Panguitch Lake, Utah, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - West - Utah - Color Country -

Located in the Dixie National Forest of southwestern Utah, visitors of this beautiful state won’t want to miss Panguitch Lake, along the Brian Head-Panguitch Lake Scenic Byway. Panguitch Lake (rhymes with sandwich) is a natural body of water, augmented by a dam, resulting in a reservoir. Flanked by aspens, spruce, and ponderosa pines, the lake is estimated to be 1,000 years old. With a very high elevation of 8,200 feet, Panguitch Lake is a popular recreational area offering year-round activities.

Panguitch Lake is fed by three tributary streams, Ipson Creek, Clear Creek and Blue Spring Creek, whose headwaters originate at the brink of the Markagunt Plateau, then flow south and east to Panguitch Lake. Panguitch Lake drains into Panguitch Creek, which joins the Sevier River near the small community of Panguitch. Construction of the dam, which occurred in phases between 1885 and 1975, changed the original depth of Panguitch Lake from 35 feet to 57 feet and the surface area from 777 acres to 1,248 acres. The dam was built to enable it to hold more water for irrigation. The West Panguitch Irrigation Company controls the water levels.

Panguitch Lake is known primarily as a fishing destination. In fact, the earliest known use of Panguitch Lake was as a fishery by Paiute Indians. Very appropriately, the name Panguitch means “big fish” in the Paiute language. The lake is famous for its plentiful trout. Anglers will find rainbow, brook, cutthroat, and brown trout thriving in its cool waters. In the winter, ice fishing is very popular on the lake. Panguitch Lake has a marina, where visitors can rent everything from small fishing boats to a full pontoon. There is also the option to rent boat slips and bring one’s own craft. There are two public boat ramps and a fish cleaning station.

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources restocked the lake in 2006 with 20,000 rainbow trout, after it was treated with rotenone to control the population of Utah chub. As a result, there are some special regulations: There is a four-trout limit and the trout must be less than 15 inches or over 22 inches. Anglers must release all trout that are between 15 to 22 inches long. Trout caught cannot be filleted or have the head or tail removed while at the lake.

Other activities around the lake include mountain biking on the nearby trails, hiking, ATV riding, horseback riding or even taking an aerial tour of the area. Wildlife watching is a popular pastime as well; deer and elk can usually be seen in the early morning hours or late afternoons. Only a short drive away, visitors can enjoy Bryce Canyon National Park, Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, Cedar Breaks National Monument and Zion National Park. In the winter, visitors will enjoy snowmobiling, snowshoeing or cross-country and downhill skiing nearby. For overnighters, there are resorts around the lake as well as cabins for rent. For campers, Panguitch Lake has extensive camping facilities run by the US Forest Service, see links below.

Panguitch Lake is also a destination of those looking for permanent or part-time residence. In recent years there have been a significant number of summer homes built in the area by local residents and people from neighboring states. Visitors will find cabins, condos, homes, and lots for sale around the Panguitch Lake area.

As for getting there, Panguitch Lake is going to be a drive no matter how you cut it. The closest airport is in Las Vegas, which is a four hour drive, while Salt Lake City is a four and half hour drive away. For many though, the destinations that are hard to get to are the best ones to visit. Visitors aren’t completely “roughing it” at Panguitch Lake, as there are a couple of convenience stores within walking distance of the campgrounds, and the roads are well paved and maintained.

Things to do at Panguitch Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Ice Fishing
  • Boating
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Downhill Skiing
  • Snowmobiling
  • Horseback Riding
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • National Park
  • National Forest

Fish species found at Panguitch Lake

  • Brown Trout
  • Carp
  • Rainbow Trout
  • Trout

Panguitch Lake Photo Gallery

Panguitch Lake Statistics & Helpful Links

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Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

Water Level Control: The West Panguitch Irrigation Company

Surface Area: 1,248 acres

Shoreline Length: 6 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 8,208 feet

Average Depth: 19 feet

Maximum Depth: 66 feet

Water Volume: 23,730 acre-feet

Drainage Area: 37 sq. miles

Trophic State: Eutrophic

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Trophic State | LakeLubbers

Trophic State measures the level of algae and nutrients in a lake.

An oligotrophic lake is very clear (blue in color) and does not support much plant or fish life. A hyper-oligotrophic lake is the clearest of all lakes, and is nearly devoid of plants and fish.

A mesotrophic lake is slightly green and supports a moderate degree of plant and fish life. A lake's most desired trophic state is generally this mid-point - the mesotrophic state.

A eutrophic lake is somewhat murky and supports a large amount of plant and fish life. A hypereutrophic lake is clouded with algae, plant life, and fish life. A eutrophic or hyper-eutrophic lake can be difficult to navigate by boat - and is often an unpleasant place to swim.

The use of phosphorus-rich and nitrogen-rich fertilizer on lawns and golf courses surrounding a lake can cause it to become eutrophic or hypereutrophic.


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Catchment or Drainage Area | LakeLubbers

This is the surrounding area that drains into a lake, including land, rivers and their tributaries. This is also known as the lake's "catchment basin".

Small lakes at the highest peaks of mountains have small drainage areas. The world's oceans have the largest drainage areas.


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Lake-Area Population | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated number of people who live in a house with a view of a lake, plus those who self-describe the lake as their home, for example: "I live at Smith Mountain Lake."


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Water Residence Time | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated time that it takes for an amount of water equal to the entire volume of a lake to flow out of - or evaporate from - the lake.

Residence Time can be as short as a few days for fast-flowing small lakes, and can exceed 100 years for slow-flowing large lakes.


