Gunnison Reservoir, Utah, USA

Also known as:  Sugar Kids Pond

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Gunnison Reservoir — things to do, where to stay, fun facts, history, stats and more. Let’s dive in!

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All About Gunnison Reservoir

Like most of the lakes in Utah, Gunnison Reservoir is man-made. Also known as Sugar Kids Pond, the reservoir is an impoundment of the San Pitch River. If you’ve never been there, you should know it’s a pretty dry environment, and the few rivers that run through the countryside were prone to excessive evaporation. The pioneers of the area needed water to maintain crops and livestock, so they began damming up the local rivers quite early. Since the area is also mountainous, the yearly spring thaws tended to wash out those primitive dams.

Gunnison Reservoir’s current dam structure was constructed in 1889 and has maintained the current lake ever since. But, before you plan a vacation here, check the weather. In especially dry years, the water can disappear altogether. If you are lucky enough to be in the area on a good year, this great reservoir is really one of central Utah’s best kept secrets. There are public boat launches, swimming beaches, primitive camping and picnic areas, but they are underused by the locals.

The shoreline of Gunnison Reservoir is almost completely privately owned, but there are no restrictions on public use. Fishing, boating, swimming and other recreation are all permitted from April till October. Fishing is especially good most years. Catfish, Bluegill, Perch and Largemouth Bass are easily caught, although it may seem that carp are the most plentiful fish in the lake.

With many other reservoirs in the vicinity, most people say they might see three other boats on Gunnison Reservoir at one time. If you fish, this is good news, because there is no one to disturb you. If you water ski, this is better news, because there is no one to get in your way. The water level in 2008 was remarkably high, while other reservoirs in the area were lower than normal.

When you think Utah, you generally think of dry countryside with little to no water, but thanks to the ingenuity of the people, there seems to be a reservoir just about every 20-30 miles. Within that frame of reference, there are at least three near to Gunnison Reservoir – Sevier Bridge Reservoir (Yuba), Palisades, and Ninemile are all relatively close. Since these other lakes are larger and deeper than Gunnison Reservoir, they are more popular with the local people.

Gunnison Reservoir is located in Sanpete County. Check out the county’s tourism website (below) for other destinations, including the Manti-La Sal National Forest and Palisade State Park. Nearby Sterling is the only town of any size near Gunnison Reservoir; it boasts roughly 240 people. If you’re lucky enough to head into town, don’t blink or you might find yourself through before you even started. But make sure you stop at one of the two stores and pick up some supplies. Support the local economy!

So make a stop at Gunnison Reservoir. It’s a nice little quiet spot for fishing, and would be a great place to bring the family. Some of the best places are the ones that you can enjoy with your kids, and not have to worry about having so many people around that you can’t keep track of them. You won’t have to worry about that at Gunnison Reservoir.

Things to Do at Gunnison Reservoir

  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Water Skiing
  • Camping
  • Picnicking
  • State Park
  • National Forest

Fish Species Found at Gunnison Reservoir

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Bluegill
  • Carp
  • Catfish
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Perch
  • Sunfish

Find Places to Stay at Gunnison Reservoir

If you’re considering a Gunnison Reservoir lake house rental or hotel, we’ve made it super easy to find the best rates and compare vacation accommodations at a glance. Save time using this interactive map below.

Recommended Sites to Book a Gunnison Reservoir Vacation

If you want to take a deeper dive to find waterfront lake cabins, cottages, condos, hotels or resorts, check out our favorite Gunnison Reservoir lodging partners.

  • VRBO – Use VRBO to find the perfect lake rental home, condo, cabin, cottage or other vacation property.
  • – One of the world’s leading digital travel companies, connects travelers to everything from cozy B&Bs to luxury resorts.
  • Expedia – Expedia is a popular online travel agency with more than 140,000 lodging properties worldwide.
  • – With more than 325,000 hotels in 19,000-plus locations, is an industry leader in online accommodations.
  • TripAdvisor – Read traveler reviews and compare prices on hotels, vacation rentals and more at TripAdvisor.
  • Trivago – Trivago helps travelers compare deals for hotels and other accommodations from a variety of booking sites.
  • KAYAK – KAYAK scours hundreds of other travel websites at once to find the best deals on hotels and other travel-related services.
  • RVshare –RVshare connects travelers interested in renting a motorhome with owners who have RVs to rent.
  • CampSpot – Campspot offers premier RV resorts, family campgrounds, cabins and glamping options across North America.

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.

Gunnison Reservoir Statistics & Helpful Links


Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

Water Level Control: Gunnison Irrigation Company

Surface Area: 1,287 acres

Shoreline Length: 10 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 5,390 feet

Average Depth: 15 feet

Maximum Depth: 28 feet

Water Volume: 18,218 acre-feet

Completion Year: 1889

Lake Area-Population: 235

Drainage Area: 59 sq. miles

Trophic State: Hypereutrophic

We strive to keep the information on LakeLubbers as accurate as possible. However, if you’ve found something in this article that needs updating, we’d certainly love to hear from you! Please fill out our Content Correction form.

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