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Old 04-01-2014, 11:32 AM
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Default Utah Trip Campsite Recomendations?

Hi All,
Cross posting this from ExUt but hoping someone might have a few ideas on campsite locations. I've got a fairly large group heading out from Denver area in early May. Everyone has spent a fair bit of time in eastern utah, but that was before they all had kids

For this trip its going to be a bit more mellow. Not looking for anything crazy, just a bit of hiking/biking, hanging out at camp, exploring around camp, etc. Staying for 2 nights, hopefully at the same spot each night. We'll have a fairly large group including about 6 kids ranging from 3 years to 3 months.

Ideal campsite/Constraints:
  • The closer to grand junction/Fruita the better. We will be spending friday night in town so I'd say a 2 hour drive from there would be ok. Not looking to go all the way into Beef Basin
  • Given that the group will probably have children crying during the night, either at-large/dispersed camping or a developed campsite that isn't too dense with campsites would be preferred. Would rather not keep the whole campsite awake at night
  • A little bit out of the way, IE not right off a paved road with lots of traffic.
  • A small stream would be nice but by no means necessary.
  • Large enough for a possibly BIG group of people. Potentially 20, including 6 small children.
  • Can be accessed from a dirt road (preferred) but no hardcore wheeling.
  • Not frequented by OHV's or people firing guns.


Vehicles we'll have
  • 2 80-series on 33's.
  • 1 stock 100 series.
  • 1 stock gen4 4-runner
  • Dodge 2500 w/ bed camper
  • 1 unknown vehicle but should be 4wd as well.


I've briefly considered some of the campsites down river-road into Moab but most of those seem less than desirable as its got paved road on one side and large river on the other (so not a ton of room to explore right out of camp).

Out towards goblin valley or Horseshoe canyon is a possibility but starts to be a bit far of a drive. Given the timing it seems most stuff towards moab is full such as Deadhorse Point seem to already be full, at least for the developed campgrounds. Same with Arches NP. Down towards Canyonlands-Needles or the Maze I think is too much driving distance.

Any possibilities in the swell north of I70? I haven't done any exploring north of the interstate so not sure what all is up there. Seems like the BLM may have a few campsites and recreation areas up there? Also was looking a bit at the area south of Colorado National monument as it winds south-west into Utah?

I know this is a tall order but hoping someone may have a few thoughts on areas to look for.

Thanks!
Corey
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Old 04-01-2014, 11:46 AM
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There are some decent spots off 128 at Dewey Bridge. BLM land. See 38.810854,-109.305046 on Google Maps.
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Old 04-01-2014, 12:58 PM
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san rafael bridge campground, swaseys beach http://destinationgreenriver.com/swaseys-beach/ I haven't been there though
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Old 04-01-2014, 01:55 PM
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Given your time request out of Junction I'd focus on the Swell.

Anything close to Moab will most likely be full. Towards Moab all the BLM group campgrounds will most likely be reserved. Swell is still the wild west. kind of.

Rabbit Valley? north to Dinosaur N.M. ?
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Old 04-01-2014, 06:50 PM
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x2 on Dewey Bridge and san rafael bridge areas (and there are also primitive sites further down the road towards Mexican Mountain from this). (san rafael bridge area probably as far as Goblin Valley)

Both have water but not small streams.
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Old 04-02-2014, 03:09 PM
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Thanks everyone! San Rafael Bridge area looks pretty neat. I talked to the field office and they said that campground typically only fills up on Easter weekend, and even if it does there are lots of designated camp spots (not campgrounds) on the road into that area.

Might try to scope out the Swasey's beach CG on the way as its only a 10 mile detour, and if no go head out to San rafael bridge area if I can pursuade folks to drive that far. Fall back plan would be to head down river road and see what is near Dewey bridge.
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Old 04-02-2014, 03:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coax View Post
Thanks everyone! San Rafael Bridge area looks pretty neat. I talked to the field office and they said that campground typically only fills up on Easter weekend, and even if it does there are lots of designated camp spots (not campgrounds) on the road into that area.

Might try to scope out the Swasey's beach CG on the way as its only a 10 mile detour, and if no go head out to San rafael bridge area if I can pursuade folks to drive that far. Fall back plan would be to head down river road and see what is near Dewey bridge.
There's also a giant campsite down near the Delores crossing after you go into the Dewey Bridge area. When we were down there 2 years ago to do the crossing (also in May), someone had set up a couple of huge Army style mess tents and there were smaller tents spread out all over. Nice spot with shade and close to the river.

Please make sure you leave an extra clean camp with a big group like yours.
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Old 04-02-2014, 03:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MDH33 View Post
There's also a giant campsite down near the Delores crossing after you go into the Dewey Bridge area. When we were down there 2 years ago to do the crossing (also in May), someone had set up a couple of huge Army style mess tents and there were smaller tents spread out all over. Nice spot with shade and close to the river.

Please make sure you leave an extra clean camp with a big group like yours.
Cool good to know! And yes, this whole group, and myself in particular, are very meticulous about limiting our impact where we go and we will leave any area cleaner than before we arrived. That's just the way I am I usually end up with a nice bag of random trash/beer cans/plastic car parts I pick up off the road whenever I am in the desert.
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Old 05-10-2014, 09:48 AM
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Spent 3 nights/2 days out in Utah. Ended up having a total of 10 people, so much smaller group than initially anticipated. Camped at Swasey's Beach. Very easy to get to and avoided the hustle and bustle of Moab Area.

Campground is pretty nice considering it is free. A little busy this time of year with a mix of rafters, retieree's, families, people passing through and trustafarians. Being so close to the river keeps the noise down though. There are picnic tables, fire grills/rings and pit toilets but no running water. Overall a decent spot with some shade to just relax.

This was stoping over in 18 road in Fruita, before doing a small detour to Porcupine Rim in Moab, then back up to I70 and west to Green River.



Campground/Sites


Beach


Cleaning up and Heading out Monday Morning
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'97 lx450, 170k, factory lockers, ome 850/863, 285's, 4 working doors(1 more than the old fj55 )
'74 project pig (sold)
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Old 05-10-2014, 10:33 AM
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Dang. I was just in Utah a week ago, and now I want to go back.
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