Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Horsethief Campground outside Canyonlands National Park - Campground of the Week

It's too cold to even think about camping in northern Utah right now...in fact it's snowing in as I write this. So if you've got camping on your mind, you've got to be thinking southern Utah, where it'll be considerably warmer. It was actually perfect near Moab this past weekend, where Sonja and I spent a couple days working on landscape photography and squeezed in a little bit of climbing as well.

Saturday morning we woke up early to catch sunrise with our cameras at Mesa Arch in Canyonlands National Park. If you're interested in the details on how to photograph the iconic landmark, check out my article here on www.examiner.com. We arrived late Friday night, so we didn't want to drive all the way into the park, but wanted to be within striking distance Saturday morning for our date with the magic of sunrise. So we stayed at one of my favorite BLM sites in the Moab area, Horsethief Campground. You can also find this description with all the campgrounds in the state of Utah in my guidebook Moon Utah Camping.

Horsethief Campground Scenic rating: 7

This new campground is an excellent alternative to the limited camping options in the northern part of Canyonlands National Park. The campground is a few miles from the Island in the Sky District of Canyonlands National Park and Dead Horse Point State Park. The large campground sits on a plateau-like landscape with expansive views to the southwest of the 11,000-foot peaks of the Herny Mountains. Well-spaced sites with flat gravel tent pads sit in a pygmy forest of pinyon pine and juniper trees. On the downside, these small trees and the scrubby sagebrush dotting the campground provide little shelter from the sun or wind. In this desert environment that regularly sees temperatures above 100 degrees F, this lack of shade is a real concern. Three gravel loops named after different horse breeds lead to sites with good privacy.

Campsites, facilities: There are 60 sites for tents and large RVs. Picnic tables, barbeque grills, garbage service, and vault toilets are provided. There is no drinking water. Leashed pets are permitted.

Reservations, fees: Reservations are not accepted. The fee is $12 per site. Open year-round.

Directions: From Moab, drive north on Hwy. 191 for nine miles and turn left onto Rte. 313 following signs to Canyonlands National Park. Continue 12 miles on Rte. 313 and turn right onto a gravel road signed Horsethief Campground. Continue 0.5 mile to Horsethief Campground.

GPS Coordinates: N 38 35.050' W 109 48.854'

Contact: BLM Moab Field Office, 435/259-2100

1 comment:

  1. Hi Mike. I'm not sure if you answer questions in your comments here but I have your book and just discovered your blog. We are planning on heading down to this campground on Friday. When it says just fire grill, I'm not sure exactly what that means. Does that mean that there are no fire pits to make a fire with our own wood? Are we only able to use the grill with charcoal? I'd appreciate any help.