With all of its natural beauty and public land, Utah is one of the best states for boondocking. Anyone who’s ever been to the Beehive State knows there’s no shortage of free camping opportunities across its 54 million+ acres.

But where exactly can you park your RV for free? And how do you prepare for the best possible boondocking experience?

Below, we dive into everything you need to know about boondocking in Utah, including seven awesome boondocking spots we know you’ll love. Let’s begin. 

What Is Boondocking? 

Boondocking is essentially dry, dispersed camping in a self-contained vessel, such as a van or RV. When boondocking, campers must bring everything they need with them. Since they camp for a night or more without electric, water, or sewage hookups.

While most of us envision camping immersed in nature, you can also choose to urban boondock or lotdock for a night in a city or big box store parking lot.

Basically, the common theme is that these campers are completely self-reliant. This allows boondockers to venture off the beaten path, camp for free, and travel with a very loose itinerary. 

→ Find out why we think Boondocking Off-Grid is the Best Way To Camp!

Where Can I Park My RV for Free in Utah?

Nearly half of the 54 million+ acres in Utah are public lands. Specifically, Utah has 22.8 million acres of land managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

As a general rule of thumb, you’re allowed to camp for free on BLM land for 14 days at a time (unless otherwise posted).

This means there are virtually endless spots to camp throughout Utah, surrounded by incredible scenery and interesting rock formations that give Utah its ethereal feel. If you’re interested in finding specific spots vetted by other campers, check out Campendium. 

Three Battle Born Battery powered campers boondocking in Utah

How Do You Prepare for Boondocking?

First and foremost, you’ll need to cover the essentials. These include water, food, electricity, and waste management.

This means making sure your holding tanks are large enough to hold enough fresh water, gray water, and black water (unless you have an alternative toilet) for your stay.

You’ll also need a way to charge your devices, run your lights, and power any other essential electronics.

Ultimately, boondocking can be as luxurious or as bare-bones as you want it to be. It’s all about discovering what’s most important to you!

Here are the 5 Essential Upgrades Every Boondocking RV Needs

7 Awesome Places We Love for Boondocking in Utah

Here are seven amazing spots for boondocking in Utah. Let’s dive in!

1. Old Highway 89 Dispersed Camping

Coordinates: 37.2057, -112.675

About: Old Highway 89 dispersed camping is an awesome boondocking spot in Mount Carmel, Utah. Located conveniently off Highway 89, this spot has all the perks of solitude and beauty, with plenty of dispersed sites that accommodate rigs of all sizes. While reviewers do report a couple of dips going into the dispersed camping area, many express that it’s a fantastic spot for even the largest RVs, with plenty of space for everyone to have their own private spot. 

Best Features: Hands down, it’s the incredible views, including stunning rock formations. There’s also decent cell service. 

2. BLM Road 717 Dispersed Camping

Coordinates: 37.0953, -112.1347

About: BLM Road 717 Dispersed Camping is a fantastic, spacious place to camp in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. Located just off US-89, you’ll find an unlabeled dirt road that leads to various patches of dirt surrounded by vast, beautiful land.

Be careful — the road comes up quick! While not every site accommodates big rigs, reviewers report several spots that are large enough for big RVs. There are also some rock fire rings and about two bars of 4G cell service in the area. 

Best Features: You’re right in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, which means you’ll have access to some of the amazing hikes in the area! It is also peaceful and secluded.

View of a multicolor hill in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

3. Rock Springs Bench

Coordinates: 37.4968, -111.9784

About: Rock Springs Bench dispersed camping is another great spot in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. It’s especially perfect if you’re looking for a secluded, quiet area with cell phone service. Campers report amazing views, relatively clean sites, and plenty of spots to choose from. Nevertheless, the dirt road going in is unmaintained for the most part. Most vehicles will have no problem accessing the sites in dry weather. However, exercise caution if it has rained recently.

