Campflare

Westwater (Ranger Station)

Westwater Canyon River

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Summary

Westwater Campground is situated next to the Colorado River, and offers a variety of recreational opportunities. It is the ideal location for boating trips on the Ruby-Horsethief and Westwater Canyon sections, with incredible geology and day-hiking trails. Facilities include parking, picnic tables, fire rings and vault toilets. Cell service is spotty to non-existent, but assistance can be found at the Westwater Ranger Station.

Overview

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.

Recreation

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.   

Facilities

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.

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.

Charges & 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.

Changes

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.

  • There is a $10 change fee If you wish to change to dates entirely outside of the original reservation dates.
  • There is no change fee if you wish to extend or shorten the original reservation dates as long as the changes include dates from the original reservation.  
  • There is no change fee if you wish to change to another site that is the same price, for the same dates, and in the same campground.  
  • You cannot make changes to your reservation after the arrival/first day through your Recreation.gov account. However, the BLM Moab Field Office may be able to assist you, 435-259-2100.   
  • For reservations with dates at the end of the available booking window (a.k.a. sliding window), you will not be able to make changes or cancellations until the site has been available to the general public for 18 days.   

Cancellations

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.    

No-Shows

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.    

Refunds

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:

  • Senior Annual Pass
  • Senior Lifetime Pass
  • Access Pass
  • Golden Age Pass
  • Golden Access Pass

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. 

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Campground Matrix

Set alerts at more campgrounds to increase your odds of getting a place to stay! Below is a list of the closest campgrounds supported on Campflare. Or, view all campgrounds in Westwater Canyon River.

Nearby Campgrounds Distance Notification Rate
Westwater Group Site (Ranger Station)
Westwater Canyon River
0.1mi
Rabbit Valley
Mcinnis Canyons National Conservation Area
8.1mi
Bookcliff
Highline Lake State Park
19.4mi
Saddlehorn
Colorado National Monument
19.8mi 69%
Main
James M Robb-Colorado River State Park-Fruita Section
20.6mi
Tent
James M Robb-Colorado River State Park-Fruita Section
20.6mi
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