Dispersed camping near Bryce Canyon National Park is plentiful within adjacent Dixie National Forest and BLM lands, all within a 15-20 minute drive to the park visitor center. If you’re willing to drive down some dirt roads, you can find free camping near Bryce Canyon.
Dispersed Camping Near Bryce Canyon National Park
The following campsites were selected based on our own experiences camping there or based on the popularity of other boondockers…
Great Western Trail
(GPS: 37.65769, -112.16793) – 1.6 miles to Bryce Canyon NP Visitor Center – This is a road marked on US Forest Service maps as NF-090. It branches off of Highway 63 at the park entrance sign and heads west into Dixie National Forest. The first stretch of this road is off-limits to camping, but once you get past the “no camping” signs, dispersed camping is allowed within 150 feet from either side of the road, as well as all other spur roads branching off of NF-090. The road itself is easy to drive on, just about any 2WD vehicle can make it. Note, do not head north towards the town of Bryce because US Forest Service rules prohibit camping within a mile of developed areas, instead head south or west.
Johns Valley Road
(GPS: 37.73003, -112.09409) – 8.3 miles to Bryce Canyon NP Visitor Center – Johns Valley Road is a stretch of paved highway leading northeast from the town of Bryce. It enters into the Dixie National Forest right at the above mentioned GPS coordinates. From that point, dispersed camping is available primarily on the southeast side of the road. Your best bet is to get on NF-419 and head southeast (right at the GPS coordinates), and find camping there. You are restricted to camping no greater than 150 feet from either side of a road. You can also try NF-555, which is another 4 miles up Johns Valley Road, and find camping along there. NF-555 is a little better traveled than NF-419. The forest roads through this area are more narrow and bumpy, and may get muddy during rains. 4WD is not necessary, but may be useful in wet conditions.
Tom’s Best Spring Road
(GPS: 37.71993, -112.25526) – 10.0 miles to Bryce Canyon NP Visitor Center – Tom’s Best Spring Road starts at Highway 12 at the south, about 6 miles west of the town of Bryce. The first 11.7 miles of this road travels through Dixie National Forest. It’s along this portion that dispersed camping is permitted, as long as you remain within 150 feet from either side of the road. Most people who camp here choose to camp somewhere along NF-3626, which branches off of Tom’s Best Spring Road on the southeast side. However, there are dozens of other forest roads that branch off too, and you can boondock on any of these. If you were to travel the full 11.7 miles to the other side of the Forest, will you reach the actual “Tom’s Best Spring”, located along NF-124.
- Read reviews of Tom’s Best Spring Road on FreeRoam
- Dispersed Camping Guidelines, Dixie National Forest
(GPS: 37.72988, -112.27407) – 11.3 miles to Bryce Canyon NP Visitor Center – Corral Hollow is the name given to the first mile of NF-121. This forest road branches off of Highway 12 about 7.3 miles west of the town of Bryce. NF-121 travels for several miles, changing names as it winds north into Dixie National Forest, perhaps 30-40 miles up. Technically, dispersed camping is allowed anywhere along this stretch, however, most people pick a spot within the first 2 miles from Highway 12. In those first 2 miles, the road is easily passable by a 2WD vehicle yet is still bumpy in places. You are restricted to camping no more than 150 feet from either side of the road.
Castro Canyon Road
(GPS: 37.74625, -112.34169) – 15.7 miles to Bryce Canyon NP Visitor Center – Located on BLM Land, this road starts at Highway 12 about 11.9 miles west of the town of Bryce. The road itself heads north through BLM lands and eventually circles west to Highway 89. Almost all of this land is open for dispersed camping except for the last mile before it reaches Highway 89. Most people camping here usually find something within the first few miles from Highway 12. There are several previously-used campsites here in this section. If you were to continue further the road becomes more bumpy and eventually requires high clearance. Because this is on BLM land, there is no 150 feet restriction that Dixie National Forest has.