Immerse yourself in the enchanting charm and exceptional beauty of Utah’s best warm lakes. These natural sanctuaries offer remarkable waterscapes and engaging recreational opportunities that promise to transport you to a world of serene tranquility. Stretching across miles of pristine coastal lines and set amidst mind-stirring landscapes, these lakes are the perfect retreat for adventure enthusiasts and peace-seekers alike. Plan a summer escape filled with unforgettable experiences, from diving into transparent waters to indulging in adrenaline-pumping watersports. Whether it’s the turquoise vastness of Bear Lake or the red rock appeal of Sand Hollow State Park, prepare to be spellbound by the distinctive allure and welcoming warmth of Utah’s finest lakes.
1. Bear Lake
Boasting a location on the border between Utah and Idaho, Bear Lake entices with its sparkling blue waters, earning it the nickname the “Caribbean of the Rockies”. Its waters, which can reach temperatures up to 80 degrees Fahrenheit during summer, cover over 70,000 acres of natural freshwater lake. Adorned with diverse recreational offerings and brimming with unique charm, Bear Lake truly epitomizes the warm allure of Utah’s lakes.
Things to do at Bear Lake
Make the most of Bear Lake’s recreational activities; from swimming to boating to fishing and camping–there’s something for everyone. Anglers will be captivated by the lake’s abundant fish populations, including trophy-sized cutthroat trout and whitefish. Beyond the lake’s natural allure, the neighboring small towns offer distinct cultures and culinary delights. Enjoy their famous raspberry shakes, homemade pies, and other local delicacies, all while soaking in the captivating views of the surrounding mountains and the lake itself.
2. Lake Powell
At 254 square miles, Lake Powell is a breathtaking canyon reservoir, gracing the landscape with magnificent red cliffs, countless side canyons, and hidden coves. Its warm temperatures make it a haven for swimming, fishing, and boating. Embark on a houseboat adventure to truly witness the wonder of this captivating paradise and marvel at its stunning views.
Things to do at Lake Powell
With numerous hiking trails along the banks of Lake Powell, visitors are presented with scenic views of the lake’s beauty. Recreational areas like Wahweap, Bullfrog Basin, and Halls Crossing are open to visitors, offering multiple opportunities for exploration. Contact the marinas for detailed information on amenities and boat rentals. So, don’t miss out on experiencing the magic of Lake Powell!
3. Sand Hollow State Park
Sand Hollow State Park, a must-visit destination for outdoor enthusiasts, presents an impressive red-rock playground encircled by warm, clear waters, ideal for boating and kayaking trips. This southern Utah gem is attention-worthy, with kid-friendly sandy beaches presenting a bevy of opportunities to build sandcastles or bask in the sun’s warmth.
Things to do at Sand Hollow State Park
At Sand Hollow, water activities abound, and the park also has a fantastic array of hiking and biking trails that allow visitors to traverse the beautiful landscape and marvel at the magnificent scenery. Anglers may wish to test their fishing skills on the waters that play host to bass and bluegill. You will find picnic areas, restrooms, a concession stand, and camping facilities for those wishing to stay overnight and experience the park’s splendor in its entirety.
4. Yuba Reservoir
Enveloped by the heart of central Utah, Yuba Reservoir is a picturesque oasis featuring beautiful sandy beaches and warm, welcoming waters. With its idyllic sandy beaches, Yuba Reservoir presents a sanctuary perfect for swimming or soaking up the sun.
Things to do at Yuba Reservoir
Yuba is well-suited for tubing, boating, and waterskiing, courtesy of its warm water temperatures. Visitors can rent a boat or bring their own, enjoying the scenery while riding the thrilling waves. For fishing enthusiasts, Yuba hosts an array of aquatic life, such as walleye and yellow perch. In addition, the reservoir offers picnic areas with tables and grills, restrooms, and a boat ramp for easy water access. Overnight camping facilities are also available, allowing visitors to take in the spectacular scenic surroundings.
5. Jordanelle Reservoir
Nestled amidst the towering majesty of the Wasatch Mountains, Jordanelle Reservoir offers a revitalizing blend of relaxation and adventure framed by breathtaking vistas. This picturesque reservoir, formed by the containment of the Provo River, spreads over 3,300 acres, providing an array of aqua-centric activities for sun-seekers.
