Millsite State Park

Millsite State Park

State Route 10 is a north-south road that cruises the Castle Valley between the high Wasatch Plateau and the rugged San Rafael Swell. There, to the east, are distant ridgelines that are inviting, if not a little foreboding. To the west, unusual mountainscapes, not quite the red rock of the Southern Utah region and not like the mountains you're used to, climb up away from the valley. What you wouldn't give for an ATV right about now. This trip is in need of a base camp so you can hit all of these attractions in one trip. That is Millsite State Park.

Millsite State Park is located at the mouth of Ferron Canyon where sandstone buttes rise nearly 2,000 feet above the reservoir’s turquoise surface. This quiet, uncrowded destination is a prime choice for outdoor fun and relaxation. Even when the park is full, it doesn't feel cramped or crowded. And there are plenty of options for outdoor recreation; in addition to camping, fishing, and boating, Millsite makes for a great launching place for OHV travel both in the mountains and in the desert, has access to hiking and biking trails, and is next door to one of Utah’s most scenic golf courses.

Millsite owes its name to the fact that the reservoir was constructed over the site of an old flour mill. The dam was built in 1970 to conserve water and soil, and the state park was established in 1971 to add recreation activities to the area.

What Makes It Great

The developed area of the park is modern and offers a campground, picnic area, beach, large boat launch, and courtesy docks. The campground has a mix of tent sites and RV spots with the standard electrical hookup amenities, all with level parking areas, tables, barbeque grills, and flat areas suitable for tents. Millsite has two large covered pavilions with fire pits for large groups. The park also has drinking water, restrooms, showers, and a sewage disposal station. Pets are allowed, though dogs must be leashed. Everything is nearby, and it's altogether a slower pace of life (until you head up canyon for some off-roading, but more on that in a moment).

The calm, green water of the reservoir is home to multiple species of fish. If you fish you may catch bluehead suckers, brown, cutthroat, rainbow, splake, or tiger trout. The waters are also great for water skiing, jet skiing, stand-up paddling, canoeing, kayaking and, in the warm summer months, swimming.

Just west of the park’s boundaries, up Ferron Canyon, in the Manti-La Sal National Forest you can easily access the Arapeen OHV Trail System. This network contains over 350 miles of designated off-road mountain paths ranging from 4x4 forest roads down to narrow ATV trails. To the east there lies the popular desert trails of the San Rafael Swell. Both areas are suitable for mountain biking and hiking.

For those looking for a challenging hike, the Dry Wash Trail begins across from the park. This steep trail climbs through juniper and pinyon trees along a narrow path within the shalestone slopes and is open to hiking, mountain biking, motorcycles, and horses. It is five miles one way and as an out-and-back hike/ride can be cut short at any time. Check with the park staff for more information. After spending the day on the trails return to the reservoir and plunge into the emerald waters to rinse the dust away.

If a break from the watersports, fishing, and trails is needed you can head next door to swing the clubs. Located right next to the park sits Millsite Golf Course, one of Utah’s most picturesque. Surrounded by stunning views and containing a waterfall from the causeway of the Millsite Dam this 18-hole course offers a challenge and guarantees a fantastic experience on the vibrant fairways and greens in the heart of Utah’s castle country. It should be required playing for golf enthusiasts who are visiting Millsite State Park.

What You’ll Remember

Millsite State Park is a quiet retreat to a tidy campground with equal opportunity to relax and play with friends and family in a beautiful location. You’ll remember that Millsite is the perfect spot for a family vacation by truly offering something for everyone. Wanna fish? Go ahead. Wanna ride your ATV? Go ahead. Wanna golf? Yeah you do. Wanna mountain bike, hike, swim, canoe, kayak? You can do all those things here too. And best of all, when you’re done, you can all relax together.

Pro Tips

Advance camping reservations are recommended, especially on popular days such as weekend or holidays. It is a small park, and its spaces fill up fast. There are 10 sites with partial hookups, and 10 tent sites, and each campsite offers easy access to the reservoir waterfront.

There's a number of trails and sites that aren't on the map. Ask your helpful camp host for ideas, but always Tread Lightly and Respect and Protect so future travelers and generations can enjoy the sites.

In the spring season, when snow melt fills the reservoir and water spills over, the nearby San Rafael River is high enough to float.

For a quick meal to refuel after an adventure or round of golf, drop down into Ferron and hit the Grub Box for some tasty diner food.

Anyone looking for a quiet retreat with equal opportunity to relax and play with friends and family in a beautiful location.

Park Information and GPS Coordinates

The park is open from 6 a.m.–10 p.m. during the summer, and from 8 a.m.–5 p.m. in the winter. A day-use entry fee is required, purchase in-person or online. The Annual Utah State Park Pass is accepted for park entry. Call the park for more information: 435-384-2552

GPS Coordinates: (39.092042, -111.1939454)

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