For those who prefer not to camp in a place that compares to a crowded city park full of unsightly RV campers, the Utah back country destinations have plenty to offer. Since the majority of Utah tourists only explore the famous National Parks in this state, the lesser known camping destinations offer plenty of breathing room where some peace and quiet can easily be found. In fact, there actually are a few majestic camping destinations that are hidden in plain view, which the mainstream tourists overlook simply because the dot on the map appears to be way too far off the beaten path to bother with. The north end of the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area is one such place, but this was not always the case. Because of Lake Powell water depletion, the Hite boat ramp has been relegated as useless. With no weekend warrior attractions, the Hite region of the Glen Canyon NRA is not as popular as it used to be and the picturesque roadside campgrounds are rarely full.
The long forgotten campgrounds in the Hite region that can be found along Highway 95 definitely are now hidden in plain view, yet they are located in one of the most attractive landscapes on earth. Because Lake Powell boating is no longer the primary local activity, this region has turned into a fly by area for tourists commuting between the big National Parks in southeastern and central Utah. People stop to take a long look and some take pictures, but relatively few will actually break the camping gear out, because sticking with the pre-planned travel agenda is more important when time is limited. For these reasons, there are nearly always plenty of open campsites to be found along the towering river bluffs in the Hite region.
One of the very best of the lesser known roadside camping options in the north end of the Glen Canyon NRA is the Dirty Devil River Campground. This majestic setting is what classic western dreams are made of, so be sure to bring a good camera along for the ride. This campground is located on the high ground next to towering red rock bluffs and it overlooks the Dirty Devil River basin near the Colorado River confluence. In this region, the intriguing landscapes of Canyonlands, White Canyon and the Glen Canyon NRA all meld into one, to create some of the most amazing panoramic views that can possibly be imagined.
Smooth eroded multi color sandstone rock formations can be seen throughout the river basin, which indicates that this is an area where several gigantic rivers flowed in prehistoric times. Freeze and thaw erosive forces have carved the mesas into red rock outcrop islands that are tall enough to touch the sky. The peaceful looking Dirty Devil River begins further northwest at the confluence of the Fremont River and it winds its way through this strange eroded sandstone terrain like a snake. There are many nooks and crannies to explore along the river on foot or by light watercraft and catching some fish for dinner certainly is an option.
The Dirty Devil River Campground is a roadside primitive camping fee area that has basic facilities, but there is no water other than what is in the river. Fortunately, Hite is nearby and this is where fuel and drinking water can be found, which are both real commodities in this desolate region. The majestic views simply cannot be beat and a landscape artist could spend an entire summer filling in a big canvas, but there is a little downside to consider. This entire campground rests upon a bedrock shelf, so finding a place to drive a tent stake in the ground will not be easy to do. A free standing tent or just camping cowboy style in a sleeping bag on the ground is best for this terrain, except of course if it is a very windy day. On the plus side, the scenic views of the Dirty Devil River certainly are worth writing home about, so be sure to keep this lesser known roadside campground in mind!
Leave no trace!
Destination West YouTube channel! https://www.youtube.com/@DestinationWestOrg
Donations help the Destinaton West project continue into the future!
Go Fund Me!
This website uses marketing and tracking technologies. Opting out of this will opt you out of all cookies, except for those needed to run the website. Note that some products may not work as well without tracking cookies.Opt Out of Cookies