Smithsonian Butte Road Utah BLM camping?

Mike Jones

Feb 19, 2013
Is anyone here familiar with Smithsonian Butte road just south of Zion? Apparently you can camp there for free since its BLM land.

What research I have done is that you just have to camp. 5 miles away from the road.

My question is, is it ok to drive that half mile away from the road or do you have to pull off to the side and hike the half mile.

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There are plenty of primitive campsites out there that you can drive to on other roads that are off the main road. You should stick to the existing sites. You don't have to hike to them.
There are tons of places to camp all down that road. I quick look at Googlemaps or Earth and you should be able to pinpoint a couple of spots that look promising. If all else fails just follow a turn off until you find one.
We stayed a short ways off the main road for a night in 2014. There were plenty of nice existing spots, but I'm not exactly sure if the one that we used was actually outside the "no camping" zone as we were not aware of that restriction. Getting up the steeper portion of the road from the north was a bit rugged in spots although not a problem for our 4wd Tacoma. At that time, low clearance probably would have had issues. Morning yoga at our camp spot:

More images from that trip, hiking in Capitol Reef, Escalante and Zion area, with other stops along the way-
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