Best Lakes in Utah

The best lakes in Utah are there for fun-filled days. There are so many throughout the state. More than you may think.

Actually over 2000!18 Difficult to get to them all.

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 Here we have some of the best suggestions for you. Take a look!

What Best Utah Lakes Are There?

Many Utah towns have local parks with the best lakes. They're provided to give local citizens places for enjoyable family activities near their homes.

If you're traveling, though, you're welcome to enjoy the local park facilities too. Take a refreshing break, so you don't get road-weary.

Where are these parks? Hang on...

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Monthly Lakeside Fun, Tips, Info & Scoops


Other times you want to get away for a supreme fishing trip. Isn't that a yearly goal for those who love to fish? Which are the great Utah fishing spots?

How about some pristine lakes to visit for their beauty, their gorgeous scenery, or their unusual sights to see? We can help you find a few.

Scroll down to see them all. Or

Go Ahead & Make Your Choices:

Or Choose Your Fishing Area

lake with one boat on shore and desert mesas in the backgroundBest Lakes In Utah

Utah Communities With Lakes

Fish Lake - Within the scenic Fish Lake National Forest. The area is centered around the lake, more a community than an official Utah town. So many activities here, from summer to winter. Including scenic driving along Utah 25, Fishlake Scenic Byway. 

National Forest Scenic Byway Sign

Nearby, Koosharem is a town where you can base your exploration.

From I-70 Exit 48, get 259 to follow Utah 24E, about 9 miles after Koosheram Reservoir take left at intersection of 25N, 6 miles more to arrive at Fish Lake.1

Delta - Gunnison Bend Reservoir has a county sponsored public park, free entry.

Generally open Memorial Day to Labor Day, 8am-11pm.2

  • But for this wonderful exception. Their Snow Goose Festival: February's Last Weekend & March's 1st weekend. 
  • To Do: boating, fishing, swimming, picnics.  Because it's a shallow lake, the water is warmer than some. 
  • Get There - From the west side. On Delta, take Main Street, cross the overpass, and take the road to Sutherland. Turn left at 3000 West and travel two miles south.

Mona - South of town are the...

Burraston Ponds. And just north of Nephi.

Created from natural springs.

The beautiful, clean water is fabulous for swimming. There are rope swings hanging from the trees.Just one reason it's one of the best lakes in Utah.

Also a great "fishing hole." It's stocked with rainbow trout, so bring your rod & reel! 

  • Tips: 1) Use a lure, but add a nightcrawler or PowerBait to the hook. 2) Be aware: summer evenings youth fishing classes held here.4 3) NO fishing from motorized boats. 4) Rainbows caught here averaged over 17 inches!5
poster asks you to determine what are your best Utah lakes. Showing an image of a lakeshore with mountains in the background.

HISTORICAL MARKER - When you arrive, you'll note the plaque. It explains in Sept. 1776 the area was a stop for the Escalante Expedition.

  • It was also used as a meeting camp by historic Indian Chiefs, then called Punjun Spring. 
  • In 1865 Richard James Burraston settled here with his wife Emma Price to oversee mail & run cattle. Cattle sales enabled land purchases that became Snowflake & St. Johns Arizona.
  • R.J.Burraston gifted this site to Utah in 1901 for people to enjoy.3

Directions: From Exit 233 off I-15/into Mona, take Main St./Old Hwy.91 South. In about 1.8 miles, turn right on E 1580 S/Burraston Rd. Cross railroad tracks & it becomes Burraston Ponds Rd. circling the pond.

Utah Lakes Fishing

Best Lakes in Utah for Fishing

The best lakes in Utah to put out your line for fishing may have to do with which lakes are stocked. Do you think?

Utah Division of Wildlife Resources regularly stocks trout in numerous lakes & ponds throughout the state.

