30 campsites to choose from however, these get reserved very quickly because it is a popular destination so make your reservations well in advance.
4. Ken’s Lake
If you are headed down to Moab for the weekend Ken’s Lake is the place to go! It’s a little ways out of town but we liked it the time we went for when Moab gets pretty busy. At the campground there are plenty of sites that are situated right next to red rock cliffs and a waterfall that runs right down the middle of the cliffs. If you are planning to go to this location and you know it might be busy on the weekend in Moab, then you may want to try to get there Wednesday or Thursday before the weekend because everywhere can fill up quickly. Most of the time though, you should be pretty good as far as availability goes. There are no reservations at this campground.
5. Trial Lake
Trial Lake is our last campground in this post and also another location in the High Uinta mountains. With so many great campgrounds out there, it’s hard to say best for last but it is one of our all-time favorites. Any of the campgrounds in this area are Eric’s favorite because he can go out backpacking when we go with our families and I can just stay at the camper and relax while the boys are off on their adventure. Trial Lake is really great for just setting up camp and sitting under the shade that the many trees provide! One thing to keep in mind about the High Uintas is that the rain can come without notice but usually won’t stick around for long. Tents are definitely doable up here but because of the unpredictable weather a trailer would be more ideal. As with many other campgrounds in the Uintas, reservations must be made well in advance to get the perfect spot you are looking for!
Whether you decide to go to one of these places or make your own adventure, make it an awesome getaway that your family will remember for years to come and be safe out there! Do you have any favorite Utah camping places that didn’t make our list? I would love to hear them!