How are we going to kick off 2022? With another boondocking site closing, obviously.
This time it’s a state park replacing it. And, in our opinion, it seems like a money grab from the state.
Let’s get into it.
What Boondocking Site Will Close?
The popular boondocking site on the chopping block is Willow Springs Trail in Moab, Utah.
The exact location of this site is 38.6968, -109.6981.
It bears stating that this site isn’t closing due to land abuse (at least not directly). Instead, Utah passed a bill that will designate it a State Park. The current plan for the park is to create two established, paid campgrounds.
Here’s why it sounds like a money grab.
Moab is very protective of commercial development. Meaning it’s pretty challenging for new RV parks and campgrounds to be built.
As recently as October, the Moab Planning Commission denied a new RV campground construction.
However, the state quickly passes a bill to create a two-campground state park in the same area.
Sounds fishy, huh?
How Is Willow Springs Dispersed Camping Rated?
We use Campendium as the gold standard for boondocking site reviews. And, the users of Campendium give Willow Springs 4 out of 5 stars.
Everything from pop-up campers to motorhome buses have been able to access this dispersed campsite.
Corndog Caravan on Campendium recently reviewed the site. They said:
“Very happy with this location. Even though there are lots of people here, we are spread out enough. Great location for Arches, Canyonlands, and Dead Horse Point SP. Fire pits and large spaces. Vault toilets and port-a-potties throughout.“
The Dyrt reviewers also give the spot 4 out of 5 stars.
What State Park is Taking Over?
The newly minted state park is called Utahraptor State Park. It’s named after a famous Utah dinosaur.
Here’s the official word from Utahraptor State Park:
“In the 2021 legislative session the Utah State Legislature passed HB 257, which created Utahraptor State Park, located roughly 15 miles northwest of Moab in Grand County.
This new state park includes popular recreation spots such as the Dalton Wells and Willow Springs areas. Utah State Parks believes that — with proper planning and coordination with partners — we can better protect the area while maintaining its recreational value.“
And, here’s a bit from them about development:
“While it is still in the planning process, future park visitors to the area can expect two modern campgrounds, restrooms, office and entrance station, and trailheads for access to the nearby OHV and mountain bike trail systems.“
Money Grab or Legit Conservation?
What do you think? Is the state trying to preserve the area or cashing in on public land?
Let us know in the comments.
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