East Canyon State Park sits secluded in the mountains of northeastern Utah. The park includes the 684-acre East Canyon Reservoir and is a favorite destination for beach goers in the summer and snow lovers in the winter.
Before hitting the beach, campers can park their RV or trailer at Dixie Creek Campground. Visitors staying at each of the 33 sites can access restrooms, showers, and a private boat ramp.
Spend a day enjoying the reservoir. Swim, kayak, canoe, tube, or water ski as you enjoy the surrounding mountain views. Keep an eye out for native wildlife like elk, moose, and bald eagles.
The park also features historical sites, including a portion of the original Mormon Pioneer Trail created by the Donner/Reed party in 1846 as they trekked toward California. Modern-day visitors can hike a four-mile stretch of this trail from the Mormon Flats area to the summit at Big Mountain.
With rolling hills, clear waters, and signature aspen trees, East Canyon is a hidden treasure, and the perfect destination for your next vacation.
RV Rentals in East Canyon State Park
Transportation in East Canyon State Park
East Canyon State Park is located about 28 miles northeast of Salt Lake City and 12 miles south of the town of Morgan.
During the warm weather months, visitors can reach the park and campground from Salt Lake City through Emigration Canyon. The canyon roads are closed Thanksgiving through Mother’s Day, which means off-season visitors will need to access the park by Interstate 84 through Ogden instead.
The campground and marina areas are connected by wide, paved roads that easily accommodate RVs and trailers.
Off-highway vehicles are not permitted in the park, and drivers can only park in designated parking areas at the campsites, marina, and select trailheads.
The speed limit throughout the park is 15 mph and strictly enforced.
Campgrounds and parking in East Canyon State Park
Campsites in East Canyon State Park
Dixie Creek Campground
The Dixie Creek Campground is located on the north end of the East Canyon Reservoir near the marina. It offers 33 sites for RV camping, some of which offer full hookups while others have partial hookups. All sites have access to restrooms and showers. Each camping permit includes parking for one vehicle. Fire rings are available at campsites for use, as well as a dedicated boat launch. Water is turned off for winter from mid-October to mid-April.
Be warned that the campground lacks trees, so there isn't much in the way of shade here. In the height of summer, it might be a good idea to bring your own shade if you have room for it.
Seasonal activities in East Canyon State Park
Avid hikers will discover scenic and historical views as they take to the trails in East Canyon State Park. The park manages the Mormon Flats area, the starting point for a four mile trail that ends at the summit of Big Mountain. The trail is perfect for hiking and biking as well as cross-country skiing during the winter months. Along the way, hikers will see the remnants of historic Fort Wells, a stronghold built by Mormon pioneers to protect themselves against the invading Johnston’s army in 1857.
At 5,700 feet elevation, East Canyon State Park is home to a diverse ecosystem of plants and animals. Visitors are likely to spot mule deer, elk, and moose on the mountain slopes as well as smaller animals like bobcats, coyotes, foxes, porcupines, badgers, rabbits, and beavers. The reservoir and surrounding hills are frequented by birdwatchers eager to catch a glimpse of bald and golden eagles, great horned owls, osprey, sage grouse, loons, and mud swallows.
Swimming and Boating
East Canyon Reservoir is a popular getaway for campers and daytime visitors seeking prime water recreation. Enjoy swimming and sunbathing on the beach at one of the many waterside picnic areas. The East Canyon Marina offers a variety of watercraft rentals including ski boats as well as non-motorized options like kayaks, canoes, and pedal boats. Enter the water through boat ramps at the Marina and at Dixie Creek Campground. Water skiing and tubing are also permitted.
Visitors to East Canyon State Park will find ample scenic and functional locations for picnicking. There are 21 designated picnic areas scattered throughout the park. Large groups can take advantage of two day-use pavilions featuring grills and fire pits that can be reserved in advance. There are also 40 dry storage units that accompany picnic areas and group pavilions to preserve and store food and supplies throughout your stay. Stop by the general store at the marina if you forget any necessities.
The East Canyon Reservoir spreads over 684 acres and offers the perfect fishing opportunity any time of the year. Fishermen young and old can try their hand at catching trout, small mouth bass, crappie, and crawfish. Set up on the shore or rent a boat at the marina to fish from the water. In the winter months, the reservoir freezes over and becomes an ideal location for ice fishing. Be sure to have a current fishing license and dress in warm layers as the temperature drops.
Winter weather doesn’t mean the opportunities to enjoy East Canyon State Park have ended. Scenic views and trails can be enjoyed in a new light when snow is involved. The four mile trail from Mormon Flats to the summit at Big Mountain is a favorite for cross-country skiers and snowshoers. Snowmobiles are allowed on the frozen East Canyon Reservoir via the boat ramps at the marina and Dixie Creek Campground. Special permits are required.