Bureau adds new Grand County camping options as area tourism swells

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A photo of one of the two North Klondike Bluffs group campsites on a new campground in Grand County taken on Nov. 15, 2021. The campground opened this week, according to the Bureau of Land Management. (Bureau of Land Management)

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MOAB — A new campground available in Grand County offers more than two dozen sites for campers in a popular mountain-biking area, as visitation to southeast Utah continues to reach record numbers.

The Bureau of Land Management announced Tuesday that the new Klondike Bluffs Mountain Bike Focus Area campground, located by Road 143 and U.S. Highway 191 about 22 miles north of Moab, is now open. It offers 25 individual and two group camping sites.

“These changes will improve visitor experiences and recreation opportunities in the Klondike Bluffs area while protecting the natural and cultural resources that make it an exciting place to visit,” said Nicollee Gaddis-Wyatt, the agency’s Moab field manager, in a statement.

All 25 of the individual campgrounds include a gravel parking pad for either two vehicles or a vehicle with a trailer, and each features a picnic table and fire ring. The two group sites can fit up to six vehicles and include a fire ring, grill, picnic tables and a shade shelter. There are no drinking water or electricity hook-ups for any of the 27 sites, but there is a vault toilet and trashcans.

Individual sites, with a maximum occupancy of 10, are $20 per night, while group sites are $5 per person with a maximum occupancy of 20 people. The group sites can be reserved online through recreation.gov, while the individual sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Per the agency, the Moab Field Office welcomes about 3 million visitors annually, and the new campsite is one of nearly four dozen campsites on the 1.6 million acres of bureau-managed land in the area.

Just last year, Arches National Park and Dead Horse Point State Park, also in Grand County, broke attendance records. Arches drew in over 1.8 million visitors, while Dead Horse Point recorded over 1.2 million visitors, the first time its attendance surpassed 1 million in a year.

The visitors center for the brand new Utahraptor State Park, also near Moab, is projected to open in early 2023, adding to the list of outdoor recreation destinations in the area.

The new campground caters to those who come to ride the popular 50-mile North Klondike mountain bike trail system, aiming to reduce “excessive dispersed camping” that impacts the land’s wildlife habitat, soils, vegetation, grazing operations, as well as the region’s sensitive cultural and paleontological resources, according to bureau officials.

Input for the 160-acre project began in 2019; bureau officials said Tuesday it was completed with the help of the State of Utah Office of Outdoor Recreation and Grand County.

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Carter Williams is an award-winning reporter who covers general news, outdoors, history and sports for KSL.com. He previously worked for the Deseret News. He is a Utah transplant by the way of Rochester, New York.

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