Situated by the junction of the Strawberry and Duchesne Rivers, is the small town of Duchesne, Utah. Despite its small population, the town serves as the county seat for the eponymous Duchesne County. The territory that Duchesne now lies on was first discovered by non-native people back in 1776 when the Dominguez-Escalante Expedition explored what is now eastern Utah. In the 19th century, French fur trappers would descend on the area surrounding Duchesne. This is the origin behind the French name of the town, river, and county.
After President Theodore Roosevelt authorized the building of townsites in eastern Utah, the name Theodore was chosen as the town’s name. This would later be changed to Duchesne after the town was established and home to the county’s vital services and governmental operations.
Duchesne is a lovely place to rent an RV, not only for its homey atmosphere but also for its incredible scenery both in and around town. A series of state parks and natural areas can be found nearby, and when you book an RV in Duchesne, you can easily reach cities like Orem, Provo, and the state capital Salt Lake City, all found to the west of town.
The Great Outdoors
You would be hard pressed to find a more exciting and naturally beautiful state than Utah, home to millions of acres of national forests, stunning desert landscapes, rugged canyons, and magical mountaintops. When you visit Duchesne, you can rent an RV and head off to any number of nearby parks to see for yourself why Utah has become one of the most popular outdoor vacation spots in the country. Starvation State Park is only a few miles west of Duchesne, and despite its name, it is a fantastic place to rest and relax. This spectacular park way up in the Rocky Mountains is known for the large Starvation Reservoir in its center, a great place for swimming, fishing, and boating. There are mesmerizing views at this stunning park, along with a marina and a campground where you can camp with your Duchesne motorhome rental.
Big Sand State Park is much smaller than Starvation State Park, but it is packed with fun activities and a variety of desert wildlife. The Big Sand Wash Reservoir is teeming with fish and is great for boating. The sandy beaches let you bask in the sun’s golden rays while cooling off periodically in the lake. Both Red Fleet State Park and Steinaker Lake State Park can be found to the east when you drive your Duchesne RV rental towards Colorado. Red Fleet State Park is dotted with juniper trees, cacti, and sagebrush, and is a hot spot for dinosaur tracks and fossils. Amateur paleontologists love to peruse the park on foot in search of these ancient remnants preserved for millions of years. You can camp out at Red Fleet State Park in your Duchesne camper rental, or head to Steinaker Lake State Park for some more lakeside recreation. Both parks have lakes where you can swim or fish and feature miles of nature trails weaving through different ecosystems.
Arches National Park is the closest national park to Duchesne, and there are a few other national parks a bit farther away. Arches National Park is named for the natural rocky arches found throughout the park. There are an estimated 2,000 natural arches, a wonderland for photographers to perfect their craft while capturing epic landscapes. The best part about visiting this park is the dark and starry night sky, celebrated for the lack of light pollution and undisturbed views of the cosmos. You can see hundreds of shooting stars every hour while gazing at the heavens in this outdoor sanctuary, and see various constellations decorating the sky.
RV Parks to Visit
There are a few choices when it comes to RV parks close to Duchesne. Promised Land Resort is a nearby nature resort with RV camping, tent camping, rental cabins, and more. There you can raft or tube down the river, go hiking on miles of nature paths, play basketball or volleyball, or fish in the large lake.
Lakeside RV Campground is located on Utah Lake, with elegant beaches, boat launches, sports courts, and a recreation hall complete with board games and a pool table. The sites are spacious and surrounded by trees.
Starvation State Park is another place to set up camp with the travel trailer rental near Duchesne. Here you can hike, bike, swim, fish, boat, or simply read a book on the beach when you camp by the water at this natural gem.
For a small town in rural Utah, Duchesne may surprise you with the numerous points of interest contained within the town. The Pope House Museum offers an insightful look into the past, focusing on a family of settlers who lived in their dream home in Utah’s Uinta Basin. Fred Pope, the family patriarch, created hundreds of miniature dioramas showcasing settler life in the beautiful but inhospitable lands that surrounded them. The house now stands as a museum that pays homage to Fred and Marie Pope.
There are monuments paying respect to the veterans and casualties of World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and Desert Storm in town as well. There is even a monument for the first settlers to arrive in the region, and a historic graveyard that is said to contain the grave of the “Sundance Kid,” a wild west legend.