Located on the shores of Rockport Reservoir, Rockport State Park is a destination for RVers and outdoor enthusiasts throughout the year. At an altitude of 6,000 feet, there are many winter sports to enjoy, and it is a good place to cool off in the warm summer months. The scenery here offers high desert views as well as mountain terrain, blending the two different regions.
The history of Rockport goes back to the 1860s when a town built a rock wall (Rock Fort) to protect the settlers from attacks by the surrounding Native American tribes. Later, the wall was dismantled, but the name Rockport stuck around. In the 1950s, the government built the Wanship Dam. The dam created the reservoir on the location where the town of Rockport had once stood.
Rockport Reservoir now covers over 500 acres of surface area and is popular for all types of water sports: water skiing, kayaking, paddleboarding, fishing, and boating. Rockport State Park is located on the north side of the reservoir and has six different loops providing camping from primitive to partial hookups with options for boat-in and group campers. Just 45 minutes away from Salt Lake City and a 35-minute drive from Park City, Rockport State Park is a convenient location for a weekend RV getaway or a destination along your route to one of the other recreational destinations like the Manti-La Sal National Forest or the Fishlake National Forest.
Within an hour's drive of both Salt Lake City and Park City, Rockport State Park is easy to reach by Utah's major highways. The park is located just off of State Road 32 on UT-302 North. The six different camping areas in Rockport State Park are all located along Road 302, which hugs the north shore of the Rockport Reservoir.
Some visitors have commented that the final bit of road on UT-302 is narrow, but RVs up to 40 feet can manage it. Most of the RV campsites are back-in only, but there are a couple of 40-foot pull-through sites on Juniper Loop. The surfaces vary, including asphalt, concrete, grass, and dirt. Many campers report that leveling blocks are needed on some of the sites. There is ample shade from the many trees on all of the campground loops and plenty of space between campsites. Many sites are on the waterfront, which may result in a softer surface for parking, especially after snow melting in the spring. Campers report convenient parking for their tow vehicles. Utah State Parks allow one vehicle per site but can accommodate extra vehicles in other parking lots for a day-use fee.
There are five group campsites at Rockport State Park. The group campsites can be reserved up to 11 months in advance. The group campsites have fire rings, BBQs, picnic tables, and proximity to the water. In some cases, a deposit may be required to reserve a group camping spot. The Crandall and Lariat loops each have a group campsite, which can accommodate up to 40 people. Hawthorne, Old Church, and Riverside loops each have a group campsite for up to 70 people.
There are six different camping areas within Rockport State Park. The loop name distinguishes each campground area; however, the Juniper Loop is the best spot for RVers. There are 23 RV sites with 30-amp electric and water connections in the Juniper Loop. The other five campground loops have a total of 79 primitive campsites, where RVs can park, but there are no hookups. All campground loops have bathrooms as well as access to water nearby. Showers are located on Juniper Loop. RVs up to 40 feet long can be accommodated. Your pets are welcome to camp with you. There are three mooring campsites specified for boat-in campers who pull in at the marina.
If there are any sites available after the reservation window closes, these sites may be offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Make sure you check with the park before or upon arrival to see if there are any unoccupied spots.
Ice fishing is a thrilling winter activity, and Rockport Reservoir is one of the favorite places for anglers to throw in their lines. Whatever method of ice fishing you prefer, be sure to check the conditions of the ice before venturing out onto the lake. The park's website publishes current fishing conditions as well as an updated ice report. Whatever fish you can catch in the summer months can also be found underneath the ice. Just bundle up, take the right gear, and bring a fishing buddy to enjoy ice fishing at its finest.
Just outside the park, Mirror Lake Highway (Hwy 150) is closed during the winter. This road provides a great opportunity for snowmobiles to access miles and miles of trails in the area. The state park rangers keep the trails groomed, so they are ready for exploration. Specific trails to check out are Smith and Morehouse, Nobblets, and Guardsman Pass.
The Marina at Rockport, located within the Rockport State Park, is open through the winter. The staff there can provide information on trail conditions as well as snowmobile rentals for those wanting to try out the sport. Be aware that the marina will not rent out a single machine; two is the minimum. You'll want to have a buddy with you this time of year, anyway, in case you run into bad weather or mechanical difficulties.
During the snowy season, this area becomes a winter wonderland for all types of sports enthusiasts. The Rockport Lake Trail is a popular trail for snowshoeing and cross-country skiers. The marina doesn't rent out snowshoes or skis, so arrange to have these before you come, and be sure to check the conditions on all the trails with a state park ranger before venturing out.
Winter is a prime time to spot wildlife common to the area, such as mule deer, elk, and even moose. If you don't mind snowshoeing, you are likely to see a great many head of deer and possibly have the more rare sighting of a moose. An excellent place to see bucks and does is the area just below the Rockport Dam. Another area to check out is along State Road 32 on the south side of the lake. Driving slowly through the park is another excellent way to view the local wildlife. Because of the harsh winters, animals are more susceptible to stress, so be sensitive to startling them if you happen to see them along a trail. Bring a good set of binoculars and a camera with a telephoto lens. Dress appropriately, bring plenty of water and check weather conditions before embarking on your wildlife-viewing adventure.
Lake View Trail is a moderate 2.5-mile loop trail that rewards the hiker with beautiful viewpoints of the Rockport Reservoir. In the fall, you can see vibrant autumn colors on the trees. In the spring and summer, you can view various types of wildlife. Rockport Lake Trail is another popular two-mile trail that's rated as easy and allows dogs on leashes. Other hiking trails in this park include the loops around the campground, which are known for their wildflowers in the springtime. While well-maintained, these trails might become muddy after a rain or become difficult to hike in the snow. April through October are the recommended months to hike these trails.
Whether you're a kayaker or a paddleboarder, enjoy the pleasant waters while you cruise along the surface of the reservoir. Fishing boats and motorboats are welcome here, and there is a marina with a boat launch area, which makes it convenient to launch your watercraft. Three campsites are specifically set aside for campers who boat into the state campground. If you don't have your own boat, the Marina at Rockport offers all types of rentals. The marina is the center of activity at this campground with food and live music available in season.
Rockport Reservoir has many different types of fish to interest beginners as well as expert fishers. You can fish off a boat that you rent at the marina, or just walk along the shoreline with your pole, hoping to hook the next big one. Smallmouth bass, arctic grayling, brown, and cutthroat trout are all caught here. Yellow perch and rainbow trout are other favorites in the area for anglers to catch.
Another popular activity during the warmer months is birdwatching. The Rockport Dam is a great place to see waterfowl, such as ducks, geese, and even great northern loons. Other popular birds that can be found in Rockport State Park are osprey and mountain blue-birds. Black-throated warblers, pinyon jays, and even bald eagles will make an appearance on the juniper side of the reservoir. Bring your binoculars and telephoto lens, and you may want to keep a guide to identifying local birds in your Airstream to compare to your photos at the end of an awe-inspiring day.