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10 Utah Lakes and Rivers to Explore This Summer

Stay cool this summer.

By: The Outbound Collective + Save to a List

Summer weather is creeping in across the state of Utah which means it's time to find the nearest body of water, claim a shady spot to set up, and take it easy for a few hours. Head south for some slot canyon river exploring or north for an overnight in the Uintas to an alpine lake paradise. Fishing, paddling, swimming, hiking, you name it...Utah has a river or lake to satisfy any summer daydreams of cool, blue waters. 

As always, be sure the lake or river you're exploring is friendly to whatever activity you plan to do. Some lakes and rivers allow fishing, swimming, and boating, some don't. So check with local resources to be sure you're good to go. 

1. Backpack to Ibantik Lake

Photo: Colton Marsala

2. Hike through Paria Canyon (Paria River)

Photo: Brandon Silver

3. Hike the Narrows - Zion NP (Virgin River)

Photo: Jason Hatfield

4. White Pine Lake

Photo: Eric Bennett

5. Backpack Reflection Canyon (Lake Powell)

Photo: Kathleen Buenviaje

6. Camp by the Spiral Jetty (Great Salt Lake)

Photo: Prajit Ravindran

7. Kayak at Little Dell Reservoir

Photo: Lindsay Daniels

8. Fly Fish the Green River below Flaming Gorge

Photo: Dan Ransom

9. Backpack to Red Castle and Red Castle Lakes

Photo: Sam Watson

10. Kayak Glan Canyon (Colorado River)

Photo: Carrie Roc

Cover photo: Colton Marsala

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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