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Telly
04-09-2013, 09:54 AM
My wife, kids and I are talking about slipping out to Moab May 10-13 for a hiking/site seeing get away. I've been to Moab at least 20 times over the years and I typically find a great spot along Sand Flats Road or off Hwy 128 by the River. I usually arrive in Moab Thursday evening and my luck has been terrible the last 5 years finding a first come/first serve spot. I even had to go to Plan C and camp at the KOA :(. Any suggestions of finding a good spot that is not in a commercial campground? I'm not looking to go too remote but that is not out of the question. I have a portable toilet so pit toilet is not necessary. Anyone have a "secret spot" that most people don't know about? Thanks. Doug

Inukshuk
04-09-2013, 10:41 AM
Where to start.....
There are some nice ones on Onion Creek road and great hiking around there.

Consult the Moab area BLM maps to see what areas are restricted.

Telly
04-09-2013, 11:03 AM
I just talked to a nice lady at Arches NP. She suggested a few areas that are new BLM camping spots and some areas that are less known. Fisher Towers at Lower Onion Creek, Cowboy Campsite and Horsethief in Canyonlands, and Wind Wistle Campground 30 miles south of Moab. I'm thinking the Canyonland sites may be worth look and she said the chances are very good that we can find a spot there.

Telly
04-09-2013, 11:44 AM
Any opinions or experience on the following BLM primitive camping site would be appeciated.

These are just past Dewey Bridge off Hwy 128
Lower Onion Creek - 4 sites available
Fisher Towers - 5 sites available

These are off Hwy 313 going towards Canyonlands.
Horsethief - 60 sites available
Cowboy - 6 sites available

Thanks.

baja1d
04-09-2013, 09:31 PM
Camped out by the airport a few times. Nothing special but didn't cost anything either.

MDH33
04-09-2013, 09:39 PM
I've had luck at Dead Horse Point SP when other places near Moab were full. It's always worth a drive through the Arches Campground for the possibility of a first come first serve spot opening up. And for non developed stuff, you dont have to go too far outside of Moab to find some great open country. :beer:

Telly
04-10-2013, 09:35 AM
I've had luck at Dead Horse Point SP when other places near Moab were full. It's always worth a drive through the Arches Campground for the possibility of a first come first serve spot opening up. And for non developed stuff, you dont have to go too far outside of Moab to find some great open country. :beer:

My initial plan was to leave in the middle of the night and arrive at Arches gate to grab a first come first serve site at Devils Gardens. I called Arches yesterday and was told they no longer offer the first come sites. Everything is reservation only, and all the sites were booked...of course.

I consider the Devils Garden the most scenic spot I have ever camped at...unbelievable views.

MDH33
04-10-2013, 10:10 AM
That's a bummer about arches campground. :(

Try Dead Horse Maybe? There were first come first serve there too.

Telly
04-10-2013, 11:00 AM
Yea...I'm thinking Dead Horse or Cowboy. They are very close to each other but Cowboy only has 6 sites (more private). The fam and I are looking forward to getting away and doing some hiking.

timmbuck2
04-10-2013, 12:03 PM
Ever tried Bride Canyon on Gemini Bridges Road? Had good luck there...pretty cool place to camp.

nakman
04-10-2013, 01:24 PM
There's always room at BFE... or across the highway towards Behind the Rocks, there are some cool sites along whatever that main road is called- the one that goes towards Pritchet Arch?

Telly
04-10-2013, 02:17 PM
Ever tried Bride Canyon on Gemini Bridges Road? Had good luck there...pretty cool place to camp.

I think I remember some camping spots along the road on my way to Rusty Nail and Metal Masher a few years ago. Do you recall about how many miles or how long it takes to get to the camp spots off the highway?

Jacket
04-10-2013, 06:01 PM
I can't believe no one has suggested Slick Rock. That place is paradise...;)

Caribou Sandstorm
04-10-2013, 06:25 PM
There's always room at BFE... or across the highway towards Behind the Rocks, there are some cool sites along whatever that main road is called- the one that goes towards Pritchet Arch?

