Joe’s Valley Reservoir, Utah, USA

Welcome to the ultimate guide for history, statistics, local fun facts and the best things to do at Joe’s Valley Reservoir.

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Joe’s Valley Reservoir visitor and community guide

Lake Locations: USA - West - Utah - Castle Country -

Joe’s Valley Reservoir is a 1,200-acre lake tucked away in the Manti-La Sal National Forest (Emery County). At an elevation of 7,000 feet, the lake is the favorite of sportsmen and outdoor enthusiasts offering excellent hunting and fishing along with camping, picnicking, hiking and boating. Joe’s Valley Reservoir is located in the Castle Country tourism region of the state.

Fishing is serious business on Joe’s Valley Reservoir. A large modern boat ramp located at Joe’s Valley Campground will get your out on the lake where the trout are always biting. Brown trout, cutthroat trout, lake trout, rainbow trout, splake trout (brook trout/ lake trout hybrid), and tiger trout are the main species in the lake. The best fishing occurs in the late fall, just before the end of the season to protect spawning fish. Early spring is also an active time, as the ice melts off the lake. Ice fishing in early winter is a good time for hungry trout. During the summer months, trolling or fishing from a boat will get you to the cold, deep water where trout tend to stay. If you don’t have a boat, you can rent one from marinas on the lake. Nearby streams are also famous for large splake.

For campers, there are several campgrounds on the lake. Joe’s Valley Campground, located above Joe’s Valley Reservoir on the western side of the lake, has campsites that offer spectacular views of the lake and surrounding mountains. There also cabin and vacation rentals around the lake and in the mountains. Above the lake at higher altitudes there are many unmarked, secluded camping sites in the mountains on Forest Service ground overlooking the reservoir. Facilities on the lake include picnic sites, fire rings, standing grills, modern rest rooms, showers, sewage disposal station, boat launching, general store, restaurant, and a large covered group-use pavilion.

The 1,413,111-acre Manti-La Sal National Forest offers a multitude of outdoor activities for visitors of Joe’s Valley Reservoir. Hunters will find the wooded areas full of large game such as deer, elk and an occasional moose. Utah requires a valid hunting license and permits. Birdwatchers will enjoy a variety of birds, including hawks, eagles, osprey and peregrine falcons. Mountain biking, motorcycle trails, horseback riding, bouldering, and hiking are all great ways to explore the area.

Below Joe’s Valley Reservoir is Straight Canyon Creek which merges with Cottonwood Creek downstream. Both creeks are known for fishing as well as white water paddling. Canoe and kayak rentals are available.

When the weather turns cold, snowmobiling, cross country skiing, work famous ice climbing and ice fishing on the Joe’s Valley Reservoir provide hours of enjoyment.

If you’d like to experience some of Utah’s remarkable scenery, Huntington State Park, located east of Joe’s Valley Reservoir is a beautiful state park with 237 acres of boating, swimming, camping and fishing. The park is located just outside the city of Huntington on State Route 10. Canyonlands National Park to the north consists of canyons and plateaus carved by the Colorado and Green Rivers. The park offers some of the most challenging ATV roads and whitewater rapids in the area.

For some of the finest outdoor recreation, plan a trip to Joe’s Valley Reservoir. Northern Utah has some of the most scenic and wild lands in the area. With thousands of opportunities for adventure, from wilderness trails to world class fishing, you are sure to find an activity to your liking.

Custom Joe’s Valley Reservoir house decor

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Things to do at Joe’s Valley Reservoir

  • Fishing
  • Ice Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Picnicking
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Ice Climbing
  • Biking
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Snowmobiling
  • Horseback Riding
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • State Park
  • National Park
  • National Forest

Fish species found at Joe’s Valley Reservoir

  • Brook Trout
  • Brown Trout
  • Cutthroat Trout
  • Lake Trout
  • Rainbow Trout
  • Splake Trout
  • Tiger Trout
  • Trout

Best hotels and vacation rentals at Joe’s Valley Reservoir

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Joe’s Valley Reservoir photo gallery

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Joe’s Valley Reservoir statistics & helpful links


Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

Water Level Control: Emery Water Conservency District

Surface Area: 1,183 acres

Shoreline Length: 94 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 6,880 feet

Average Depth: 44 feet

Maximum Depth: 168 feet

Water Volume: 71,900 acre-feet

Completion Year: 1965

Trophic State: Oligotrophic

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