Jordanelle State Park
Nestled in the rolling mountains north of Heber City, Utah sits the beautiful Jordanelle Reservoir, fed by the Provo River and impounded by the Jordanelle Dam. Its two distinct recreation areas, Hailstone and Rock Cliff, offer a variety of recreation opportunities. Spend a day or weekend picnicking, camping, boating, or hiking at either or both destinations.
Built in 1995 this reservoir and state park have quickly become a popular vacation destination for water sport enthusiasts. The Rock Cliff Recreation Area is a tranquil retreat perfect for birders, photographers and nature lovers thanks to elevated boardwalks and interpretive trails that run through the area. While Rock Cliff has a nature center, standard walk-in campgrounds and basic amenities, outdoor adventurers head for Hailstone to access abundant options to camp, fish, wakeboard, waterski, canoe or motorboat from Hailstone and its eight-lane boat ramp.
One of the most popular adventures on Jordanelle is the fast-growing sport of stand up paddleboarding, perfectly abbreviated as SUP.
Stand Up Paddleboarding at Jordanelle Reservoir
SUP can trace its origins to the surf instructors of Hawaii who would stand up on their boards to teach, but it wasn’t until the mid-2000’s that the sport of using a long handled paddle to propel you on water while standing on a long surfboard really took off. The recent explosion of stand up paddle boarding can be partly attributed to the quickness with which it can be learned. It’s not uncommon for a first time paddler to be cruising the flat water of lakes, rivers, and oceans within hours of standing up.
SUPing has even been added to many fitness routines. It requires a balance that engages the entire body and if you choose to go for speed can add an extra cardiovascular factor. This fitness component combined with the relaxing experience of skimming the surface of beautiful waters makes for wonderful outing – especially when you share it with friends.
The large wake-free zone at the Hailstone Recreation Area of Jordanelle State Park is the ideal spot to learn. This area is the premier waterfront spot at the park and is a cool place to spend the day. Here you will find cabanas, beach access, picnic areas and full 50-amp hookup campsites, restrooms, showers, marina store, proshops, and an eight-lane concrete boat launch. You can find SUP rentals here too. Within moments of parking the car you can be gliding across the lake’s glassy surface. After you get the hang of it you can even explore the thin string of islands just off the east shore of the marina.
If you are looking for a quieter experience launching from the Rock Cliffs Area on the east side of the lake where the Provo River enters can be ideal. This area of the lake is a known hotspot for bird and wildlife watching. As you quietly paddle from the shore you may see hawks and eagles soaring the thermals above.
Additional Highlights and What's Nearby
If paddling at Jordanelle isn’t enough you can also hit the nonmotorized Perimeter Trail on foot or mountain bike. For a maximized experience try to be on the lake during sunrise or sunset. Watching the surrounding Wasatch Mountains light up during the golden hour is spectacular.
Jordanelle State Park is a water recreation mecca positioned between three of Utah's premier mountain experiences: the Mirror Lake Scenic Byway into the Uinta Mountains, Park City's extensive mountain bike trails, dining and resort amenities, and Heber Valley's ATV trails or 72 holes of golf at Wasatch Mountain State Park plus Blue-Ribbon fly-fishing on the Middle Provo River.
Who’s Going to Love it
If you have an appreciation for mountain lakes and fantastic scenery a SUP session at Jordanelle is not to be missed. People of all ages and ability are sure to find the sport very welcoming. You can take off on a solo mission or bring the entire family. Some folks even bring their dogs along for the voyage.
Fees, Directions, and Regulations
Jordanelle State requires a day fee and camping fees vary by site. You are not required to wear a personal floatation device, (PFD) while you are paddling, but you have to have one board.
The reservoir is approximately 35 miles east of Salt Lake City.
Hailstone (main boat ramp) – Take I-80 east to US 40 south, then take the Mayflower exit (#8);
Rock Cliff (nature center) – Take I-80 east to US 40 south, at the traffic light turn left to U 32 east, travel about 7.5 miles then left on Rock Cliff Road.
Use the helpful interactive map of Jordanelle State Park below to help you plan your trip!
Fishing in Utah
Throughout the year anglers gear up in pursuit of experiences on waters that measure up to their passion, from trophy trout to secluded streams. In fact, Utah has more than 1,000 fishable lakes and numerous fishing streams. Here are a few favorites:
Park City, Utah
Park City, Utah could certainly stake a rightful claim of being the “perfect mountain town." Enjoy world-class mountain resorts, shopping, dining and arts in an historic, high-elevation setting.
Near Park City, the Heber Valley is an idyllic destination and gateway to a handful of Utah's best state parks, endless OHV trails, Blue Ribbon fishing on the Provo River, and multiple national forests.
Jordanelle State Park
Heber City, UT 84032