Skip to Content

Another Popular Boondocking Site Transitions to Paid Camping

Another Popular Boondocking Site Transitions to Paid Camping

With record-high RV sales, it is no surprise that campgrounds are filling up. This is leading many campers to give boondocking a try. Boondocking is a great way to camp, but some campers are ruining it for others. 

Today we’re looking at yet another boondocking site that’s no longer.

Why Is Kolob Reservoir Cutting Off Free Camping?

Kolob Reservoir has been a popular free camping location for many campers. The location is minutes from Zion National Park and is the perfect spot to enjoy free camping while exploring Zion.

Campendium has three Kolob Reservoir sites listed in their database with 10 reviews cumulatively. The campers have rated it 4 out of 5 stars.

Free Campsites Net also has three Kolob Reservoir sites listed with an average of 4 stars rating.

If it’s so popular, why are they phasing out free camping?

Resident And Property Owner Concerns

Local property owners have begun dealing with trespassers wandering onto their property. Even worse, when one property owner confronted a group of campers, a weapon was pulled on the property owner. This did not go over well and law enforcement got involved. Landowners are fed up with having their private property being abused by trespassers and fearing for their safety.

In addition to aggressive campers staking their claim on private property, owners have dealt with excessive trash being left on their land. Picking up trash is a frustrating experience, but in some cases, there has been human waste left behind. This is not okay and should not be overlooked. 

Water District Concerns

Increased boondocking on the reservoir means more boat traffic. With the increase in boats going into the reservoir there is the potential of infestation of invasive quagga mussels. These infestations happen from improper boat cleaning. Due to the lack of regulation in the area, it is currently impossible to monitor the condition of boats entering the reservoir.

How Is Kolob Reservoir Moving Forward?

So what are they doing to protect the Kolob Reservoir moving forward? Thankfully they have a few plans in the works to ensure the area stays usable both now and in the future. Will it be a good compromise between campers and residents? Check out the proposed changes to see. 

Reservation Camping

There are plans to turn the area into a reservation-based system for camping.

This helps keep campers accountable while utilizing the area. There will be designated camping areas helping ensure campers are kept away from private property. A reservation system will also keep the number of campers in the area at a reasonable level. 

Officials state that there will be a nominal fee to camp in the area. All fees collected will go towards the upkeep and maintaining the camping infrastructure. At this time they hope to have 40-45 campsites available for reservation. 

Camp Hosts

The plan is also to utilize volunteers to serve as camp hosts to supervise the campground. Camp hosts will patrol the area keeping an eye out for destructive or dangerous activity. They will not have legal authority but will be in close contact with local law enforcement as needed. 


Clear signage will begin popping up to indicate the expectations of visitors and campers. It will be clear to campers that the area utilizes a reservation system and where to go to acquire a spot. Signage will be visible throughout the area in high-traffic locations. 

Property owners are encouraged to install appropriate signage as needed to indicate private property lines. The hope is that appropriate signage will reduce the incidents of trespassing in the area. 

Keep in Mind: This Utah boondocking site completely closed this year.

Why Do People Like To Camp At Kolob Reservoir?

Campers flock to Kolob Reservoir for good reason. Not only is it in a prime location for easy access to Zion National Park, but the area is remarkable. The reservoir provides great recreational activities such as swimming and boating. While the water levels can be low at times, it is a great place to cool off in the heat of the summer.

The views here are nothing short of incredible. The area is quite large, which provides a feeling of seclusion. Campers report it as being relatively quiet, especially at night. The hiking in this area is unforgettable as well. For those looking to be off the beaten path a bit but enjoy the magic of Utah, this place is it.

Regulating this area will hopefully preserve the reservoir so that campers can continue to enjoy it.

The Future of Booondocking

While it may feel like a loss to have this area move to a fee-based reservation area, it looks like it will be good in the long run. It is much better to have someone step in and improve the experience for the local community than to simply state it is now off-limits. Have you boondocked here?

How do you feel about these upcoming changes?

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 who 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:

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. John Galt says:

    There should be a SUBSTANTIAL fee assessed if trash is left behind. Much like a smoking fee at hotels and car rentals.

  2. Bob says:

    Sounds like a good plan to me. I would rather pay the usually small fee of a BLM campground then have the area just closed to camping like has been done in too many places already!
    In most places it’s already a law that you can’t accuse someone of trespassing if you haven’t placed legal no trespassing signs. I got into this before just when walking down a road. Guy comes barreling down the road in his car, rolls down the window and starts yelling at me to get off his property. When I told him to post it legally so people would know it was private he got even more angry and said he’s calling the police. I told him to go right ahead as I know I can’t be arrested for not knowing it’s private when not signed. He said everyone here knows it’s his property. I asked if he every heard of visitors, or if he thought his town should be off limits to visitors.
    So maybe the guy who pulled a gun had an ahole like this and felt threatened, although anyone who carries (me) should know better than to pull your gun unless actually attacked