The Five Best Boating Lakes in Utah

great-salt-lake-utah

Utah is a beautiful Western state with diverse landscapes home to wildlife, lakes, towns, and cities.

The central area is mountainous and contains the Wasatch Range. The Northeastern region of the state is green, grassy, and wet. It’s home to the Uinta Mountains. In contrast, the Northwestern to the Southwestern side of the state is desert-like and dry. Here you can find the famous Bonneville Salt Flats. Finally, the Southeastern region is a high desert region. It is cold, arid, with plenty of beautiful red rocks. This region is also known as the Colorado Plateau and is known for Arches and Canyonlands National Park!

Utah is so vast. This is why knowing the four types of biomes can help you choose the best boating location for your boating trip in Utah. Let’s choose a location for  your up-and-coming boating trip in Utah using the neat list we’ve compiled on the best lakes in the Beehive State below:

  • Great Salt Lake
  • Willard Bay Reservoir
  • Lake Powell
  • Strawberry Reservoir
  • Utah Lake

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The Great Salt Lake

Great Salt Lake, Utah.

The Great Salt Lake, sometimes called “America’s Dead Sea,” is a massive lake in Northwestern Utah, west of Salt Lake City.

This impressive lake is, on average, fourteen to sixteen feet deep and sits 4,200 feet above sea level. The Great Salt Lake covers 1,700 square miles, or 1,088,000 acres, with a length of 75 miles and a width of 28 miles.

The lake is salty because it is terminal— minerals flow into the lake through the rivers but it does not carry them out into the ocean. Bear, Weber, and Jordan Rivers feed this salt lake giant.

There are 11 islands in the lake, with Antelope Island being the largest and most popular one to visit. With an impressive 22,800 acres, it is home to America’s largest free-roaming herd of bison. Antelope Island has a state park and is a great place to visit by boat.

Be mindful that biting gnats, usually called “no see ums,” are abundant during the summer and are not deterred by bug repellant. Wear a fine-mesh head net and cover as much of your body in clothing as possible.

The best boat ramp for the Great Salt Lake is at the Great Salt Lake State Park, which you can find on W 1075, right off I-80. You can also launch at Antelope Island Marina, at 4528 W 1700 S, Syracuse, UT 84075.

Willard Bay (Willard Bay Reservoir)

Willard Bay Reservoir, Utah.

In 1964, Willard Bay was separated from the Great Salt Lake; it’s now a human-made freshwater reservoir on the northeastern flood plains of the Great Salt Lake. It is 51 miles north of Salt Lake City and borders the west side of I-15.

During the summer, the lake is warm and boasts beautiful leafy cottonwood trees on the shores. In the winter, it is an excellent area to spot nesting eagles.

The best boat launches for this area are Willard Bay North Marina (900 W 650 N, Willard, UT 84340) and Willard Bay South Marina (at the west end of HWY 312).

Lake Powell

Lake Powell, Utah.

You can find the beautiful Lake Powell in the Southwest of Utah, right on the Arizona border. Lake Powell is an artificially made lake and reservoir that the Glen Canyon Dam created. Before the dam, this was simply the Colorado River, which flowed through Glen Canyon. The decision to submerge the bottom of Glen Canyon was a controversial one.

Lake Powell is 162,560 acres and offers 1960 miles of shorelines. More notably, it is 400 feet deep, 25 miles wide, and 186 miles long.

Lake Powell’s water levels have dropped by 100 feet in three years! This area faces an environmental crisis, so although plans are in place to help replenish the water levels, experts speculate that the lake will never fill again.

If any, Lake Powell should be a “must-visit” list because it may no longer be with us soon. So take advantage of this natural beauty while you still can!

Some of the best boat ramps for Lake Powell are Stateline Boat Ramp (8112 Lake Shore Dr, Page, AZ 86040), Antelope Point Launch Ramp (at the end of Antelope Point Road), and Lake Powell Marinas (at the end of Halls Crossing Marina Road).

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Strawberry Reservoir

Strawberry Reservoir, Utah.

You can find this lake 65 miles east of Salt Lake City, 7,600 feet above sea level. It is a colder lake, primarily because of the springs and mountainous tributary streams that feed it.

Strawberry Reservoir is known for excellent fishing conditions, especially for cutthroat trout and kokanee. Rainbow trout are present in the lake, too but are artificially added by fish and game so that they won’t reproduce with the Cutthroat Trout.

Choose from these four boat launch marina options:

  • Strawberry Bay Marina (at the end of Strawberry Bay Marina Road)
  • Aspen Boat Launch (at the end of South Aspen Grove Fire Road/746)
  • Soldier Creek Marina (at the end of Soldier Creek Recreation Area Road)
  • Renegade Point Boat Ramp (at the end of Fire Road 665)

Utah Lake

Utah Lake, Utah.

You can find Utah Lake just west of Provo, 4,490 feet above sea level. Utah Lake is 94,720 acres. It is part of Utah Lake State Park. While several tributaries contribute to the lake, only one river flows out of it— the Jordan River. The Jordan River then flows into the Great Salt Lake.

The warm waters average 75 degrees Fahrenheit, and house tons of carp, panfish, channel catfish, walleye, black bass, white bass, June Suckers, Utah Suckers, and more. Since more than 40% of the lake’s outflow occurs due to evaporation, it is slightly saline.

Also, you can enjoy the backdrop of stunning mountains while basking in Utah Lake. Thanks to the Utah State Park webcams, you can watch live streams from all over the lake.

There are several boat ramps on Utah Lake, including Lincoln Beach Marina (4700 Lincoln Beach Rd, Spanish Fork, UT 84660), Mill Race Boat Ramp (near the end of S Mud Lane, just west of I-15), Rock Cliff Boat Ramp (at the end of Rock Cliff Road), and Mona Reservoir Boat Ramp (at the end of Monta Reservoir Road).

Your next great adventure in Utah’s waters awaits! Remember, Utah is generally prone to drought and water shortages, so always check the current depths and boat launch conditions, which you can find here.

No matter which region (or regions) you decide to go boating in or whether or not you have boats (some of which even have captains), Boatsetter will get you and your crew on the water with no hassle!

So… are you ready to book your next trip? Check out the availability, and then snag your boat reservation ASAP!

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