Canyonlands/Arches

Discussion in 'Campground / Trip Planning & Suggestions ?' started by cwolfman13, May 6, 2014.

  1. cwolfman13

    cwolfman13 Active Member

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    Hey, long time no post...but I'm still camping.

    To that end, I'm planning out my 40th birthday trip in October and we're heading to the Moab are to visit Canyonlands and Arches NPs. The plan currently is to arrive on a Thursday morning and head for home on the following Monday. I'm not at all familiar with that error so looking for some advice.

    My first inclination is to camp in Canyonlands at Willow Flat CG...namely because being near the Green River Overlook for sunsets and the like is very appealing to me. On the other hand, this isn't the most central location for visiting both parks and a pretty good haul to the Needles District. So my second inclination is a BLM CG...probably somewhere along Hwy 128; I've heard Goose Island is pretty good. This seems more central to everything and the idea of being on the Colorado is appealing. I've looked into more remote CGs like Wind Whistle which would ordinarily appeal to me very much but just doesn't seem optimal for visiting both parks...I will have a 2 y.o. and 4 y.o. in tow so I want to keep commuting somewhat to a minimum and I don't really want to pack up and change campgrounds half way through the weekend either.

    Just wondering what people's experiences have been in the area.

    Thanks...

    ETA: for whatever reason, Devil's Garden CG in Arches does not appeal to me...I have no logical reason why so I could be swayed if it is something I should consider.
     
  2. NJGuy

    NJGuy Active Member

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    It is very difficult to obtain a camp site at Willow Flat CG and short driveways are more suited to tent camping. The BLM CG Horsethief is still relatively close to Canyonlands NP and has many more sites and long driveways (also closer to Arches and Moab). Traffic noise is loud along Route 128 and CGs are difficult to obtain. Ken's Lake is quiet but farthest away from Canyonlands Island in the Sky.
     
  3. cwolfman13

    cwolfman13 Active Member

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    Hmmm...Wind Whistle or Hatch Point are starting to become more appealing...
     
  4. NJGuy

    NJGuy Active Member

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    I have stayed at Horsethief CG many times. Wind Whistle CG is nice and has Canyon Rim overlooks in the vicinity. Hatch is a little off the beaten path and not very close to Moab.
     
  5. MileHigh

    MileHigh Active Member

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    Have you considered staying at Dead Horse point State Park? It's close to both Canyonlands and Arches National Parks. Weather should be pretty nice in October.

    F5Moab is an expert in this area and may chime in. He gave me great advice for our trip to this area last year.
     
  6. cwolfman13

    cwolfman13 Active Member

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    I've considered it, but there are no campfires allowed and I enjoy a good fire in the evenings.
     
  7. cwolfman13

    cwolfman13 Active Member

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    I'll have to look more into Horsethief...location seems great, but I've had some people tell me it's not as pretty as much of the surrounding area which is important to me as well.
     
  8. nancyanddan

    nancyanddan Active Member

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    We were impressed with Devil's Garden CG when we drove through during a trip to Arches last March. There were at least 10 pups in the CG and the area and views were gorgeous! We will definitely camp there the next time we're in the area.
     
  9. NJGuy

    NJGuy Active Member

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    We camped at Devil's Garden once. Reservations are a must or line up very early at the Visitors Center and hope there are spaces open. Both very large group sites were crawling with school kids. Also, there was quite a bit of vehicle traffic from folks checking out the campground. Accordingly, I probably will not camp there again.
     
  10. MileHigh

    MileHigh Active Member

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  11. jennyzichterman

    jennyzichterman New Member

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    Regardless of where you camp you will spend a fair amount of time in the car if you are visiting Arches & Canyonlands. Everything seems to be 30-40 minutes away from each other: Arches entry to Arches campground = 30 minutes. Dead horse point state park (fabulous views of the canyon lands from the point!) = 40 minutes from Moab and 30 minutes from arches entry. I would bet Horsethief to Moab is 30-40 minutes also.

    With young kids, definitely go to the sand dune arch in Arches - they will be happy for hours! It is close to the Arches campground, which my kids liked a lot, so that could work out if you don't plan to head into Moab or Canyonlands every day. One really nice perk of staying at Arches is that the campground has a lot of rocks to climb in it so you can climb to see the sunset and then be back at your campsite in no time!

    We just camped at DHPSP and while we did miss having a fire, the electrical hookups were nice. Campers were very friendly and the visitor center is nice.
     
  12. Unstable_Tripod

    Unstable_Tripod Well, there's your problem!

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    I've always had problems with swarms of gnats in the evening in those BLM campsites along the river on 128. Personally, I like the Devil's Garden CG (great views of the LaSalle Mtns) but like most places, weekends are always noisier than during the week. And, now that the CG is on the reservation system, you have to get the resies FAR in advance. The Island in the Sky portion of Canyonlands is a long drive from other places in the region. No perfect solution here.

    BTW, welcome back cwolfman13, we missed you.
     
  13. MileHigh

    MileHigh Active Member

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    Tough choices... We spent 4 days in the area last summer. I would really consider either staying in Arches (Devil's Garden) or in Deadhorse. The weather will be perfect in October - we were in Arches in June and 100 degree temps at 9AM get old though it does cool off nicely at night. You're going to have to give something up to be close to both Arches and Canyonlands. I can understand not wanting to pack up and move with 2 young children.

    I agree with seeing the Sand Dune Arch. When my son was 10 , we spent at least an hour there. Last year, when he was 13, spent 2 hours there. Kid's were crying because they didn't want to leave the area.

    What about staying in Moab? Close to both the Needles, Island in the Sky and Arches.

    If you get a chance, don't miss doing the Fiery Furnace tour and try and drive Shafer/White Rim trail in Canyonlands.

    Check campsitephotos.com for pictures of several camping spots in the area.
     

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