That is a great spot Nakman, opposite the BFE entrance road. Basically, instead of turning left off of the highway to BFE you turn right, meander back a bit and wallah.. the road takes you to a beautiful open prairie lots of spots there, might be best up against the rocks for wind resistance. It is not BLM land but Utah state land, nonetheless free camping is allowed.

timmbuck2
04-11-2013, 09:42 AM
That is a great spot Nakman, opposite the BFE entrance road. Basically, instead of turning left off of the highway to BFE you turn right, meander back a bit and wallah.. the road takes you to a beautiful open prairie lots of spots there, might be best up against the rocks for wind resistance. It is not BLM land but Utah state land, nonetheless free camping is allowed.

Was that the big open area that we considered for CM when we went on that pre-run to check out BFE? There are definitely some cool places there...

timmbuck2
04-11-2013, 09:47 AM
I think I remember some camping spots along the road on my way to Rusty Nail and Metal Masher a few years ago. Do you recall about how many miles or how long it takes to get to the camp spots off the highway?

The turnoff to the left is just before Gooneybird...maybe 15 minutes from the highway or so?? There are 6 sites, relatively far away from each other...great area to explore, it is a completely enclosed dead-end canyon. There are a couple of 'hidden' arches, and at the end of the canyon there is a rock formation that looks like a bride. Plus you are so close to everything else up there, I love camping there. Just a ways off the main road, and sucks to get all the way up there and find the sites are all taken....but I don't think I have ever had that happen...

nakman
04-11-2013, 10:05 AM
Was that the big open area that we considered for CM when we went on that pre-run to check out BFE? There are definitely some cool places there...

Yeah one of them for sure. Last time I ran BTR I noticed some cool sights both before and after the sand dunes, that huge open space is on that straight-away before, I believe that's where they camp for 24 hrs. in Moab? But beyond the dunes were some sites tucked up against some larger butte features, that looked pretty interesting. I didn't stop to check them out though, always seem to be in a hurry to get back for something.. :rolleyes:

DaveInDenver
04-11-2013, 10:15 AM
That is a great spot Nakman, opposite the BFE entrance road. Basically, instead of turning left off of the highway to BFE you turn right, meander back a bit and wallah.. the road takes you to a beautiful open prairie lots of spots there, might be best up against the rocks for wind resistance. It is not BLM land but Utah state land, nonetheless free camping is allowed.
Are you thinking of Behind the Rocks, that is BLM land with some private property dispersed on the north side of Bridger Jack Mesa (south of the BTR road). Remember during the 24 Hours how they told you not to camp past the markers? That's because the people up there would get upset and complain to the BLM. I find it's usually better to drive past that valley (where the 24 Hours base was, if I'm thinking of the same place you are) and camp along the road. It's a little quieter since it's tougher to pull big trailers any further as they don't maintain the road beyond those properties.

Corbet
04-11-2013, 08:49 PM
Is there something in Moab your specifically going for? Otherwise I'd personally consider heading further south or west and avoid the Moab crowds. There are not many secrets left in the Moab area for camping. I think the suggestion of Behind the Rocks is probably the best. If you strike out just goto Area BFE.

Lots of hiking down in Comb Wash, like Arch Canyon and far less people. Indian Creek? Or out in the Swell to the west. I love Moab like everyone else, and that's the problem now. No more pulling into Sand Flats Friday night and picking out your favorite spot.

Caribou Sandstorm
04-11-2013, 10:01 PM
Are you thinking of Behind the Rocks, that is BLM land with some private property dispersed on the north side of Bridger Jack Mesa (south of the BTR road). Remember during the 24 Hours how they told you not to camp past the markers? That's because the people up there would get upset and complain to the BLM. I find it's usually better to drive past that valley (where the 24 Hours base was, if I'm thinking of the same place you are) and camp along the road. It's a little quieter since it's tougher to pull big trailers any further as they don't maintain the road beyond those properties.

