We departed Layton, Utah to the sounds of jets roaring above us from Hill AFB. The Sound of Freedom. On our way south we headed west on I-80 to skirt the southern edge of the Great Salt Lake and pass the Great Salt Lake State Park and the famous Saltair. The interstate offers fabulous views of the lake along with great views of the historic Saltair. This area was a popular recreation area with a number of resorts built along the shore with some constructed back in 1870. The Saltair was built in 1893 and is about 16 miles west of Salt Lake City with a railroad connecting the two. Those were the days when tourists would bob around in the salt water, dance the night away, and have lots of entertainment such as theme park rides, races, fireworks, boat rides, etc. Due to a variety of events including fire and the Great Depression the building has been rebuilt and it is now used for concerts. It is a very unique and beautiful building which sits right on the Great Salt Lake.
We continued on and headed south through Tooele County which is a lovely area and is a great drive south to Filmore and on to Beaver on I-15. Tooele (pronounced To-Ella) is a quaint city of about 35,000 people with fabulous views of the Oquirrh Mountains and is also home to the Tooele Army Depot which is a joint munitions command and serves as a storage site for war reserve and training ammunition. Not far from Tooele is the Little Sahara Sand Dunes Recreation Area which is one of the largest dunes in Utah. The area offers not only dunes and trails for off-roading but a variety of campgrounds. This area can have over 15,000 visitors on holiday weekends. It is Utah’s Sandbox.
It wasn’t long before we were in the Kanab area where the scenery quickly changed to red rocks and we started seeing the famous Ho-Made Pies signs. When you start seeing the Ho-Made Pie signs then you know you are closing in on Kanab.
Our next stop was in Kanab, Utah. We have stayed here many times before with the most recent visit being at Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park. We have also stayed at Grand Plateau RV Park which is across the street from Dark Sky Campground. We have read many reviews of Dark Sky and people continue to praise the campground and say how wonderful it is. It is a fairly new campground AND VERY popular. Anytime we wanted to stay there we could not get a reservation. We have even called in the past and asked to be put on a waiting list just in case AND we checked for cancellations daily. No luck.
But, on the other hand, we have driven by it many times and it did not look very appealing to us but we thought we needed to try it. Plus we like trying new places and seeing what it’s all about. This time we were in luck. Seeing as it was off season we snagged a site. There is no on-site office and reservations are handled via Campspot (which is personally not one of my favorites as there are sometimes snags in the reservations as we have experienced in the past). There are campground hosts on site who are very quick to answer text messages but when I contacted them about a site they still told me I needed to reserve via Campspot even though we were going to be there in less than an hour. They also told us when we arrived the camp host would immediately come out and direct us to our site. That didn’t happen but they were aware we had a reservation and soon after we parked the camp host arrived with some free beer and a list of information about the campground and the area. More than we needed but they were very friendly, welcoming, and helpful.
Campground: Dark Sky RV Campground
Location: Kanab, Utah
Site: 17 (pull thru)
Comments: A beautiful campground which is much more attractive on site than viewed from the highway. The sites are quite large, the amenities are plentiful, and the hosts are terrific. There is a propane fire pit at each site and you provide the propane. A great place and now we know what all the hubbub is about. A great place to stay. We highly recommend it.
Around the Campground – Bathrooms
The campground is known for its clean, pristine, and large bathrooms. There are two bathrooms which each have locking doors with toilet, sink, and both an indoor shower AND an outdoor shower (with privacy walls) for your added enjoyment. They were beautiful!
Around Campground – Laundry Room
Next to the bathrooms is a small laundry room with it’s own restroom (no shower) and an outdoor covered sitting area.
Around Campground – Rentals
The campground offers 4WD vehicle and eBike rentals to help you explore the area. There is plenty to do in the area of which some of the roads recommend 4WD.
Around Campground – Outdoor Lounge Area and Market
The campground has a market with an outdoor lounge area for you to gather with friends and enjoy the day/evening AND enjoy the views.
The sitting area has an outdoor kitchen, several seating areas and some with tables, gas firepits, blankets, cornhole and tether ball. The views are outstanding.
The market is open 24 hours and offers small items, drinks, and some food items. The payment (cash, Venmo, Paypal) is on the honor system and there is even a resident cat who wandered into the area and has never left. I mean, why would you?
Around Campground – The Hill
To the south of the campground and directly behind our site is a small hill with a trail leading up to it with a few chaise lounges and a table and stools for just chilling, having a drink, and enjoying the scenery. It is also a terrific place for stargazing in the evenings. There is even a Buddha collection. I love my Buddhas!! It is gorgeous.
Around Campground – The Dig Pit
Further south from The Hill is a trail which leads to the Dig Pit. There is a covered sitting area and pit area for digging in and finding your treasure/bones. There are buckets and shovels to help you with your dig. There is also a small zipline for kids. Too bad I didn’t weight a little less (45-75 lbs)!!!!
Around Campground – Other
There are a variety of artifacts around the campground and the views and sunsets are amazing.
There are a host of activities in and around the area with the town of Kanab being very close along with Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park. Kanab has all your shopping and restaurant needs along with the Best Friends Animal Society and plenty of hiking trails. Further east along the highway are more trailheads, the old town of Paria (one of our favorites), The Wave hike (and Buckskin Gulch), the Toadstools, the stack of cars in Catstair Canyon, and more.
This is definitely a beautiful campground and one we will return to! We are glad we finally made it!!