Another Boffo Boondocking Site

Ivie’s Creek, northwest of Salina, UT, on Hwy 50 has it all.  There’s a lovely old mountain checkered with firs, Ponderosa pines, and aspens to the west, near enough to provide early sunsets.  There is a broad plain down in the valley along with Scipio Lake to the northeast.  Nights are dark enough to please every amateur astronomer and most pros.  The spring-fed creek is clear enough for a beer ad, cold enough to take your breath away, and shallow enough that non-swimmers can safely wade in it.  Its music rivals The Vienna Philharmonic’s (surely you didn’t think I was going to boost Berlin; a generation later they still haven’t recovered from losing von Karajan).    Free potable water is available just up the paved road at the Forest Service’s Maple Grove Campground.  WiFi connections are very poor and slow, but cell phone service is functional, at least outdoors at some times of day.  If worse comes to worser, you can always drive into Salina, park on the street in the shade of the bank’s big trees, and get your Facebook fix on.


Ivie Falls
Ivie Falls
The Clear Water of Ivie Creek
The Clear Water of Ivie Creek

To get there take Hwy 50 north from either Salina or the interstate highway exit to Hwy 50 just a few miles before Salina (if you’re coming from the direction of Richfield).    A paved but unnumbered road intersects Hwy 50 at mile marker 146 and comes with both a turning lane and a brown road sign “Maple Grove Campground”.   The asphalt entrance road is 3 or 4 miles long, but stay on it.When you spot a sign off the little road with no name announcing “Fish Lake National Forest” you should begin looking for old campsites.  The first will be on your left, but skip it:  it has no creek access.  The next is on your right, and if it’s occupied it may be tough to get out without noticing somebody cleaning his rifle.  You best walk that dirt road to the right.  If it’s clear, it’s a very nice site.  If occupied, move on to the next one on the right, no more than 300 yards up the road.  This is a larger site, without shade which won’t matter on a lot of days, and it is where we camped by those symphonic waters.  If you still aren’t impressed, drive a third of a mile up the road to the Maple Grove Campground, built in 1939 by the CCC.  Find the water spigots.  Then pick your favorite site and set it up.


Guns Are Forbidden on USFS Campgrounds, but Utah Has Rednecks Too.
Guns Are Forbidden on USFS Campgrounds, but Utah Has Rednecks Too.
I Prefer to Fish with Our Generator; Some Like It the Hard Way
I Prefer to Fish with Our Generator; Others Like It the Hard Way
Pink Doesn't Want Us to Plan a Path to Capitol Reef:  She Likes It HERE.
Pink Doesn’t Want Us to Plan a Path to Capitol Reef: She Likes It HERE.

Did I mention that the campsites before you enter Maple Grove are free?  Since a six-pack is ten bucks in Utah, that means they come with free beer!  (You just have to buy it in town.)

18 thoughts on “Another Boffo Boondocking Site

  1. Though I’ve not commented in a while, as always I am enjoying your posts and pictures.

    What a fantastic time you all are having out west.

    More than once, I’ve almost packed my bags, and hitched a ride to see it for myself. 😉


  2. You and Kat might be interested in submitting some of your fine works to _The Sun_ magazine.

    (There is a tab on the above about submitting photography. The link defaults to writing.)

    It has been around for a long time; I have been reading it since the early days when Sy Safransky typed it by hand. 🙂

    You can read more about that in the section called “A Brief History.”


    1. No one has ever published a sentence either of us have written, unless you count the Shreveport Times editorial page. I tried with some stories 20 – 30 years ago, and dealing with repeated rejections took a toll on my psyche. There’s only enough of it left to qualify me as marginally sane, so I gotta pass.

      Still, it’s good that someone thinks our drivel might be worthy of print.

      You’re the best, KD,



  3. Drivel? No way. I must protest.

    I do, however, understand about rejection. It can be hard to take.

    It’s brave of you all to put your work out here for the world to see, and much appreciated by readers like me.

    As for sanity, well I’m hardly qualified to be the judge of that, what with glass houses, and all. 😉 🙂

    Thanks for the kind words.



    1. Maybe ‘drivel’ was a moment of doubt and pain. We strive to create literature but to my mind, rarely succeed. We’re kind of like a newspaper: you gotta put your column out there three times a week or the readers give up. Trouble is, I rarely have even two good stories a week. But that’s where travel comes in, isn’t it? If I can describe something different, maybe it’s still interesting on some level far short of being art or insightful.

      ‘Interesting’ should always be our goal. And if once or twice a year we create something of even minimal literary merit, that’s kinda good.

      I feel better, Kahuna. Thank you.



  4. K & J,

    I love living vicariously through your travels and love your writing, I always have love your writing.

    KAhuna’s idea sounds brill. Ok, if you don’t want to go through the publishing grind….how about being an editor for the Sun? Ok, lacks creativity? Maybe? anyway, love how you insert humor and little research tasks and information in your posts.

    Cheers! Write on! ( is that way corny or what?)

    the Jool


    1. Better idea: you and Kahuna submit some of our stuff that you think people might enjoy reading to the Sun. Just don’t tell us you’ve sent anything in. That way, if the Sun burns it up, nobody’s hurt. You know how I am about negative reviews.



  5. Hi. I’m the photo researcher for AdventureKEEN Publishing. We’re producing a new edition of our book The Best in Tent Camping: Utah and are updating it to include a color photo to go with each campground description. We would like to include your photo captioned “Ivie Falls” in the write-up for Maple Grove Campground.

    Please contact me at the email address I provided.




    1. Dan, why doesn’t anyone want to reprint my words?

      Ah, they’re not as good as Kat’s pictures.

      She and I would be honored


      1. 🙂 Sorry about that. LOL They are nice photos!

        How would you like the photo credit to read? We can put Kat’s name if she took the photo. Or credit to your website name? Or maybe a combo of the two?

        I’m guessing we’ll be sending out the free copies in about 6 months or so–whenever the finished book is back from the printer. What is your mailing address?

        What’s the best email to use for you? We’ll need to send you a permission form to sign. We handle those electronically through AdobeSign. We’ll email those out when we’re about ready to send the book to print, in a month or two or so. You’ll simply need to click the link in the email to open the permission form and then type in your name to sign it.



        Dan Downing Photo Researcher AdventureKEEN 612-390-4473



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