Make Memorial Day Plans
Posted in: Travel on April 24, 2019.
Time for a Trip
Hey, hey, hey! Memorial Day Weekend is coming up fast. If you’re anything like us, you’re getting pretty excited for the chance to knock off work for a couple days, and spend the long weekend exploring Southern Utah. It’s time for a road trip! And it’s also time for some quick tips from the Lodge at Red River Ranch to make your vacation even better.
Finding the Right Place
All right, you’ve picked a spot – maybe one of Utah’s five national parks – and you’re ready to start planning your trip. It’s time to find a hotel or campground. This time of year can get really busy down here in Southern Utah, but here are some tricks that might help.
Maybe Give Them A Call?
If you are looking for a lodge, cabin, or hotel, be sure to check online aggregate sites, such as Expedia.com or Booking.com. They can show you a lot of options in the area. But also, don’t forget to check the individual sites of the hotels. Some places will reserve a portion of rooms for “native site bookings” so if Booking.com doesn’t show any availability, try calling the hotel, just in case.
Reserve a NPS Campground Online
The National Park Service operates hundreds of campgrounds, some in partnership with private companies. A lot of revenue is generated for the park service and these companies from these campgrounds. So whenever possible they try to make it easy for you to book a spot. Online booking for national park campgrounds can be done on recreation.gov.
Just be aware that not all NPS campgrounds are available to book online. These are usually marked as “first-come-first-serve” and are usually the more primitive camping options. So you’ll have to go put your tent there to claim a spot. (Also, you can find other campgrounds on recreation.gov, such as those in the National Forests. Which might be helpful in case the parks are all full.)
Reserve a State Park Campground Online
If you’re heading to one of Utah’s state parks this Memorial Day, you can book campgrounds online for those too. Head over to reserveamerica.com to snag your spot.
If All Else Fails
When you go online to start looking for accommodations, you may notice that a lot of hotels are completely booked. And so are the campgrounds that do accept online reservations. So what to you do? Well, you might consider a couple of options:
1). Adjust your plans. See if you can find someplace else in Southern Utah that isn’t going to be so crowded this Memorial Day Weekend.
2). Try to make it to one of the first-come-first-serve campgrounds that we mentioned. This may mean that you need to leave earlier than you had originally intended.
And 3). Camp on BLM land…
In most places, camping is permitted on Bureau of Land Management land. You don’t need a permit, and you don’t need to pay a fee. You need to follow a couple of simple rules. You can’t start any fires, so you’ll have to do your cooking with a camp stove. And you’ve got to pack up all your trash, and generally Leave No Trace. So if everything is booked up, and you can’t find a camping spot at a designated campground, but you also really want to go someplace awesome this Memorial Day, then BLM land might just be your answer. You can find out more information about BLM Public Land camping here.