Fantasy Canyon
Guide

Introduction

Looking for an interesting place to explore on your next RV vacation? Consider stopping by Fantasy Canyon. It's one of the most unique places to visit in the state of Utah.

Fantasy Canyon, a Bureau of Land Management property, is situated in the town of Vernal, Utah. The grounds are essentially comprised of unusual sandstone formations. A well-marked trail leads through the premises. There are many signs along the way which provide interesting information about the unique topographical features of the property.

Fantasy Canyon is situated just off the main highway, making it easy to locate. Since the property is quite small, it is not suited to camping. However, there are several campgrounds located near to the premises where RV and tent campers can find suitable accommodations for their stay.

Nestled with the Uinta Basin, Fantasy Canyon also prominently features stunning red rock, a phenomenon which is common to the region and breathtaking to behold. Fantasy Canyon was first uncovered in 1909 by a leading paleontologist of the day by the name of Earl Douglass. The grounds are littered with the desert-dwelling plant sagebrush, and the landscape is characterized by its rolling hills, rocky ridges, and interesting sandstone structures. Erosion caused the unusual rock shapes found on the grounds.

Fantasy Canyon is also home to several types of fossils as well as a kind of black rock known as magnetite. A ravine winds its way through the premises and along its path is a concrete bench where families can sit and enjoy a picnic lunch or just revel in the beauty of their surroundings.

Legend relates that Fantasy Canyon once rested underneath a large lake. Today, no traces of the lake remain.

Due to the fragility of the rock structures, families are asked to refrain from touching them and removing any rocks from the property is strictly forbidden.

For an interesting spot to spend an afternoon, you won't want to miss a visit to Fantasy Canyon. It's a wonderful place to enjoy a relaxing stroll and to take some pictures of one of America's most unusual and picturesque natural sandstone formations.

RV Rentals in Fantasy Canyon

Transportation

Driving

The route to Fantasy Canyon proceeds primarily along the main dirt road that is quite wide. To reach this popular destination, travelers should begin on Highway 45 outside the town of Vernal. Though the side road leading to this attraction is paved at the beginning, it quickly turns to dirt and gravel.

The road to Fantasy Canyon is extremely well-traveled, making traffic heavy at times. This is due to the oil and gas sites scattered throughout the region. There are many small dirt paths leading off the main road which travel to oil and gas drilling operations. The exit to Fantasy Canyon is the very last one along this dirt highway.

During times of heavy rain, the road to Fantasy Canyon can be very difficult to traverse due to the mud.

A Bureau of Land Management sign marks the entrance to the property.

Parking

There is a large dirt space outside the entrance to Fantasy Canyon where families can safely park their vehicles.

Public Transportation

There is no public transportation available to Fantasy Canyon due to its extremely remote location.

Campgrounds and parking in Fantasy Canyon

Campsites in Fantasy Canyon

Reservations camping

Vernal/Dinosaurland KOA Campground

Vernal/Dinosaurland KOA Campground is a popular camping facility that offers campsites for RV and tent campers to enjoy year-round by reservation only. This campground offers spacious sites that can easily house large RVs and trailers. Each of the campsites is complete with a fire pit and a small patio. Pull through sites can also be reserved here.

The property also has several cabins and a glamping tent for rent for those seeking a unique camping experience.

Among the amenities found on the grounds are power hookups, Wifi, cable TV, a pool, a public kitchen, mini-golf, and a pavilion.

Both propane and firewood can be purchased on the premises.

Dogs are permitted to join their families but must remain leashed at all times.

Vernal/Dinosaurland KOA Campground can accommodate RVs and trailers up to a maximum length of 80 feet.

Steinaker Lake State Park Campground

Steinaker Lake State Park Campground is a popular spot for families looking for RV and tent camping in a location that abounds with outdoor activities to enjoy. Among the most popular things to do at this camping facility include swimming, sunbathing, boating, fishing, and waterskiing.

There are 31 campsites available for camping Between May 15th and September 30th yearly by reservation only.

Among the on-site amenities are bathrooms, a boat launch, a comfort station, a waste disposal station, drinking water, a fish cleaning station, and hiking trails.

