If you’re looking for some options for your next kayaking trip, the great state of Utah has a multitude of stunning lakes, rivers and reservoirs that make perfect paddle spots. Whether you’re a veteran kayaker looking for some whitewater challenges, or a family looking for calm, flat water for beginners, Utah has plenty of destinations for all levels.
So to help give you some ideas, in this post, we’re going to cover ten of the best places to kayak in Utah.
1. The Green River, UT
The iconic Green River is not just home to delicious melons but is also an popular destination for some kayaking. The 730 mile long river starts in the Wind River Mountains of Wyoming and flows through Wyoming and Utah. You will need some form of GPS or map to guide you through the vast river so that you don’t end up too far downstream.
A trip through these waters will lead you to some attractive scenery and wildlife. If you have a camera, you will capture a lot of geological wonders as the river gets deeper into the canyons. Different sections of the river offer different levels of kayaking skills, therefore make sure you are in the right section if you are a beginner.
2. Mirror Lake, UT
If you’re looking for a good spot to do some fishing out on your kayak, then Mirror Lake is a good option. This lake is home to some unique species of trout like the brook, tiger, rainbow that are kept well stocked through out the summer months.
Located high up in the Uinta mountains, Mirror Lake is best known for its scenic beauty, in fact, it got its name from the perfect reflection of the neighboring mountains as shown in the image above.
As well as fishing it’s a popular spot for families to kayak in and if you are looking for a beautiful place to spend the night, there are a number of different campgrounds There’s even an amphitheater that offers live music and other activities.
3. Red Fleet Reservoir, UT
The irresistible Red Fleet Reservoir located in the Red Fleet State Park is a magnificent place to stop over and engage in a little kayaking adventure. The 750-acre picturesque reservoir presents you with a number of activities to do, such as kayaking, fishing, and camping.
If you have time, don’t just kayak and leave, hike the 1.7-mile trail (each way) to see the famous 200 million years old dinosaur tracks. But it’s not the easiest hike and although it’s well sign posted it’s not that suitable for young children but well worth it to see the tracks!
4. Bear Lake, UT
A 53-minute drive north east from Logan along the 89 will take you to the idyllic statewide summer vacation in the clear waters of Bear Lake. This lake is often referred to as the ‘Caribbean of the Rockies‘ due to its lovely turquoise-blue color, which is as a result of limestone deposits that are suspended in the lake.
Despite its vastness, the lake is ideal for beginners as it’s possible to stay at the edge. The calm waters, however, should never be underestimated. All in all, it is a great place for families to kayak with lots of other things to do.
5. Utah Lake, UT
Utah Lake is one of the most favored kayaking destinations due to its proximity to BYU and multiple easy launch points. The water here is fresh and shallow for children to kayak and swim as you enjoy the beautiful scenery. if you’re into fishing the the lake is also a popular angling spot and is home to white bass, channel catfish, black bass and other types of panfish.
There are a number of places to rent kayaks if you don’t have your own. There are also various car parks but most of the entrance fees are snot free. If you don’t want to pay, you can always find a free open entry point at the south of Lindon Marina.
6. Provo River, UT
The Provo River is a frequent destination for many Utahns. The river has two main forks: The North Fork Provo and The South Fork Provo that meet and descend into one of Utah’s most majestic and famous canyons. Both sections of the river have mellow and manageable waters for fishing and kayaking, but the South Fork is a 17.5 miles scenic whitewater that ends at Utah Lake that we looked at previously.
As we mentioned, Provo River is a very popular fishing ground where you can catch brown trout, rainbow trout, and mountain whitefish. Due to its high level of fish, some parts of this river are private so make sure to check if you’re permitted before you cast off.
7. Lake Powell, UT
Known for its warm, lovely ambiance, Lake Powell is one of the most in-demand local vacation spots for families in Utah. On the border between Utah and Arizona, it’s got lots of things to do such as hiking, whitewater rafting trips around horseshoe bend, fishing locations to while away a summer weekend. There are even house boats that you can stay in!
It is also an excellent spot for recreational kayakers who want to get out on the water. The routes down the canyons are beautiful as the river winds through the red rock creating stunning arches and caves. The lake is also generally safe, and in case of a flip or an accident, you will always be close to a nearby kayak or boat where you can quickly get help. There are lots of places to launch from too such as Glen Canyon, Lone Rock or Stanton creek.
8. Silver Lake Flat Reservoir, UT
From stunning mountain landscapes to secluded fishing spots, Silver Lake Flat Reservoir has more places to explorer than a day will allow. Unlike many lakes with this sort of beauty, it is quieter here and doesn’t pull the sort of crowds that others do. As you can see in the photo above, the crystal clear water is inviting and is calling out to be kayaked in or even jump in for a swim. There are lots of things to do, however, camping is not allowed and doing so will only get you into trouble with the forest officials.
The lake can only be accessed via a dirt road so make sure your car is ready to handle the adventure that comes with a rough road. And for the anglers amongst you, don’t forget to bring your fishing gear as there is plenty of trout in Silver Lake.
9. Tibble Fork Reservoir, UT
Another fantastic place to kayak is the lovely little spot that is Tibble Fork Reservoir that is well known for its blue waters. The man-made lake is an excellent choice for beginners as it is small so doesn’t get too windy and has very flat water making it easy to cover the whole place in less than a day.
Located approximately 7 miles up the American Fork canyon, Tibble can get pretty crowded on a sunny day, so if you are planning to kayak here, make sure you are early.
10. Deer Creek, UT
And lastly, Deer Creek is also an exceptional place for beginners and people who prefer less crowded areas. It is a beautiful place for some gentle paddling. You can enjoy the panoramic view of Timpanogos mountain without disruptions or noises.
If you are planning a day out here, keep your dog at home as dogs are only allowed in the campground. However, if you are looking to camp, the campsites are plenty, and you can take on various activities such as zip-lining. Just remember to book in advance!
The vast state of Utah offers an extensive range of waterways to explore. Just bring along your kayak, or rent one if you don’t own one yet. It is also imperative to check the weather before heading out and also revise various safety features. Utah waters tend to be gentle, but if the wind gets up and you’re not experienced take a rain check and go another time.