Utah County is home to endless outdoor activities which can be well explained by the numerous State Parks, camping locations, and lakes. The first step to an eventful trip is planning beforehand – and that includes familiarizing yourself with some of the best spots to spend time with your loved ones.
Below are the 10 best places you can canoe and kayak during your next trip to Utah.
Mirror LakeLocated high in the Uinta Mountains, Mirror Lake is best known for its scenic beauty and abundant recreational activities. The lake’s name originates from the almost perfect reflection of the surrounding mountains and trees often seen from the shore.
Among the recreational activities they offer are canoeing, kayaking, and fishing. There are a big parking lot and a campground consisting of several single and double campsites. If you are looking forward to camp these sites, you might consider choosing one with a view of the lake.
There’s also an amphitheater in the campground that offers live music and other activities throughout the weekend. Although the access fee is $8, the experience is definitely worth your money.
Lower Provo RiverThe Lower Provo River is a scenic 17.5 miles of whitewater starting below a dam and ending at Utah Lake. It is a short distance starting outside Provo and ending in the outskirts of the city. Even so, it is the short distance that makes its recreational experience great, most especially for paddlers. The run takes you through the Uinta National forest giving you a spectacular view of the beautiful surroundings along its river bank.
The run is quite convenient because it ends close to the City of Provo which brings easy access to services such as restaurants, motels, stores, and other things that might be essential to a paddler at the end of the trip.
Strawberry ReservoirEnjoy recreational activities such as kayaking, canoeing, skiing, sailing, and fishing while enjoying the epic view of the beautiful Wasatch Mountains surrounding the lake. It is specifically recognized from its fishing activities dating from 1930 when the state’s record trout was caught weighing 26.5 pounds.
If you are looking for some fun fishing with your loved ones, this is definitely the place for you.
Utah LakeUtah Lake is a 148 sq. miles shallow freshwater lake lying in Utah Valley. Besides fishing and swimming, Utah Lake is also an excellent spot for canoeing and kayaking. Its waters have an average temperature of 75 degrees – making it an excellent spot for swimming. The lake is most favored by its proximity to easy access points. There’s an entrance fee at both the Lindon Marina and the Utah Lake State Park entrances.
If you want to avoid the rental fees, you can bring along your kayak and enjoy the ultimate freedom in the water.
Silver Lake Flat ReservoirSilver Lake Flat Reservoir is located up the American Fork Canyon, past Tibble Fork Reservoir. Its crystal clear water is so tempting that you'll want to take an immediate plunge. There are fewer crowds here, so you can freely enjoy yourselves.
There’s, however, no camping allowed within a 1/2 mile radius around the lake – not unless you want a ticket from the forest service officials. The lake is also only accessible via a dirt road so be prepared to get some dirt on your car. Nonetheless, it is still a beautiful and rather peaceful place to kayak and canoe.
Lake PowellBeing the second largest man-made lake in America, Lake Powell is one of the most visited spots in Utah, especially during summer. Be prepared to show up and leave early to avoid traffic and congestion.
Lake Powell is extremely popular with boaters – including kayaking and canoeing. Paddle through while enjoying the surrounding landscape with weathered red and yellow rock sculpted into caves and arches. Furthermore, what could be more interesting than paddling your way below towering high canyon walls?
The most recommended launching spots are the Lone Rock, Stanton Creek, and the Glen Canyon Beach camping area.
The Green RiverThe Green River flows from the Wyoming Wind River Mountains, heads south into Utah, east to Dinosaur Monument in Colorado, before heading back south to Utah where it finally joins the Colorado River.
As the name suggests, a trip along these waters will take you through miles of great scenery and wildlife. I would suggest you bring a camera with you to capture the many geological wonders as the river cuts deeper into the canyons.
The river is most crowded after April 15th when the water levels are high. I would discourage you from taking a trip during the July/August summer heat, as there is little to no shade.
Tibble Fork ReservoirLocated approximately seven miles up the American Fork Canyon, Tibble Fork Reservoir is best known for its scenic views and blue waters. It is considered to be a beginner level because of its small size and calm winds. So, if you are a newbie planning to start out on some kayaking and canoeing, this is definitely your place.
Also, be prepared for the $6 three-day pass charged either at the American Fork Canyon entrance or near the opposite end of Alpine Loop.
Deer Creek ReservoirIf you are looking for a spot with a great mountain view and a preferably lesser crowd, Deer Creek Reservoir should be your place. It is located in Heber Valley, a short drive from Park City. It is a scenic spot and it offers various recreational activities including kayaking, water skiing, and much more.
It is highly recommended that you set off early in the morning to beat the lake winds in the afternoons. There’s also a $10 day-use fee since it is a State Park. Beside kayaking and canoeing, you can also sign up for one of the many camping and ziplining activities.
Red Fleet State ParkRed Fleet State Park has a 750-acre reservoir which makes it a perfect spot to paddle through while enjoying the rather ancient environment. The park is famous for the numerous dinosaur tracks in the area. Because who would want to miss a chance of viewing 200-million-year-old dinosaur tracks?
Should you choose to explore the tracks, be prepared for the 1.5-mile hike that can prove to be somewhat strenuous because of the uphill and downhill sections involved. You are also advised to hike early in the morning or late in the afternoon since the tracks are hard to see in direct sunlight.
Before engaging in any activities, it is essential that you observe safety procedures first. Check out with the boat rentals, a marina, or visitor center for current weather forecasts. You can check with your guides or visitor centers for a map with specific details of where you are going. Also, don’t forget to carry the recommended safety equipment with you.