2013 was an incredible year.  We camped in 6 states (Colorado, Utah, Arizona, Wyoming, Montana & Idaho), bought a travel trailer (kept the truck camper) and decided to live on the road full-time.  2014 is undoubtedly going to be a year full of great adventures and new challenges.  First I’d like to take a look back at a few of our favorite camp sites of 2013.  Some are new and some are favorites revisited, either way these are 10 of our favorites in no particular order.  Happy new year!

1. Valley of the Gods, Utah. 262-112312utah.jpg

We went back to this camp site twice this year as it’s easy to get to yet feels so far away.  This smaller version of Monument Valley has all the views and none of the crowds.  A great find in Southern Utah.

Vicinity: Hwy 163 & Valley of the Gods Rd.
Nearest Town: Mexican Hat, Utah
GPS coordinates:  37°18’41.45″N 109°50’29.81″W
Campsite elevation: 4974′
Cost: Free

2. Stanton Creek Campground @ Lake Powell, Utah.
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Technically this is a campground and costs $12 per night but really it’s just dispersed camping along the shoreline of Lake Powell.  There are no designated spaces or amenities.  Since car camping on the shores of Powell is nearly non-existent, we didn’t hesitate to pay the fee to camp at one of my favorite lakes in the country.
Vicinity: Near Bullfrog Marina, Utah
GPS coordinates: Latitude 37, 29.49N Longitude 110,42.21W
Cost: $12 per night plus $15 admittance fee to Bullfrog

3. Routt National Forest, Colorado near Flat Tops Wilderness Area
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This particular site, tucked back in the aspens, is gorgeous but really every site along this road leading in to Flat Tops Wilderness Area is a score.  The area is stunning and the hiking trails go on for days.  Check out Devil’s Causeway for a thrill if you ever make it to this area.

Vicinity: Forest Service Road 900
Nearest Town: Yampa, Colorado
GPS coordinates:  40° 3’15.83″N  107° 2’1.63″W
Cost: not sure, $5 or $10 per night

4. Lake Havasu State Park, Arizona.
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This lake side state park is in my home town yet I’d never camped there until this year.  Most camp sites on Lake Havasu are only accessible by boat making this a great opportunity to camp in your RV lake side.  Most of the sites are quite spacious and you can’t beat Havasu’s mild winters.  It was 85 degrees when we stayed in the beginning of March.  The price increase this year from $20/night to $30/night is a bummer but electrical hookups are now available.
Town: Lake Havasu City, Arizona
Cost: $30 per night
Arizona State Parks Website

5. Cathedral Valley Rd., Utah near Capitol Reef National Park
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Just outside of Capitol Reef National Park’s Cathedral Valley is a wide expanse of BLM land just begging to be explored.  Though spring breakers flock to Utah’s national parks and surrounding areas when we were there in March, we found this to be a great place to enjoy Utah’s breathtaking scenery and have it all to ourselves.

Vicinity: Caineville Wash Road & Highway 24
Nearest Town: Hanksville, UT
GPS coordinates:  38º24’6.56″N 111º1’48.71″W
Campsite elevation: 5305′
Cost: Free

6. San Isabel National Forest near Buena Vista, Colorado.
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This was a stellar Spring find for us.  While the Rocky Mountain peaks are still buried in snow in April, the lower lying hills East of Buena Vista were starting to warm up.  Just outside of town, this site is convenient but still feels like you’re away from  it all.  The best part: the panoramic views of the Collegiate Peaks across the valley.

Vicinity: Hwy 24/285 to County Rd 315
Nearest Town: Buena Vista, Colorado
GPS coordinates: N38˚51.256′, W106˚03.549′
Campsite elevation: 9354′
Cost: Free

7. McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area
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Ever since finding this spot last year we could not wait to go back.  This is the perfect spot for us mountain dwellers in Colorado that need a quick escape to warmer climates.  The views of the Colorado river and surrounding red rock formations are incredible.  There’s also some awesome hiking and mountain biking trails in the area.

Vicinity: Rabbit Valley Exit off I-70 west of Mack
Nearest Town: Mack & Fruita, Colorado
GPS coordinates:  39° 8’8.69″N 109° 1’44.43″W
Cost: Free

8. Piney Campground, Montana.
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For 2 weeks in July we camped in Montana & Idaho.  Luckily one week of that time was spent camping on my uncle’s property in Idaho because finding camps sites in Montana did not come easy for us.  Finding Piney Campground at Georgetown Lake was a great reprieve from the heat, bugs and crowds we seemingly could not get away from.  Our campsite, set among a forest of pine trees was cool and quiet and surrounded by lush wildflowers.  Watching a moose and her young frolic in the trees behind our camp was an added bonus.

Vicinity: Georgetown Lake Road off Highway 1
Nearest Town: Philipsburg, Montana
GPS coordinates: Latitude 46.195573 Longitude -113.302198
Cost: can’t remember/somewhere around $15 per night
Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest Campground Information

9. Uinta National Forest near Heber City, UT.
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In June we set out to explore a different region of Utah and fell in love.  We were blown away by just how much Uinta National Forest (Northeast of Provo) has to offer.  We spent four nights at four different sites and had a hard time choosing from the many great options we came upon.  I’m always a sucker for a camp site in an aspen grove which is just one of the many reasons why this is one of my favorite camp sites of the year.  This area has some incredible aspen groves.  I imagine this would be an incredible camp site during Fall.
Nearest Town: Heber City, UT
GPS coordinates: N40°21.457′ W111°08.406′
Campsite elevation: 8900′
Cost: Free

10. Lake Mohave, Arizona.

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If you’re really looking to get away from it all and relax in your own little desert oasis, this the place to be.  Several primitive camp sites line the shores of Lake Mohave at the end of 20 mile long Cottonwood Rd.  I imagine you’d have company if you camped here in the summer but if you’re snowbirds like us looking for a nice place to spend a 70 degree day in December, you’ll likely have the place to yourself.

Vicinity: Hwy 93 & Cottonwood Rd.
Nearest Town: Kingman, AZ
GPS coordinates:  35°27’52.37″N 114°38’21.69″W
Campsite elevation: 700′
Cost: Free

What was your favorite camp site of 2013?
Where are you excited to camp in 2014?

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