You know what else they do that's really cool? For kids - you can print out a certificate documenting their first fishing catch! How's that for some encouragement, a treat, and a reward! Get It Here>

Why not check them out for a good chance of hooking these delicious fish. We'll help you out with some of the best. We'll divide the state into quarters, by directions.

Best Lakes for Fishing in Northwest Utah

Andy Adams Reservoir - Adjacent to West of Valley View Golf Course in Layton.

It's been stocked in the past with largemouth bass. Currently stocked with rainbow trout, usually over 3500/year. Average catch size of 9.4 inches.

Fishing only from a motorless boat. There's parking, a boat ramp, fishing dock, some short trails, rest rooms & info kiosk.5

  • One problem the lake's been having is algae build-up from lack of oxygen. A grant from Utah Dept. of Wildlife Resources helped. 
  • Aerator bubblers were installed (sort of like people have in fish aquariums!) to improve oxygen levels at Andy Adams Reservoir. When at the correct spot, they installed the air line. 
  • All this should help with fishing! 
  • Another bubbler is planned for later this year. See the installation clip below.

Directions: I-15 Exit 331, East on N.Hill Field Rd. to immediate right onto W.1000N. Which becomes Gordon Ave. After N.1550E. Watch for entrance on right.

Bountiful Pond - In Woods Cross. A smaller lake, but well stocked with rainbows, average catch length 9.4".5 

You can also watch birds or other wildlife with provided viewing spots. Or have a picnic, walk the trail around the lake.

There's parking & restrooms.

For fishing, use your non-motorized boat off the ramp. Or try the fishing pier.6

Directions: From I-15, North of Woods Cross, take Exit 316. Go west on W500S. To around a bend curving right, it becomes S.Shoreland Dr./Frontage Rd. Make left onto Bountiful Pond Access Rd. & another left into parking.

Jensen Nature Park Pond - West of Layton, south of Syracuse.

A community pond with lots of parking.

Over 2,000 rainbow trout are stocked in spring. The catch size averaging almost 12 inches!5 Bluegill have also been stocked. But channel cats, wipers & largemouth bass can also be hooked here.

Lots of possibilities for its small size! (Though relatively large for a Utah community pond.)

Fish cleaning station right there for you. Plus picnicking facilities, restrooms & nice trails.6

Directions: I-15 Exit 330, head West on Layton Pkwy. Make quick right on Main St. & left on W.Gentile St. At traffic circle, 1st exit onto S.Bluff Rd. to left entrance into park.

Spanish Oaks Pond/Reservoir - In Spanish Fork.

For a small reservoir  (probably why they also call it a pond) there's some angling to be done here! This is one place they stock brook trout, along with rainbows. Both averaging over 14". For even more opportunity.5

  • There's also trails, a campground, scenic views & a playground. 
  • Plus a fabulous beach area with some great swimming! Here's A Map> 

Quite a few reasons for being among the best lakes in Utah.

Best Lakes for Fishing Northeast Utah

Flaming Gorge Reservoir - This huge lake has shared shoreline with Wyoming, 360 miles worth! Absolutely huge, alright!!

Formed from the Green River as it comes down from Wyoming, most of the lakeshore is in Utah. It's within Ashley National Forest, and has services provided by the National Recreation Area.

Like campgrounds & all kinds of boating. But the fishing is amazing. The Kokanee Salmon stocking is tops, with over 288,000 newly added each year.5

Cottonwood Reservoir - Nearest town is Gusher.

It's regularly stocked with rainbows. Average catch size is a little over 10".5 Other possibilities are tiger musky, smallmouth bass, wiper & brown trout.

You may want to note that in the early 2000s the lake was drained for dam repair. Then in 2013 waters were poisoned with rotenone to remove invasive fish.6 This chemical has toxic effects in humans, and the toxicity depends on varying factors.7

Directions: Out of Gusher on Hwy.191, go North on 9600E to Bullock Reservoir Dam. Turn right onto Cottonwood Reservoir Rd., the lake in about 1 mile. 

