Deer Creek State Park & Reservoir

Written by’s Local Expert


Deer Creek Reservoir, along with the Deer Creek Dam and Provo River Project, are all components of the Utah Division of Parks and Recreation. The area provides an opportunity for residents to enjoy numerous activities, including fishing, boating, and water sports. The reservoir is about 7 miles to the Southwest of Heber City and sits at an elevation of 5,420 feet. The overall surface area of the water is 2,680 acres, which provides ample room for a wide range of activities.

This is a popular area, and with that comes a good amount of tourism. However, there are a lot of reasons to visit the area. The water itself is accessible through Deer Creek State Park, and the entire area provides a wide range of activities to enjoy, including zip lining, boating, windsurfing, and lots of fishing. It’s home to several campgrounds as well.

The Deer Creek Reservoir was built on the Provo River in the late 1930s due to the extreme water shortages that occurred in the Wasatch Front area. The project began in 1938 and wasn’t completed for another 17 years in 1955. Water became available though by 1941, helping to fulfill the needs of the communities in the area.

Today, the reservoir spans six miles in length. It has a mean depth of 65 feet with a maximum depth of 137 feet. There are also 18 miles of shoreline to enjoy, with some areas featuring beaches and others having a more rocky, rugged shoreline.

How To Get To Deer Creek State Park

To Get to Deer Creek Reservoir from Deer Creek State Park, follow US Highway 189. It is about 10 miles to the southwest of Heber City.

There are a few things to keep in mind. First, it is available throughout the year, but gaining access to the state park requires paying a fee. During the summer months, this fee is $15 per vehicle for up to 8 people in one vehicle Monday to Friday. On the weekends and holidays, this increase to $20 per vehicle. Seniors over 65 pay $10. In the winter months, the cost is $10 per vehicle. See the full list of fees here.

For those who plan to do some camping, the area offers several options, including the Chokecherry Campground, which features full hookups for a cost of $25, and Green Horned Owl Campground, which does not have hookups and is available at $16. There are spaces available for up to 73 feet. To book reservations, do so on the state park website or call 800-322-3770.

What To Do at the Deer Creek Lake

The lake offers lots of water-related activities to engage in, including boating. There is a marina here with paved boat ramps to allow visitors to bring along their own boats. There are also boat rentals available through area rental companies. You can rent boats of various styles as well as personal watercraft, wakeboards, tubes, and kayaks. Many people rent a boat for the day and enjoy the sun.

Others want more action. That is why windsurfing has become a popular activity here. Though there is a steep learning curve, many people love the experience of being up in the air on the water itself.

For others, swimming and sunbathing are popular. There is a beach area for bringing chairs or blankets out to be by the water. There’s plenty of sand for the kids to play with a lot of areas to walk along into and out of the water.

Water skiing is also enjoyable. It is possible to rent a boat and jet ski here, which is a good way to get out onto the water. Some will come with pilots to help with minimizing risk to those involved.

Fishing is perhaps one of the most popular activities here. In fact, until 1971, all water sports were banned from the reservoir, meaning the only real activity to enjoy was fishing. Many people come to fish here often after the best rainbow trough, largemouth bass, or smallmouth bass in the area. There is a nice population of fish available, too. In addition to fishing on the lake itself, it is also possible to fish in the streams that are located above and below the reservoir, including in the Provo River. It is a different type of experience that you may enjoy.

In addition to this, there are now kiteboarding lessons available on the water. This is done through the Uinta Kiting group. There is a school available that will teach you how to kiteboard as it has a significant learning curve. Private lessons could help you learn how to zoom across the water surface pulled by the air.

In addition to providing access to many of the area’s best water activities, Deer Creek State Park also offers a variety of other activities, including zipline tours, a popular attraction for those looking to explore the region’s best views.


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Local Tips

  • Hours vary depending on the season - see the State Parks Website for the most updated info.
  • Life jackets are required for each person on a vessel. This includes paddleboards, kayaks, etc.


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