By Maloree Anderson
Aug 20, 2016

Great Weekend Camping Spots for Scouts in Utah

Earlier this year, I attended the “Great Camping Spots” class during the 2016 University of Scouting. The instructor started the session by giving a few things to consider before you plan your Scout camping trip:

  • Are you camping at an actual site or backpacking to a spot?
  • Think about the time of year and the location.
  • What are the limitation of the boys?
  • How remote do you want the camping experience to be?
  • Are there water sources? If so, is there a drought happening?
  • What are the Scout requirements for camping? (Each Scout rank has a camping requirement, cater to what is needed).

Then he asked the question, “Where do you like to camp with your Scouts?” Audience members shouted out their favorite camping spots and made inside jokes about that area, chuckling at their past memories.

goblin-valley-state-park-utah1One of the answers was Goblin Valley, but to make sure to avoid the rainy, hot season. Another favorite was Little Deer Creek Campground, which does have a camping fee. There’s Camp Floyd that was described as a fine camping spot to take your Scouts camping. Or Simpson Springs, a great place to do nature merit badges like astronomy. It also provides swimming, fishing, rock climbing, and repelling.

Chief Creek Lake (National Forest) is a summer destination with fishing and hiking. This does require a camping fee, but the view is beautiful and the camping spot is a fun place to be with your Scouts. Another great spot is near Flaming Gorge. Park your vehicle by the dam and walk seven miles to the water hole to fish.

bc059b51-05dd-47b2-87f1-e847c2d39d98Have you heard of the lava tubes near Fillmore? You’ll need a truck and band-aids for sure. It’s open year-round and only three miles from Meadow Hot Springs (no camping spots at the hot springs). It’s also near the Lace Curtain of Pahvant Butte.

One spot which brought up a lot of conversation was the Geode Beds near Saratoga Springs. They say to not camp because of the zero wind break, but it’s a great spot to go to during the spring and the boys love it, though you have to be careful due to people’s mineral claims. However, there is one claim that you can call the owner, pay a fee, and the owner will use his backhoe and take the troop there to play in the dirt. It was suggested to bring rockets because you can only play in the dirt for so long. Be sure to bring hammers and shovels as well.

Screen Shot 2016-08-15 at 12.25.41 PMBurraston Ponds was brought up as a great place to swim, just past the hot springs on Highway 6, Diamond Fork Canyon. Though overnight camping is no longer allowed at the ponds, you can still have a great excursion. You can take your Scouts on a hike to the hot springs and Sawmill Hollow. Merit badges that can be completed are astronomy, swimming, fishing, repelling, and so on.

The last camping spots that were mentioned were White Rocks recreation area, just north of Dugway. There are a number of out-coves to camp and the Scouts can explore the rocks. Also check out Wardsworth Creek, located in Hobble Creek Canyon. And finally, Payson Canyon offers Payson Lake to fish, canoe, kayak and Devil’s Kitchen.

I am going to add my favorite spot to camp, Coral Pink Sand Dunes in Kanab, Utah. You can either camp in the open area on the east end of the dunes (no fee) or camp in the campground with bathrooms and water. Scouts can work on nature merit badges and for fun, sled down the sandy dunes (Tip: Let your Scouts build their own sleds and make it a fun competition!).

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Your favorite spot not mentioned? Comment below on places you have taken your Scouts. Or, do you have any more comments or advice on the camping spots above? We want to hear what you have to say!

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Author: Maloree Anderson | is a photographer, graphic designer, mom of one, friend of Scouting and Marketing Specialist with the Utah National Parks Council, Boy Scouts of America.

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7 thoughts on “Great Weekend Camping Spots for Scouts in Utah

  1. Steve Faber

    Also, the hyperlink to the location you’ve labeled as “Woodworth Creek” points to a spot up left hand fork of Hobble Creek Canyon. If it’s what I think it is, the correct name is “Wardsworth Creek”, and it’s up RIGHT hand fork of Hobble Creek at this location, just east of Balsam Campground: 40.195528, -111.391609

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  2. JohnJohn

    Camping is no longer allowed at Burraston Ponds. I talked directly to the DNR representative and they have closed all overnight camping there.

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  3. JohnJohn

    Did you know that you can camp at Maple Dell Scout Camp? There is a campsite fee that ranges from $25 (higher for the large campsites), but then you have access to the restrooms and showers, water, etc. Depending on the weekend, you can also use the shooting range, waterfront, ZIPlines, etc. for additional fees.

    Reply

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