With so many big-name parks and natural attractions, it’s easy to overlook some of Southern Utah’s more hidden gems.
Southern Utah may be known for its impressive selection of National Parks, but the region has a lot to explore off the beaten path.
If you’re looking for a 3-day adventure full of solitude and beautiful natural scenery, taking a van camper to Southern Utah’s hidden gems is just what you need.
Southern Utah is very remote, so bring all of the food, water and supplies you’ll need for your 3-day trip.
You may encounter some unpaved or dirt roads in less-traveled areas. Vans rented from Vegas Campers cannot be operated on unpaved roads. Please plan accordingly.
Some roads close altogether during winter. Keep a close eye on the weather if you’re planning a trip during the colder months.
This trip - which includes about 650 miles of driving - gives you just a brief introduction to the beautiful region, but we have a feeling you’ll be coming back.
(If you're visiting more than one park, consider the NPS annual pass. Military, seniors, and a few other discounts are also available)
Pick up your camper van in Las Vegas and drive two hours to Sand Hollow State Park.
Sand Hollow is a popular destination for thrill-seekers who want to ride along the park’s ATV trails and spend time out on the water. It may be worth renting an ATV, UTV, kayak, or paddleboard at the Beach At Sand Hollow.
If you’d rather spend a quiet day relaxing, grab a towel and spread out on the park’s red sand beaches.
Campsites are available in the park to spend the night in your van, but you’ll want to make a reservation ahead of time to secure a spot. There are several boondocking locations near the park that are right off of paved roads (many of our feature van photos are taken in this area).
It’s time to head to Dixie National Forest - 2 million acres of remote wilderness in Southern Utah that’s only about an hour away from Sand Hollow State Park.
Dixie National Forest has several campgrounds dispersed around the massive forest to choose from, but the best sites offer easy access to hiking trails.
The Te-Ah Campground and the Navajo Lake Campground, for example, are near the Pinks Trail, Virgin River Rim trail and the popular Navajo Lake Loop. Rangers in one of the Visitor Centers can point you to the best hikes near your campground depending on the weather.
Don’t forget to check out the popular, 0.8-mile hike to Cascade Falls where you can peep into Zion National Park and walk along the Virgin River.
End your day by discovering what’s lurking beneath the park in Mammoth Cave, located on the scenic Markagunt Plateau.
Drive along the park’s main road and stop at viewpoints overlooking the park. A few shorter hiking trails connect the overlooks and can even lead you into the canyon.
Once you’ve had a few chances to “ooh and aah” at the sights along the drive, stop for a picnic lunch on your way out of the park.
Then, head an hour and a half north to some of Southern Utah’s most tranquil hidden gems: soak in natural hot springs at Meadow Hot Springs or Mystic Hot Springs to relieve your sore muscles and unwind from your 3-day adventure.
Check our guides to Zion and Arches!
Red Cliffs National Monument is an awesome stopping point! Check one of our renters' video covering the area and their trip to Zion
VegasCampers has a small fleet of fully stocked camper vans ready for your next adventure to Zion National Park and other popular destinations. Reserve your van today.
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