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Visiting the Mighty Five National Parks of Utah

Sam Leash-profile-image
Sam Leash
October 13, 2020

TL;DR: Utah's Mighty Five national parks offer stunning landscapes and outdoor adventures for RV travelers. Zion National Park boasts a deep canyon with the Virgin River, offering hiking and wildlife viewing. Bryce Canyon National Park features unique red spires called hoodoos, perfect for hiking and scenic driving. Capitol Reef National Park showcases layers of canyons and rock formations, with Cathedral Valley as a must-see. Arches National Park, near Moab, boasts over 2,000 natural sandstone arches, including the famous Delicate Arch. RV camping options range from campgrounds within the parks to nearby private RV resorts with full hookups and amenities. Plan your road trip to explore the natural wonders of Utah! 🏞️🚐

Visiting the Mighty Five National Parks of Utah

All across America, there are a variety of special lands that are designated to be federally protected, due to their beauty and significance. Of these spectacular areas, sixty-two places have been designated as national parks, to be protected for the future enjoyment of all visitors. Of all the national parks found in the United States, the five Utah parks, otherwise known as the Utah Mighty Five, are some of the most fascinating. Each of these parks holds something new and exciting, providing a gorgeous place to vacation. Those with an RV can easily visit the five parks in one big trip, as they are all relatively close together. With the availability of both private and national park campgrounds, there are many places for RV camping in Utah. Continue on for a full list of the parks, what each has to offer, and where you can camp on your next big road trip to Utah’s Mighty Five.Arches National Park is one of the Utah Mighty Five parks.

1. Zion National Park

Zion National Park is the southernmost national park in Utah. This stunning park is located inside a deep canyon in the southern Utah desert. The crystal clear Virgin River runs through the center of the canyon, with lush vegetation, and red sandstone cliffs in every direction. Common activities enjoyed here include hiking, biking, climbing, wildlife viewing, and canyoneering.

RV Camping

Within Zion, there are two RV-friendly campgrounds to choose from. Watchman Campground is the most popular, since it offers electrical hookups, but South Campground offers more campsites at a lower price point. Both campgrounds allow reservations and must be booked well in advance because of the park’s popularity. Outside of Zion, there are several campgrounds and RV resorts, some located just outside the park and others a bit further, in the nearby towns of Hurricane and St. George. Each of these provides full hook-ups and more amenities than the campgrounds within the park, but they can be expected to cost more and require additional driving distance to visit Zion. The best parks to consider include Zion Canyon Campground and RV Resort, Zion Crest Campground and RV Park,Zion West RV Park, and St. George/Hurricane KOA. Be sure to reserve your campsite well in advance to ensure availability.Zion National Park i one of the most stunning national parks.

2. Bryce Canyon National Park

After leaving Zion, you can travel about two hours northeast to arrive at Bryce Canyon National Park. This beautiful park is characterized by its stunning red spires (called hoodoos) set deep within an orange and red-toned canyon. In the winter, the hoodoos rise out of the snowy ground, offering the perfect juxtaposition of colors. Popular activities here include hiking, scenic driving, and winter activities seasonally.

RV Camping

If you are visiting in your RV, there are several campground options. Within the park, theNorth Campground and Sunset Campground are both available to RVs. North Campground operates on a first-come, first served basis, while Sunset Campground allows reservations in peak season. Each is affordable but does not offer hookups.Outside the park, there are several great camping options. Bryce Canyon Pines Campground and Cannonville/Bryce Valley KOA Holidayare both great options, offering full hookups among many other amenities. Be sure to make reservations a few months ahead during the busiest seasons.Bryce Canyon is the second park of the Utah Mighty Five.

3. Capitol Reef National Park

Leaving Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef National Park is located another two hours northeast. Despite its unique and rare beauty, this park is the least-visited of the Big Five. It is best known for its layers of canyons, striking rock formations, and sandstone structures. Popular activities here include hiking, biking, climbing, canyoneering, and scenic driving. Don’t forget to take a drive out to Cathedral Valley when you come to visit!

RV Camping

Within the park, Fruita Campground is the only RV-accessible campground. It is open year-round, with reservations available during the peak season. There is potable water and a dump station available, as well.Outside the park, the best camping options are Sandcreek RV Park and Wonderland RV Park. Each of these parks offers full hookups and other amenities, such as laundry, WiFi, and more.Capitol Reef National Park is one of the Utah Mighty Five.

4. Arches National Park

About another two hours east, we arrive at Arches National Park, just outside of the city of Moab. With so many recreational opportunities, Moab itself is a popular tourist destination. If you decide to visit Arches, plan to visit Moab as well, as it has many excellent restaurants and shops, as well as awesome nearby outdoor activities.Arches National Park is an incredible place, filled with over 2,000 natural sandstone arches, set against a gorgeous backdrop of both mountains and sprawling desert. Park visitors tend to enjoy hiking to the arches, the most famous of which is Delicate Arch, as well as auto touring, canyoneering, rock climbing, and more. Of all the Utah parks, this one tends to be the busiest.

RV Camping

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Sam Leash-profile-image
Sam Leash
Sam is a seasoned traveler and RVer of 4+ years. She loves adventures of all kinds and spends as much time on the road as she can. When not exploring in her RV or writing about her travels, you can find her reading a good book, cooking a delicious meal, caring for her plants, or hiking with her dogs.