The 20 best beaches in Utah? Yes, you read that right, Utah. Of course, that would be the same Utah that is entirely landlocked, predominantly desert and about 700 miles from the nearest ocean. You might be surprised to hear that Utah has several excellent beaches, many of which are in its stunning state or national parks and near picturesque lakes, ponds and reservoirs.
Utah beaches are the perfect places to relax on a hot summer afternoon. Here are the 20 best beaches in Utah to check out.
- Utah Beaches
- 20 Beaches In Utah
- 1- Quail Creek State Park Beach
- 2- Sand Hollow State Park
- 3- Warm Creek Bay at Lake Powell
- 4- Jordanelle Reservoir
- 5- American Fork Beach
- 6- Cemetery Point Beach
- 7- Rendezvous Beach, Bear Lake State Park
- 8- Bridger Bay Beach
- 9- Panguitch Lake
- 10- Vineyard Beach
- 11- Huntington State Park
- 12- Wayne Bartholomew Park
- 13- Utah Lake State Park
- 14- Deer Creek State Park
- 15- Yuba Lake
- 16- Manila Creek Pond
- 17- Highland Glen Park
- 18- Fish Lake
- 19- Anderson Cove
- 20- Flaming Gorge Reservoir
- 20 Beaches In Utah
20 Beaches In Utah
1- Quail Creek State Park Beach
A gorgeous state park with a 600-acre reservoir, the Quail Creek State Park has a wonderful stretch of beach for you to set yourself up for the day.
The sand has a reddish tinge and showcases fabulous views from across the lake to sublime cliffs that take on various shades of brown, red and tan.
While the water is probably too cold for swimming and the size of the beach can vary throughout the year, this area is a popular spot for boating, kayaking and paddleboarding.
Quail Creek State Park is at 472 5300 W, Hurricane, UT 84737.
2- Sand Hollow State Park
Another popular state park in Hurricane is the Sand Hollow State Park.
The extensive beach is located around a shimmering reservoir that is perfect for swimming, boating, sailing and standup paddleboarding.
Its sand comprises an orangey, red colour that is quite arresting, and though reasonably wide open, there are a few trees dotted around to give you shade.
Pleasingly, the water here is warm and clear, so it’s great for swimming.
You can park your 4WD to the water’s edge and unpack your gear in certain parts.
Sand Hollow State Park Beach is at 3351 Sand Hollow Rd, Hurricane, UT 84737.
3- Warm Creek Bay at Lake Powell
With over 196 miles of water to explore, you can access several beaches at Lake Powell, the granddaddy of Utah’s lakes.
While some of the lake’s beaches can only be reached by boat, one of the most popular is Warm Creek Bay, a huge bay full of coves with smooth sandstone rocks and sandy shorelines.
Warm Creek Bay is easy to reach via the Castle Rock Cut and is popular for swimming and water sports.
Lake Powell straddles Utah and Arizona along the Colorado River and can be accessed at numerous points.
4- Jordanelle Reservoir
If you are looking for a long stretch of beach where you can keep walking, then head on over to the Jordanelle Reservoir in Wasatch County.
From Salt Lake City, it will only take you an hour to get to the reservoir at the Jordanelle State Park, which lies just north of Heber City.
But once you are there, you will find an extensive stretch of beaches flanking the water’s edge, which you can walk along until your heart’s content.
For those who prefer a bit of water fun, there is a cool Aqua Zone to enjoy and kids will also love the playground.
Jordanelle Reservoir is in Jordanelle State Park.
5- American Fork Beach
Just a year or so ago, the American Fork Boat Harbour contained an area that was essentially a no man’s land of weeds.
Then some 800 tons of soft sand was added to create an excellent beach for people to enjoy.
Now a perfect spot for sunbathing, swimming, volleyball and picnicking, this is an excellent place for an entire family fun day out.
The beach here can be visited at 100 West, American Fork, inside the American Fork Boat Harbor, UT 84003.
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6- Cemetery Point Beach
Located in Huntsville, Cemetery Point Beach might not have the most evocative of beach names, but it is far from dead as a place to relax and enjoy yourself.
One of the best features of this beach is the gorgeous views it affords of the lush green hills that flank the reservoir.
Known for being a very good swimming beach because of its cool temperatures and calm waters, this beach is a popular kayaking and paddle boarding spot.
It can get very busy during the weekend here, so consider visiting during the week if that will put you off.
Cemetery Point Beach is at 1st St Huntsville, UT 84317.
7- Rendezvous Beach, Bear Lake State Park
Anywhere that has been called the ‘Caribbean of the Rockies’ is worth a visit, so be sure to head over to Bear Lake State Park to check it out for yourself.
Featuring a 20-mile long lake that glimmers with an alluring shade of deep blue and green, the park accommodates miles of beach along its shoreline.
One of the best of them is Rendezvous Beach, which, although narrow is quite well-shaded and stretches for miles.
Framed by lush mountains in the distance, this wonderful beach is the perfect spot for fishing, camping and a wide range of watersports.
It also has picnic areas, restrooms and showers for your convenience.
Rendezvous Beach is in Bear Lake State Park.
8- Bridger Bay Beach
It might look like a barren wasteland from a distance, but Antelope Island is a perfect spot.
40 miles (64 km) north of Salt Lake City, it has one of Utah’s best beaches for swimming.
Renowned for the buoyancy of its saltwater, Bridger Bay Beach is one of the few spots you can swim safely in the Great Salt Lake.
While access to the beach is free, you will have to pay a fee to get into the state park.
Once you are there, you should see tons of wildlife, including bison, deer, and the antelope, which the park is named after.
Oh, and if you are wondering, you will be able to wash all that salt off at the showers located at the beach.
Bridger Bay Beach is in Antelope Island State Park.
