Your guide to backpacking, camping and glamping in Utah.
After spending the day exploring a tree-lined trail, paddleboarding on a glassy alpine lake or scrambling up a sheer slab of granite, where do you want to lay your head? On a fluffy, king-size pillow with a bamboo cover? Proceed to the glamping section. On a rolled up hoodie? You’re probably a car camper who needs a better packing list. On an ultralight inflatable pillow that fits in the palm of your hand when compressed? Skip to the last section, you gram-counting fool.
Sleeping in a yurt, Conestoga wagon or luxury canvas tent still counts as camping, right? Even if you’re in a nicer bed than the one you sleep in at home? Technically, no. This is considered glamping in Utah. But who cares? This type of outdoor experience is perfect for those who get claustrophobic, have bad backs, or would just rather pay more to do less.
And glamping still offers all of the fresh air benefits of camping or backpacking in Utah — sometimes more! When you stay at Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort, for instance, you can explore a slot canyon on private property that you otherwise wouldn’t have access to. Just be sure to pack some pants worthy of the flex-pedition. You can’t shimmy in your skinny jeans.
Car camping. Campground camping. Whatever you want to call it, this is the median in terms of effort and adventure. There are so many great spots to go camping in Utah, staring up at the stars and feeling like you’re roughing it, even as you plan your next visit to the cooler 12 feet away.
Don’t have the gear? Utah State Parks has a partnership with Arrive Outdoors, allowing you to rent whatever you need — from a single tent to a complete camping set. Or, rent and roam with Outdoorsy or RVezy, both of which boast a wide assortment of pop-up trailers, motorhomes, campervans and fifth-wheels.
Next-level outdoorsists do it on foot. They gladly carry all their food, shelter and gear on their backs for miles (and miles and miles) in exchange for access to some of the most beautiful, remote backpacking destinations in Utah, including the High Uintas. And bragging rights. They definitely think they’re better than everyone else. But that’s because they are. Especially you, Mr. Skinny Jeans.
But what if there was a less exhausting way to go backpacking? One that doesn’t make your old C6-C7 injury flare up? Enter glampacking. Why no, that isn’t a word. Yet. But it seems appropriate for the llama treks offered by Wildland Trekking Company. The treks go to some of Utah’s most pristine places and include gourmet eats. Plus, the animal carries your pack for you.