Salt Lake City may be the largest and most populous city in Utah, but it is also the capital. While the city has a lot of great restaurants and activities, it also provides excellent access to all of the fantastic national parks and state parks that Utah offers. In addition, visitors will enjoy the variety of RV camping opportunities and recreational activities that the Great Salt Lake region provides.
Table of Contents
- RV Camping Around Salt Lake City
- Salt Lake City Area Parks
Located on the southeast side of the Great Salt Lake, Salt Lake City is an accessible city. Highway 80, Highway 215, and Highway 15 all lead into the city. Salt Lake City is a 7.5-hour drive from Reno, NV, a 5-hour drive from Bosie, ID, and an 8-hour drive from Denver, CO. Once you reach the city, you can branch out to tons of areas if you want to see different parks and RV resorts. Your specific directions may differ depending on where you choose to stay.
The weather varies significantly in Salt Lake City, depending on the time of year. In the summer, temperatures can spike as high as 100 degrees, but they can drop below freezing in the winter. But, if you love to ski, winter is the perfect time to visit. The best time to visit Salt Lake City depends on what activity you’d like to do. For example, if you’d like to visit for hiking, spring and fall would be preferable if you dislike the heat.
RV Camping Around Salt Lake City
Albion Basin Campground
Located in Little Cottonwood Canyon, the Albion Basin Campground provides access to the canyon, offering numerous hiking trails, mountain biking, and more. The RV campground is open during the summer months and offers various amenities such as vault toilets, drinking water, and more.
Bryce Canyon National Park
The Bryce Canyon National Park is known for the colorful rock spires and grand vistas that stretch over the High Plateau region. The national park offers two campgrounds – North Campground and Sunset Campground. With RV camping, though, neither has electrical hookups. Campers will enjoy the dark night skies and one-of-a-kind photography opportunities.
Lone Rock Beach Campground
This campground is located at Lake Powell, where you can park your RV directly on the beach and camp primitively. Lone Rock Beach Campground offers a great view of Lone Rock and $12 per night to RV camp on a first-come-first-serve basis.
Mountain Valley RV Resort
This luxury RV resort is located in Heber City, Utah, right in the Heber Valley. This wonderful RV resort is surrounded by the Rocky Mountains and can accommodate very large RVs. Some amenities include a guided valet, heated pool and hot tub, clubhouse, laundry, and more.
Park City RV Resort
This RV resort is located ideally for all your Park City, Utah adventures. It’s close to ski resorts, golf courses, and more than 300 hiking and biking trails. Park City RV Resort features large RV sites, power hookups, wifi, laundry, a dog park, pool, spa, and more. There are also spots for tent camping.
This campground is a short 30-minute drive out of Salt Lake City and offers the chance to camp on the shores of Navajo lake. With opportunities to boat, canoe, fish, and take endless photos, Spruces Campground is a do not miss destination. In addition, a popular local trail, the Virgin Rim River Trail, is half a mile from the campground.
Salt Lake City Area Parks
Antelope Island State Park
Antelope Island State Park is the largest of ten islands within the Great Salt Lake and is located within the southeast portion of the lake. While it looks close to downtown Salt Lake City, it takes about an hour to reach by car. The island is a habitat for various wildlife and is most famous for its herd of bison, one of the largest and oldest in the United States.
Arches National Park
A three-and-a-half-hour drive from Salt Lake City, Arches National Park boasts more than 2,000 natural sandstone arches. They are most known for the red Delicate Arch on the eastern side. Located right outside Moab, this park is three-and-a-half hours from Salt Lake City.
Big Cottonwood Canyon
The Big Cottonwood Canyon is a scenic drive and offers excellent access to hiking, picnicking, fishing, rock climbing, and camping opportunities. Two Ski Resorts operate out of the canyon, called Solitude and Brighton. During the 1800s, miners searched for gold and silver ore here!
Capitol Reef National Park
In Utah’s mid-south region, you’ll find Capitol Reef National Park, where the Waterpocket Fold lives. This “wrinkle” in the landscape was formed millions of years ago and offered a fun exploration space, stretching over 100 miles. It’s about a three-and-a-half-hour drive from Salt Lake City.
Canyonlands National Park
Hop in your car and drive the almost four hours to reach the incredible Canyonlands National Park outside Moab. You’ll see large flat-top mesas with beautiful panoramic views inside the national park. There are four distinct areas here, including Island in the Sky, the Needles, the Maze, and the rivers that flow through the park.
East Canyon State Park
This fantastic park is close to Salt Lake City and only an hour away from downtown. East Canyon State Park boasts a 608-acre reservoir that attracts visitors for activities such as boating, fishing, and camping. Paddleboard, kayak, and canoe rentals are available for an enjoyable visit.
Goblin Valley State Park
Goblin Valley State Park is about four hours from downtown Salt Lake City and features thousands of different rock formations. The park gets its name from the thousands of hoodoos referred to as “goblins” by locals. It is a dark sky location and is popular with photographers and star-lovers alike.
Zion National Park
Zion National Park is located four and a half hours south of Salt Lake City and is well worth seeing the remarkable national park and driving the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive. The highlight here is the sizable 2,000-foot-deep canyon with famous hiking opportunities.
Salt Lake City and the surrounding areas have so much to offer visitors camping and recreational opportunities. Whether you are looking for water activities, hiking, or photo opportunities, Utah has it all! Salt Lake City is a great starting point for your journey, so enjoy all the city’s sights before you continue on your journey. Happy travels.
For more great RV camping, visit Lake Havasu.
Tony is an avid camper and RV traveler. He fell in love with camping on his first RV trip with his wife over 25 years ago. Tony loves sharing lessons learned and tips about RV maintenance and safe traveling.