The red rock cliffs and canyons of St.
George make a stunning backdrop for desert camping.
Surrounded by red rock cliffs and canyons, St. George is a major outdoor hub in southwest Utah. Here the Mojave Desert converges with the Colorado Plateau and Great Basin, forming an incredibly diverse desert landscape prime for camping adventures. You can hike, mountain bike, rock climb, and go canyoneering in multiple parks near St. George. Campers will also find opportunities to view fossilized dinosaur tracks, check out pink sand dunes, and explore OHV (off-highway vehicle) areas. Although St. George is sometimes overlooked by campers driving from Las Vegas to Zion National Park (one hour away), it stands on its own as a worthy addition to any southwest desert adventure itinerary.
St. George borders Pioneer Park, a 52-acre red rock playground with excellent rock climbing, hiking, and slot canyons. North of Pioneer Park lies the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve, a 69,000-acre park with mountain biking and hiking trails. Keep an eye peeled for Mojave Desert tortoise, gila monsters, and chuckwalla. Dino lovers will also want to hit the BLM’s Red Cliffs Campground.
Just 15 minutes north of St. George, Snow Canyon State Park has tons of desert features to explore, including red and white sandstone canyons, lava tubes, lava flows, sand dunes, and an extinct volcano. The scenic campground features tent sites and RV sites with picnic tables, grills, and restrooms.
At Sand Hollow State Park you can swim or paddle in a deep blue reservoir ringed by red rock and dunes. Kayak, SUP, and ATV rentals are available on-site.
Zion National Park’s south entrance in Springdale is just one hour from St. George, making this iconic national park a feasible day trip away from a St. George basecamp. The park’s Kolob Canyons are closest to town offering sandstone cliffs and panoramic views perfect for a photo opp.
About a 75-minute drive east of St. George, Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park is an otherworldly site where you can frolic on pink sand dunes made of Navajo sandstone. Sand sledding and ATV adventures are popular here.
Spring and fall are the most temperate seasons for camping in St. George, while summers run extremely hot (average July and August highs are in the triple digits. Summer visitors must be extremely careful about outdoor activity, hydration, and sun/heat exposure. Winters are pleasant in St. George, but nighttime temperatures do reach freezing and snow is possible.