ST. GEORGE — Camping means different things to different people, and one rating system puts three Utah campgrounds in the top 10. And one of them ranks No. 1.
The cell phone app The Dyrt recently revealed its Top 10 list, with Goblin Valley State Park at No. 1, Zion National Park’s Watchman Campground at No. 4 and Volcano Peak Campground at No. 7 in the Mountain Region category.
“Camping is very individualized. And one of the complex things about camping is that there are so many kinds,” Dyrt CEO Kevin Long told St. George News. “It’s not like a hotel room; everyone basically needs the same thing. You need a clean bed and a shower. But with camping, some people want to be far away from something and others want to be close to things.”
Long said the awards are based on many campers’ review ratings and how accessible they are for the average person to get there.
With thousands of hoodoo rock formations in central Utah, Goblin Valley, which sits just north of Hanksville and southwest of Green River, is ranked No. 1 in the Mountain Region. Also, near Southern Utah, the North Rim Campground in Arizona showcases Grand Canyon National Park.
The Dyrt, the No. 1 camping information and booking app, recognizes the top camping locations across six U.S. regions. The app includes sought-after national and state parks, backcountry gems, RV resorts and everything in between.
“What we want to do is bring more accessibility to camping and having people make those lifetime memories,” Long said. “If you’re in this country, you have a huge benefit for living here. Go experience these things that are going to change your life and give you a new way to think and a new perspective and help you with your life and your relationships.”
His inspiration for developing the app was his experience of how hard it is to decide where to camp because of limited pictures, videos and reviews on government websites. He and his wife are avid campers.
“Camping can only be solved by the camping community coming together and sharing information,” Long said. “The Dyrt is a platform for campers to come together and tell you what’s good and bad and why and show you pictures.”
Long said the concept is similar to Airbnb: people only book places if they can look at pictures and read reviews. When they built the app, they wanted the user experience to be like phoning a friend.
“Everyone has a friend who’s like the camping superstar and you call that person and ask where to go. That’s basically what the dirt has become,” Long said. “It’s like your phone, a friend camping superstar. He said you can go on the app anytime and look at all the reviews.”
More Americans are camping now than at any other time in history, according to The Dyrt’s 2023 Camping Report. Sarah Smith, Founder of The Dyrt, said the number of reviews, photos and tips from The Dyrt’s community of campers has doubled in the past year to 8 million, creating the most well-rounded picture of the 50,000 campgrounds, resorts and dispersed camping areas in the country.
“There are so many great options, but these are the best of the best in the Mountain Region,” Smith said in a news release.
Rankings for the Mountain Region are as follows:
1. Goblin Valley State Park — Utah
2. Many Glacier Campground — Montana
3. North Rim Campground — Arizona
4. Watchman Campground — Utah
5. City of Rocks National Reserve Campground — Idaho
6. Upper Teton View Dispersed — Wyoming
7. Volcano Peak Campground — Utah
8. Atlatl Rock Campgrounds — Nevada
9. Palisade Basecamp RV Resort — Colorado
10. Midtown Mountain Campground & RV Park — New Mexico
The app is free to use to view all 5,000 camping spots nationwide and reviews. Then if users want to upgrade to a pro membership, it’s $35.99 a year. Also, pro users get up to 40% off and then book campgrounds.
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