Imagine after a long drive on the road, you find the perfect spot — an untamed piece of wilderness where you can park and enjoy the outdoors all to yourself. You’re reminded as you gaze at the stars that the world is beautiful and you’re here to enjoy its splendor. Welcome to the experience and lifestyle that is known as boondocking.
What is Boondocking?
An American term that has become increasingly more popular, ‘boondocking’ is the practice of pulling off the highway to stay at free locations in your car, caravan, RV or Winnebago, in spots that have zero or limited facilities. For this reason, it’s also known as ‘dry camping,’ but can also be referred to as ‘free camping,’ ‘dispersed camping’ or freedom camping.
Boondocking has many pros and cons and is a great opportunity to camp off-the-grid far from services and amenities that are typically found at RV parks or developed campgrounds. You have your camper, and a piece of land to call your own for a couple of days or even weeks! Boondocking is generally free, though sometimes a permit is required.
Where Can You Boondock in Bryce Canyon Country?
As a general rule, boondocking is allowed anywhere on federal public lands within a specified distance of any established road, except where otherwise restricted. There are so many spots to boondock in Bryce Canyon Country, away from the crowded and loud campsites. Below is a list of websites and apps that can help you find great boondocking locations in Bryce Canyon Country:
- Bureau of Land Management
- National Forests and National Grasslands
- Fish and Wildlife Services
- Public Lands App
- Ultimate Campgrounds
Guidelines for Boondocking
National Forest Land and land managed by the Bureau of Land Management offers seclusion, breathtaking views, and serenity to its visitors. It’s up to all RVers, campers and boondockers to keep National Forest Land clean, safe, and respected so we all can continue to use the land and keep it beautiful. It is vital to follow the rules of boondocking on National Forest Land and BLM land so future generations can enjoy the land as well.
Dispersed or boondocking camping is not permitted in all areas. If you’re going to set up a primitive camp in this way, please be sure to adhere to the following guidelines:
- Only camp on public land where permitted
- Keep your campsite minimal so as not to disturb the natural environment
- Remove any waste you produce and follow the Leave No Trace Guidelines
- Be respectful of other visitors and wildlife in the area
- Keep track of your location so as not to get lost and stay away from potentially dangerous areas
Great Pit Stops in Bryce Canyon Country to Eat and Explore
Bryce Canyon Country loves having visitors enjoy and explore its public lands, however it is vital to highlight the intersection between local small businesses and public lands. We encourage visitors to support the local community of Bryce Canyon Country’s motel and restaurant owners, outfitters, gallery proprietors, and mom-and-pop merchants whose survival depends on national parks, national forest, wilderness, Bureau of Land Management landscapes, and national monuments ensuring that the local community can serve visitors in years to come.
One of the most popular trails is Navajo Loop Trail in Bryce Canyon National Park which spans 1.3 miles round trip. The hike begins at the rim and goes down 800 feet through the narrow walls of the Bryce Amphitheater. Navajo Loop Trail intersects the Queens Garden Trail (1.8 miles round trip) and Peekaboo Loop (5.5 miles round trip), providing the opportunity to add onto the scenic adventure. Hiking opportunities abound in this hoodoo haven and is a unique sight for visitors from around the world.
Sandstone chimneys and unique petrified spires called sand pipes rise skyward from the valley floor in a surreal setting at Kodachrome Basin State Park. The Panorama Trail is the longest hiking trail in Kodachrome Basin State Park and a great hike to take time to stretch your legs. Travel this trail by hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. There are two loops you can take on the Panorama Trail: the 5.8-mile Long Loop and the 2.9-miles Short Loop.
Make a pit stop at IDK BBQ, a small town restaurant known for its all-American BBQ in Tropic Utah, 15 minutes away from the entrance of Bryce Canyon National Park. Known for its brisket, be sure to stop by for lunch or dinner!
Big Fish Family Restaurant offers flame-broiled burgers, hot and sassy wings and fresh salads in Panguitch, Utah. You’ll be sure to have your belly’s full and won’t be disappointed with all of the incredible options.
Boondocking in Bryce Canyon Country is a great way to explore iconic locations and discover stunning landscapes. Be sure to start planning your boondocking trip today!