Bureau provides new Grand County tenting choices as space tourism swells

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A photo of one of the North Klondike Bluffs group’s two campgrounds at a new campground in Grand County, taken November 15, 2021. The campground opened this week, according to the Bureau of Land Management. (Office of Land Management)

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MOAB — A new Grand County campground offers more than two dozen sites for campers in a popular mountain biking area as visitor numbers in southeastern Utah continue to hit record levels.

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

“These changes will improve visitor experiences and recreational 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 director, in a Explanation.

All 25 individual campgrounds have gravel parking for either two vehicles or one vehicle and trailer, and each has a picnic table and fire pit. The two group spaces can accommodate up to six vehicles and include a fire ring, grill, picnic tables and a shaded shelter. There is no drinking water or electricity at any of the 27 locations, but there is a vault toilet and trash cans.

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

According to the agency, the Moab field office welcomes about 3 million visitors annually, and the new campground is one of nearly four dozen campgrounds on the 1.6 million acres of office-managed land in the region.

Arches National Park and Dead Horse Point State Park, also in Grand County, broke visitor records just last year. Arches attracted over 1.8 million visitors while Dead Horse Point saw over 1.2 million visitors, the first time its attendance exceeded 1 million in a year.

The visitor center for the brand new Utahraptor State Park, also near Moab, is expected to open in early 2023 and add to the list of outdoor recreation destinations in the area.

The new campground is aimed at those riding North Klondike’s popular 50-mile mountain bike trail system with the goal of reducing “excessive scattered camping” that impacts wildlife habitat, soil, vegetation, Grazing activity, as well as the sensitivity of the region, impacts cultural and paleontological resources, officials with the bureau said.

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

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Carter Williams is an award-winning reporter covering general news, nature, history and sports for KSL.com. He previously worked for the Deseret News. He is a Utah transplant next to Rochester, New York.

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