What exactly is the perfect campsite? Is it one where the views are so incredible you never want to leave? Is it a place so close you can get to after work? Or is it so far down a dirt road, that most will never know it’s there? Well, I guess “Perfect” is relative, and what is perfect for me might not be perfect for you. But after this past weekend, I think I might have found the perfect campsite.
Like anything in life, the harder something is to get, the more we want it. And that could not describe this campsite better. I’m referring to the five designated, dispersed campsites in a well known area of Moab called Gemini Bridges. Located just out of town, and down a gnarly stretch of 4×4 road, lies a canyon tucked away from the outside world. And in that canyon, there are 5 amazing campsites. The only issue is, they’re almost impossible to get for the night.
See, there’s no registration or reservation system to know if they are available or not. And on the entire 10+ miles-section of Gemini Bridges, these are the only campsites allowed. So the only way to find out if you can get a campsite is, under the darkness of a a desert night, you have to drive down a dicey road and hope that a site is open.
Once before, the worst case scenario actually happened. With a friend visiting from out of town and 3 other friends supposed to meet us, we reached the sites at 11PM only to find that they were all occupied. A true nightmare. Luckily, this past weekend, we got lucky and actually locked in a campsite in one of the most incredible places in the desert of Utah. And after a weekend of adventure, using that site as a basecamp, I can say that was just about as perfect as it can get. Canyon walls towering high above the campsite, large boulders overlooking the the campfire, and best of all, close to everything you could want in the desert.
Saturday morning, after making camp, the three of us with our two dogs in tow, hiked to the far east end the canyon to do a bit of exploring. There we climbed up the drainage to the far end where we found an amphitheater filled with bats and eventually to a dry waterfall that sort of resembled a half tunnel from all the water erosion. After the hike, Pete and I took the dogs for a run up to Goldbar trail which was only about a mile from the campsite. From there we made a big loop up to the top of the rim of the canyon where we could see unobstructed views of the La Sals, the Colorado Plateau, and more importantly an overview of the entire canyon we were camped out in.
That night we sat by the fire, cooking sausages, baked beans, drinking beers, and talking about the universe.
The following day, we got to experience everything Gemini Bridges had to offer. We took on the 4×4 road as a challenge to see if we could complete the entire loop and make it back to the main road 313. After a few slow features we had to crawl the Tacoma over, we stopped for a bit to go for a hike. Unbeknownst to us, we stopped at the trailhead to hike to the namesake Gemini Bridges. Gemini Bridges is actually a massive hole in the ground that leads to a huge arch with a stunning overlook of the red rocks we all love.
Maybe this isn’t the perfect campsite, and maybe yours looks completely different. But with the combination of proximity to some of them most incredible things Moab has to offer, with the gamble if we can secure it or not… sounds just about as perfect as it gets to me!
My name is Zachary Kenney and I’m an adventure filmmaker & photographer. My passion is to tell stories that will hopefully motivate you to go live a more adventurous life. Whether that is to experience the view from the summit of a mountain, or wandering through a new town on a road trip. Currently based out of Park City, UT.