At an elevation of 6300 feet, this high-desert Bureau of Land Management property is home to mountains, mesas, benches, and even a resident bison herd! The Starr Springs Campground is located south of Hanksville, Utah, where the local Henry Mountains BLM office can provide information on the natural features and recreational opportunities for the public lands in the area, and services and amenities available nearby.
The campground has 12 sites on the southern edge of the Henry Mountains, which soar above the campground, reaching elevations of over 10,000 feet. Scale Mount Hiller, hike in the beautiful painted desert landscape, explore geological features, and keep an eye out for wildlife. If your lucky, you will get a chance to spot members of the bison herd that roams the wilderness areas in the region, but keep your distance - these large animals can become aggressive if they feel threatened. Cycling, off-highway adventuring, horseback riding, and rockhounding are all popular activities in the region.
The Starr Springs Campground has plenty of shade, is situated in a cottonwood grove with lots of vegetation, and boasts a water supply, vault toilets, picnic tables, and fire pits.
More wilderness and recreational opportunities await visitors to the area at the nearby national parks. While staying in the region visit nearby Capitol Reef National Park, Canyonlands National Park, and Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.
To reach the Starr Springs Campground, take Highway 95/State Route 276 south from Hanksville, Utah, to milepost 17 on State Route 276. This is a paved highway, and easy to traverse for RVs and tow vehicles. At milepost 17 take the dirt road north for five miles to the campground. The dirt road can be in poor condition during wet weather and may become rough and rutted, making it difficult to travel for RVs and holiday trailers.
When the weather is dry in the peak season, the dirt access road should be passable for RVs and trailers providing you take it slow so as not to jostle your RV's contents on the dirt road. Reduced speed along the access road also helps to avoid kicking up dirt and dust, which impairs visibility for other motorists and campers and can coat your unit a fine layer of gritty dust. You can check with the Henry Mountains BLM Office for local weather forecasts and road conditions to the Starr Springs Campground.
During the summer, this region experiences high temperatures. Ensure you take plenty of water for drinking, and to top up coolant levels if necessary. When traveling on rough access roads it is advisable to carry a spare tire for your vehicle and/or tow trailer in case you need one!
Starr Springs Campground is a Bureau of Land Management property, with 12 individual campsites that accommodate RVs and tent camping, and one group site. The campground is situated in a grove of cottonwood trees and has great shady spots to shelter campers from the hot sun and wind. Camping overnight here is available for a nominal fee, that can be paid on site.
Facilities at the campground are minimal, there are no hookups or dump station. However, there are restrooms, picnic tables, benches, fire rings, and grills, as well as a drinking water supply, and a short nature trail to explore. Sites are available for a maximum stay of 14 days, on a first come first serve basis. The campground is open from April to November. Pets are permitted but should be leashed and under control. Enjoy hiking, cycling, rockhounding, OHV activities, and scenic drives while based at this scenic, high elevation campground.
Off Road Vehicle activities are available in the Starr Springs Campground region. There are designated 4X4 trails in the high desert landscape, and the mountains to the northwest near the campground. OHV enthusiasts will also find designated trails at the nearby Capitol Reef National Park where rough backcountry routes lead to spectacular scenic vistas.
During the summer, heavy rain can wash out OHV trails. The offseason, which is dryer, is the best time to explore the backcountry areas with off-road vehicles. Don't forget safety! Wear helmets in open vehicles, take water supplies, spare tires, and tools, and ensure someone off-site is aware of your intended route and expected time of return.
Check out the exposed sediment layers along mesas, bluffs, mountain faces, canyons, and rocky outcroppings, which display colorful strata, and feature unique geological formations. If you are an amateur rockhound you will find plenty of great specimens in the area along mountain trails. More are uncovered by recent rainfall and wind erosion in washes descending from mesas and benches in the Starr Spring Campground area.
Remember you are only permitted to collect a reasonable amount of mineral specimens for personal use on public lands.
During the heat of the summer, or when sub-freezing temperatures are not congenial for hiking and climbing activities, try a scenic drive in the region from the comfort of your climate-controlled vehicle.
Many of the backcountry roads in the region provide spectacular scenery and views of the colorful geological features, mesas, bluffs, canyons, and mountains. You might even spot the herd of bison that roams the area! Scenic access routes to the nearby national parks or the Bull Creek Pass Backcountry Byway to the north have numerous features to discover.
Local outfitters in Hanksville, such as “Get in the Wild Adventures” cater to outdoor enthusiasts who want to explore the region. Outfitters can facilitate hiking, canyoneering, and wildlife discovery tours, and provide information on natural features and the history of the region, as well as the required safety equipment and supplies to get the most out of your Utah wilderness adventure!
Local outfits are familiar with the terrain, the most scenic spots for excellent sightseeing and photography opportunities, and may even have an “in” on the location of the resident bison herd!
Bring plenty of water, as the climate is hot, and the wilderness areas near Starr Springs Campground do not have reliable water sources. Short nature trails around the Starr Springs Campground are an excellent way to explore the surrounding wilderness, or you can access longer trails in the Henry Mountains or nearby national parks.
The peak season for outdoor activities including hiking in the area is during the spring and fall, when temperatures are the most moderate. Ensure you wear good hiking boots to navigate the rough rocky terrain and protect your feet from prickly desert vegetation and prickly-tempered rattlesnakes that can be found in the region.
The Starr Springs Campground is situated at the base of the Henry Mountains, at 6300 feet of elevation, and the nearby Mount Hillers, at 10723 feet, is just a few miles away to the northwest. A trail leads up the mountain, beginning on an old 4x4 trail near Cass Creek on the west side of the mountain. The hike and climb are a distance of 5.5 miles with 3500 feet of elevation change.
You might not want to try this in the heat of the summer or during the winter when there can be sub-freezing temperatures and snow in the area. Spring and fall are the best time for climbing Mount Hillers and the other peaks in the Henry Mountain range.