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Have a Blast on the Water at Rockport Reservoir State Park This Summer

Hang out in much of Utah during the summer, and you can’t help but notice it can get a little toasty in the valleys. This is where the American Southwest meets the Intermountain West. So some summer days are downright hot. It’s why many folks seek out higher elevations, splashy hikes and swimming spots — and at 6,000 feet above sea level, Rockport State Park is only 45 minutes from Salt Lake City and 30 minutes from Park City.

Utah’s Summer Recreational Mecca

Rockport Reservoir and State Park offers much more than a prime-time swimming spot. It’s a recreational mecca for families, singles and couples looking to get away from the heat. The park managers have done a top-notch job anticipating visitors’ needs and keeping them entertained.

Rockport State Park is an easy drive from Salt Lake City. Photo: CMK Photography
Rockport State Park is an easy drive from Salt Lake City. Photo: CMK Photography

The lake itself spans about 1,000 acres of surface area and is favored by sailors, kayakers and stand-up paddlers. Not to say there aren’t any motor boats — in fact, you can rent a pontoon boat or fishing boat for the family to cruise around in. But this lake is quieter and more peaceful than other reservoirs around Utah, many of which have speedboats buzzing everywhere you look. The marina staff members have paid special attention to making sailboats feel at home, so if sailing is your thing, a visit to Rockport is a fun way to rub elbows with like-minded people.

The marina serves as the hub of action. Here, you’ll find gear rentals, information, food and even live music on the outdoor stage. It’s most people’s first stop when they arrive.

Fishing is a popular activity out on the water. Many people bring their own fishing boats or simply rent one from the marina, then catch the day’s dinner. Plenty of kiddos bide their time along the shoreline with fishing poles as well, waiting to snag a big one.

When you’re not swimming, fishing, sailing, snoozing, barbecuing dinner or hanging out around the campfire, the state park has miles of excellent hiking trails too. The network of sunny hiking trails fill the senses with the smell of juniper, sage, and desert flowers. Soak in the mountain views with the reservoir below as you treat yourself to a hike or trail run. Keep an eye out for the beautiful mountain-desert wildlife, including jackrabbits, deer, marmots and foxes. Watch for animal tracks as you ramble around the hills, then descend back down to the beach to cool off.

In more recent years, the managers have even built yurts, cabins and glamping tents available for overnight rental.

Near the marina, the main beach attracts day-trippers aplenty along with park overnight guests. Set up camp for the day, bringing a sunshade or umbrella to dodge sunburns. A couple of giant inflatable trampolines are usually set up in the water. You can swim out to them and climb up the rope ladder to bounce around. While these trampolines are terrifically popular with kids, the occasional adult just can’t pass up the fun, and we’d never blame them.

Anyone who’s been to Rockport wants to go back for a weekend-long getaway there. In more recent years, the managers have even built yurts, cabins and glamping tents available for overnight rental. (Of course, there are quite a few camping spots with fire pits if you’d rather keep it simple, but sleeping in a yurt is its own little adventure.)

How to Plan a Rockport Getaway

Whether you’re coming from near or far, call ahead or visit the park managers’ website to get a leg up on reservations. While you’re on the line, check the availability of paddleboards, kayaks, pontoon boats and fishing boats (which all come with a life jacket rental). The marina staff can fill you in on their summer concert schedule on the lawn stage, as well as any fun food offerings, like their pancake breakfasts.

The state park is about 45 minutes from Salt Lake City, past Park City on the way toward Evanston, Wyoming. If you’re staying overnight, stock up on groceries in Salt Lake or Park City (grillables, beverages, beach snacks, and s’mores supplies are highly recommended). The high-elevation location is warm on summer days, but temperatures drop quickly at night, so bring a blanket or puffy jacket to cozy into as you hang out around the campfire by evening.

GPS Coordinates: 40.7760927,-111.3888444


Written by RootsRated Media for Utah Office of Tourism.

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