Best Lakes for Fishing Southwest Utah

Leigh Hill Reservoir - Typically called "Lake at the Hills" in Cedar City Utah where it's located.

This small 8 acre lake is stocked yearly with almost 3000 rainbow trout. The average catch size has been over 11".5 There's also large & smallmouth bass, brook trout, bluegill & crappie.

It's a community pond, with a 2-fish daily limit.6

Directions: I-15 Exit 57, West on Cross Hollow Rd. Turn right on W.Royal Hunt Dr., then a right to the lake parking area.

Newcastle Reservoir - It's a bit of a gem in the rough, not well-known.7 

But yearly stocked with almost 4000 rainbow trout! Decently averaging over 9".5 You might also hook smallmouth or wipers. In fact the Utah state wiper record's from here.

  • Gravel road gets you to the concrete boat ramp, the only facility. Traveling the dirt roads of the area, some require 4WD.7
  • February when the ice melts is when trout action begins. Then by April the better fishing is bass & wipers.7

Directions: From Hwy.56 in Newcastle, go South on Main St. Then left on E.Pinto Canyon Rd./New Castle Reservoir Rd. Left at "The Dry Wash" road to access several lake access areas.

Baker Reservoir - Well stocked by Utah's Wildlife Resources with nearly 4000 rainbow trout each spring.5 

Best accessed from its southern reaches, as other shorelines are private property. Within the BLM Recreation Area you can Reserve Your Campsite. Or come by for the day & have a nice cook-out. They have picnic tables & fire rings with grills.8

Directions: Between Veyo & Central, off Rt.18, turn east onto Baker Dam Reservoir Rd., after 1/2 mile watch for right turn into Recreation Area.8

Stratton Pond - Only 7 acres, but quite popular. So much, it has several names: aka Hurricane Pond & Grandpa's Fishing Pond.

For its size the, quite a high rate of rainbow trout spring stocking. Adding 2335 fish. When hooked, they've averaged over 10 inches.5 

Plus it's right across the Virgin River & the Quail Reservoir for all it's recreational offerings.

Get There: Off I-15, take Rt.9 east toward Hurricane. Turn north at 3700W, a few blocks up to the pond.

Smith Family Park Pond - This is a wonderful place to bring the kids & get some fishing time in also, plus other fun activities. Spend a whole day!

Utah Wildlife stocks nearly 1000 rainbows each spring & they are averaging over 16" catch size.5

father with his son and daughter fishing from a dock.Family Fishing Time is Quality Time With The Kids

There's also sports courts, walking/bicycle paths, a playground & picnic tables. Even a zip line!9

Directions: Exit 351 off I-15, take N2000W St. toward the south. Then right at W4000N St. & then left on 2500W to park entrances on left.

Best Lakes for Fishing Southeast Utah

Jackson Flat Reservoir - Something a little different here.

Utah Wildlife stocks over 2000 brown trout in the spring. The catches have been averaging over 15 full inches.5 Nice! Some good things to call it one of the best lakes in Utah.

But that's not all that's nice here:10

  • There's 4,228 acre-feet of water capability here, so lots of room. 
  • Even so, if you're boating, electric motors or people powered only.
  • You can swim, but it's at your own risk.
  • There's a hiking trail that circumnavigates the lake, about 3-1/2 miles, but easy going.
  • There's a disc golf course adjacent also.

Ken's Lake - This reservoir south of Moab has had some tough times.

Its capacity has greatly diminished with Drought Conditions. In 2018, 50% restrictions were placed on irrigation usage sourced from the lake. In June there was only 641 acre-ft (208,870,491 gal.). That's compared to 2016, with 2540 acre-ft.11 

There's a lakeside BLM campground, with reservable sites, but no hook-ups nor water. There are tables and fire-ring/grills at each. Plenty of room for large Recreational Vehicles.

