4 Top Winter Camping Destinations in the Western US
Winter camping destinations? Yes! We are abolishing the myth that camping is limited to Spring, Summer and Fall in the Western USA.
Winter camping is an amazing experience that has far more pros than cons. Not only are there less crowds in the months between November and March, but our camper van rental rates are 50% or more lower than the peak months of summer. Fuel prices are typically lower this time of year as well and no worries on booked out campgrounds, there is always a place to camp this time of year.
So if you have been holding off taking a much earned adventure out West due to a tight budget… then now is the time to begin planning your next epic road trip! We thought we’d help you out with some great Winter camping destinations that we dig.
Utah Desert Camping and Skiing Vacations
How about fantastic skiing and a desert camping adventure all in one trip? Sounds amazing right? Well that is exactly what you can have traveling from our Salt Lake City depot during winter. (Did I mention Utah has the best snow on earth?)
Pick up a van and hit the slopes for a day then venture to Moab for some winter camping in Arches National Park at the Devils Garden Campground. From November to February, the sites are limited and available on a self-serve/first come basis. The winter months are still quite cold here so pack accordingly and you will stay warm and happy. Snow rarely falls in the Valley at the foot of the La Sal Mountain, but when it does, the beauty is profound enough that photographers flock to the area for their best shots! This campground will be closed from March 1st 2017-November 1st 2017 so this winter will be your last chance to experience camping there!
Another one of the great Utah winter camping destinations is Zion National Park. The Watchman Campground is open year round for first come first serve campsites. A winter visit to Zion allows you more flexibility to see everything at your own pace. November- March you are allowed to drive you own vehicle through the park, during the rest of the busy months of the year, you are required to use the shuttle service. Take advantage of the solitude and amazing photo opportunities that an off season visit provides!
California Desert Camping
Not feeling the idea of snow? No worries. Death Valley is one of the great winter camping destinations in the west. You get to experience all of the beauty and bizarre wonderment of the largest National Park in America without the unbearable heat. California locals enjoy winter camping on holiday weekends in Death Valley, otherwise winter populations are much less crowded than the rest of the year.
A great campground on the North end of the valley is Mesquite Springs Campground. This is a quiet campground with 30 first come first serve sites. The campground is open year round. At night you can hear the coyotes singing in the distance under a blanket of stars.
North of Sedona there is some lovely camping to be had in the Coconino National Forrest. The Manzanita Campground in Oak Creek Canyon is open year around and offers tent sites only on a first come first serve basis. RV’s are not permitted here, so you can enjoy the sound of the flowing creek without the noise of RV generators. This option puts you only 30 minutes away from uptown Sedona where there is loads of eclectic shops, restaurants and desert hiking trails.
Submitted by “vanfan” Launi Haygood, Salt Lake City Campervan Rental Guru