Yonder Stoke

Free Camping Near Zion National Park

This summer, we went on a road trip through some of the West Coast’s best national parks. Over the course of two weeks, we only paid for two campsites! How? Dispersed camping.

Dispersed camping, or freedom camping, or boondocking, or primitive camping are all words that refer to camping for free outside of developed campgrounds. Since moving to California, dispersed camping has become my main camping method due to the increasing popularity and congestion at many established campgrounds.

Here are some of my favorite perks of dispersed camping:

  • It’s completely FREE!!!!
    • I love a good deal, and free is about the best deal out there.
  • No crowds!
    • Because dispersed camping involves a little more work, you won’t find yourself camping near 300 of your closest friends.
  • Great views!
    • The views and overall atmosphere while dispersed camping is (in my opinion) much better than in developed campgrounds. Usually dispersed sites are in national forests, and away from civilization. Say hello, to beautiful starry nights.
  • Adventure!
    • Getting to dispersed campsites involves a bit more adventure and exploration than finding the KOA on the side of the highway. Thus, you can expect to have a great time!

Hopefully by now, you’re convinced to give dispersed camping a go. Below I’ve shown some of my favorite spots for freedom camping near Zion National Park. There are two main areas for dispersed camping near Zion. The first is to the North of Highway 9 along Kolob Terrace Road. The second is along Smithsonian Butte Road to the South of Highway 9.

Those are my favorite free campsites near Zion National Park. Please leave a comment below if you want to divulge some of your favorite Zion campsites.

Once you’re done, you should also check out these free camping guides:

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4 Comments

  1. A Wallin March 25, 2018

    How do I find some of your free campsites? I see them plotted on the map but is there a name or gps coordinate? Thanks!!

    • Josh April 5, 2018 — Post Author

      Good question. I think the easiest way is to just click the icon on the map and then click the directions button. That will take you to Google Maps which will give you turn-by-turn directions to get to each site. Alternatively, I think you can get gps coordinates from Google Maps.

  2. David April 5, 2018

    Thanks for sharing your experience and the free camping spots of course. We are sleeping infront of a friends house tonight in Las Vegas and headed to Zion in the morning. I would love to know which spot you recommend. Thanks again. Stay well and safe travels.

    • Josh April 5, 2018 — Post Author

      That’s awesome! You’ll have a blast in Zion. I would recommend the spots along Kolob Terrace road. They’re really easy to get to (we did it in a minivan). Just look for dirt pullouts as you drive North along Kolob Terrace road. The spot I put on the map has a nice seasonal creek and some good trees for shade.

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