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Free Dispersed Camping Near Moab & Arches National Park

2022 Update: This free camping area was being turned into a campground when we returned in the fall of 2021. None of the new campsites were open yet and it was unclear if it was going to be a paid campground or not. There isn’t currently any info online but be ready for there to be a lot less free campsites and for it to possibly cost money starting in 2022.

We stayed at BLM 143 Dinosaur Tracks near Arches National Park in October 2020

Our Previous Stop: Best Free Camping For Big RVs Near Bryce Canyon Utah

Our Next Stop: Arizona

Campground Info

Location: 37.7275, -112.2477
Cost: Free
Camping Limit: 14 Day
Amenities: Open Vault Toilet

Related: Save 50% On Campgrounds All Over The United States With Passport America

Essentials Nearby

Town: Moab, UT – 24 miles
Gas Station: Express 24 23.5 miles or Papa Jo’s Stop & Gonorth 10 miles
Dump Station & Potable Water: Maverik – 26 miles (Free, Potable Water Available, Water Spout Located On Side Of Store Across From Dump Station)
Grocery Store: City Market – 25 miles

Cell Phone Service

Verizon – Good
AT&T – Good

Nearby Attractions

Arches National Park – 20 miles
Moab, UT – 25 miles
Corona Arch Hike – 30 miles
Moab Bike Trailhead – 23 miles
Dead Horse Point State Park – 36 miles
Canyonlands National Park – 33 miles
Valley Of The Gods – 147 miles
Monument Valley – 170 miles
Lake Powell AZ – 300 miles
Four Corners Monument – 170 miles
Grand Canyon National Park – 365 miles

Our free campsite at BLM 143 Dinosaur Tracks near Arches National Park.
Our free campsite at BLM 143 Dinosaur Tracks near Arches National Park.

Free Dispersed Camping At BLM 143 Dinosaur Tracks Near Arches National Park

If you are coming from the North you will see tons of free camping areas along highway 191 on your way to Arches National Park or Moab, UT.

There are at least five BLM camping areas but our favorite so far is BLM 143 more commonly known as Dinosaur Tracks.

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It’s a little further away from everything than some of the other free camping areas but the closer you get to the park or Moab the more crowded the free camping gets.

That doesn’t mean Dinosaur Tracks doesn’t get crowded. It’s a popular area, especially for big rigs, large RVs, and mountain bikers.

That’s right, Dinosaur Tracks is also the trailhead to a ton of awesome mountain biking trails that take you all over the desert. The trails range from easy to expert and it’s free for everyone.

When you first turn off the highway onto BLM 143 you cross some train tracks and come to a large open parking area where you can spend the night if you don’t want to drive the mile or so to the main camping area.

The road is really washboardy so if you’re only planning on staying a night you may want to stay closer to the main road.

After the parking area, you can continue to the right which will take you to dinosaur tracks and the main camping area.

But if you want you can also go left which will take you up over a small hill to a smaller camping area that is going to be less crowded than the main area. Here’s a picture of it below.

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Camping area at Dinosaur Tracks if you choose to go left instead of right near the entrance.
Camping area at Dinosaur Tracks if you choose to go left instead of right near the entrance.

It’s a little hard to see but highway 191 is in the background and you can see a few trailers parked at the base of the small hill in the center.

If you look to the left you can see the road entrance and the place where you can choose to drive either left or right.

If you choose to continue to the main dispersed camping area you will drive down a dirt road for about 1.5 miles before reaching the beginning of the main camping area and the mountain biking trails.

There are a few campsites along the way but every time we’ve been to this place those sites have been taken. Also if you camp there you will have more noise from the highway.

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You’ll know you’ve reached the main BLM camping area when you see the first of the vault toilets and the mountain biking information signs.

There is also a large parking lot that’s fenced in but you aren’t allowed to camp in it.

You can camp pretty much anywhere else though and there are lots of roads that take you to various campsites.

There are a lot of campsites along the hill to the west so if you are having trouble finding somewhere to camp make sure you check out that area as well.

Main free BLM camping area at Dinosaur Tracks near Arches National Park.
Main free BLM camping area at Dinosaur Tracks near Arches National Park.

In the picture above you can see the many campsites along the BLM 143. The loop to the very left is the second parking area for the mountain bike trails.

There’s also an open vault toilet there. You can see the hill I’m talking about to the very right.

At the top of the picture, there is another hill. This is where the easy mountain bike trails are located and there are also a few good campsites at the base of it.

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Pretty much all of the campsites are big rig friendly and you shouldn’t have any trouble finding a place to park any size of RV.

When we were there in October the campground was the most packed we’ve ever seen it. We had people parking to spend the night at the entrance to our campsite and tent campers were staying in the wash next to us.

Most of the time you should be able to find a good campsite here but as Arches National Park and Moab, UT gets more popular the free camping areas may start filling up faster than normal.

The many trailers camping at BLM 143 Dinosaur Tracks near Arches National Park.
The many trailers camping at BLM 143 Dinosaur Tracks near Arches National Park.

My Review Of BLM 143 Dinosaur Tracks Near Arches National Park & Moab, Utah

Even though BLM 143 Dinosaur Tracks is 20 miles away from Arches National Parks it’s actually one of the best free dispersed camping areas, in my opinion.

It’s normally less crowded than the free camping areas that are closer to the park and there is a ton to do in the area.

The rocks around the camping area are really fun to hike along and there are a lot of cool caves and petrified dunes you can explore.

The dinosaur tracks are a must-see as well and the hike to them is just a few hundred feet.

If you are an expert mountain biker or just a beginner there are tons of trails for everyone. I’m not a professional but I was able to ride some of the beginner/intermediate trails and they were really fun.

There are a lot of rocks you ride across and some fun technical parts you can practice on.

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Most of the campsites are circles that are right next to the BLM 143 road. They are for the most part accessible for Class A RVs and large 5th-wheels.

If you go all the way in and end up in the main camping area there is a large hill between you and the highway which means it’s very peaceful there as none of the road noise is able to get through.

We’ve really enjoyed the times we’ve camped at BLM 143 Dinosaur Tracks and Arches National Park is one of our favorite places to visit. I highly recommend it to all kinds of campers.

Have any questions about BLM 143 Dinosaur Tracks? Leave a comment below.

by Jenni
Jenni grew up in a small town in Idaho. With a family that loves camping, she has been towing trailers since a very young age.

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