I need to catch up with you sometime and look at a map, sounds like you have some gems to camp there. I was told by the BLM that that valley was Utah State lands.. But maybe I or the BLM were not in sync..

That area that is flat and open, where the 24 hour participants camp is the area I was referring to.

nakman
04-11-2013, 10:20 PM
Oooo ooo- I know. Ever run Kane Creek? you know where the rope swing is? You could run the last mile of the trail backwards to get down there, would be super easy all loaded up... always wanted to camp down there some time. Plus, what a cool day hike it'd be heading down the creek, check out that rolled Jeep, etc. Drive south past BFE, down the big hill, past the rest area, past Hole in the Rock museum, then next right at the top of the hill.

Corbet
04-11-2013, 11:10 PM
Tim, wouldn't that spot at the top of Kane be a bad place in the event of rain? I don't recall exactly where the site is but remember seeing people camped there.

nakman
04-11-2013, 11:34 PM
I think it'd be awesome in the rain. It's higher up, compared to the rest of the trail at least. After you climb out of the river the last time, like 2 switchbacks from being back on the highway, it's that little nook to the left. There used to be a rope swing there? Plus there's lots of rocks around for protection from the wind, etc.

Telly
04-12-2013, 08:43 AM
Is there something in Moab your specifically going for? Otherwise I'd personally consider heading further south or west and avoid the Moab crowds. There are not many secrets left in the Moab area for camping. I think the suggestion of Behind the Rocks is probably the best. If you strike out just goto Area BFE.

Lots of hiking down in Comb Wash, like Arch Canyon and far less people. Indian Creek? Or out in the Swell to the west. I love Moab like everyone else, and that's the problem now. No more pulling into Sand Flats Friday night and picking out your favorite spot.

Agreed on no more rolling into Sand Flats. One of my favorite spots is grouping of sites across from Slick Rock, the very northern spot in that group. Great wind protection and some shade and of course Slick Rock across the road. I have done the Porcupine Rim Loop twice starting from that site...that was in my younger days!
I'll have the wife, 11 yo son and 8 yo daughter in tow. Our plan is to hike around Arches and Canyonlands. We don't want to be too far from Moab as we will probably have dinner one night and buy some crap along Main Street.

DaveInDenver
04-12-2013, 08:50 AM
LOL! People have been complaining about the increasing crowds in Moab for decades. My first trip there was 1992, we road tripped from Cape Girardeau, MO in one shot, rode 2 days and turned around and hammered back for mid terms. Back then there was a mine tailings pile behind McDonald's that was probably low level radioactive and people were saying the same things, how it was getting too popular, ruined by all the hippie cyclists and climbers.
I need to catch up with you sometime and look at a map, sounds like you have some gems to camp there. I was told by the BLM that that valley was Utah State lands.. But maybe I or the BLM were not in sync..

That area that is flat and open, where the 24 hour participants camp is the area I was referring to.
Yup, we are thinking of the same place. The race was permitted by the BLM since most of the BTR is BLM, but you might very well be right about there being state land trust property back there as well. I'm pretty sure about there being little pieces of private property tucked up by those bluffs, too.

Corbet
04-12-2013, 10:14 AM
One of my favorite spots is grouping of sites across from Slick Rock, the very northern spot in that group. Great wind protection and some shade and of course Slick Rock across the road.

I proposed to Marianne in one of those very spots. We were down with our MTB tandem. Rode the Slickrock loop that weekend and Gemini Bridges.

My favorite group is cluster "E" where fins starts. Little quieter and some shade. And what we called "bar rock" a short hike out fins. Great drinking spot on a clear night. Oh the mountain biking days... When the full Slickrock loop only took 40min to ride. Probably kill me to do it today.