Sunday, April 23, 2017

Windwhistle Campground in the Canyon Rims Recreation Area of Southeastern Utah

         The name was enough to lure me to this desert campground.  That, and its remote red rock location.

         Although visitation is increasing, this campground—about 35 miles south of over-crowded Moab—is still worth a visit.  The Bureau of Land Management administers this land, which includes a picnic area at the overlook into the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park, and another primitive campground and overlook at the end of an unimproved dirt road.

Our tent is nestled in the Junipers at Windwhistle Campground.

Evening shadows in our campsite.

         On our fall trip Tim and I took advantage of cool morning and evening temperatures.  Our first evening in camp we walked a half mile nature trail in the shadows of towering rock alcoves.

Towering sandstone cliffs.

Along the nature trail in Windwhistle campground.

         The following morning we rode our tandem bicycle from the campground to the Needles Overlook, a 32 mile round-trip ride on a paved road.

Needles Overlook at the end of the road.

Standing at the edge.  It's a 1000 foot drop-off into the canyon
on the other side of this fence.

         That evening our treats included s'mores around the campfire and a creamy white milky way spilling from horizon to horizon.   After crawling into the tent a Great-Horned Owl serenaded us to sleep with his soothing deep-toned hoots.

Ready for s'mores as darkness falls.

         Did we hear the wind whistling through the Juniper trees surrounding our site during this visit?  No.  Our calm clear days and nights prevented us from experiencing the reason for this campground's alluring name.
         That discovery will have to wait for the next visit.  

The campground is located on Needles Outpost road, about half-way down this map.
The first blue arrow shows the approximate location of Windwhistle CG.

The only thing missing from this open campsite in Windwhistle campground is you!



  1. Rita, it’s certainly easy to understand why you and Tim would be lured to this remote desert campground, not only because of its intriguing name of “Windwhistle”, but also because of its remarkable natural beauty. I was especially taken with the photo captioned as “Evening shadows in our campsite”.

    And lastly, I was very impressed with your 32-mile round-trip bike ride! That surely provided you with the means to enjoy the splendor of the surroundings in a way that was far more intimate than traveling by car.


    1. The natural beauty of this campground is hard to beat. It really is a perfect spot if you don't require the convenience of a nearby town.

      I was impressed with our bike ride that day too! We own a tandem and I have to admit that Tim does most of the hard work on the bike. Biking is a great way to experience the quiet landscapes of desert country.

      Thanks for reading and commenting John!

  2. Hi Rita,

    I, too, am impressed with your accomplishment aboard a tandem - I can't imagine it's as easy to maneuver as a regular bike, so congratulations for going 32 miles over some rugged terrain!!

    Canyonlands is one of my bucket list destinations, and I'm fascinated by all the different colors of sandstone. What an amazing find - with an inviting name - in an area that's usually so busy. Your time at Windwhistle, under the Milky Way, sounds so idyllic. Glad you had such beautiful weather for your visit!


    1. Hi Vickie,

      The weekend in Windwhistle was idyllic indeed.
      And Canyonlands is a worthy bucket list destination. With 3 separate "districts"—Island in the Sky, The Needles and The Maze—there's enough variety to fill weeks of exploration.
      I appreciate your comments!

  3. Hi, Rita, that really looked like a substantial tent and you must have immensely enjoyed the night out there!

    Were there any stern looking Indians and stuff :))

    1. No Soumyendu, no scenes out of a John Wayne movie or anything like that!
      And yes, we do always enjoy a night out in the wilds in our tent—so long as the weather is good!
      Thanks for reading.

    2. Pardon me for barging in again, but I had it in my mind to say that the last picture of yours almost looks like a Thomas Moran painting.

  4. I agree, Rita, the campsite does have an intriguing name and magnificent views. I'm impressed with the way you and Tim get out and go, finding and enjoying beautiful spots most of us have never heard of.

    1. When I first moved to the Mountain West I noticed all the blank spaces on the map and made it a goal to explore those "empty" places. That goal led to discoveries like Windwhistle Campground.

      I have to admit though, to being not quite as adventurous as I used to be.

      You've inspired me to look for another one of those blank spaces to visit this year. Thanks Janet!