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Completion Year | LakeLubbers

This is the year that a reservoir was first filled to the reservoir's normal elevation - or the year that a natural lake was first dammed. A large reservoir can take more than a year to fill after its dam is first closed.

The Grand Anicut in southern India is generally considered the world's oldest dam that still operates. Grand Anicut was constructed in the second century BC. It now impounds an irrigation network that includes roughly one million acres.

You can find many of the the world's newest reservoirs on LakeLubbers. Many of the world's oldest reservoirs appear on the last page of that list.


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Water Volume | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated volume of water that a lake contains -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. By this measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal.

You can find many of the the world's largest lakes (by water volume) on LakeLubbers.

Water Volume can be measured in acre-feet, in cubic miles, or in cubic kilometers. One acre-foot is the amount of water needed to cover one acre (43,560 square feet) to a depth of one foot. One cubic mile equals 3,379,200 acre-feet. One cubic kilometer equals 810,713 acre-feet.

1 acre-foot is equal to 325,851 US gallons. Siberia's Lake Baikal contains about 6,276,367,740,000,000 gallons of freshwater - nearly 1 million gallons for every living person on earth.

The other - and more widely used - measure of a lake's size is the lake's surface acreage. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is North America's Lake Superior.


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Maximum Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated greatest depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. The world's deepest lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal; that lake's maximum depth is estimated at 5,314 feet.

You can find many of the the world's deepest lakes on LakeLubbers. If you select the last page of that list, you will find the (maximum depth of) the shallowest lakes in our database.


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Average Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated average depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. If the water volume and surface area of a lake are known, an estimate of the lake's average depth can be calculated:

Water volume ÷ Surface Area = Average Depth

Example: 1,000,000 acre-feet ÷ 20,000 acres = 50 feet average depth


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Maximum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's highest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can occur during flooding. A lake's highest possible maximum elevation is usually the top of the lake's dam or spillway.

At lakes that include residential development, government regulations usually forbid the construction of homes below a lake's maximum elevation.


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Minimum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's lowest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can be reasonably expected to occur. Low lake levels can occur due to deliberate seasonal draw downs for irrigation or impending snow melt, reduced water inflows, drought and evaporation, residential or commercial water demands, and hydropower generation.

Some lakes' minimum and maximum elevations are virtually the same. Lakes that generate hydropower may vary by several feet - according to power demand. Lakes whose primary purpose is to prevent flooding can seasonally vary by 100 feet or more.

When some lakes reach their minimum elevation, their boat ramps may not be long enough to permit boat access - and boats docked on shallow parts of the lake may end up on dry ground. In those cases, kayakers and shore-based anglers may be among the few happy recreational users of the lake.


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Normal Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's normal water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level. For a reservoir, this water level is also known as "full pond" or "full pool".

You can find many of the world's highest-elevated lakes on LakeLubbers. Lakes with the lowest elevations (known by LakeLubbers) are shown on the final page of that list.


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Shoreline Length | LakeLubbers

This is the length of the exterior shoreline around a lake - measured at the lake's normal elevation. The shoreline length can be considerably shorter or longer when lake water levels are lower or higher than normal.

A lake with many coves has a much longer shoreline than a lake of similar surface area that is nearly circular in shape.

When known, the shoreline miles that we report in our statistics include only the lake's exterior shoreline, and exclude the shorelines of islands located within a lake's boundaries. In lakes with many islands, those islands' combined shorelines may exceed a lake's exterior shoreline.

You can find many of the world's longest-shoreline lakes on Lakelubbers.


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Surface Area | LakeLubbers

This is the area (acreage, square kilometers, etc.) of the top surface area of a lake - measured at a lake's normal elevation. The surface area can be considerably smaller or larger when lake levels are lower or higher than normal. North America's Lake Superior is the world's largest freshwater lake by this measure.

The other measure of a lake's size is the lake's water volume. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Lake Baikal in Siberia.

You can find many of the world's largest lakes (acres) on Lakelubbers. There is no widely-accepted minimum surface area that defines a lake. What Lakelubbers describes as a lake, you might call a pond. The smallest lake that Lakelubbers currently includes is Hawaii's 2-acre Lake Waiau.


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Water Level Control | LakeLubbers

This is the organization that controls water releases or outflows from the lake or reservoir. In the USA, this is often the US Army Corps of Engineers, a power company, a municipal water system, an irrigation district, or a paper manufacturing company. In the case of private or gated lakes, a homeowners' association may be the lake's controlling authority.

Many lakes cross borders, including North America's Great Lakes. The control of such lakes and their coveted freshwater may be amicably shared - or hotly disputed.

"Water wars" continue at many lakes as growing populations and crop irrigation needs compete for the freshwater that lakes contain.


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Lake Type | LakeLubbers

There are 3 basic types of lakes that are currently included on LakeLubbers. 2 types may be dammed or not dammed, producing 5 classifications.

- A Reservoir is a man-made freshwater lake that is usually created by damming rivers.

- A Natural Freshwater Lake occurs naturally - often by glacial activity - and has a salinity of less than 30 parts per thousand. It may be dammed to produce electricity or for other reasons.

- A Natural Saltwater Lake occurs naturally and has a salinity of more than 30 parts per thousand (ppt). It may be dammed.

"Brackish" water may be categorized as freshwater or saltwater, depending on its salt content (salinity). Oligohaline water has less than 15 ppt of salt. Mesohaline water has 15-29 ppt. Polyhaline has 30-335 ppt.


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