If you’re looking for a good spot to spend your vacation and enjoy memorable outdoor activities within a beautiful natural setting, Big Rocks Special Recreation Management Area (SRMA) has to be on your list of places to visit. This Bureau of Land Management park, located south of Loa in Utah, not only offers good recreational opportunities for guests but also serves as a nice base camp for exploring nearby National Parks and other attractions.
Getting to the park is easy as the roads that lead to the SRMA are paved, so that worry is out of the way. As you drive to the park areas, look out your car window to spot some interesting features on the landscapes in the area. You’ll find that auto touring is a common activity here. Upon arrival, you can hike and bike through the SRMA. If you fancy adventurous trips to Capitol Reef National Park or Fishlake National Forest, you will find plenty of other fun things to do such as fishing, canyoneering, picnicking, mountaineering, off-highway vehicle riding, and lots more.
No designated campsites are available in this SRMA, but a variety of camping areas are available nearby.
Big Rocks Special Recreation Management Area lies about three miles south of Loa, in Utah. This Bureau of Land Management Area is very easy to access by RVs, trailers, and other vehicles owing to the fact that paved roads connect the SRMA from Loa. When coming in from Loa, drive south along S Main Street until you arrive at the junction of Big Rocks Road. Big Rocks Road is the only major road that leads to the park’s areas. If you’re driving in from Bicknell, east of the SRMA, your access route to Big Rocks Road is W 2100S, which is also a paved road.
A number of parking spaces are provided within the BLM park for guests to park their vehicles. Most of these parking spots are unpaved. Ensure you do not park by the roadside or at any undesignated parking spots in the SRMA.
There are no direct public transportation services to this SRMA, so you should be prepared to come in your vehicles. Alternatively, you can find rental services for camping equipment nearby. Capitol Reef National Park and Monroe are some of the places you can visit to get RVs and motorhomes.
Fruita Campground is a developed campground in Capitol Reef National Park, often dubbed an oasis in the desert. This campground sits adjacent to Fremont River within an orchard setting. The campground is open all year, but peak season is from March to October, during which time the campsites are available by reservation. During off-peak season, the campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis only. Pets are allowed.
There are 71 campsites in this campground, each equipped with a picnic table and fire pit. No hookup options are available in the campground; however, an RV dump station and potable water fill station are provided. The restrooms in the campground have flush toilets and running water.
RV/motorhome length limit in the campground is 52 feet.
Good hiking opportunities are available within Big Rocks SRMA for visitors that wish to stretch their legs and explore the different park areas on foot. It’s advisable to carry water along as you hike through the park. Hiking is an easy activity here.
Having strolled around the SRMA, if you want to enjoy more hiking opportunities, visit Capitol Reef National Park where you will get the chance to choose between easy hikes and strenuous hikes that will take you over uneven terrain to steep areas.
Auto Touring is a popular activity in this area, thanks to the beautiful landscapes and features within and around Big Rocks SRMA. Guests who love to catch glimpses of outdoor areas can begin their sightseeing adventures as they drive along the paved roads that lead to the park.
A 7.9-mile Scenic Drive is also available at Capitol Reef National Park where guests can enjoy about an hour and half roundtrip drive along paved and dirt spur roads. Some of the roads are closed at times due to snow, ice, mud, and flash floods.
If you came along with your bicycle, you’re in luck, thanks to the fact the entire SRMA is open to cycling opportunities. What a fun way to explore the remote and not-so-frequently-visited parts of the park, while exercising your muscles at the same time!
Besides, designated roads and trails are open to riding in Capitol Reef National Park, including e-bikes. Because bicycles often have to share the road in the park with vehicles, cyclists are advised to wear helmets and yield to hikers and dog walkers.
A growing recreational activity around this BLM area, particularly on the Colorado Plateau, is canyoneering, one which often requires visitors to scramble and climb through tight and rugged canyons. In places, this sport may involve swimming, rappelling or some other form of technical rope work. What this means is that you should prepare adequately for the adventure. In addition, you are advised to stay safe as you explore these canyons.
Permits are required for canyoneering.
Anglers, boaters, and other water-based recreation enthusiasts make it a point to visit Fish Lake, located north of Big Rocks SRMA in Fishlake National Forest, because of the amazing outdoor experiences on offer at the site. Not only does the lake offer very good perch and trout fishing, but it is also one of the best places in the region to catch large lake trout and splake. Rainbow trout is also another commonly caught fish in the lake.
Excellent boating opportunities are also available to interested boaters, canoeists and kayakers.
Nature lovers will find plenty of plant communities and wildlife in and around Big Rocks SRMA and Capitol Reef National Park. Capitol Reef, in particular, has a total of 887 recorded plant species occurring in a variety of habitats such as slopes, select geologic formations, and soils. Of these, over 40 plant species are rare and endemic, six of which are listed as endangered or threatened.
Birds, reptiles, amphibians, mammals are also abundant in the area, offering good viewing and photography opportunities.