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Moab in May

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Moab in May

Postby Tory Wells » Tue Mar 05, 2013 1:33 pm

I'm going to Moab with my gf in May (Memorial Day weekend) to hike and I'm looking for a good place to camp. Either a really stellar campground you've stayed at or (preferred) a beautiful and secluded place to free/car camp which is not too far from town. I've been to Moab plenty of times but haven't camped there before. Thanks in advance.

ps: I'm looking to avoid the campgrounds in Arches and Canyonlands because they'll be way too crowded on a holiday weekend.
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Re: Moab in May

Postby kaiman » Tue Mar 05, 2013 2:29 pm

Tory Wells wrote:I'm going to Moab with my gf in May (Memorial Day weekend) to hike and I'm looking for a good place to camp. Either a really stellar campground you've stayed at or (preferred) a beautiful and secluded place to free/car camp which is not too far from town. I've been to Moab plenty of times but haven't camped there before. Thanks in advance.

ps: I'm looking to avoid the campgrounds in Arches and Canyonlands because they'll be way too crowded on a holiday weekend.


There are lots of places to camp outside of Arches and Canyonlands here in Moab but they will ALL be crowded on Memorial Day weekend particularly the ones closer to town and along the River Road (Highway 128) in Castle Valley. If you can get here early you may be able to find a spot along Kane Creek or the Potash Road, but those usually fill up quickly as well. You can also try north of town near Klondike Bluffs area. Don't even bother with the spots in the Sand Flats near the Slickrock Trail as those are the first to go.

Some of the best camping in the area IMHO is off of the La Sal Loop Road, but it is about 20 miles south of town. Also if you don't mind driving a ways south from Moab (15 miles), the camping off of Highway 191 near Hole 'N The Rock (tourist trap) is also quite nice. If you want to be close to town, be prepared to pay a fee at one of the private campgrounds or get to Moab early and claim your spot in one of the canyons.

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Re: Moab in May

Postby Scott P » Tue Mar 05, 2013 3:08 pm

Basically what Kaiman said. Around Moab, you must camp in designated sites now. Otherwise you have to go all the way to north or west of Dewey Bridge, all the way towards the airport, or places like the La Sal Loop.

I'm not sure if Willow Flats is still open to free range camping, but it was a couple years ago, which would be the closest free range campsites.

Unless you want to drive quite a ways, I'd book a campsite/campground ASAP. Next to Easter, Memorial Day weekend is the most popular time of the year.
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Re: Moab in May

Postby tlongpine » Tue Mar 05, 2013 3:12 pm

Along Sandflats Road, or the campsite cluster near Negro Canyon Trailhead along Hwy128 the Colorado River.
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Re: Moab in May

Postby ajkagy » Tue Mar 05, 2013 3:36 pm

dead horse point has a nice camp ground and might be a bit cooler higher up as well. It wasn't cheap at $20/night to camp, but there is a nice trail system and great views.

April and May will definitely be crowded...I'd avoid sandflats if you're looking for seclusion, that will definitely be filled up with mtn bikers and 4x4 enthusiasts who like to party :-D
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Re: Moab in May

Postby Tory Wells » Tue Mar 05, 2013 9:27 pm

Thanks for the suggestions, y'all. We'll be getting there early--hopefully the thursday night before monday Memorial Day--so we should be able to get a decent spot before the masses arrive. Cheers!
"Tongue-tied and twisted, just an earthbound misfit, am I." -David Gilmour, Pink Floyd

"We knocked the bastard off." Hillary, 1953
"It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves." Hillary, 2003
Couldn't we all use 50 years of humble growth?
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Re: Moab in May

Postby 2giqs » Tue Mar 05, 2013 9:53 pm

Horsethief Campground: Take rt 313 to Mineral Point Road. Just a short distance to Gemini Bridges. Use to be a bunch of free camp spots in the area, but apparently no longer.

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Re: Moab in May

Postby elhombre » Wed Mar 06, 2013 7:52 am

If you want good hiking and don't mind driving 1.5 hours more, you could head down to Cedar Mesa/ Grand gultch area. There are good sites off most the roads on the mesa areas and alot less people. Another option is head to San Rafeal Swell one hour past Moab turn off. Nice slot canyon hikes from mild to technical. Plenty of sites on the west side of the swell. I personally don't mind driving further out to get away from the masses myself. Thought I throw it out there.
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Re: Moab in May

Postby Furthermore » Wed Mar 06, 2013 8:50 am

FYI. Kane Creek is now becoming PAY camping. I just camped there last week and the BLM is setting up pay stations for most of all of the campsites in Kane Creek. LAME. Didn't check out the cost but the camping off of Potash Road was 15 bucks!

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Re: Moab in May

Postby climbingaggie03 » Wed Mar 06, 2013 6:38 pm

My personal favorite is the first campground on the right on Kane creek road, it is pay, but I want to say it's like $10 a night, and it has alot of shade which is key.

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Re: Moab in May

Postby boudreaux » Sat Mar 09, 2013 10:30 am

I liked Deadhorse too, very nice CG and it was quiet even with all the spots filled. Each camp has a shelter and a locker to store your food, and a good sized tent pad. The visitor center had lots of maps, calenders, usual tourist junk, etc. It's a good basecamp for all the northern Moab trails, White Rim.
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Re: Moab in May

Postby atbaritone » Sat Mar 09, 2013 2:03 pm

I'm a big fan of the clusters near Negro Bill, as mentioned above. Oak Grove campground, site #4 is almost never taken.
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