Adventures in Utah with Maverik: Got a kayak or canoe? 7 of the best places to use it in Utah


Going out on a kayak or canoe is a great way to not only exercise, but also to clear your mind. Better health chain says kayaking or canoeing can improve your cardiovascular fitness, increase muscle strength, and practice meditation (depending on your favorite waterway).

Even though the state is experiencing a severe drought, there are still plenty of opportunities to get out there and enjoy a serene day on the water by kayaking or canoeing in Utah. So if you are looking for a new place to paddle, fill up your car at your local. Maverik and tie up your kayak. Here are seven places in Utah you’ll want to explore.

East Canyon Reservoir

Nestled in East Canyon is this quiet and scenic reservoir. The 35-mile drive from Salt Lake City takes about 45 minutes to 1 hour, making it a great after-work getaway for those looking to cool off and paddle in the evening.

Although it’s only a short drive from town, it sits in the heart of the canyon – most people won’t have cell service at the reservoir. So it’s a great place to unplug and connect with nature if that’s what you’re looking for.

According to state parks website, the park offers personal watercraft rentals as well as boats and ski boats. So even if you don’t have your own kayak or canoe, you can still rent one at the park.

Mirror Lake

This lake is so spectacular that it has had a highway that bears its name! Located in the high Uintas, the serenity of Mirror Lake can be a great place to spend a day or two (or three).

The lake is surrounded by the Wasatch-Cache National Forest and does not allow motorboats, making it a great place to enjoy the peace and quiet. With a lake as calm as Mirror Lake, even the most novice kayaker will have a great time.

Adventures in Utah with Maverik: Got a kayak or canoe?  7 of the best places to use it in Utah
Photo: Shutterstock

You can plan a 1.5 hour drive from Salt Lake City to Mirror Lake, but the views are so stunning you’ll want more time on the road!

Because the lake is at a high altitude, many Google Reviewers recommend going in July or August, as the cold water is more refreshing during the high summer temperatures.

Small Dell Tank

Little Dell Reservoir is such a short distance from Salt Lake City, you might find yourself frequently escaping to the beautiful waters on weekdays. From I-80 East, you are only a few miles from the mouth of the canyon before taking exit 134 and driving another three miles. Admission is free if you’re willing to walk, says Salt Lake City County website, but you can also pay $ 5 for parking much closer to the water’s edge.

This is another body of water that prohibits motor boats, making it a serene place for kayaking and canoeing. Keep in mind that water access is only available until around October 1, the county website says, so be prepared before the fresh air is here to stay.

Bear Lake State Park

When it comes to beautiful water, there is nothing quite like the vivid, turquoise colors of Bear Lake. According to the State Parks website, water gets its brilliant hue from the calcium carbonate in the water. There’s no shortage of space or water in this Utah lake either, it’s huge.

Stretching across the Idaho state border, Bear Lake has all the space and variety you could want as a kayaker.

Kayaking guru said Bear Lake “can be a great place for beginners and experienced paddlers alike as there is plenty of space, easy launching and the water is generally calm.”

There are several entry points into the park, depending on which direction you are coming from. Many of these entry points are even open year round! Check out state parks website to make sure the entry point you choose is open after October.

Oh, and don’t forget to grab a famous raspberry shake at the end of the day!

Adventures in Utah with Maverik: Got a kayak or canoe?  7 of the best places to use it in Utah
Photo: Shutterstock

Powell Lake

Although reports that the water levels are very low (they have even closed a few launch stations), the park is still open and allows people and their boats to enter. With nearly 2,000 miles of shoreline, Lake Powell has some of the best red rock formations, coves, canyons, and cliffs in the world to explore. As a bonus, you can stop and set up your camp wherever you want for up to 14 days without having to obtain a permit.

Whether you are a Lake Powell enthusiast or a newbie, exploring Lake Powell by kayak or canoe is one of the best ways to enjoy this special place.

Don’t forget a waterproof bag for your phone, because you’ll want to take a lot of photos.

Smith and Morehouse Reservoir

Located a few miles from Kamas, this hidden gem is a gorgeous place to spend a Saturday afternoon. It also doesn’t allow motorboats, so you’ll mostly find calm waters ideal for kayaking, paddleboarding, and canoeing.

The picturesque views are really what sets this place apart from other kayaking spots near town.

There are several areas for parking in Smith and Morehouse, however, each area is small and fills up quickly on weekends. Make sure you get there early to get a seat!

If you want to camp at the reservoir, you must make a reservation on

Red Fleet State Park

Red Fleet State Park is perhaps the most underrated kayaking spot on this list. In fact, the state parks website says many local boaters call Red Fleet Little Lake Powell.

This desert oasis is located near Vernal, so not only are you in beautiful scenery, but also close to rock formations, wildlife, caves, and dinosaur trails.

The Red Fleet tank is not only gorgeous, but the water temperature isn’t too cold either. Compared to other state lakes and reservoirs, the 75 degree water in mid-August looks extremely refreshing, especially if you like a quick dip after kayaking.

No matter where you end up paddling in Utah, be sure to refuel at Maverik first. Get fuel for the car and snacks for the road so you’re ready for the day’s adventures. To find your local Maverik, visit their website.

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