Things to do at Jordanelle Reservoir
Jordanelle Reservoir’s clean warm waters craft an ideal environment for boating, fishing, swimming, windsurfing, and paddleboarding. The reservoir and surrounding mountains provide a panorama both hiking and biking enthusiasts are prone to enjoy. Wildlife devotees may find their fascination satiated by the wealth of birdwatching opportunities courtesy of the lush habitat encircling the lake.
6. Hyrum Reservoir
Hyrum Reservoir, based within the charming Hyrum State Park in northern Utah, offers visitors a peaceful mountain getaway, ideal for family outings and nature reconnection. Boasting a tranquil ambiance and offering a suite of recreational opportunities, Hyrum Reservoir is remarkably positioned in proximity to the quaint town of Hyrum, the city of Logan, and the secluded Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest.
Things to do at Hyrum Reservoir
At Hyrum, visitors gain access to opportunities to swim, boat, and fish in the picturesque waters. Anglers are treated to an array of fish species that include rainbow trout, bluegill, and largemouth bass. Aside from the water activities, picnic areas, hiking and biking trails, and camping sites cater to every traveler. Hyrum Reservoir serves as the ideal destination for relaxation seekers and as a haven away from life’s hustle and bustle.
7. Deer Creek Lake
Deer Creek Lake, located in the Uinta Mountains, is an inviting lake perfect for swimming, boating, and beach activities. The region surrounding Deer Creek Lake is packed with hiking and biking trails, making it an excellent locale for nature lovers. Welcome to a place where the waters are warm, people are welcoming, and nature is at its best throughout the year.
Things to do at Deer Creek Lake
Enjoy a great day of fishing at Deer Creek Lake, which is home to various fish species like rainbow trout, brown trout, brook trout, and cutthroat trout. The lake also accommodates boating and skiing with the provision of a boat ramp. Visitors can enjoy camping, picnicking, and swimming too. The trails and picnic areas around the lake provide plenty of opportunities for hiking and enjoying a relaxing meal amidst nature. Though open year-round, the boat ramp may be closed during winter.
8. Palisade Reservoir
Palisade Reservoir, set in the tranquility of Manti-La Sal National Forest in central Utah, provides a peaceful mountain retreat for visitors aiming to embrace the great outdoors. Its warm waters are surrounded by a lush, forest backdrop, all at an elevation of 5,800 feet. The reservoir enjoys a mild summer climate, making it an ideal spot to experience water-based activities and recreation.
Things to do at Palisade Reservoir
From swimming to fishing to boating, Palisade Reservoir has something for everyone. Its peaceful waters are chock-full of fish species, providing chances to unwind and cast a line. Those desiring a relaxing swim or paddle have at their disposal the beautiful shoreline and crystal-clear waters. Byway of the verdant 18-hole golf course that Palisade State Park houses, this spot definitely has a way of drawing golfers from all over the region.
9. Gunlock Reservoir
Nestled inside the riveting Gunlock State Park in southwestern Utah, Gunlock Reservoir is a veritable desert oasis flanked by red rock formations and rugged terrains. The reservoir’s pristine and warm waters create a perfect destination for those searching for a serene retreat among the wonders of the region.
Things to do at Gunlock Reservoir
From swimming to boating to fishing, Gunlock Reservoir has a host of recreational activities to offer. The serene waters provide a wonderful backdrop for kayaking and paddleboarding, with plenty to discover among its secluded coves and rocky outcroppings. Anglers will find largemouth bass, bluegill, and catfish within the reservoir’s waters. Visitors may also indulge in leisurely strolls, and picnics, or marvel at the mesmerizing Utah desert.
10. Steinaker Reservoir
Steinaker Reservoir, seated within the scenic Steinaker State Park in northeastern Utah, is a tranquil wonder lying in the shadow of the grand Uinta Mountains. Known as a popular summer destination, the reservoir offers a delicate balance of outdoor adventure and relaxation opportunities in a picturesque setting.