Dogs may join their owners at this campground but must remain leashed at all times.

Red Fleet Campground

Red Fleet Campground is located in the state park bearing the same name. It is open year-round for RV and tent camping by reservation.

There are 29 campsites in total. Each of them is furnished with its own picnic table, barbecue, and fire ring. There are three campsites that offer power and water hookups. The rest are more primitive in nature.

Showers are not available at this campground.

Pets may join their families but are to remain on a lead at all times.

Among the outdoor activities at this popular park and campground include hiking, photography, wildlife viewing, and picnicking.

Seasonal activities in Fantasy Canyon

In-Season

Dinosaur National Monument

Dinosaur National Monument is a wonderful place to visit while in the region exploring Fantasy Canyon. The area is a prominent site of historical significance that was once the home of the Fremont Indians. Among the treasures found on the premises include ancient rock art. It is believed that the property was inhabited as early as 10,000 years ago.

Several civilizations once laid claim to the grounds including the Fremont Indians and the Ute and the Shoshane.

During the 18th century, the region became a popular settling ground for European immigrants and Americans from other areas of the country. When a drought later occurred, many of these groups moved to more fertile ground, leaving behind remnants of their communities.

Utah Field House of Natural History State Park Museum

The Utah Field House of Natural History State Park Museum is an interesting place to spend a day during a trip to Fantasy Canyon. Situated just 80 miles outside the town of Vernal, this popular attraction draws visitors from across the country.

The Utah Field House houses many different artifacts, exhibits, and activities for families to enjoy. There is also an on-site visitor center where families can learn more about the most interesting places to visit during a trip to Vernal. The visitors center is staffed with highly knowledgeable personnel that can answer questions and provide guidance as to places to stay, the best restaurants to enjoy, and must-visit sites.

Uintah County Heritage Museum

The Uintah County Heritage Museum pays homage to the settlers that once dwelled on the land. The building features many artifacts from different cultures and historical occupations including Native American Indians, miners, soldiers, outlaws, and military personnel.

The Uintah County Heritage Museum's mandate is to maintain a property that encourages the preservation of the history of the region, beginning with the first civilization on the premises thousands of years ago. With this in mind, the exhibits housed within the building are primarily educational in scope.
Throughout the year, the museum offers different tours, workshops, and art exhibitions. For a schedule of current events, tour times, and any associated fees, consult the museum's website.

Off-Season

Steinaker State Park

Steinaker State Park, also sometimes referred to as Steinaker Lake State Park, is a much-loved recreational area for families that enjoy outdoor adventure. With activities to enjoy year-round, there is lots to do at this beautiful park.

During the summer months, the most popular things to do include camping, off-roading, hiking, fishing, swimming, boating, and water sports. Camping is available here from May 15th through September 30th each year.

In the winter months, families can enjoy snowmobiling, hiking, photography, wildlife viewing, fishing, and more.

Whitewater rafting

No trip to Fantasy Canyon would be complete without checking out the opportunities to enjoy whitewater rafting in the region. There are several different spots where families can hire a guide and a boat to take them on an unforgettable day out on the river.

Most of the raft guide companies are situated near to other local attractions, affording families the opportunity to enjoy some of the local culture and amenities prior to their day of whitewater rafting adventure.

Most companies offer all-inclusive packages which include all requisite equipment, food, camping gear, and transport to and from the rafting site. Families will need to bring along personal belongings and any camping supplies should an overnight stay be desired. A camera is recommended for all whitewater rafting expeditions.

Manfred and Ethel Martin House

The Manfred and Ethel Martin House is a historic property located in Vernal, Utah. A property that was placed onto the National Register of Historic Places list in 2004, this unique building was constructed in 1912 in the shingle style that was quite unusual for this area of the country.

This important dwelling was first a medical facility. Its owner, Mr. Manfred Martin was a physician. He and his wife made their home in this building with a clinic occupying a portion of the space as well.

Today, the house remains true to its original design and decor. It is well worth a visit during a trip to Fantasy Canyon.