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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Jordanelle Reservoir / State Park - Utah

Summer is hard away from home.  Trips to the beach, scuba diving, horse shows, family picnics... the list goes on.  While Utah is gorgeous in its own right, some of these things are just simply irreplaceable outside of New England.  

After I spend a good amount of time whining (wah wah give me oceans) I start researching the following topics: 
 "WATER IN UTAH"  "WHERE TO SWIM IN UTAH"  "BEST UTAH BEACHES" etc etc.  Summer is hot, and the shore is far, so finding some of Utah's swimming holes and reservoirs is key.   

Today, I am sharing some details about Jordanelle Reservoir. 
(p.s.- That's Deer Valley in the background there!)

Jordanelle Reservoir, Utah 

Jordanelle is a good spot for a few reasons  A:  It is up by Park City at a higher elevation, so you can find some cooler temperatures than down here in Sweat Salt Lake City.  B:  They offer a bunch of different recreational opportunities such as paddle boarding, kayaking, wake boarding, boating, hiking, tubing, and such.  When the temperatures hit the triple digits, I packed up my bikini and a lot of sun screen and headed to Jordanelle. 

Jordanelle has two areas:  Hailstone and Rock Cliff.  Hailstone is more of the water recreation area while Rock Cliff is more of the nature center/boardwalk.  We visited the Hailstone Recreation Area.  

Jordanelle Reservoir, Utah 

LOCATION: Located about 40 minutes from Salt Lake City. Apple maps shows the location as 101-199 UT-319, Heber City. Take 15 S to 80 E to 189 S. 

ENTRY FEE: It is $12 a car to enter the park on the weekends, $10 during the week. There is the option to pay the day pass, or buy an annual pass for the state parks (different from the National Park annual pass). 

HAILSTONE: "Accommodations at Hailstone include a 8-lane boat ramp, personal watercraft ramp, dry storage, wet slips, full service marina store and pro shop, picnic areas (cabanas), modern restrooms and showers, RV and tent campgrounds, reception center, group day use pavilions, and one group overnight pavilion". Day use hours are 6am to 10pm but the park is open throughout the night as there are camping opportunities. 

The marina store has your typical convenience items such as food, snacks, beer, water, sunscreen, floats, etc.  If you forgot something check the store they have a great variety of goodies.

ROCK CLIFF: "Boardwalks and trails to Nature Center Explore Rock Cliff Recreation Area located on the eastern shore of Jordanelle Reservoir. Nestled in the tall cottonwoods of the Upper Provo River, Rock Cliff offers visitors the opportunity to experience nature on a very intimate level. Elevated boardwalks and interpretive trails guide visitors across wetlands and rivers. Accommodations at Rock Cliff include a small boat ramp, access to the non-motorized Perimeter Trail, Three Rocks Trail, walk-in campgrounds, group use pavilion, fish cleaning station, river and reservoir access, and a Nature Center (open Friday-Mondays, 10am-6pm, Memorial Day through Labor Day)".

DOGS: "Dogs are allowed in certain areas. Dogs must be on a leash at all times, picked up after and never left alone. Dogs are NOT allowed in the beach area below the cabanas or in or around the cabins. At Rock Cliff, dogs are NOT allowed south of the parking lots. OK on the Perimeter Trail and 3 Rocks Trail".

Jordanelle Marina 

We started off the day with some Stand Up Paddle Boarding. You can rent SUPs right on site at the Jordanelle marina. Prices start at $20 an hour, and I highly recommend making a reservation if you are planning to go on the weekend Request a reservation online here! I grabbed my go pro and some friends and hit the water. 

Stand Up Paddleboarding at Jordanelle Reservoir 

Important things to note: The wind picked up quick which really took this workout from a 5 to a 10 realllllly quick. While you don't have large waves like a natural coast, you do have boat wake, and some serious wind to fight. If the wind gets too strong, it is a lot easier to sit and kneel and paddle back.

We had some serious winds to fight against so it took us a while to get back. I highly recommend paddling against the wind to start, and having an easy cruise on the way back. Obviously we didn't do this because it made too much sense.

Stand Up Paddleboarding at Jordanelle Reservoir 

Your rental does include a life jacket so if you are a little weary, throw one on! After an hour and a half of paddle boarding, we headed to the beach/picnic area to cook some hot dogs and play some boccie. Another lesson learned: Utah wind is fierce, bring a ton of lighter fluid to get your grill going!

Recreation Areas at Jordanelle Reservoir 

Recreation Areas at Jordanelle Reservoir 

After some boccie, we headed down to the beaches to sit, read, and swim. The park has some great recreation areas, tables, a few cabanas, restrooms, and paved sidewalks. You don't have to rough it here.

Beach at Jordanelle Reservoir 

Beach at Jordanelle Reservoir 

Beach at Jordanelle Reservoir 

Note:  If you are looking for sugar sand beaches, you will not find them here.  Or anywhere in Utah for that matter.  If you have low expectations, accept the fact that you are going to a reservoir, then the beach isn't that bad.  A little mucky, but a nice chance to dip in the water in a land locked state.  It is a high mountain desert people- I take what I can get. 

Beach at Jordanelle Reservoir 

Beach at Jordanelle Reservoir 

Although the beaches are very...primitive, you can swim with a view of the mountains.  Which is fun and different.  If it is a windy day, I suggest leaving your inner tubes and rafts at home.  We watched a few people chasing their tubes across the park.  

Beach at Jordanelle Reservoir 

After a long day in the sun, we ended up setting up camp int he shade under a tree.  The Utah sun here is quite strong (we are about 4,000 - 6,000' closer to the sun).  The rule of Utah is BYOS Bring Your Own Shade everywhere you go.  Because we didn't follow that rule, we decided to camp out in one of the few shady areas in the park. 

Shade at Jordanelle 

Its no New England coastline, but its a fun substitute for a hot summer day in Utah.  If you miss the water, want to spend the day paddle boarding or canoeing, or just go for a swim, then this is a great place to spend a hot Utah summer weekend. 

1 comment :

  1. Ahhh all of these things look like so much fun! I live about 15 minutes from the beach but it's so hot out today, nearly a 100 degrees, it's too hot even for the beach. Like sure you can sit in the ocean all day but that's about it.

    xx -n
    Naomi in Wonderland


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