Photo by Ethan Gowans on Unsplash
Where is Utah Lake State Park?
Utah Lake is a shallow freshwater lake located west of Orem and Provo in Utah County. It is the largest natural freshwater lake in Utah. And because of its proximity to Orem and Provo, it is easy to access.
The state park itself is also easy to find. Simply get on Center Street in Provo, and head west. This street ends at Utah Lake State Park itself. If you are planning on boating, camping, or picnicking at the lake, this this the best place to go.
How much does it cost to get into the park?
This depends on a couple of things, specifically what season you are visiting, and how many vehicles you will be bringing. Entrance to the park is $10 per vehicle in the summer, and $2 if you are just walking into the park without a car. In the winter, the vehicle price drops to $5. The vehicle price includes a boat and access to the boat ramps if you are planning on spending the day out on the water. For a full list of prices, you can visit their website.
What can you do at Utah Lake State Park?
The lake is a great place for boating. You can launch your boats at the Provo Boat Harbor in the state park. Some of the most popular activities on the lake include fishing and many water sports. Water skiing, wakeboarding, and wake surfing can all be done on Utah Lake as well. Whether fishing or doing water sports, this lake is big enough that you can easily find a spot all to yourself.
While most people go to the state park because it provides access to the Provo Boat Harbor, there are many other types of recreation to do there. One unique form of recreation at the State Park is the Frisbee Golf Course located on the shore. Bring your Frisbee discs and play each ‘hole’ with friends and family. The shore also boasts many picnic tables and grassy areas, making this park a great spot for a family outing.
And If just being out in nature is more your thing, birdwatching is popular at and near the state park as well. The trees surrounding Utah Lake actually provide some of the best bird watching anywhere in the state.
Camping is another great form of family-friendly recreation that can be done at the state park. The campground there provides all the amenities you need, including bathrooms, sandy beaches, showers, and even a playground.
How is the fishing at Provo Lake?
Provo Lake is a great place to fish year round. It is home to a variety of species, including Large-mouth Bass, White Bass, Bluegill, Yellow Perch, Walleye, and Catfish. Utah Lake Marina can be a good spot to catch panfish like Bluegill and Black Crappie. Bass and Catfish are most often caught from boats out on the lake.
Many of these species can also be found in the rivers that feed into the lake, specifically the Provo River. If you are a bass angler, the Provo River is a great place to fish for White Bass during their spawning season in late May and early June.
During the winter, wait until Utah Lake freezes over and try ice fishing on the lake. Most of the same fish species you can catch during the warmer months still bite in the winter.
Can you swim at Utah Lake?
Because Utah Lake is so shallow, it is a great place to swim! While Utah Lake State Park near Provo has some sandy beaches you can swim in, the most popular swimming beach is actually a bit farther south. Sandy Beach, west of Spanish Fork, is a great place to take the family if they want to jump in and swim. There is parking available, and you can even launch small boats that don’t need a boat ramp. Make sure to check water levels though, if it is a high water year, the beach gets flooded and the road will dead end at the lake itself.
It is also important to check Algae levels at the lake. Some years, toxic algae grows in the lake which can be dangerous to swimmers. Visit the Utah Department of Environmental Quality webpage for updated information on algae bloom.
If you are looking for a place to go boating, fishing, or even just have a family picnic, Utah Lake is a great place to do it. Because of its proximity to many of the major cities in Utah County, it should be a quick drive to the Utah Lake State Park or any of the other access points.