Paddle Boarding at Deer Creek Reservoir, Utah

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.

The view from our spot on the beach!
Even in July, there was still snow on the back side of Timpanogos!

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.

The mountains were so green this year. Usually, they go brown with dead brush!
Windy days make for rockier waters. Kayakers were going fast, but it was slow going for paddleboarding at times.

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.

The board and the chairs. The perfect setup!
We had a pretty good view from our picnic spot!
I love a good steak, especially at the barbecue! Charcoal would’ve been better, but wood did just fine.

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!

The steak, the site, the board, and the view. Doesn’t get much better!
The best barbecue spot!

Have Fun!

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.

Other places to paddleboard in the area are Tibble Fork in American Fork and Rockport State Park. Both are beautiful and worth the drives to get there!

See you on the next one!

Parting shot:

I love this girl – s’mores over a steak. Only her!!

Next blog: K, now we’ll get to Yellowstone. Maybe. It’s a lot!

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