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Camp off the Smithsonian Butte Backcountry Byway

Rockville, Utah

based on 3 reviews



9.5 miles

Elevation Gain

800 ft

Route Type



Added by Josiah Roe

Enjoy free camping & boondocking with epic views of Eagle Crags and Mt. Kinesava just 30 minutes from Zion National Park; you may just hear a pack of coyotes at night.

Smithsonian Butte Backcountry Byway is gorgeous 9.5 mile road that runs between Rockville near the entrance to Zion National Park and Apple Valley UT, and affords excellent places to camp & boondock *as long* as it is 0.5 miles from the road itself (and there are numerous turn offs).

To get there take Utah Highway 9 and a left (if you're coming from the east) or a right (if you're coming from the west) on Bridge Road and then stay right after a quarter mile onto road 250 S. Stay left after about a mile at the split onto Smithsonian Butte Road. Alternatively, if coming from the South take Main Street due north from highway 59 until it becomes the Byway.

Note: if coming from the north a 4WD vehicle may be necessary. This is not the case if coming from the south, though you may have difficultly making it down the Byway into Zion.

The first obvious campsite is on your left, often called "Rockville Campsite", with numerous others interspersed on the route to the top of the Butte.

After about a mile the road begins a steep ascent without campsites to the top of the Butte and after a strong rain requires a 4WD vehicle to make the top.

Note: Camping is permitted with a 0.5 mile buffer from 250 S as long as you are not within the town limits of Rockville. The camping buffer helps campers preserve the stunning visuals for future visitors. Please remember to Leave No Trace and follow local regulations. For additional questions, see the BLM contact information below. 

BLM Contact Information

BLM Smithsonian Butte website


(435) 688-3200

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Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly

Camp off the Smithsonian Butte Backcountry Byway Reviews

Found a great spot right on the edge of the cliff over looking the canyon! Not a lot of people. Super quite... probably one of the best places I have ever slept in my life!

awesome place with lots of views. camping must take place 1/2 mile from the road so all the early spots are off limits, but when you get to the top of the butte a few side roads lead to plenty of cool camping spots. 4x4 is recommended, and the road has signs that label it as "impassible when wet"

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!


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