Westwater Campground (Ranger Station)

Westwater Canyon River

Welcome to the wild and remote canyons and rivers of eastern Utah. The Westwater Campground is located next to the Westwater Ranger Station; the take-out for the Ruby-Horsethief and put-in for the Westwater Canyon sections of the Colorado River. This campground is ideal for those looking to camp along the river at the start or end of a river float trip or otherwise recreating in the area.  

Campsites 1 - 7 are available first come, first serve only. Payments can be made by cash, check, or scan and pay throught the Recreation.gov mobile app.  

Campsites 8 - 11 are available by reservation only. Reservations can be made the day of, up to 6 months in advance from anywhere service is available. This is the only option, cash and check payments are NOT available for these campsites. There is cell service for most providers at the Westwater Ranger Station.

Each campsite has parking for two vehicles (vehicle pulling a trailer = two vehicles), a picnic table, a fire ring, and close proximity to a vault toilet and trash receptacles.  

Drinking water may be available March - November. However, do not rely on this as the water source for your trips needs as it is not always operational.   

There are no electric hook-ups and cell service is spotty to non-existent. 

During business hours, the Westwater Ranger Station can assist visitors with acquiring a campsite, trip planning, and campground etiquette.

Need to Know

Natural Features

The Westwater Campground is adjacent to the Colorado River as it meanders through a valley. Views of Navajo Sandstone walls surrounding the valley can be seen from the site. 

Nearby Attractions

The town of Moab, UT, Canyonlands National Park, and Arches National Park are located approximately 70 miles to the southwest. The cities of Grand Junction and Fruita, CO along with McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area and Colorado National Monument are located approximately 35 miles to the east.


The Colorado River is known for extraordinary boating trips including the Ruby-Horsethief section up-river and Westwater section downriver of the Westwater Campground.  

The Ruby-Horsethief section begins in Loma, CO and consists of a 25-mile stretch of mostly flat-water with sections of Class I and II rapids. It flows through beautiful red rock canyons and has many day hiking opportunities offering both solitude and exploration. 

The Westwater Canyon section offers boating excitement for experienced adventurers to test their skills navigating eleven named rapids ranging in difficulty from class I to class IV. The section contains incredible geology and day hiking opportunities with glimpses of abandoned settler cabins and caves. Approximately 10,000 people float this section of the Colorado River each year. The 17 mile stretch is surrounded by the Westwater Wilderness Study Area.  

North of the campground are many motorized and non-motorized trails. These trails include Kokopelli’s Trail , one of Colorado's and Utah's premiere mountain bike trails. It stretches 140 miles from Loma, CO to Moab, UT with elevations that rise to 8,400 feet following four-wheel-drive roads and single-track trails.   

Changes & Cancellations

You may contact the BLM Moab Field Office for assistance with changes and cancellations at blm_ut_mb_mail@blm.gov or 435-259-2100.


You can make changes to a reservation through your online Recreation.gov user account any time prior to the arrival/first date of the reservation.


Please cancel your reservation if you do not plan to use it. This opens highly sought-after campsites for others to reserve. 

You can cancel your reservation online through your Recreation.gov user account or through the call center (the call center incurs an additional fee). You may also contact the BLM Moab Field Office for assistance. A $10 service fee will be withheld from any refund for a cancellation.     

Late Cancellations 

A late cancellation occurs starting from midnight 1 calendar day before your scheduled check-in.

Late cancellations will incur a $10.00 service fee AND forfeit the first night's use fee. Cancellations for a one night reservation will forfeit the entire amount but will not be charged a service fee.  

Early Departures

If you spend at least one night and then leave prior to the scheduled departure check-out date, please contact the BLM Moab Field Office (435-259-2100) to open the remaining nights for others to use. You will not be able to cancel these nights through your Recreation.gov account.

You will be eligible for a partial refund of the nights AFTER you depart that you did not use. If you depart after the facility check-out time (Noon), you will not be eligible for a refund for that night.    


A No Show occurs if you do not arrive at your campsite or cancel your reservation by check-out time (Noon) on the day after the scheduled arrival date. Staff will hold a campsite until check-out time (Noon) on the day following the arrival date. 

No-shows are assessed a $20.00 Recreation.gov service fee and forfeit the first night’s use fee.    


You can submit a refund request through your Recreation.gov account within 7 days of the departure/end date of your reservation.

Applicable fees, such as the Recreation.gov reservation fees, service/cancellation fees, lottery application fees, and change fees, are non-refundable.

Refunds cannot be issued to any card other than the one used to pay. 

In the event of an emergency closure, all fees will be refunded. Attempts will be made to notify you using the contact information within your Recreation.gov customer profile.    

Interagency Pass Discounts

The following are the only Interagency Passes that provide a discount on camping reservations:

Pass discounts only apply to the recreation (or use) fee for the facility. Other charges such as reservation or other fees are not eligible for a discount.

The holder of the pass must occupy the site for which the discount is applied.

The pass can only be used for one site during a time period. 

Contact Information


BLM Moab Field Office 82 E. Dogwood Moab UT 84532


Westwater Ranger Station Westwater UT 84532

Rental Options

Learn more about gear rental options for your trip

Driving Directions

From Grand Junction Colorado (westbound traffic):

Take I-70 from Grand Junction for approximately 35 miles to exit 227. Turn south at the stop sign and proceed for nine miles to the Ranger Station and put-in.  

From the west (eastbound traffic):

Take exit 227 on I-70, then head south at the stop sign. Proceed for nine miles to the Ranger Station and put-in. 

NOTE: Do NOT use exit 221 toward Sulpher when the roads are wet. It may be impassable with muddy conditions.

Available Campsites

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