Spring Break Camping in Moab, UT

Darren and I first went to Moab in 1995 when we were young and responsibility free.  We had a 2 man tent, a couple of sleeping bags, two mountain bikes and plenty of beer.  Fast forward 21 years of Spring breaks.

“If one more person asks ‘are we there yet?’ from now until we get there, I am going to lose my mind,” Darren says from the drivers seat.  This dialog is an essential ingredient for any family road trip.  It has to happen.  It peaks between 5 years and 10 years old.  I have noticed with my 12 year old that it has petered out a bit.  We cruise down I-70 through Eisenhower Tunnel and over Vail pass and through Glenwood Canyon headed across Colorado to the desert of Utah and more specifically, Moab.  Oh how I love a road trip!  No airport, no stress and the prospect that any itinerary is possible.  Our goal is to meet some of our neighborhood crew at Sandflats Recreation Area to camp, hike and bike for four days.  It is not exactly hot in Moab in March, but the days are projected to hit 60 degrees and the nights 35 degrees.  We are optimistic.  Though the nights will be cold, we have propane for the heater in our pop up camper and down sleeping bags.

Moab, UT

Eight hours later we are arrive to the delight of the children who were waiting for our children and their Dad who had been “saving” us a camp spot with some camp chairs and a blanket.  It is a tricky thing with this no reservation spot on a Spring Break week.  We had a couple people totally pissed off as they drove around the loop looking for a spot.  The kids were off and running and Darren and I were left to set up the camper and create a little space for ourselves for the next four days.

Moab wins for sunsets. Grab your camera, climb up Sandflats and behold the amazing desert light all around you. Click To Tweet

Moab Utah Arches IMG_6098 Hunters Canyon Hike Moab Utah3S5A8940 3S5A8965 GOPR1394

See
Moab is home Arches National Park.  The visitors center is a great intro before entering the park.  Whether you are going to do an all day hike or drive through, I recommend starting here.  The kids picked up their junior ranger booklets before we headed out and we got to see a short film on why “arches” actually exists.

Stay
In Moab we camp.  I don’t think there is another way to do it really unless you found a great VRBO.  There are hotel-ish establishments and there are even a couple of resorts that describe themselves as “luxury” but, in my opinion, the best way to see Moab is to sleep outside (or in your heated camper).  And I love luxury so that is saying a lot. We usually go in March and it is cold at night.  We have a pop up camper and a heater to go with it.  If you are tenting it with your kids before the end of April remember to bring your 4-season sleeping bags and warm clothes.  Our favorite first come first serve campground is on BLM land called, Sandflats Recreation Area. When Darren and I started going there in 1995 we paid $2 a night.  It is up to $15 a night and $5 extra for the trailer.  The sites offer amazing views, outhouses where you can see the stars and good fire pits.

Do
Hiking, biking and sand sledding.  The to dos in Moab are for the total outdoor lover.  The best part is that you can do a version of everything with your kids.  I cannot speak to some of the awesome activities they offer, like zip lining and jeep 4-wheeling because I have never done these things here, so I will stick with recommending what I have done and loved with my family.
Favorite Family Hikes: Corona Arch, Park Avenue, Hunter Canyon and Windows.
Favorite Family Friendly Mountain Biking: Bar M Trail
Best Adult Mountain Bike (Previous Experience Required): Amasa Back Area.  HyMasa to Captain Ahab.
Sand Sledding:  As you drive into Moab on Highway 191 there is “the sand hill” across the road from the Arches entrance.  It is about 100 feet tall.  It is worth dragging a sled or they can go down on their butt. There are some calories to be expended after a long road trip and the kids will have a ball.

Eat
In Moab, you are better off making and eating amazing camping meals than eating at any restaurants. There is, however, one place not to be missed.  Milt’s.  It is a burger and shake joint that we always save for the last night of camping when we have had enough of cleaning up.  I was thoroughly happy to sit at one of their picnic tables, freezing my ass off while enjoying a Milt’s burger.  The Moab Brewery is a good post-hike stop for a beer for the adults and gelato for the kids.  If you know of any others to add to the list throw them in the comments section.

Tips to make a great camping trip in Moab:
1.  Try to arrive on an early weekday or Sunday to score a camping spot at Sandflats.  Weekends are busy an d tend to fill up quickly.
2.  Moab Rec Center offers a pool for the kids if the weather gets downright unbearable and for $4 you can have a hot shower.  Bring a towel or buy a scratchy one for $5.

Family Glamping In Moab, UT

2 Comments

  • Beth {Vacation Coffee}

    Thank you for this! Came here from your Insta account. We have similar aged kids … Heading to Moab in a couple weeks so I’m definitely pinning this for those last minute details! Can’t wait to poke around your blog more. 😉

    • Leenie

      Hi Beth,

      I think you are my first visitor:-) Thanks for stopping by. Let me know if you need any more info. I can email you some more details.

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