Great car camping in Utah is really just minutes to hours away from your home. Especially if you live in Salt Lake or Utah counties. Within three hours of Salt Lake you can be in the desert, high in the mountains of the Uintas, or even up one of the Cottonwood canyons, enjoying a nice night under the stars.
Our first great car camping in Utah, is Buckhorn Wash. Located in the north end of the San Rafael Swell, Buckhorn Wash or Draw, whichever you want to call it, is a car camping paradise. From Price, you drive south on highway 10 towards Castle Dale. Before you get to Castle Dale, take a left and you will enter BLM land for the San Rafael Swell.
Buckhorn Wash is most popular for the large Pictograph panel that can easily be accessed by a car. The road is really nice going in, and it’s only 30 minutes from Castle Dale. The panel is easily one of the largest pictograph panels in Utah. People will take day trips to go see the panel, or you can camp over night in one of the really nice camping spots.
Part of the reason I love Buckhorn so much is because I spent several days there as a child, with my family camping. Buckhorn Wash does have a camp ground you can set up camp at, but it’s honestly not the best camping. The wash is about 10 miles long, and the campground is located at the Swinging Bridge where the wash meets the San Rafael River. The camp ground can be buggy and extremely hot during the summer months. So I recommend camping in one of the several spots along the road in the wash. Be careful when you decide to go down though, because some weekends can be packed full of trailers, and large groups of people. I suggest going down during the early days of the week.
What is there to do in Buckhorn Wash?
There are some good hikes that you can go on in the wash. There is a canyon called Calf Canyon that has a good half day of hiking. You can spend some time at the Swinging Bridge and play in the San Rafael River. We love to take our dog down to the river to cool off. You can take a drive out of the wash up to the Wedge overlook. The Wedge often gets the nickname, Little Grand Canyon, as you’ll see in a photo, it really has that appearance. You can then go take a drive to the Pictograph Panel and see the amazing pictographs left by the Indians.
We love Buckhorn because it’s a great place to get away, avoid large crowds of people, and be in a beautiful place. I highly recommend it.