One of the things I love most about road tripping through Utah is the abundance of free campsites! I passed through the Moab area on a beautiful spring weekend – the height of tourist season, every hotel, motel and campground said “No Vacancy” – and yet I had no trouble finding awesome, free places to camp each night. My grand total for lodging for 9 nights on the road: $0.
The absolute best campsite I had this past week – possibly one of the best I’ve ever had – was at the Canyon Rim Recreation Area, BLM lands overlooking Canyonlands National Park, south of Moab. The two official campgrounds were full, but I had the entire Needles Overlook area to myself! On my way out out to the overlook/ picnic area (which is signed no camping) I spotted a slew of unpaved roads snaking off through the trees, towards the drop. I left the pavement and followed one of these roads to where it dead ended next to a fire ring at the edge of the mesa.
Right after I parked, I heard thunder in the distance and soon the most incredible storm system I have ever witnessed swept down through Canyonlands in a dramatic procession of cumulonimbus thunderheads called a “squall line”. Up on the rim, I barely got wet! Utah, this is Love.
For more on free camping check out my previous posts: Boondocking 101, How to Find a Sweet Free Campsite and Leave No Trace. Also check out my other raging storm post: Explosions in the Sky: Pawnee National Grasslands. These are some of my favorite pictures I’ve ever taken and thus it bears repeating: please don’t steal my photos! If you’d like a print, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you! M