We stayed at the Goose Island Campground in an Airstream while visiting Moab, Utah. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) manages many campgrounds in the area surrounding Moab. These include the Goose Island Campground which is in the Colorado River Recreation Area along Highway 128.

Goose Island Campground sign
Goose Island Campground sign

Goose Island Campground

These are all first-come, first-served campsites and no reservations are accepted. (Although reservations are accepted through Recreation.gov for the two group campsites in the Goose Island Campground.)

Campers may stay 14 days at an individual campground.

Airstream camped in Campsite in Goose Island Campground
Our campsite in Goose Island Campground
Goose Island Campground registration sign
Campground registration sign
14 day camping limit sign
14 day camping limit sign

Location

Goose Island Campground is one of the prettiest campgrounds in the Moab area, in my opinion.

It is located right on the banks of the Colorado River and is only about 4 miles from downtown Moab.

Goose Island Campground is located only 1.4 miles from Lions Park at the intersection of highway 191 and highway 128. It is not far from downtown Moab.

This campground has a campground host, so there is more security than some of the other campgrounds in the area.

The red Wingate cliffs of Arches National Park are on the other side of the Colorado River from the campground. They provide a spectacular sight from all of the campsites. We also visited Arches National Park on this trip and highly recommend it!

Many of the campsites have the added bonus of being shaded by big cottonwood trees.

There’s a paved bike path that leads right from the campground to downtown Moab, making it very convenient.

Bike path along Colorado River in Moab
Bike path along Colorado River
Bike path along Goose Island campground in Moab
Bike path along Goose Island campground

Campsites at Goose Island Campground

There are 17 individual campsites and two group campsites.

About half of the individual campsites are directly on the Colorado River, with some having direct river access.

The other campsites on the river have at least part of their view of the river blocked by bushes.

Most of these campsites are fairly long, with room for Class A motorhomes or travel trailers and a tow vehicle.

Super Class C Motorhome at Goose Island Campground
Super Class C Motorhome at Goose Island Campground
Class A motorhome at Goose Island campground
Class A motorhome at Goose Island campground

The best campsites are the ones right on the Colorado River.

The ones across from these back up to the bike path and Highway 128. The path and road can be busy at times with noisy 4x4s and motorcycles driving by.

These campsites have the added detriment of being closest to the pit toilets. The toilets were smelly when we stayed here in the fall. They are probably much worse in the summer months.

Colorado river along campground in Moab
Campsite at Goose Island Campground

Campsites along the Colorado River

If you have a choice, take one of the campsites along the river. These back up to the red cliffs of Arches National Park.

But given the popularity of the Goose Island Campground, these can be incredibly difficult to find available. This is made more difficult as they are first-come, first-served campsites.

View of the Colorado River from our campsite in Goose Island Campground
View of the Colorado River from our campsite

We camped for two nights in one of the less optimal campsites at Goose Island Campground. We discovered that most riverside campers secured their spots by arranging it with the site’s previous occupants.

Given the popularity of this campground, there are constant drive-throughs of people looking for a perfect campsite.

This makes timing the first-come, first-served aspect critical to get the best campsites.

Campsite at Goose Island campground
Campsite at Goose Island campground

To snag a riverside campsite, we did what everyone else seemed to be doing, according to the riverside campers with whom we spoke.

We approached a camper who was leaving the next day (everyone has to post their departure date by their campsite number) and asked if we could move our things over when they were packing up to leave in the morning.

They were fine with that as they had done the same thing in order to get that particular campsite.

The day before we left, we were also approached by someone wanting our campsite, so this seems to be the way it works.

It may not be the most perfect solution, but it seems to be the way campers get the best campsites in the campground.

Goose Island Campground Amenities

Most (if not all) of the BLM campgrounds in the Moab area are dry camping. There are no hookups for water, sewer or electricity.

Like in the Sand Flats Recreation Area campground, you must bring in all you need for water and power at the Goose Island Campground and then find a dump station when you leave.

Whenever we dry camp or boondock, we use our solar panel and generator for electricity in our Airstream.

Generators are permitted between the hours of 8 AM and 8 PM at Goose Island Campground.

Airstream parked against red cliffs in Moab. Two mountain bikes outside
Our Airstream at Goose Island Campground in Moab

There are pit toilets available, as well as a dumpster for trash. (As mentioned previously, the pit toilets can be smelly, so try to get a campsite as far away from them as possible.)

Pit toilets and dumpster at Goose Island campground
Pit toilets and dumpster at Goose Island campground

Other Campgrounds in the Highway 128 Area of Moab

The whole drive up Highway 128 in the Colorado River Recreation Area is gorgeous. The Colorado River is in the valley in between giant red cliffs on either side of the road.

You really can’t go wrong with any of the campsites along this corridor.

Colorado River Recreation Area in Moab

Goose Island Campground is the closest to Moab and has direct access to the bike path, so it’s one of the most popular campgrounds along Highway 128.

However, there are 11 other BLM campground options that area also along the Colorado River and in between the giant red rock cliffs on highway 128.

These include the Grandstaff Campground (near the Grandstaff Trail to the Morning Glory Arch), Big Bend Campground, and Fishers Tower Campground.

See the sign below posted by BLM at the Goose River Campground for more details about each of these 11 BLM campgrounds in the Moab area on Highway 128 in the Colorado River Recreation Area. (The prices are out of date. I think they are $20/night now.)

BLM Campgrounds in the Colorado River Recreation Area sign
BLM Campgrounds in the Colorado River Recreation Area sign

Potable Water

If you’re staying at Goose Island Campground, or any other dry camping option in Moab, you’re likely going to need potable water, and possibly a lot of it!

Despite most campgrounds in this area being dry, as in not having a water source available at the campground, there are several options in Moab to fill up your camper and water containers with potable water for free.

Some options include the Maverik gas station, Lions Park, Matrimony Springs (which is just down the road from the Goose Island Campground), and Gearheads outdoor store.

Final Thoughts about Goose Island Campground

We enjoyed our stay at the Goose Island Campground and found it to be very comfortable.

We also met a woman there who was traveling in her RV while working on the road. Check out all of these different ideas for remote working.