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BLM Campgrounds Near Moab

Moab is known as the off-roading Mecca, drawing in hundreds of avid off-roaders annually. We not only have some of the best off-roading trails in the world, but also some of the best campsites. In fact, whenever customers come to our auto shop asking for recommendations on the best campsites around, we often joke that the real challenge is picking just one out of the many spectacular ones available.

You can choose to camp under the shadow of a sandstone arch or strike camp next to the Colorado River. Alternatively, you can select one of the many RV sites tucked into the red rocks with splendid views and easy access to Arches or Canyonlands National Parks. If the parks are full, you can turn to one of the several BLM campgrounds available.

BLM Campgrounds – The Basics

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) manages 26 campgrounds on the public lands surrounding Moab. These are open for camping all year round and get pretty busy during mid-March to May and from September to October.

Both group and individual campsites are available. Individual campsites are available on a first-come-first-served basis and no reservations are accepted so plan to arrive early to get a spot, especially in summer. If you have a large group, you can make reservations for the group campsites.

Here’s what you should know before choosing a BLM campsite:

  • Individual campsites cost $20 per night and you can only pay this at the campgrounds using cash or check.

  • Gathering of firewood isn’t allowed at the campgrounds so bring your own wood. You can buy some at the convenience stores in Moab.

  • Amenities are sparse at the campsites with most having only picnic tables, fire rings, and vault toilets.

  • Individual campsites are limited to 2 vehicles and 10 people.

  • Camping at any of the sites is limited to 14 days within a 30-day period so plan accordingly.

  • Drinking water is not available at the campgrounds so you’re advised to carry your own.

Popular BLM Campgrounds Near Moab

Given that there are so many BLM campgrounds in Moab, we’ve decided to highlight the most popular ones with plenty of camping sites.

  • Goose Island Campground

If you’re looking to stay in close proximity to Arches National Park and Moab, Goose Island Campground is ideal for you. It offers spectacular views of the Colorado River and the magnificent red rock cliffs of Arches National Park. Thanks to its location and the incredible scenery, it’s one of the most popular campgrounds near Moab and it fills up pretty fast in the morning hours.

Goose Island has 20 individual campsites and 2 group sites providing camping for RVs, trailers and tents. Picnic tables and vault toilets are available on site.

  • Sand Flats Recreational Area

The Sand Flats Recreational Area is a premier destination for off-roaders looking to play in the sand. The campground in this area has breathtaking vistas of the surrounding canyons, mesas and sandstone domes with the majestic La Sal Mountains forming a stunning backdrop. In addition to the 34 individual campsites, there are 2 group sites each accommodating up to 16 people.

  • Big Bend Campground

Situated on Highway 128, 7.8 miles off the Scenic Byway 191, this is a delightful campground. With small beaches and easy access to the Colorado River, it’s easy to see why Big Bend is popular. Year-round camping is available at the 23 individual campsites and 3 group sites equipped with picnic tables, pit toilets and fire rings. Campers are warned not to enter the river without appropriate life jackets because of the tricky undercurrents.

  • Horsethief Campground

With 83 individual campsites, this is one of the largest and most popular campgrounds near Moab, on highway 313. It also has 5 group campsites available for reservation. The campsites are conveniently located under the shade of a juniper forest and perched on mesas above Moab, offering campers fantastic views of the surrounding area. Horsethief Campground is situated close to Dead Horse Point State Park as well as Canyonlands National Park and the area has several off-roading and mountain biking routes.

  • William’s Bottom Campground

This campground is situated on highway 279 between the Poison Spider trailhead and the Wall Street Climbing area. It has 17 individual campsites for small trailers and tents in a shady area with awesome views of the Colorado River. The individual sites are limited to 10 people and two vehicles per site. Each site has a fire ring, a picnic table, and a vault toilet. However, there are no hook-ups for RVs.

  • Lower Onion Creek Campground

Located on Highway 128, just 21.5 miles from Highway 191, this campground offers ready access to popular dirt roads, hiking and rock climbing opportunities. The 21 individual campsites are all located along the banks of the scenic Colorado River, offering campers wide vistas of Castle Valley and Fisher Towers. There are also 3 group sites available and reservation for these can be made in advance, in case you’re traveling in a large group. This campground has a boat ramp so you can go rafting on the river. If you choose to do so, ensure that you wear a life jacket.

  • King’s Bottom Campground

This campground is situated 2.8 miles from Highway 191 on Kane Creek Road. It’s quite popular thanks to its proximity to Moab and a variety of off-roading trails. The 11 walk-in-only campsites are located on the banks of the Colorado River and are securely nestled between massive canyon walls which provide shade in the heat of summer. The sites only accommodate tents and small RVs and come with the standard fire rings, picnic tables and vault toilets.

These are just some of the 26 BLM campgrounds available near Moab. Thanks to the different locations, you are sure to find one that suits your needs whether you want to be close to the parks or you’d like to make camp near the river. Whichever location you choose, we hope you have a memorable camping trip.

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