Best Features: This spot is especially quiet and peaceful while being close to Bryce Canyon and Grand Staircase-Escalante. It’s a perfect spot to get away from it all while boondocking in Utah. 

4. Whiteman Bench

Coordinates: 37.6264, -112.2282

About: Whiteman Bench dispersed camping is located in Dixie National Forest and near Bryce Canyon National Park. You’ll find several wooded sites in the area. Be advised, however, that these sites are on the smaller side and therefore might not be the best choice for those with big rigs. Regardless, it’s quiet and private, and reviewers report about two bars of cell phone service. 

Best Features: This is a fantastic spot if you want to explore both Bryce Canyon National Park and Red Canyon. Plus, you’ll have a peaceful place to rest your head after all that exploring. 

View overlooking Bryce Canyon National Park

5. Parowan Gap Petroglyphs Dispersed Camping

Coordinates: 37.9122, -112.98

About: Parowan Gap Petroglyphs is an excellent spot for boondocking in Utah, about 30 miles from Cedar City. Not only are there plenty of places to set up camp in the area, but you’ll also be within walking distance of the historic petroglyphs. Reviewers also report near-perfect cell service, sites that accommodate any size rig, and amazing star-gazing opportunities in the high desert. 

Best Features: This area is beautiful and peaceful, and you’ll have a historic art gallery at your fingertips as well. This includes 1,000 years of Native American petroglyphs featuring human figures, lizards, bear claws, sheep, snakes, and other designs. 

6. Cedar Mesa Campground

Coordinates: 38.0071, -111.0848

About: Interested in exploring Capitol Reef National Park? If so, Cedar Mesa Campground is a perfect, free spot to land after a day of adventures. You’ll even find dedicated sites with picnic tables and fire rings and access to a vault toilet. However, if you’re in a large RV, you might want to look elsewhere, as there are only about five small sites. Reviewers also report no cell phone service within an hour’s drive. 

Best Features: With the designated sites and amenities, it’s hard to believe that this campground is completely free! It’s also a hop, skip, and jump from Red Canyon, with a beautiful trail leading from the campground to the canyon.  

Thunderstorms approaching Capitol Reef National Park

7. Horseshoe Canyon Dispersed Camping

Coordinates: 38.4738, -110.2001

About: Horseshoe Canyon dispersed camping is a stunning spot located just off Lower San Rafael Road in Hanksville, Utah. To access this area, you’ll need to traverse about 35 miles of gravel, which may become impassable when it rains. Nevertheless, the reward is absolutely worth the trek. You’ll find plenty of large sites around the rim of the canyon with access to a well-maintained vault toilet. 

Best Features: The views are incredible. Feast your eyes on the ever-changing red, tan, and even bluish hues of the surrounding rock formations. You’ll feel on top of the world. 

How to Make the Most of Your Utah Boondocking Trip

We’ve covered the basics: water, waste management, power, and where to stay. But did you know that it’s completely possible to extend your stay and remain comfortable off-grid? Of course, this involves having enough water and adequate shelter, but an essential component of this is also your power supply. 

Lithium batteries provide an efficient way of storing your electricity while you’re off the beaten path. They provide a greater depth of discharge compared to lead-acid batteries, work well even in freezing temperatures, and have a much faster recharge rate. Combine this advanced battery technology with some solar panels, and you’ll be all set to boondock for the full 14 days in complete comfort. 

LiFePO4 vs Lead-Acid Comparison Chart

Shop our lithium batteries here!

Is Boondocking in Utah Worth It?

Considering that Utah is one of the states with the most BLM land, it’s on every boondocker’s bucket list. Not only that, but Utah is home to what’s known as the Big Five National Parks: Bryce Canyon National Park, Zion National Park, Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, and Capitol Reef National Park. And with all the dispersed camping opportunities in the area, you’ll be able to stay for free. 

Have you ever boondocked in Utah? What were your favorite spots? Let us know in the comments below!

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