I'm so excited to have Ashely from Tiny Shiny Home here today to give us the lowdown on boondocking in Southern Utah. If you are new to the term boondocking, it means camping/parking a trailer or RV on BLM land free of charge for a max of 14 days. These open land areas have no restrooms or camping amenities, but if you find the right spot it can be pretty amazing. Read on to find out how to find the perfect boondocking site and what Ashley and her family of 6 loved most about their 14 days in Southern Utah.
Utah was never on our radar when we first started traveling full-time 3.5 years ago. There weren’t even plans to drive through our first year on the road. Had it not been for an unfortunate event, we may have skipped over Utah. After our friends rescued us from the mud at Lake Mead, they had invited us to stay with them and some other full-time friends on the ridge of the Virgin Dam just outside of Hurricane, UT. That was our very first boondocking experience and from that point on we were hooked. So I guess you could say, Utah has inspired us to spend most of our time off the grid, boondocking in some of the most beautiful places we have ever seen.
Image by Tiny Shiny Home
While we agree that most all of Utah is beautiful, Southern Utah has captured our attention. If you’re looking to experience some of the most amazing national parks and monuments, free camping, epic hikes, and epic views right outside your RV, then southern Utah is for you!
La Verkin/ Virgin area has so many great boondocking options and town is so close for water, dump, and supplies. Plus you’re only about 30 minutes from the entrance to Zion National Park! While we loved visiting Zion, it was really the Red Reef area that captured our attention.
We could not get enough of the red rock hikes and amazing sunsets and seclusion that comes with visiting in late October. There haven’t been many places that make me look at property prices but this place had me on Zillow far too often.
So, let’s talk about camping in this area! While I can see the advantages of reserving a site at one of the two campgrounds in Zion National Park for easier access to the park and trails, we aren’t much for making plans ahead of time. Plus we love being alone out in nature, so boondocking is our top choice when it comes to looking for a place to stay. Lucky for us, there are SO MANY OPTIONS near Zion. We snagged this cute little spot near the Virgin Dam and stayed for our full allotted 14 nights!
It. Was. Magical.The sunsets, the seclusion, the views…
So if boondocking is your thing, Virgin, UT needs to be on your bucket list. And if you’re new to boondocking (camping without hookups) then click on this guide to help you find your first boon docking spot.
Cedar Breaks National Monument 1 hour, 17 minutes
Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park 1 hour, 22 minutes
Zion National Park 21 min
Bryce Canyon National Park 2 hours, 11 minutes
Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument 1 hour 30 minutes
Grand Canyon North Rim 2 hours
Valley of Fire State Park 2 hours
I’m sure there are more than what I listed, but all of these places are reason enough to find your perfect campsite near Virgin, Ut.
And I can’t forget the people! We hosted our very first meet-up while boondocking here. We ended up with 20 people coming by to chat, eat some pie, and enjoy a fire. It’s true that when you travel full-time, there are days that get a little lonely, but this community is amazing. With little notice, we were able to have several people come by and talk about the highs and lows of full-time travel. We thoroughly enjoyed meeting everyone! So much so that we have no pictures of the event! That’s when you know you’re having a good time.
And we can’t say thank you enough to Arika. Thank you for taking us on a beautiful hike and snapping some pictures of our little family.
We will treasure these for years to come! I cannot say enough good things about our time spent here in Utah, and Zion Adventure Photog was a big part of making our time here so memorable. Thank you! - Ashley Longlecker