Huntington State Park: Where the Living is Easy

Louis Arevalo
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The Cinnamon colored buttes peppered by the evergreen colors of Juniper and pinyon trees above Huntington State Park make for a beautiful setting. This reservoir and park are located just outside the town of Huntington, UT and sit between the mountains of the Wasatch Plateau and the desert of the San Rafael Swell. Conveniently located only a couple of hours drive from Green River and Salt Lake City, the park makes a great base for watersports, fishing, quiet camping, and exploring the surrounding area.

The park and reservoir were established in 1966 by the Bureau of Reclamation and were named after three brothers who were early explorers of the Emery County area during the mid-19th century. William Huntington was a scout, Oliver Huntington was a recorder for the Elk Mountain Moab Mission, and Dimik Huntington was an interpreter between settlers and natives. Today Huntington State Park is a favorite destination for local residents.

View from the Outback Nature Trail at Huntington State Park, Utah
View from the Outback Nature Trail at Huntington State Park, Utah Louis Arevalo

What Makes It Great

As morning sun lights up the shale stone cliffs at the mouth of Huntington Canyon, start your day beneath cottonwoods in the park’s grass-covered campground. Modern facilities with covered tables, barbeque grills, restrooms, and hot showers are available. Both RV’s and tents are welcome. There are no hook ups, but they do have a sewage dumping station.

After breakfast try fishing the reservoir by casting a line from the shore or boat. The roomy boat launch and courtesy docks are convenient and easily accessed. Bluegill, catfish, crawdads, largemouth bass, rainbow trout, and Utah chub all lure anglers to the sea colored waters of Huntington Reservoir. After fishing you can take the kids out in kayaks or hop on stand-up paddleboards and enjoy paddling across the beautiful water. Kayaks and paddleboards may be rented from the main office. With water temperatures getting as warm as 70 during the summer it’s also a great place for water skiing and swimming—the annual San Rafael Classic Sprint Triathlon is held here every June.

A power boat cruises on Huntington Reservoir, Huntington State Park, Utah
A power boat cruises on Huntington Reservoir, Huntington State Park, Utah Louis Arevalo

After your morning session on the lake, pack a lunch and drive east into the San Rafael Swell for an afternoon of exploring the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry. Approximately 20 miles from the Huntington State Park you can tour the museum containing dinosaur skeleton replicas, observe the exposed bones of Dinosaur in the Butler Buildings, and take the self guided Rock Walk, Raptor Trail, and the Rim Trail.

Once you have returned to camp at Huntington State Park and have had dinner, enjoy a leisurely walk with your family along the Outback Nature Trail. It’s a relaxing 2.7-mile gravel path that takes you around the reservoir and offers front row viewing of waterfowl and other migratory birds. The trail begins at the south edge of the campground and walks the earthen dam before reaching the western shores where stands of cottonwood trees frame the campground.

Return to camp as the sun dips below the horizon and cast another fishing line into the pristine waters or simply choose to lounge on the beach listening to the song of birds and watch the fading light paint the surface of the water.

Huntington State Park campground on the shores of the reservoir, Utah
Huntington State Park campground on the shores of the reservoir, Utah Louis Arevalo

What You’ll Remember

Relaxing. This place is set up for your enjoyment. Leisurely hikes, a beach with warm water, grassy campgrounds, and the opportunity to fish morning, noon, and night.

Who’s Going to Love It

Anyone looking for a few days retreat or a quiet, afternoon picnic on the shore, the beautiful setting of Huntington State Park is the perfect spot for you.

GPS Coordinates, Parking, and Regulations

GPS Coordinates: 39.3389° N, -110.9475° W

The park is open from 6am-10pm during the summer and from 8am-5pm during the winter. There is a day use fee of $7 or $3 for Utah seniors.

Call the park for more information: 435-687-2491

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