If you’ve been looking for a great desert oasis for camping, check out Dead Horse Point State Park near Moab, UT. Despite it’s slightly morbid name, Dead Horse Point is a gorgeous state park with views of the Colorado River, Needles Portion of Canyonlands National Park, and several mountain ranges. You didn’t think there were mountains in the desert? Then Moab will be a special treat for you!
Dead Horse Point is one of the few places in the Moab area that takes campsite reservations. There are private RV parks in town that do also, but most camping in this desert area is first come first serve. Reservations can be made 4 months in advance. You’ll want to make them because Moab is popular! There are 2 campgrounds: Kayenta, which is older, and Wingate, which is brand new. Wingate has a dump station, shelters at each site, and large, private centrally located bathrooms. The shelters are especially nice because it tends to be windy high up on the mesas of Utah.
Campgrounds aside, there is much to do here! In fact, if you plan correctly, you’ll never have to go into the town of Moab at all. First, make sure you fill up with water before arriving. If you’re coming from the east, stop at the Visitor’s Center in Fruita, Colorado. You can fill up there and only be about an hour and a half from your destination. At the state park itself are bike trails; some trails are easy enough for beginners, while ones like the Big Chief trail will offer options for advanced riders. There are also hiking-only trails around the campgrounds. At the Visitor’s Center are overlooks, a shop, and a coffee/snack hut that offers breakfast burritos, coffee, tea and a few sandwich options.
Further up the road is Canyonlands State Park, the Island in the Sky portion. The views from here are spectacular! There are short hikes to a variety of overlooks as well as a Visitor’s Center. Back down the road from the State Park are several popular mountain biking and 4-wheeling areas. These include: Gemini Bridges (4-wheeling), the Mag 7 bike trails (trailheads on Gemini Bridges road), the Horsethief Bike trails, and Navajo Rocks bike trails. All of these are also great hiking or trail running options. Off of Dubinki Wells Road is more 4-wheeling. If you just enjoy some “light” 4-wheeling, there are lots of roads, including the ones mentioned, that are suitable for long day drives to nowhere.
If Dead Horse Point hasn’t been on your radar, it should be! You’ll enjoy large, RV friendly camping sites with electric hookups, beautiful views of the La Sal and Henry Mountain Ranges, and desert sunsets like no other!