by Lissa Poirot
Under Canvas operates glamping opportunities near Moab’s national parks, Arches and Canyonlands. Situated on 40 acres of land near both park entrances, families can enjoy luxury camping in safari tents that provide up to four beds. The basic safari tent can comfortably sleep two adults and two children with a king-sized bed and camp cots. Tipi tents are also available for children that may be placed right beside your tent for extra room and privacy. Guests of the safari tents receive beds, rugs, chairs, drawers, bedside tables, lanterns, a wood-burning stove with free firewood, and bathroom facilities with showers, sinks, and toilets. Packages are available to include outdoor park adventures, including hiking horseback riding, biking, white water rafting and more. Breakfast can also be provided to guests. Pets are welcome.
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Two years ago we stayed at Under Canvas Zion and was blown away by it! When we booked Moab Under Canvas this year we expected the same "wow" factor that we found at Zion. Unfortunately, it wasn't there. The camp is located just off of Highway 191, which means you hear traffic all day and night, including lots of long-haul trucks. The next disappointment was that the majority of the individual tents within the camp do not face out to the desert view (like in the photo) but face inward toward each other. So when you open the flaps in the morning, you are facing another tent across the path. Or in some cases, you're facing the bathrooms! (The camp is arranged in a loop with the bathrooms in the center of it.) The tents with the views of the desert and mountains are the more expensive tents that have bathrooms and they are mostly located along the edges of the camp and some distance from the larger group of tents that share bathrooms. (In Zion, all the tents had spectacular views!) Lastly, it was windy while we were there - not the fault of Under Canvas - but the dirt paths to get to your tent stirred up a lot of dust when the people working there would come by on their golf carts and, ultimately, a fine layer of dust settles on everything inside the tent. I don't expect outdoor living to be spotless but the grittiness got tiresome. On the positive side - the staff was super nice, the fire-pit and music were great, and the outdoor facilities for cooking your own food were great.
So ever since I saw an ad for the Under Canvas company a few years ago, I knew I had to stay with them. Social media advertising works, y'all! When my Utah NP trip brought us to Moab and there was an Under Canvas glampsite there, my boyfriend and I splurged and booked two nights. We had a safari tent, so the restrooms were a very short walk from the tent, but not in the tent. The restrooms were always very clean and I swear someone snuck in there and did that after every time someone took a shower. There were always 3 extra rolls of TP, plenty of paper towels, and shampoo/conditioner/shower gel. There is a closet of towels and washcloths by the restrooms. Anyway, the only thing I didn't like about the showers is they did not stay warm very long. There's a sign that says their piping is near the ground's surface so it can get really hot, but I don't understand why it didn't stay hot enough for me to rinse the conditioner out of my hair. They are pull chain showers to save water, but there is a handicap restroom that has a normal faucet.
The bed in the tent was GLORIOUS. So incredibly comfortable. We didn't make a fire the first night and the blankets kept us plenty warm. Made a fire the second night and it was pretty smoky smelling in there. You have a large battery pack per person that you can charge USB items with, there is a white noise machine, minifans, and two electric lanterns you can use to walk around at night. You need the white noise machine because this beautiful campground is RIGHT OFF THE HIGHWAY. I knew this when booking, but with all that open land, I wondered why it couldn't be further away from everything. Also, a very loud train horn was heard both nights after 10pm.
Besides the odd choice of location and running out of hot water, everything here is delightful. The staff are super friendly, the office tent is open 24/7 where you can refill your water bottle, grab coffee/tea/cider/hot chocolate, there's apples and oranges to take to go, utensils and wine glasses, recycling, board games, a fire pit (and one outside). There are gas grills you can cook on that come with all the utensils, a platform where you can do yoga under the stars and a nearby tent full of mats and blocks, giant Jenga, cornhole, etc. I wish we had more time to spend around the camp for sure.