Deer Creek Reservoir is one of the larger reservoirs in Utah. It sits behind the Wasatch Front, just north of Provo and south of Park City and Hever City. It takes about 45 minutes from Sandy, Utah, 1 hour from Salt Lake City, 30 minutes from Park City, and 25 minutes from Provo. On a hot summer day, Deer Creek will host lots of boaters, swimmers, kayakers, and paddle boarders, but you should still be able to find a spare picnic table or two. There are plenty of beach spots scattered among the many day-use areas as well. Mercedes and I picked Rainbow Bay Day Use Area and drove to the end of the road for a little more solitude from the weekend crowds.
Need to Know
This is a Utah State Park. There are entry booths at each day-use area! Alternatively, you can use your Utah State Parks Pass – that’s what I use! Make sure to display your pass on your dashboard or review mirror.
There are a few different day-use areas scattered around the lake. We went to Rainbow Bay and really enjoyed it! There was a long coastline with covered picnic tables and sandy beaches. We went to the rocky beach since we knew there would be fewer people there and we’d be on the water for most of the time.
Make It A Long Day
We knew we wanted to be here for the better part of the day, so we packed lunch and dinner! Wraps, fresh fruit, beef jerky, and protein bars helped us get through the day, and for dinner, I barbecued a tri-tip steak on one of the grills by the picnic area. Most of the people had left by the time we started cooking dinner, and a quiet calm crept over the reservoir. We could still hear a few boats out on the water, but most of the cars had departed.
We sat around late into the evening and ate dinner by the lake. It was so peaceful! It reminded me that hot summer nights like this can be enjoyed slowly. We definitely made the best of it, and had a great time!
If you’re coming from a decent way away, it pays to spend the majority of the day here. I like to pack my days full of adventure if I can. Spending 7-9 hours here was just what we needed! It was a late drive home, but it’s totally worth the extra time spent on meal prep and time spent away from the house.
See you on the next one!
Next blog: K, now we’ll get to Yellowstone. Maybe. It’s a lot!