Cultural Experience | Colorado

Spring Break Road Trip; Camping in Utah

3 Guys, 3 Girls, and 4 Dogs Hit the Road to Moab and Zion National Park

By Jocelyn Rosenthal, University of Colorado

utah girl

This spring break when my friends suggested a camping trip I jumped at the chance to ditch the Colorado snow for the warm sun of the Utah desert. So with 3 guys, 3 girls, and 4 dogs we packed up the cars and headed west. Our first stop was Moab a small tourist destination town that is home to the Arches National Park and a multitude of outdoor activities. Not wanting the typical camping experience we took the rugged back roads to a desolate spot off the grid. Here we camped on red sands over looking a canyon. We spent our time in Moab hiking into the canyon, scaling the rocks, and exploring the scenery. If you have the means and would rather ride than walk to explore, there are many places in the town to rent ATVs and dune buggies to traverse Moab. After an exhausting day of hiking we returned to camp, grilled food on the fire and hit the sack.


The next day we woke up early to drive to our next destination – Hurricane home to Zion National Park. After re-upping our supplies we went to the local bike shop to get tips on great places to camp. The first night we camped near flying monkey, an old rocket launching ground about 30 minutes off the main road. Here our spot was much rockier that was fun for climbing and a quick walk to an amazing view of the canyon. After two days here we switched spots to the other side of the canyon off sugar loaf road with tons of trees right on the edge of the canyon. Here we did more hiking, rock climbing, and I even had some time for trail running. We tried to make it to the reservoir at the bottom of the canyon, but turned around when we realized we were driving through a polygamist compound – yikes!

utah dog

Tips for camping in Utah:

  • Bring and drink tons of water, it’s is very easy to get dehydrated in this climate
  • Bring lots of layers, the sweltering heat of the day is quickly replaced by freezing temperatures at night
  • Invest in a good camping pad it will be the difference between a good nights sleep and hours of tossing and turning
  • Feeling adventurous? BLM (Business of Land Management) Lands are owned by the government and available to the public for free camping and exploring. You can check with locals too for the best off the grid spots
  • If you want to have alcohol plan ahead. The liquor laws in Utah are much stricter, having much fewer stores and prevent the sale of liquor on Sundays
  • LNT! These are beautiful natural desert lands, so please be respectful and leave no trace. Bring trash bags and make sure to remove all your garbage and belonging when packing up your camp site.

Utah people

I loved my experience camping this spring break and enjoyed the opportunity to escape the obligations and stresses of my day to day life. Summer is coming soon so if you are looking for an adventure or a trip to do with your friends, go camping you wont regret it! Have your own favorite camping destinations or experiences you want to share? Post them here or become a blogger for the college tourist!

Safe Travels!


Jocelyn Rosenthal

University of Colorado at Boulder | 9 stories

I am originally from New Jersey, but traded my bathing suit and road rage for skiing and hikes with my dog Rufus in the Rocky Mountains. I love running, arts & crafts and visiting wacky roadside attractions.

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