Explore: High-altitude fun at Tushar Lakeside Campground

Views of Tushar Lakeside Campground just east of Beaver, Utah, July 15, 2017 | Photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News

BEAVER — If the summer heat has got you down, the best thing to do is go up. Up to 8,560 feet to camp in the Fishlake National Forest at Tushar Lakeside Campground.

Hunter Reina (top) and Conor Reina explore the forest surrounding the Tushar Lakeside Campground, Beaver, Utah, July 15, 2017 | Photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News

Tucked high in the Tushar Mountain Range and surrounded by a forest of aspen and mixed conifer, this campground is an idyllic respite from the Southern Utah summer swelter.

The details

The campground features three large group sites, perfect for family reunions or scout groups, and several individual sites. All sites come equipped with a fire ring and picnic table.

Bathrooms are pedal flush toilets, but there are no sinks or soap. A drinking fountain with potable water is located at each restroom facility in the campground.

Recreation opportunities abound, including fishing and paddling on the lake (no motorized boats), hiking, wildlife viewing and sand volleyball on the provided court. Canoes and life jackets are available for campers to use on the lake, or guests can bring their own canoes, kayaks and paddleboards.

A fishing license is required to fish in the lake.

Off-road recreation can be found on the nearby Piute ATV Trail, but ATVs are not allowed on roads in the campground and must be taken by trailer to the trailhead.

Dogs are allowed in the campground but must remain on a leash and under control.

The campground’s season is June 1 through Sept. 16. Reservations for campsites must be made three days in advance of your stay and can be made up to 12 months in advance for group sites and 6 months in advance for individual sites. Reservations can be made here.

Campground fees for a single standard, nonelectric site are $12 a night. Group sites are $50-$160.

The experience

The scenery at Tushar Lakeside Campground is simply stunning. Tall trees surround a gorgeous mountain lake fed by a stream that tumbles down the mountainside. The lake is small and full of plant life but still offers plenty of space for paddling and watching the various birds, bugs and fish who make this lake their home.

Hunter Reina enjoys kayaking at the Tushar Lakeside Campground, July 15. 2017 | Photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News

Campers can also view chipmunks, squirrels, deer and other wildlife. Bears are also known to frequent the area. Campers should maintain a clean campsite and never leave food or odorous items out and unattended.

The area features warm but not hot days that are perfect for outdoor activities and cool evenings that can be enjoyed by a fire. Don’t forget the s’mores.

Campsites are large in size and have plenty of flat spaces to pitch a tent or two. Our family of five and our good friends and their family of three shared a site comfortably.

The campground is popular and gets crowded on the weekend. We were there with several scout groups who were not quiet. We woke up to the sound of bugles blowing reveille. That being said, night time is peaceful, and all our campground neighbors seemed to enjoy the peacefulness of the evening.

If you prefer more solitude when camping, I don’t suggest this campground. For families with young children it is perfect.

Because this campground is situated near a body of water, bugs are plentiful. I suggest bringing along a quality bug spray with DEET – and also bring a good attitude.

Bathrooms are not the best but also not the worst. They are somewhere between a vault toilet and a regular flush toilet. The campground hosts keep them clean and smells were minimal. Though antibacterial gel is provided, campers should plan on bringing their own soap.

The overall camping experience at Tushar Lakeside Campground was very positive. For weekend warriors, especially families, wanting a quick escape into the mountains it is a great spot to get away.


  • Beautiful scenery.
  • Warm days, cool nights.
  • Canoes you can use.
  • Large campsites.
  • Plenty to explore.


  • Crowded.
  • Lots of bugs, which are to be expected when camping near a body of water.
  • Bathrooms don’t have sinks or soap.

Directions from St. George to Tushar Lakeside Campground | Drive time approximately 2 hours 1 minute.

  • From St. George take Interstate 15 north to Beaver.
  • Take Exit 109 in Beaver and turn right onto state Route 160 heading north following signs for Beaver.
  • After approximately 2 miles turn right on state Route 153 heading east toward Beaver Canyon.
  • Follow SR-153 approximately 10 miles then turn right on Forest Road 137.
  • Follow Forest Road 137 for about 4-5 miles (road turns to hard-packed dirt) and turn right into Tushar Lakeside Campground.

The forest road is accessible for all types of vehicles but can become muddy and slick after rain. It is wise to check weather and road conditions before starting toward the campground.

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

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