Conquering Canyonlands

Since we weren’t in love with our week at Yellow Circle Road, we knew we wanted to find another boondocking spot. We had just tackled Arches, but there was another national park on the other side of town that demanded our attention: Canyonlands. Thanks to a recent review from some new RV friends, we learned about the lesser-known Klondike Bluffs just north of the parks. With the weekend at Canyonlands ahead of us, we made our way along the winding dirt road to one of the best boondocking spots in Moab.

 

 
 

 

While there are tons of camping options around Moab, we’ve done enough research to know that it’s almost impossible to find a spot in one of the official campgrounds- especially when visiting in May, the busiest time of the year. Past this, there weren’t many options for boondocking with larger RVs and the busy Willow Springs Trail, which is actually the old entrance road into Arches, sounded a bit too loud and congested for our taste.

 

Klondike Bluff road was slightly bumpy, but after about a mile we came upon an open vista, overlooking the rough desert landscape with Arches just off in the distance. Really, we could have gone farther down the road, but we loved the spot and internet was strong, so we got set up and toasted to finding a reprieve amongst the chaos.

 

 
 

 

A couple days later, we got to meet our new friends Kelly and Marshall, whose review of Klondike Bluffs got us to go there in the first place. Since they’ve both been doing this for a couple years, we know to trust their judgment when picking a place to camp. We spent the night getting to know each other and laughing about the trials and tribulations of RV life. If you’re ever in need of RV info, be sure to check out their website Camp Addict for some great guides!

 

After a full week at the Bluffs, we woke up before the sun on Saturday to get into Canyonlands as early as possible. The park doesn’t offer much in the line of parking, which meant an early morning was necessary to ensure a safe place to leave the rig. Andy found a hike that began at one of the picnic grounds, so it all seemed to fit perfectly. We claimed a hut and ran with our coffees to the brink of the cliffs, just as the sun began to crest the mountains and lite up the sprawling canyon floor beneath us.

 

 
 

 

After sunrise it was time for breakfast and hiking. We made our standard egg-in-a-frame and loaded up our gear, ready to take on the Gooseberry Trail. Now, we’ve become pretty good at hiking, but even we have to admit that this trail was STEEP. It switchbacks straight up and down the cliff face, so it is definitely not recommended for the faint of heart.

 

That being said, the explosive sense of accomplishment that comes over you when you look at what you’ve climbed down, and then what you’ve climbed back up, is unlike any other and totally worth every muscle burning second.

 

 
 

 

The calorie busting hike called for food- fast- so we made our way back to the RV and enjoyed a much-deserved lunch. From there, it was back to our spot at Klondike Bluffs. We loved the area so much that it didn’t make sense to move quite yet, so we unveiled our recent trick to saving the RV’s spot when we move: the tent.

 

Reality is that without a car, we need to occasionally move the RV in the middle of our stay. We realized we already have a big tent taking up space, so why not use it to save our space?

 

We came back to find the tent safely saving our location, a surprise with the wind that whipped around that day. And now we were all ready to enjoy another week at Klondike Bluffs, complete with a lazy Sunday and beautiful views.

 

 

Camping Links:

Campendium- Klondike Bluff Road