Things to do at Steinaker Reservoir
Dive into a variety of recreational activities at Steinaker Reservoir, from swimming, boating, and fishing to trekking nearby trails, or simply basking in serenity. The reservoir has an abundance of fish species like rainbow trout and largemouth bass. Beyond the water, Steinaker State Park provides hiking and biking avenues along with wildlife viewing opportunities and birdwatching sites.
11. Red Fleet Reservoir
Located within the captivating Red Fleet State Park in northeastern Utah, Red Fleet Reservoir offers visitors an exceptional blend of natural beauty and fascinating history. The park is replete with rolling hills, vibrant vegetation, towering cliffs, and a scenic reservoir as its centerpiece.
Things to do at Red Fleet Reservoir
Red Fleet Reservoir extends a wealth of swimming, boating, and fishing opportunities. Anglers can try catching various fish species, including rainbow trout, smallmouth bass, and black crappie. An exciting feature of this destination is its proximity to the “Dinosaur Trackway,” a relic of prehistoric dinosaur tracks imprinted on sandstone millions of years ago. Thus, the reservoir offers a unique mixture of outdoor fun and historical exploration.
12. Echo Reservoir
Embedded in the striking Weber River Valley in northern Utah, the Echo Reservoir is an ideal family-friendly retreat for outdoor enthusiasts. The warm-water reservoir, set against rolling hills and lush greenery, invites visitors seeking solitude and adventure.
Things to do at Echo Reservoir
Visitors can enjoy swimming, fishing, and boating, along with birdwatching and photographing the picturesque surrounding landscape or hiking nearby trails. The reservoir is home to various fish species, including rainbow trout, yellow perch, and smallmouth bass.
13. Island Lake
Island Lake is a beautiful lake located in Millard County, Utah. Island Lake is one of the many lakes located in Utah that are perfect for swimming, boating, and fishing. Wooded hills surround it and has an inviting sandy beach. The lake is also popular for hiking, biking, picnicking, and camping/sporting events like tubing or kayaking on its numerous waterways (some even have boat ramps).
Things to do at Island Lake
The water of the island lake is warm enough for swimming. The lake is stocked with trout and catfish, but it’s also popular for catching bass, bluegill, crappie, and perch. There are restrooms located in the park and a boat ramp. The lake is located about one mile east of the town of Leamington, Utah, on SR-36 (about 15 miles north of Delta). It’s also close to the town of Loa and is a great place to stop while traveling through southern Utah.
|Lake Name||Winter (Approx. °F)||Spring (Approx. °F)||Summer (Approx. °F)||Autumn (Approx. °F)|
|Sand Hollow State Park||40||55-60||68-78||50-60|
|Deer Creek Lake||35||50-60||65-75||50-60|
|Red Fleet Reservoir||33||45-55||60-70||47-57|
What is the warmest lake in Utah?
Bear Lake, situated on the Utah-Idaho border, is considered one of the warmest lakes in Utah. The water temperature can reach up to 75°F (24°C) during the summer, making it a hotspot for water activities like swimming, boating, and watersports. Water temperatures, however, can vary each year and across different locations around the lake, so checking current conditions before your visit is advisable.
Are Utah Lakes good for swimming?
Absolutely! Numerous Utah lakes are perfect for swimming, mainly in the warm summer months. Popular swimming destinations include Bear Lake, Pineview Reservoir, Sand Hollow State Park, Deer Creek Reservoir, and Jordanelle Reservoir. These lakes provide clean, warm waters ideal for various water activities. As always, remember to follow any safety guidelines and rules in place at each lake to ensure a safe experience.
Are there any hot springs near these warm lakes?
Yes! Several hot springs are conveniently situated near some of Utah’s warm lakes. Favorites include Homestead Crater near Jordanelle and Deer Creek Reservoir, Crystal Hot Springs not far from Bear Lake, Mystic Hot Springs near Sand Hollow State Park and Yuba State Park, and Fifth Water Hot Springs, aka Diamond Fork Hot Springs, within reach of Yuba Reservoir and Deer Creek Reservoir.
Can I camp near these warm lakes?
Certainly, many of these warm lakes have camping provisions within their respective state parks and nearby campgrounds. Options include Bear Lake State Park, Lake Powell’s Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Sand Hollow State Park, Yuba State Park, and Jordanelle State Park, to name a few.