An Un-Campground Guide: Affordable lodging in Moab

lazy lizard hostel

For the uninitiated (aka me before this month), spring is high season in Moab. This is because it’s hot as hell by June. If you go to Moab and you haven’t planned ahead and reserved a campsite, you’re left with first-come, first-serve options on BLM land along Highway 128.

The good news is that these campsites are free. The bad news is if you have a day job and live several hours away from Moab, you’re gambling with your sleeping arrangements.

We didn’t want to put all of our eggs in one BLM basket before heading out to Moab this month, so we started to look for a cheap backup plan.

Enter the Lazy Lizard Hostel.

Lazy Lizard was also the name of a bar in my college town, so I immediately was into this place. Mostly because of nostalgia (it also looked like a summer camp), not because I was hoping to throw back some Blue Kamikaze shots (still do not know what was in those. #college).

Lazy Lizard checked all our boxes – super cheap, clean, and a very solid backup plan since they have a pretty lax cancellation policy.

And thank god we booked it. The campgrounds were packed (not shocking for a Friday afternoon in April), so we headed to the Lazy Lizard to make good on our $12/night dorm reservation we made a few weeks in advance.

The dorm does involve a common sleeping area, but there are plenty of private options too, including private rooms, cabins, and group houses. We ended up getting a private room after someone else canceled last minute.  We just paid the difference at check-in.

You may be thinking, “But are you a little….old for a hostel?”

And yes, as an anti-social 27-year-old, I was a little concerned about things being too hostel-hippie-dippie. It’s also located right behind a sketchy-looking storage unit complex, which raised my blood pressure a few points when we pulled in.

But the Lazy Lizard was absolutely perfect. On top of being crazy cheap, our private room had a comfy bed with AC and heat. No one was getting crazy or partying, and keeping to yourself was totally an option.

The bathrooms were spotless, and the showers were hot with good water pressure. The rooms are cleaned daily, and towels and linens are provided. The wifi is also good, and even with shitty T-Mobile, we had LTE and plenty of service the whole time we were there.

Our little room was a perfect base camp for sleeping, which is all we really used it for. The only thing I would do differently? Make use of the community kitchen instead of spending money on Moab’s astonishingly mediocre food scene. #unpopularopinion

Published by Laura Cardon

Laura Cardon moved to Colorado as an adult and quickly realized how difficult it was to get started exploring the outdoors in a state full of experts. She founded Outdoor Beginner in 2014 to fill the gap in beginner-friendly content for camping, hiking, skiing, and other outdoor activities. In addition to Outdoor Beginner, she coaches beginner trail runners and works at Runners Roost in Golden, Colorado, where she lives with her spouse and toddler.

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