Kayak at Little Dell Reservoir


Added by Lindsay Daniels

Little Dell is a 20 minute drive from Salt Lake City. It's the perfect spot for a quick kayak after work.

Located just 20 minutes from the heart of Salt Lake City, Little Dell Reservoir is the perfect quick getaway for a recreational paddler or angler.

The reservoir is surrounded by mountains in Parleys Canyon, just off of Interstate 80 and along Utah State Route 65. The parking and ranger station are located on the north side of the reservoir, and there is a $5 fee for a day. When you enter the parking area, turn right to get to the put-in. During the off-season (typically October-April), this area is closed and requires paddlers to portage down to the water, for which having a friend or portage wheels would be extremely helpful.

Chances are you will be the only one on the reservoir. There are plenty of areas to explore and spot wildlife along the shore or on the water. It's a perfect place to have a casual paddle with friends or a quick training session after work. If you'd like to spend the day, there are plenty of picnic tables conveniently placed along the shore.

Things to keep in mind: Little Dell keeps the drinking water for Salt Lake City, so no swimming is allowed. The dam on the southwest end is heavily protected and boaters need to stay 200 feet away. Fishing is allowed, however bait fishing is not allowed. Check with the ranger for current fishing regulations.

My favorite place to eat after kayaking at Little Dell is in Emigration Canyon (on the way back to the city), called Ruth's Diner. Don't miss the chocolate pudding for dessert!

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Know for

Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Handicap Accessible
Picnic Area



Leave a Review

🥈 Contributor

7 months ago

Stellar spot for a peaceful evening!

The Little Dell Reservoir is an absolutely stellar, man-made lake suitable for fishing, kayaking, and escaping the populous city. The water is quite calm and the city does an outstanding job of keeping it clean. Please note, there is a $5 entrance fee.


about 3 years ago

Great Scenery

Came here on a rainy weekend in early April. The views were stunning and the water was so calm it was like glass. We had the place all to ourselves, with the exception of one lone kayaker. There are, however, some restrictions, particularly regarding dogs. Something to keep in mind. Overall a great little find- and only 30 minutes or so from downtown!

little deuce coup


Not For Paddle Boarders

This beautiful reservoir is off limits to paddle boarders and dogs. I drove there after reading the other review. Now I realize "paddlers" is referring to those who will be kayaking. I was not even allowed to walk around, as I had a small dog in the car with me.

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Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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.

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