For many, the Utah outdoors means lots of winter sports. But at Quail Creek State Park, the winters are mild, so fishing, boating, and other water sports are pretty much always on tap.
Much of Quail Creek Lake comes from underground pipes, which explains the warmer water. Yet the lake is still deep enough (120 feet at some points) to support lots of trout, crappie, catfish, and other stocked fish. The boat launch is open practically 365 days a year. The famous Utah rocky scenery surrounds this lake, and there are lots of hiking trails which give visitors a chance to explore this landscape.
Your RV is definitely the best way to experience Quail Creek State Park. The spacious campground is almost literally right next to the lake, and most of its two dozen sites are either extended back-in or pull-through sites. The RV campground also has all the amenities you expect at a Utah state park.
RV Rentals in Quail Creek State Park
Transportation in Quail Creek State Park
Sometimes, getting there really is half the fun. Quail Creek State Park is right off Interstate 15, which is the main drag between Salt Lake City and Las Vegas. Interstate 15 is a lightly-traveled and well-maintained interstate that’s open all year and is a four-lane divided highway for most of the route. There’s a lot of territory between those two cities, and you’ll get to see it all from your RV. If you need camping supplies, St. George is just a few miles southwest of the park along Interstate 15. There are also a few smaller towns closer to the park.
Campgrounds and parking in Quail Creek State Park
Campsites in Quail Creek State Park
Quail Creek Campground
These 24 sites are just below the southern boat launch. Most of them are pull-through sites, though a few are back-in. The campground has multiple drinking water spigots, as well as a very nice restroom/shower area and RV dump station. Most sites have electrical hookups, so you can stay cool during the day and warm at night. Most sites also have barbecue grills and picnic tables, to enjoy the great outdoors even more.
Seasonal activities in Quail Creek State Park
Ever since it opened in 1985, and even before it was well-stocked with fish, Quail Creek Lake has been known as one of the best bass fisheries in the state. Most anglers catch lots of big largemouth bass in the deep water around rocks, ledges, and other sheltered areas. These fish often congregate in the northern reaches of the lake. They often travel in groups, so if you get one bite in one area, stay there and work it. Catfish and crappie abound here as well. Fishing techniques change when the water is cooler, so be adaptable.
Paddleboarding, Canoeing, and Kayaking
The deep, blue waters of Quail Creek Lake are ideal for floating in an unpowered craft. Rentals are available, and they come with friendly instructors. Most of these folks stick to the western side of the reservoir close to the developed areas of the park. If you go out further, you may need to dodge a motorboat or two. Oh, and by the way, you haven’t lived until you try paddleboard yoga. America’s Funniest Home Videos, here we come.
There is a boat launch at either end of the developed western shore. Each one is right next to a spacious parking area that’s designed for trailers, RVs, and other large vehicles. During the spring and summer, the launch is open from dawn to dusk. In the fall and winter, the hours are more limited. Quail Creek Lake is unofficially divided into three zones. The west is for paddleboarders, the center is for fishing, and the east is for power boaters. As Exhibit A, we submit the water ski slalom course along the eastern shoreline. Try finding something like that anywhere else.
This activity is another example of the “getting there is half the fun” motif. The East Overlook trail leads to the petroglyphs, and this trail is a sight to behold at all points of the compass. Hikers get majestic views of the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve to the north, Sand Hollow Reservoir to the south, the Virgin Anticline cliffs to the west, and the Cliffs of Zion featuring Sandstone Mountain to the east. The petroglyphs, or cave drawings, are near the dam. Since no one knows who drew them, why they drew them, or when they drew them, you can let your imagination run wild.
The Quail Overlook trail is a bit of a climb, but if you’re on a mountain bike, you’ve got this. The views at the end are almost as good as the aforementioned East Overlook trail. Many RV visitors also like the longer and flatter Cub Scout Loop trail. It links up with several other scout trails. Because there is so much scenery here, you could loop over and over and probably see something new at every pass.
Remember how we said that Quail Creek State Park is essentially halfway between Vegas and Salt Lake City? Except for St. George, there is not a town with more than about 20,000 souls along that route. So, the sky is very dark at night. Head to one of the higher elevations with a telescope around dusk, and watch the night sky come to life. Unbelievable details are everywhere, especially if you are a city slicker who usually sees nothing at night except streetlights. The sky is really amazing on moonless nights or during celestial events, like meteor showers.