Utah

Utah Valley Camping Adventures: The Best Campgrounds Near Provo

by Mac Misseldine

best camping near provo utah

When the campfire calls your name, you’ll find that some of the best campgrounds in the Wasatch Mountains are just a short drive from Provo.

It’s hard to resist the call of the wild when you’re in Provo. The Wasatch Range forms the backbone of Utah Valley, dominating the views on your daily commute and ever beckoning with adventure when the weekend arrives.
 
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With the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest just a short drive away, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that there are over one thousand campsites within an hour of Provo. Many of the campgrounds are RV-friendly, and most of the state parks offer full RV hookups for added convenience.

In short, whether you’re a car camper, RV family, hammock hanger, or classic tent camper, the mountains surrounding Utah Valley offer ample opportunities to escape the city and reconnect with nature. 

Here’s our take on the best campgrounds near Provo, most of which are 30 minutes or less from Utah Valley.

Deer Creek State Park

deer creek state park
Photo: August Benjamin

Why you should camp here: Pitch your tent near a large reservoir at the foot of Mount Timpanogos and enjoy some of the best year-round fishing in Utah.

  • Reservations accepted: Yes
  • Best seasons: Year-round
  • Campsite type: Tents, RVs, car camping
  • RV hookups: Full

“The Heber City valley is gorgeous overlooking the Timpanogos Mountains. Deer Creek has great trout, walleye, and perch fishing. There is a very nice place on the south side of the lake for camping. It overlooks the mountains and lake. Gorgeous view,” reports Thomas W. on TripAdvisor.

If your picture-perfect weekend includes a boat, kayak or paddle board, head up Provo Canyon to Deer Creek State Park.

A pristine alternative to the often muddy Utah Lake, Deer Creek Reservoir is the perfect destination for anything water-related. Bring your own watercraft and equipment, or rent whatever you need at the Deer Creek Island Resort.

There are two established campgrounds at Deer Creek State Park, both of which allow tents and RVs. The Chokecherry Campground features full RV hookups and is open year-round, while the Great Horned Owl campground is only open over summer and doesn’t offer any hookups.

The warm months from spring to fall are the best times to visit Deer Creek State Park, though the ice fishing is worth a visit over winter if you’ve got a heated RV.

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Granite Flat Campground

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Why you should camp here: With two reservoirs and the Lone Peak Wilderness within reach, there’s never a shortage of things to do and see around Granite Flat. 

  • Reservations accepted: Yes
  • Best seasons: Summer
  • Campsite type: Tents, RVs, car camping
  • RV hookups: No

Arguably the most popular campground near Provo, the Granite Flat Campground sits between the Silver Flat and Tibble Fork Reservoirs near the eastern border of the Lone Peak Wilderness. The scenic campground is surrounded by rugged Wasatch peaks, exciting wildlife, and an abundance of wildflowers in season.

The Granite Flat Campground features 44 single campsites, eight double campsites, and a handful of overnight group sites. All of the campsites come with fire pits and picnic tables, and you’ll enjoy ample shade under the mixed forest of pine, fir, and aspen.

RVs are permitted at Granite Flat, though you won’t find any hookups for electrical, water, or sewage. Drinking water is available, and there are some vault toilets for when nature calls.

Given its proximity to the Lone Peak Wilderness Area, wildlife viewing, hiking, and mountain biking are all popular activities around the Granite Flat Campground. The nearby lake and reservoir are great for canoeing and fishing, and the campground features horseshoe pits and a grassy baseball field. 

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Nunns Park

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Why you should camp here: A family-oriented campground conveniently located near the mouth of Provo Canyon.

  • Reservations accepted: No
  • Best seasons: Spring, summer, fall
  • Campsite type: Tents, RVs, car camping
  • RV hookups: No

“Great place for a picnic or camping. Went here with my son and it was the best 2 days we have ever had. You can go fishing from your tent. It’s that good of a place,” gushes Nathan T. on Google.

If you’re looking for a convenient campground near the city, it’s tough to beat Nunns Park. You’ll be less than five minutes from the city, and the rushing waters of the Provo River do a decent job at drowning out the sound of passing cars.

Nunns Park is a first-come first-serve campground, offering 19 campsites for tents, car camping, and RVs. The campground provides picnic tables, campfire rings, restrooms, and fresh water for campers.

Nunns Park is a great place to take the kids thanks to an adjacent playground, plenty of open space to play frisbee, and a number of easy, family-friendly trails. Rent some tubes and spend the day floating down the river, or bring your fishing gear and spend the morning fly fishing. 

Timpooneke Campground

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Why you should camp here: A photogenic campground on the edge of the Mount Timpanogos Wilderness Area, and the ideal basecamp for Timpanogos summit adventures.

  • Reservations accepted: Yes
  • Best seasons: Summer
  • Campsite type: Tents, RVs, car camping
  • RV hookups: No

“One of my favorite campgrounds in all of Utah. There’s a nice river running through and easy access to a lot of trails,” declares Adam D. on The Outbound Collective.

When you’re ready to summit Mount Timpanogos, head to the Timpooneke Campground on the north side of the mountain. With an early start, you can bag one of the most iconic peaks in Utah Valley in a single day.

Of course, the Timpooneke Campground isn’t just for peak baggers. The Mount Timpanogos Wilderness is teeming with wildlife, and there are enough backcountry trails to keep hikers, mountain bikers, and equestrian riders happy for days.

The Timpooneke Campground offers 27 campsites, nine of which are equestrian-friendly with horse corrals. The campsites feature picnic tables, utility tables, and campfire rings, and the campground provides fresh water and vault toilets.

