The idea of boondocking intrigued us from the start but wasn’t something we initially sought out. To be completely honest, when hitting the road, we had never even camped in campgrounds before let alone drive a massive rig off road or into the back country.
However, if you too follow the adventures of RVers or families who travel, you will have most likely seen them staying at some epic boondocking locations. It seemed like each time we open Instagram there are folks camping alongside pristine lakes, rocky mountain ledges, or towering red rocks which made our desire to figure out boondocking increase exponentially.
But it wasn’t until we accidentally stumbled upon what would become our favorite boondock spot to date that we decided to give it a try.
In late winter of 2021, we stayed a few nights in Page, AZ on our way to Zion National Park. And while searching for fun places in the area to explore we came across Lone Rock Beach. The pictures online showed a massive rock standing tall in the middle of Lake Powell with mountainous ridges behind it. And since our family is always drawn to mountains and water, we decided to pack a picnic lunch and drive over in our Jeep.
Upon arriving, we were completely shocked to see several RVs parked down on the beach along a ridgeline overlooking Lake Powell! We quickly realized they were boondocking and drove toward the water for a closer look.
The sandy beach area was vast and certainly popular for 4×4, ATV and Jeep enthusiasts. On the ridge area, the sand was much more compact whereas the lower shelf along the shoreline was full of softer sand you would typically see at an ocean beach. We found a great picnic spot, enjoyed the afternoon, and knew we would return shortly with friends in tow.
Lone Rock Beach was less than two hours away from where we were staying on the east side of Zion National Park. And when you’re used to traveling full-time in an RV, a two-hour drive is a breeze! So, a few weeks later, we returned with our friends on St. Patrick’s Day. And to our surprise, this time the entire upper rim was peppered with RVers. It was quite the hot spot, or popular hidden gem! After that night sitting around a campfire on the beach with friends and watching the moon glisten on the water, we decided we would come back and attempt boondocking for the first time in our Vacationer.
Coincidentally, we had a few days open between departing Zion and checking into a campground in Moab, UT. We deemed it the perfect time to double back and give boondocking a try. Even though we had seen several larger RVs, including Class A motorhomes, staying along the upper ridge we wanted to scout our spot and drive our route to the beach in the Jeep. This was the first time our Vacationer would be off road, so we were taking all the precautions. Even though we knew it was fully capable of navigating rough roads, the last thing we wanted to do was get stuck in the sand! We had read that people get stuck fairly often and its a pricey towing bill if you have to call for a rescue! So, on our scouting mission, we selected the perfect spot right on the upper rim corner. The view out our front door was breathtaking!
Our plan was to stay for three nights, but we got bit by the boondocking bug! We loved it so much we stayed 7 nights. That week was one of our most memorable experiences of our time on the road so far. We met great friends who also travel full-time and we have continued to stay in touch with them ever since. We hiked slot canyons, kayaked, had beach campfires, and did a bunch of off-roading with the Jeep.
We planned to come back the following year, but another surprise caught us off guard! The decades long drought in the west was having a major effect on Lake Powell at a rapid pace. Not even a year later and the lake around Lone Rock was completely dry! We were seeing tons of posts where people had hiked right up to the rock. It was definitely disappointing as it was such a special place for us. We opted not to visit again in 2022 but in hindsight wish we had for perspective.
This year we found ourselves spending spring in Sedona, Arizona which is just a few hours from Page. And friends of ours told us that due to the massive amounts of snow that fell in the west over the winter, the water had returned to Lone Rock! These were the same friends we met at our initial boondocking stay there.
With excitement that the water was back we made plans to meet there and boondock again. And wow! The pictures just don’t do this place justice. It’s absolutely breathtaking. We actually managed to secure our same corner spot from last time and loved being there. While it was a bit warmer in June than it was in April, we enjoyed swimming in the lake to cool off. And the evenings were cool enough for beach fires and s’mores with friends new and old.
If you too are looking to get into boondocking we highly recommend it! Do your research, scout ahead of time, and don’t be afraid to ask others for tips and recommendations. And if you find yourself near Page, AZ be sure to swing by Lone Rock Beach! It just may become your favorite place too!