9- Panguitch Lake
Known for being the largest of all mountain lakes in Utah and one of the state’s premier fishing destinations, Panguitch Lake is a great place to catch various trout species.
It also has a lovely rocky beach here which is perfect for swimming, boating, kayaking, camping and admiring views of the surrounding mountainous terrain.
10- Vineyard Beach
You can access Vineyard Beach on the North Vineyard road in (yes, you’ve guessed it!), the district of Vineyard.
It’s a popular spot for water-based activities like canoeing, paddleboarding, kayaking and fishing.
While swimming can be challenging here, to the point that it’s unadvisable, this is a fantastic beach to watch the sunset and to enjoy a picnic at one of the many tables in the area.
Wheelchair ramps lead to the beach, which is lovely for those who require them, but there are no restrooms here, so you will have to take the 1.75-mile paved walkway that will lead you to the nearby Lindon Marina.
11- Huntington State Park
Although it’s relatively small, Huntington State Park has one of the prettiest beaches in Utah.
This beach runs along the southeast shoreline of the lake, where the sand area is wide and flat.
There is plenty of space to lay down a towel and sunbathe for a while.
If you walk to the northern end of the beach you will get fabulous 180-degree views of the area.
Set back from the beach is a large grassy area to play touch football or soccer and nice shady trees.
Huntington State Park beach is on Mohrland Rd, Huntington, UT 84528.
12- Wayne Bartholomew Park
With a sandy beach and well-equipped recreational area, it’s not difficult to see why Wayne Bartholomew Park is one of Utah’s most child-friendly beach destinations.
Opened in 2015, it’s a popular weekend getaway for families who use the beach and the adjacent pond as a watery playground.
There are also areas for games like volleyball and ring-toss horseshoe.
The beach at Wayne Bartholomew Park is at 1090 900 North, Springville, UT 84663.
13- Utah Lake State Park
Situated near the city of Provo is the Utah Lake State Park, which was created as a result of the damming of the Provo River.
The lake presents itself as a bit of an oasis in the desert.
In the summer, the calm, pristine, blue waters of the lake warm up nicely to ensure it’s great for swimming.
The main beach here, which is next to the outer marina, offers lovely views of the imposing mountains across the lake.
Another spot that showcases terrific sunsets, the lake is also a top destination for hiking, picnicking, camping and watching the wildlife in the area too.
Utah Lake State Park is at 4400 W Center St, Provo, UT 84601.
14- Deer Creek State Park
While it’s best-known for its fishing and boating, Deer Creek State Park also has a fabulous beach for anyone wanting to relax.
Located on the park’s northeast side, this family-friendly spot in southwestern Wasatch County is sandy and secluded.
Offering a quiet spot to swim, sunbathe and spend some quality time with your loved ones.
The park provides good camping opportunities and a decent range of facilities for you to use.
Deer Creek State Park is at 5566 UT-314, Wallsburg, UT 84082.
15- Yuba Lake
Somewhat of a hidden gem, Yuba Lake is a terrific spot with a stunning sandy shoreline.
It’s about 90 minutes south of Salt Lake City.
The water is nice and warm, so it’s perfect for a swim, while the sand is inviting and of sufficient consistency to host an annual sandcastle building contest.
A well-known family recreation destination, the lake also has a network of trails and picnic areas and camping areas.
16- Manila Creek Pond
Named after the little city of Manila in Daggett County, Manila Creek Pond is a place families love to come to swim and fish.
The beach here features shallow waters and a cordoned off wading spot, so it’s pretty safe for children.
It also offers marvellous views of the surrounding landscape of lush forests and mountains.
You can catch plenty of trout if you want to fish, and the serene vibe will appeal to those seeking to escape from the hustle and bustle.
17- Highland Glen Park
Another place that families love is Highland Glen Park.
Despite being in downtown Salt Lake City, the park has a rather laidback and tranquil ambience, making it a lovely place to visit.
The beach has a decent expanse of sand and a roped-off area for children to swim in the clear, green waters.
Adjacent to the beach, there is also a sand volleyball court and a playground area, restaurants, and BBQ grills.
It’s another popular fishing spot and the park also has verdant, lush greenery.
Highland Glen Park is at 4800 Knight Ave, Highland, UT 84003.
18- Fish Lake
Fish Lake is a gorgeous alpine lake nestled between the Fishlake and Southern Wasatch Plateau regions of south-central Utah.
The stunning location is a picture of evergreen mountains and forests.
Known for being a hotspot of swimming, rafting, kayaking and fishing, the beach area slots into the landscape perfectly.
It’s a lovely place to camp, or just spend a few hours reconnecting with nature after a tough few weeks in the office.
19- Anderson Cove
Tucked away in the Ogden Valley, the Pineview Reservoir is the most accessible lake between Salt Lake and Ogden.
Flanked by mountains, the lake presents a breathtaking terrain.
Protected from the winds, one of the best beaches to visit here is Anderson Cove, which has plenty of sand for you to relax on.
You’ll be able to paddleboard and swim here, too, while there is also a campground and day area for those who want to stay a bit longer.
Anderson Cove is at Pineview Reservoir, 6702 UT-39, Huntsville, UT 84317.
20- Flaming Gorge Reservoir
In the northeastern part of Utah, in the middle of the Ashley National Forest, the Flaming Gorge Reservoir has not one but two fantastic beaches.
It doesn’t matter which one you go to; both are outstanding and feature stunning landscapes which flank the reservoir.
There is plenty to do at either of them, including water skiing, wakeboarding, boating and fishing. But the best thing to do is just lay down on a towel with a good book and some tunes and put all your troubles behind you.
Flaming Gorge Reservoir is at 355 N Vernal Ave, Vernal, UT 84078.