Scenic views are abundant at 7,400 feet, starting with the campground itself. Timpooneke features a stream, beaver pond, and riparian area within the campground, and you’ll be surrounded by a beautiful mix of aspen, fir, and spruce forest.

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Little Mill Campground

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Why you should camp here: Gorgeous scenery, excellent fly fishing, and easy access to Timpanogos Cave National Monument.

  • Reservations accepted: Yes
  • Best seasons: Summer, fall
  • Campsite type: Tents, RVs, car camping
  • RV hookups: No

“[The campsites] have a nice fire ring, nice picnic table, bathrooms, and lots of shade and room. Most are creekside or close enough to the creek that you can hear it. You are close to the road, [but] the creek sounds drown out the road,” describes Brad B. on The Dyrt.

You’ll find the Little Mill Campground on the banks of a babbling creek in American Fork Canyon. It’s a local favorite for anglers, as American Fork Creek boasts some of the best fly fishing in the state.

Campsites at Mill Creek feature a picnic table and fire ring, and the campground provides drinking water and vault toilets. The campsites are well-shaded under the forest of maple, oak, and aspen, a combination that makes for a brilliant display of fall foliage in autumn.

Wildlife viewing is a popular activity around here, as are hiking and mountain biking. If you’re up for a challenge, head down the road to Timpanogos Cave National Monument. It’s a grueling climb, but it’s worth it for the magnificent views and a guided tour through the fascinating caves.

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Mount Timpanogos Campground

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Why you should camp here: Soak in the views at 7,600 feet on the eastern slope of Mount Timpanogos, then strap on your hiking boots and hit the Aspen Grove Trail.

  • Reservations accepted: Yes
  • Best seasons: Summer
  • Campsite type: Tents, RVs, car camping
  • RV hookups: No

“Gorgeous mountains here. Amazing views and rugged wilderness. Stayed here in mid June and conditions were amazing. Really close to lots of trails and a great campsite host,” says Madkins on Campendium.

Another popular basecamp for Timpanogos summit bids and exploration of the Mount Timpanogos Wilderness Area, the Mount Timpanogos Campground sits on the eastern slope of the iconic mountain. The best time to visit is over the summer when the wildflowers are blooming, though the maple and aspen trees put on quite the show in autumn.

The trailhead for the 14-mile Aspen Grove Trail is just across the road. The long, grueling out-and-back trail climbs to the top of Mount Timpanogos, where hikers will enjoy unbelievable views of the Wasatch Range and Utah Valley.

Campsites at the Mount Timpanogos Campground come with picnic tables and campfire rings, and the campground provides drinking water and flush toilets.

If you’ve already bagged Timpanogos’ peak, you can find more adventure nearby at Tibble Fork Reservoir, Deer Creek Reservoir, Cascade Springs, and Timpanogos Cave National Monument.

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Payson Lakes Campground

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Why you should camp here: A local favorite featuring three serene mountain lakes and a vibrant wildlife population.

  • Reservations accepted: Yes
  • Best seasons: Summer
  • Campsite type: Tents, RVs, car camping
  • RV hookups: No

“One of my favorite summer get away spots. Lots of fish in the lake, great bike trails and amazing views all around,” says Brad B. on The Dyrt

It’s a bit of a drive down to the Payson Lakes Campground, but those who are willing to make the one-hour drive will quickly see why it’s a local favorite. The scenery is sublime, the tranquil lakes are perfect for kayaks and paddle boards, and the area is teeming with wildlife.

The Payson Lakes area consists of a trio of pristine mountain lakes: Big East, Box, and McClelland Lakes. They’re all stocked with rainbow and brown trout, and there’s a popular day-use area at Big East Lake where you can swim and picnic.

When you’ve had your fill of the water, grab your hiking boots and explore the Mount Nebo Wilderness Area or hop in the car for a scenic drive along the 37-mile Mount Nebo Scenic Byway. Be sure to stop at the Devil’s Kitchen Geological Area to see the fascinating red rock hoodoos.

The Payson Lakes Campground offers 88 campsites with picnic tables and campfire rings. Campers have access to fresh drinking water and vault toilets, and there’s firewood available for purchase from the campground hosts.   

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Utah Lake State Park

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Why you should camp here: Park your RV next to the largest freshwater lake in Utah, featuring 148 square miles of recreational space for boats, jet skis, and paddle boards.  

  • Reservations accepted: Yes
  • Best seasons: Spring, summer, fall
  • Campsite type: Tents, RVs, car camping
  • RV hookups: Full

“Great views, clean campground, clean bathrooms, [and] plenty of parking for guests,” reports Keiya T. on Facebook.

Like Nunns Park, Utah Lake State Park is conveniently situated a few minutes away from Provo, making it a nice option for quick getaways. It’s a popular destination for boating, jet skiing, canoes, kayaks, and paddle boards, and there’s a rental company on-site if you don’t have your own watercraft.

Unlike most of the campgrounds on our list, the campsites at Utah Lake State Park provide full hookups for RVs. In addition to picnic tables and fire rings, the state park also provides drinking water, restrooms with flush toilets and showers, and a frisbee golf course.

Fair warning: Utah’s largest freshwater lake also comes with the largest concentration of mosquitos you’ve ever seen. Bring plenty of bug spray, and invest in a few bug-deterrent devices to keep the bloodsuckers at bay. 

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Our Favorite Utah Campgrounds

Ready to expand your search beyond Provo? Check out our favorite campgrounds near Salt Lake City and Park City

Heading south for warmer weather? We’ve got the lowdown on the best free camping spots near Moab.

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