Mid-May tent camping by Moab, near trails?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Mid-May tent camping by Moab, near trails?

    We are planning a trip and would like to avoid hotels/condos. We have the cash but just want to be outside as much as possible.

    Is that time of year, climate-wise, ok to camp near Moab?


    The more minimalistic the better. We will be tent camping from a car.

    Something like Horsetheif looks ideal, except we can't reserve. We pull into Moab on a Monday so a spot might be open but we need something secure. How likely is a spot to be open Monday afternoon at Horsetheif?

    We show up Mon and leave Sat. So, pretty much miss the weekends.


    Camping nearer trails would be great but we do expect to drive to trailheads.

    Amasa/Ahab area is my favorite. The area near Mag 7 - Horsethief site is also good.

    Not being too far "out there" is most practical as we do plan on hitting the shuttle to ride TWE (or whatever is open).


    We are open to paying to stay at a private campground, but don't want to get sandwiched between large RVs.

    Any advice?

  2. #2
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    Check out Moab, Up The Creek Campground. It is a tent only campground located within easy walking distance of downtown. It is a very small campground, located on the banks of Mill Creek and is shady.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miker J View Post
    We are planning a trip and would like to avoid hotels/condos. We have the cash but just want to be outside as much as possible.

    Is that time of year, climate-wise, ok to camp near Moab?


    The more minimalistic the better. We will be tent camping from a car.

    Something like Horsetheif looks ideal, except we can't reserve. We pull into Moab on a Monday so a spot might be open but we need something secure. How likely is a spot to be open Monday afternoon at Horsetheif?

    We show up Mon and leave Sat. So, pretty much miss the weekends.


    Camping nearer trails would be great but we do expect to drive to trailheads.

    Amasa/Ahab area is my favorite. The area near Mag 7 - Horsethief site is also good.

    Not being too far "out there" is most practical as we do plan on hitting the shuttle to ride TWE (or whatever is open).


    We are open to paying to stay at a private campground, but don't want to get sandwiched between large RVs.

    Any advice?
    Up The Creek is a great suggestion for a commercial campground, really the only commercial one you want to tent in.

    For public sites, Moonflower is the best near Moab, IMHO, but you have to get lucky to get a spot. It is tent only and you have to walk a little to get to the site from your car. Just down the road is Williams Bottom, and it also has some walk-in sites, but it is closer to the road and not as shady. On Potash Road there is a little Rotary Club campground that is walk in tent sites, but it too is close to the road.
    Sand Flats is windy and hot, and tons of ATVs/UTVs/Jeeps.

    Out Kane Creek Road BLM has added several campgrounds with tent and RV sites. Lots of ATV traffic though.

    Up in the La Sals there are some awesome sites but you are looking at a 20-40 minute drive to town from there, and it will be cold at night in May.

  4. #4
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    May is still the height of the travel season so you won't find much benefit from non-weekend camping. The small campgrounds along hwy 313 are hit or miss for vacancies. Same with along the Colorado River either up river or down river from Hwy 191. If you can grab reservations at any of them then go for it.

    The analysis above is good advice.

    May can be hot during the day but comfortable at night. Camps along the river and in Moab have shade. Rare outside of those area. Lots of moto around primitive camps. Also, it is the desert and wind can really rip at times. We've camped in 50 mph gusts there but our tent is built for it. Most aren't.

    Kane Creek Campground has a huge field to camp in, probably never full except for Memorial Day weekend and Jeep Safari Week.

    This map is pretty good. Looks up to date.

    https://www.google.com/search?client...2!2i735!4f13.1

    You can't camp along most routes except in established campgrounds, especially west of 191. For most of the roads off 313 you need to carry a potty for primitive camping per BLM regs. However, north of town is lots of primitive camping. There is a toilet and camping at North Klondike Bluffs.

    There are now toilets along and around Warner Springs Road and lots of primitive camping out there. That dusty road is north of 313 off 191 to the east. It is the access road to the KlonZo Trails. Some limited shade from "towering" junipers.

    We've camped in most places in Moab. You can find shade at Up The Creek, Slick Rock Campground, and Canyonlands downtown. The advantage to Canyonlands is it is a short walk to Moab Brewery and the restaurants. They have a separate tent area by the creek and a pool. Slick Rock has hot tubs. Moab Valley Resort is really nice with tents for shade but getting expensive. Great facilities and a good view of the Portal Trail across the river. You can watch riders on it at night for entertainment.

    There is also a KOA south of town which is OK for camping but the toilets get crowded.

    Nice to have showers available but there are many public showers in Moab and you can find that info online. The Lazy Lizard Hostel charges $3, Moab Cyclery $5.
    MTB blog for US West trails: http://jimprestonmtb.com. Trail analysis videos, bike and component reviews, other stuff.

  5. #5
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    All great advice. Thanks guys.

  6. #6
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    So, after more research and with the help of the above posts looks like showing up somewhat blind, that time of year, it would be a risky proposition thinking we'd quickly find a good spot, set up, and hit the trails.

    We've decided to rent a hotel this time around, scope the camping scene, find some good spots, then ideally return to camp at a later time.

    Thanks again.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miker J View Post
    So, after more research and with the help of the above posts looks like showing up somewhat blind, that time of year, it would be a risky proposition thinking we'd quickly find a good spot, set up, and hit the trails.

    We've decided to rent a hotel this time around, scope the camping scene, find some good spots, then ideally return to camp at a later time.

    Thanks again.
    The Moab Valley Inn is right across from the Moab Brewery (ribs, after 5PM) and they let you keep your bikes in the rooms.

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