The Best Free Camping Near Canyonlands National Park

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The Best Free Camping Near Canyonlands National Park

Utah’s Canyonlands National Park is truly a sight to behold. You’ll feel like you’re entering another planet as you approach this unique landscape.

If you plan to head to Canyonlands in your RV, you’re going to want to keep reading. We’ll tell you the best places to boondock while you’re there. 

Let’s dig in!

What to Know About Free Camping

Free camping is an outstanding way to save money on your adventures. You can camp for free in most public areas such as BLM (Bureau of Land Management) lands or state and national forests. 

There’s a catch, though.

When you RV camp at these locations, you won’t have hookups or amenities. This isn’t a problem as long as you come prepared. Make sure you have plenty of water, a way to power your rig, and a plan to manage wastewater and trash. Then, enjoy some good old free camping. 

Pro Tip: We always travel with a Cell Phone Booster when camping off grid. It helps us stay connected in case of emergencies.

Things to See in Canyonlands National Park

Canyonlands National Park is known for its unique desert landscape. There are a few activities you won’t want to miss when planning your trip. 

Be sure to stop at the towering red spires called the Needles. Additionally, you may want to explore the Maze, a twisting labyrinth of canyons. The park also has many flat-topped mesas, ancient Native American art, and even some stone arches. 

You can drive to many of the top destinations and hop out for a short hike. We recommend doing so in your tow vehicle rather than your RV. There are 7 easy and 14 strenuous hikes in Canyonlands.

And, it gets fewer visitors than nearby Arches National Park. This is wonderful because you can enjoy the sights without the crowds. 

Experience Canyonlands National Park's beauty by boondocking!
Experience Canyonlands National Park’s beauty by boondocking!

The Best Free Campsites Near Canyonlands National Park

Now for where to stay for free during your Canyonlands National Park vacation. There are three excellent choices for RVers that we’ll cover next. 

#1 – Lockhart Road Dispersed Camping

GPS: 38.1825, -109.668

About the Campsite: Lockhart Road is a great place to camp for free, even with a large rig. The largest rig reported was 40 feet. Be warned, though, this is a popular location and fills up quickly. And, if you don’t find a spot, you might have trouble turning around. 

If you do find a spot, you’ll love it! Rock hoodoos surround the campsites. The road stretches for several miles with dispersed camping sites all along. If you’re in a big rig, scouting ahead would be wise. 

Some users have reported a vault toilet nearby. But with so many sites, you might have to walk a bit to reach it. Other than that, there are no amenities. Despite the lack of amenities, this receives 5 stars on Campendium for cleanliness, noise, site quality, location, and access. 

Reported Cell Service: Basically, there’s no cell service out here. Some lucky Verizon users might occasionally get a single bar. 

Canyonlands National Park Boondocking Vibes: 9/10. The fact that you’re camping among the rock hoodoos will make you feel like you’re right inside Canyonlands National Park. The only real downside is the lack of cell coverage. 

There are some fabulous places for free camping near Canyonlands National Park.
There are some fabulous places for free camping near Canyonlands National Park.

#2 – West Short Cut Road Dispersed Camping

GPS: 38.2301, -109.5284

About the Campsite: If you have a smaller rig and want to beat the crowds, West Short Cut Road is a fantastic place to stay. The longest reported rig was 22 feet. You’ll be camping on a sandstone rock outcrop with views of the La Salle Mountains! 

There aren’t any amenities, but there are fantastic views! 

Reported Cell Service: Reviewers report three bars for Verizon, but there’s no other noted cell coverage.

Canyonlands National Park Boondocking Vibes: 7.8/10. It offers some amazing views but isn’t quite as unique as the Lockhart Road camping. Bonus points for less crowding, though! 

Canyonlands National Park is definitely worth stopping on your next RV camping trip! 
Canyonlands National Park is definitely worth stopping on your next RV camping trip! 

#3 – Lone Mesa Campground 

GPS: 38.6442, -109.8196

About the Campsite: Lone Mesa campground offers lots of dispersed camping for rigs up to 41 feet, according to a Campendium review. There aren’t any amenities nearby. Just you and the desert. But, the sight has a beautiful view of a lone mesa (hence the name). 

Other than that, a mostly barren landscape will surround you. However, it’s a spectacular place for stargazing. Lone Mesa Campground is fairly accessible for a quick stop. As a result, it tends to be crowded and fill up quickly. 

Reported Cell Service: Cell service is better here than the other options near Canyonlands. Reported coverage includes Verizon (3 bars), AT&T (4 bars), and T-Mobile (2 bars). 

Canyonlands National Park Boondocking Vibes: 7/10. It’s more crowded, so you don’t get to enjoy the peace that boondocking sometimes offers. Though for a free stay near several National Parks, you can’t really complain. Moreover, it has better cell service than any of the other options nearby. 

Tips for Free Camping at Canyonlands

Canyonlands and nearby Moab and Arches National Park are all popular tourist destinations. That means RV sites fill up quickly. There are no reservations for free camping. So we recommend thinking ahead if you want to get a spot. Either camp during the week, the off-season, or plan to arrive early to get a spot. 

Local guide: Here how to spend a day in the Arches National Park.

Because it is so hot with limited shade, be prepared to use a lot of power. Solar panels would be excellent for camping here. And bring lots of water! You’ll drink it fast in the desert heat!

Plenty of Free Camping Near Canyonlands National Park

There are some fabulous places for free camping near Canyonlands National Park. These sites let you get out and enjoy the great outdoors. You’ll love the peaceful stay and miles of majestic views. It’s definitely worth stopping on your next RV trip! 

Discover the Best Free Camping Across the USA

To be honest with you, we hate paying for camping. There are so many free campsites in America (with complete privacy).

You should give it a try!

As a matter of fact, these free campsites are yours. Every time you pay federal taxes, you’re contributing to these lands.

Become a FREE CAMPING INSIDER and join the 100,000 campers that love to score the best site! 

We’ll send you the 50 Best Free Campsites in the USA (one per state). Access the list by submitting your email below:

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