Get wet: Boaters have options
July 2, 2008
Avoiding crowds on the weekend is tough, but weekdays at Jordanelle State Park provide water skiers and wakeboarders with plenty of glassy water.
Inlets at Jordanelle form "arms" where boaters can escape to calmer conditions, says Jeremy Thornell, a manager at Marine Products in Salt Lake.
"You can tuck away," Thornell says. "But on the weekends that place gets so busy it’s not funny. All of them are busy on the weekend."
Just 15 minutes from Park City, Jordanelle offers the best concessions of any lake in the state, Thornell says, adding that the reservoir has excellent docks for boats.
"There is a store and they actually have a burger joint," he says. "It’s convenient because it’s so close to Park City and there are a lot of people who own boats in Park City."
The main Hailstone boat ramp at Jordanelle is east on U.S. 40 from Park City. Take the Mayflower exit. Hailstone has a large campground with developed and day-use sites. Many sites offer water and electricity.
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A day-use permit at Hailstone costs $10 and the park is open every day in the summer from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Camping at Hailstone costs $20 per night.
For information about renting boats and other recreational items at Jordanelle marina visit http://www.jordanellemarina.com or call (435) 655-9919.
"Echo is good because in the middle of the week not very many people are there," Thornell explained.
Situated minutes from Coalville in eastern Summit County, Echo reservoir boasts wakeboarding, waterskiing and fishing for trout and catfish.
The lake is near the mouth of historic Echo Canyon, which in the 1800s saw the likes of Mormon leader Brigham Young, British explorer Richard Burton and the ill-fated Donner Party.
"I love Echo," Summit County Historian NaVee Vernon says.
Take Interstate 80 east from Park City and exit at 164 about 25 miles from the Snyderville Basin. For information contact the Echo Resort at (435) 336-9894.
Rockport State Park
Because Rockport is just round, Thornell says, the lake is less desirable for those trying to escape crowds in search of smooth water to cut.
The lake near Wanship sits at an elevation of about 6,000 feet.
"For wakeboarding and waterskiing at Rockport, I would plug weekday mornings and evenings as really good times," Rockport State Park Manager Steve Hewson says.
The lake has camping and offers a glimpse into the historic town of Rockport, which was colonized by settlers in the 1860s. About 200 people lived there when the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation purchased the land to build a dam in 1957.
Among the animals that call the area home are mule deer, chipmunks, jackrabbits, moose, coyotes and bobcats, Hewson says.
"We have great bird watching for ospreys and other water birds," he says. "We’ve got a lot going on out there this summer."
For $250 groups can rent an historic church near the spillway at Rockport for picnics and parties.
"We’re getting weddings and people who were having their 70th or 80th or 50th birthday party," Hewson says, adding that the building holds about 75 people.
And the new Lakeview Trail at Rockport connects the Twin Cove and Juniper campgrounds, he added.
"You can eat dinner and go for a walk on an easy trail," Hewson says.
The Mountain Spirit Heritage Festival is reminiscent of a 19th century mountain man rendezvous and happens at Rockport July 25-27.
A day pass at Rockport costs $9 and the cost to camp at the park ranges from $10 to $20.
Rockport State Park is located at 9040 N. State Road 302. Take exit 155 from Interstate 80 and travel five miles southeast on State Road 32. Information about Rockport is available at (435) 336-2241.