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Exploring Utah will reward you with mountains, desert landscapes, and plenty of unique cities to keep you entertained. In the northeastern corner of Utah is Steinaker State Park, a fantastic place to visit when you book an RV in Uintah County. Steinaker State Park is named for John Steinaker, who was a member of a pioneer family that settled in the region the park is located. Motorhome camping in this region will give you a sense of what pioneer life was like.
Steinaker State Park officially opened to the public in 1964, and one of the main fabricated features of the park is the large Steinaker Dam. This dam is over 160 feet high and nearly 2,000 feet long and is an earth-fill dam that is used to keep the on-site reservoir full. The reservoir is one of the key features of Steinaker State Park and is fed by Ashley Creek. Overall, camping with an RV at Steinaker State Park is a fabulous way to get a taste of northeastern Utah.
As the park rests at 5,500 feet in elevation, expect physical activity to be slightly more exhausting when traveling to the park from sea level. This elevation isn’t high enough to typically cause any major issues, but you may find yourself short of breath quicker when hiking, biking, and performing similar activities here. RV camping at Steinaker State Park for a few days will help you become acclimated, after which all activity may feel a bit easier.
The on-site Steinaker Reservoir covers over 800 acres when at regular levels and is a great resource for water activities. The reservoir has a boat launch, so specific things like boating, waterskiing, wakeboarding, tubing, and the like are possible. Kayaks, canoes, and similar watercraft are also welcome, in addition to paddleboards, snorkeling, and swimming. The water can be chilly throughout the summer, given the elevation, but the sandy beach will typically warm you quickly as you lie out under the summer sun.
RV camping at state parks is a fantastic way to spot wildlife, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled while staying here. There are many interesting species to see while hiking and camping at the park, including eagles, bluebirds, vultures, owls, osprey, badgers, deer, bobcats, rabbits, and even coyotes. Never approach or feed wildlife, as it endangers both you and the animal, but feel free to watch and enjoy them from a respectable distance for as long as you’d like.
There are over 30 campsites at the Steinaker State Park RV campgrounds, all of which can accommodate RVs of at least 25 feet in length. Some of these campsites require you to back-in, while others offer a pull-through option for extra convenience. No matter what campsite you end up with, however, you’ll have standard hookups as a baseline. When you want a campsite with full hookups, be sure to call and reserve ahead of time, preferably after you sort out the details of your RV rental.
Domestic animals are welcome at all of the RV campsites so long as they are kept on a leash at all times. There are centrally located restrooms with flushing toilets, two large group-use pavilions for picnics, and all campsites are within walking distance of the beach. Campers can also enjoy a fish cleaning station, a sewage disposal dump station, and onsite rangers for questions year-round.
While exploring this part of the state, you’ll be over a hundred miles from large cities like Salt Lake City, so you’ll have to rely on smaller towns and cities for your entertainment and modern amenities. Luckily the town of Vernal is just south of the park and offers a wide array of entertainment options for you to enjoy. When you camp in an RV near Vernal, be sure to explore the museums that are in town.
The Regional History Center is a fabulous place to start, as it offers historical information on both the natural and human history of the area. This center also arranged expeditions, so check out their calendar to see if one of them fits into your schedule. Nearby this historical center is the Utah Field House of Natural History State Park Museum, which showcases the fossil remains and biological specimens collected throughout eastern Utah. For more dinosaurs, head east of Vernal to Dinosaur National Monument.
Before leaving Vernal, though, swing by the Uintah County Heritage Museum. This museum is dedicated to the region’s people and their history, starting with early pioneers and ranging to modern-day history makers. The museum has artifacts, memorabilia, artwork, and more to offer visitors during their learning experience. After learning about the county walk along Main Street in Vernal for a bite to eat from any one of the many locally-owned restaurants.