Sleeping Bear Campground
Douglas Mesa Rd, Mexican Hat, UT 84531
GPS: 37.061451, -110.095840
See Campsite Location Page Here
I stayed at the KOA Campground in Monument Valley UT and when I left the following day I noticed a small hand painted sign on the side of the road that read "Camp" with an arrow pointed down this old worn out asphalt road. I didn't have anything going on or a place I needed to be so I decided to drive down and check it out.
I found the entrance and drove in to check it out. Camping here is $20 cash a night and as the sign read, the owners stop by in the evening to collect your payment.
Oh man am I glad I stopped. This place had some of the coolest campsite vistas and at the time I visited (October) the entire campground was empty. I drove around and scoped out a few spots and finally settled on this one.
This site had a nice little picnic table with a cover, a fire pit as well as an iron grill to cook on. This area really has no shade so between the covered picnic table and the shadow of my pop top I managed to stay out of the sun for most of the day.
This view is just amazing. Definitely not something I see everyday so I made sure to take plenty of photos.
How about this for an outdoor cooking view? Just so awesome. Food just tastes better when you cook it outside with views like this.
Right at about sunset a woman drove into the campground and stopped by to say hi. She was the daughter of the family that owns the property and the campground. She explained they are a local Navajo family that have owned that land for several generations. I had a good talk with her about the history of her family and the surrounding landscape and gladly gave her my $20 for permission to stay here the night.
The smell of hamburger meat on the grill quickly caught the attention of a couple of stray dogs that roam the area. I gave them some water and a couple of hot dogs to munch on and they were in heaven. They hung out with me at camp for the rest of the day until sundown.
If you need supplies and/or fuel, there's a nice little locally owned grocery store and gas station about 9 miles south of this camp location. I always try to support local small mom and pop stores and gas stations when traveling.
Leaving Monument Valley in the mirror while thinking... this is a place I need to return to.
If you plan to come through this area I'd highly recommend swinging by Sleeping Bear Campground and stay a night or two just to enjoy the view and the dark skies. The $20 goes to the family who own the land and maintain the campground. There are no hookups or showers but if you can manage a little dry camping you won't be disappointed.