The available sandy beaches, and water recreation activities such boating, swimming, and waterskiing opportunities at Steinaker State Park make the park a favorable destination for RV vacations. Located in the heart of Dinosaurland, Steinaker State Park is seven miles north of Vernal, Utah, off Highway 191, making it easily accessible for RVs, trailers, and cars. The park, sitting at an elevation of 5,500 feet, was opened as a state park in 1964.
Facilities at Steinaker State Park include tent and RV campsites with electricity and sewer hookups, picnic tables, grills and fire pits, group day-use and overnight areas. Day-use facilities in the park include sandy beaches, swim dock, boat ramp, courtesy docks, fish cleaning station and fishing pier. Activities to enjoy at the park include camping, boating, swimming, OHV riding, hiking, fishing, geocaching, wakeboarding, water skiing, canoeing, kayaking and paddling. The nice sandy beach in the park is equipped with vault restrooms facilities, picnic tables, and a swim dock.
The park is named after John Steinaker, a member of the pioneer ranching family of the region who was 81 years old at the time of the ceremony of the opening of the Steinaker Dam in 1961. Steinaker Reservoir was one of the first units to be constructed in the vast Central Utah Project. This reservoir stores runoff water from Ashley Creek to provide irrigation water for the Ashley Valley.
Steinaker State Park is located about 181 miles east of Salt Lake City, and seven miles north of Vernal along Highway 191, hence it is easily accessible by RVs, trailers, and cars. Finding your way around the park is made easy by the local roads that connect to all the parts of the park. Within the park, the speed limit for vehicles, RVs, and trailers is 15 miles per hour.
There are three parking areas for RVs, trailers, and other vehicles in Steinaker State Park. One of the parking lots is located in the main campground while the other two are located by the Steinaker reservoir, so you’ll have no problem finding a place to park your rig whether you’re at a campsite or at the beach. Overnight parking is also available at the park.
There are no public transportation facilities available at Steinaker State Park.
The main campground in Steinaker State Park consists of 27 campsites available for RVs and tents. The campground features one cabin, one group standard group site, 11 pet-friendly standard campsites, eight pet-friendly standard full hookup campsites, and eight pet-friendly standard partial hookups sites. Electric and sewer hookups are available for RVs at the campsites in the campground. RV length limit in the campground is 45 feet. Amenities at the campground include wheelchair accessible campsites, restrooms, trailer dump station, water fill-up stations, and a parking lot. Campfires may be built in specified areas only and gathering firewood is prohibited. Fireworks or firecrackers are prohibited in the campground. Quiet hours are from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m.
Steinaker State Park is a popular destination for bird watchers on RV vacation. The cottonwood trees around the edge of the Steinaker reservoir and the nearby Ashley Creek are roosting habitats for golden and bald eagles. In winter, the bald eagles are most prominent and easy to find in the reservoir. Other bird species you will see at the park include raptors such as the red-tailed hawk, great horned owl, and osprey. During fall and spring, the reservoir is a migratory stopover for birds. Water birds that campers commonly observe in the park include western grebe, mallard, cinnamon and green-winged teals, American white pelican, great blue heron and Canada goose. Other bird species also found in the park are magpies, scrub jays, killdeer, western kingbirds, yellow warbler, mountain bluebird, pheasants and turkey vultures.
Steinaker State Park is rich in diverse plants and animals. During your vacation at the park in your RV, you’ll see juniper and sagebrush that dominate Steinaker’s landscape giving it a resplendent look. A visit to the park during spring gives you amazing views of blooming wildflowers such as larkspur, penstemon, Indian paintbrush and Utah’s state flower, the sego lily.
Wildlife species that live in Steinaker State Park include elk, mule deer, jackrabbits, cottontails, porcupines and ground squirrels. On occasion, moose, coyote, black bear and mountain lion are seen in the park.
Your trip to Steinaker State Park promises to be fun because the park is located in a place that is well known to geologists and earth scientists. At the park, there are various fascinating geological, paleontological, and archeological elements featured on rocks in the area. You’ll find fossilized relics once found in ancient seas, such as oysters, clams, and other shellfish at the park, while viewing picturesque geological formations from high points in the park. Even more interesting is the fact that an ancient flood plain in the area was once home to dinosaurs.
The 825-acre Steinaker reservoir provides great water activities for campers and visitors on RV vacation at Steinaker State Park. The available boat ramp at the park offers campers on holiday with their boats good opportunities to boat across the reservoir. Boaters are required to clean, drain, and dry their vessels, as Steinaker is mussel-free and the park wants it to remain that way. The reservoir also offers wakeboarding, water skiing, canoeing, kayaking and paddle boarding opportunities for RV campers. Swimmers aren’t left out as the park features a swim dock.
Lovers of adventure and treasure hunting love Steinaker State Park for the geocaching opportunities available at the park. There is a geocache set up in the park for RV campers and visitors to find and get rewards. The hint to the location of the geocache is “A great view of the reservoir”. With your GPS, you can find it by using the coordinates provided by the park whether in degrees, degrees/minutes, or degrees/minutes/seconds.
Steinaker State Park hosts an annual Ice Fishing Tournament where campers and visitors can register and participate to win awards. The tournament takes place in two divisions; adults (17 years and older), and kids (16 years and under). The fishing begins at 7:30 am for participants and ends at 2:00 pm. For trout, weighing begins immediately after fishing ends and 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place participants are awarded gift certificate prizes. No one is allowed on the ice until 7:30 am.