By Cheri Sicard
In the video below, travel along with Catherine Gregory to check out Fremont Indian State Park, where she is staying at Castle Rock campground, which is part of the Fishlake National Forest (that’s correct, a state campground in a National Forest).
Catherine says this is one of Utah’s best RV camping secrets right off the interstate.
Before heading to the campground, Catherine takes time to explore the visitor center. You’ll want to as well, if you ever visit, as there is a lot to see here including the largest Fremont culture site in Utah with thousand-year-old pit houses, an astounding array of petroglyphs, and other Fremont artifacts.
Ancient Fremont rock art adorns the walls of nearby Nine Mile Canyon. Catherine says this park presents a wonderful opportunity for those who can’t get to the backcountry to experience this art. Even beyond doing away with the limitations of needing a 4-wheel drive vehicle, the artwork in Nine Mile Canyon is accessible to all via a wheelchair-accessible paved hiking trail.
According to the video, the Fremont people were a pre-Columbian archeological culture. Local indigenous peoples, including the Navajo and Ute, later discovered the remnants of the Fremont people. The museum in the visitors’ center tells the whole story with artifacts and dioramas.
You can actually visit a preserved Fremont Pit House, a log-lined structure built under the ground that provided both shelter during extreme weather conditions and food storage. Because of its subterranean placement, the Pit House remains far cooler than the surrounding topside temperatures, even during the heat of summer.
After exploring, a well-graded dirt road leads to the campground. A stream runs right through the space and a short hike revealed some towering rock formations that explain how Castle Rock got its name.
Soon it was time to hit the road again, but Catherine says if you ever find yourself passing through central Utah, this park makes an outstanding stop to add to your trip.