Nearby all the Moab attractions.12 

But unchecked Cattle Grazing has contributed to local Lakeside Deterioration.

  • Fishing: Wildlife recently stocking rainbow trout, over 4000 in 2021, catches average 10+ inches.5 
  • Nonmotorized boats or 7hp max motors for boating only allowed.12
  • Swimming is allowed, at your own risk.12

Directions: Out of Moab, take Hwy.191 south, about 8 miles watch for Ken's Lake signs. Turn left, following signs to lake.

Blanding Reservoir Number 4 - A small, 35 acre lake that's liable to be kind-of quiet. At the Northernmost of Blanding's city limits.

No lakeside camping & only nonmotorized watercraft.13 There's a concrete ramp. 

But Wildlife stocks rainbow trout, last count was over 3500. Average catch size almost 10".5 You could also hook tiger trout or largemouth bass.13

Directions: From central Blanding, on N300W travel north, make right at end. Follow N.Reservoir Rd., the lake's ahead on the right. Also several access points via dirt roads.

Pristine Utah Mountain Lakes

Alpine Pond - In Cedar Breaks National Monument, accessed via the Alpine Pond Loop Trail.

It's a shallow pond, believed to have been formed when the roof of an underground cave collapsed. The nearby spring then filled in the resulting sinkhole. This natural spring continues to feed it today.

You must hike to it (use the lower trail), a pleasant, short, relatively easy trail, 1 to 2 miles depending on the way you go.14

  • The North (upper) Trailhead is West of Hwy.148 (off I-15 Exit 78 to 274S, to Hwy.143/Center St./Canyon Rd.). The lower is at the turn-off to Chessman Ridge Overlook.15

Moon Lake - 2 miles long, on the southern side of the Uinta Mountains in Ashley National Forest.

Every recreational opportunity is here including fishing (lake is trout stocked), boating (rentals available), adjacent hiking trails (equestrian, too), & a campground.

Lots of people feel it's one of the best lakes in Utah.

  • Swimming is allowed, but remember at your own risk & stay aware of boats.
  • Camping - No hook-ups. All sites have picnic tables & fire-ring/grill. Water access & rest rooms. Reservable, call 877-444-6777.

Directions: Out of Duchesne, north on Rt.87, about 19 miles make left onto 2100W/Moon Lake Rd. At the end, turn right on 20780 to left bend onto N20800W. Pass Twin Pots Reservoir on left. To left curve as approaching Moon Lake, road becomes FR131.

Panguitch Lake - In Dixie National Forest, at 8,212' elevation.

A naturally fed lake with 10 shoreline miles has input from three small mountain streams. This lake is then the source of Panguitch Creek waters.

Four types of trout can be hooked here. And boating is fine. Plus convenience of two ramps & a fish cleaning station.

Campgrounds are at each end of the lake.17

  • Photo below is by Ken Lund at Flickr, who said the name Panguitch means "big fish" in the Paiute language. For that, Native Peoples may have thought it was among the best lakes in Utah! Do you think?

Directions: From Panguitch take Rt.143 South. The lake will be on your right after about 16 miles.

Blue Lake - Something a little different here in this Wildlife Management Area (215 acres) for this geothermal lake.

Usually quite deep. Popular as a scuba practice site. For their interest, the lake bottom has platforms, boat wrecks & a large metal hammer-head shark!

But also there's some good fishing here for largemouth & panfish.19 

Not really up in the mountains. So, it's easy for people to just go to take a swim here, & they do. The drought has affected water levels. 

Directions: From Wendover take Hwy.93 south over the border in Nevada. In 14 miles watch for "Blue Lake" sign turn-off on left. Go about 5 miles back into Utah, on this bumpy dirt road to Blue Lake.

  • Also be cautious because a military complex property owns much of the lakeside property & it's essential to obey their posted signs. Your access is strictly on the entry road and parking area, besides the lakeside allowed access.19

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