Utah’s unique position amidst the Colorado Plateau, the Rocky Mountains, and the Great Basin means that this scenic state boasts rugged peaks, awe-inspiring canyons, verdant forests, and colorful deserts. Outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers can rejoice in Utah. Nearby most Utah vacation rentals are stunning lakes with abundant opportunities for fun recreational activities such as swimming, water sports, boating, fishing, and sightseeing. That said, here are the best lakes in the state of Utah.

1. Lake Powell

Lake Powell

Beautiful Lake Powell covers over a million acres in south-central Utah near the Arizona border. Along its immense length are many opportunities for sightseeing, including easy access to spectacular Rainbow Bridge National Monument. Bullfrog Marina offers rentals of power boats, water sports equipment, and jet skis to help you have fun on the lake. If you like a more quiet and leisurely pace, kayaks and stand-up paddleboards are also available. Alternatively, let an experienced guide take you to the lake’s most scenic locations aboard a North Lake Private Boat Tour out of Bullfrog Marina. The lake also provides great fishing for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, catfish, bluegill, and other species.

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2. Strawberry Reservoir

strawberry reservoir
Source: Flickr/Jay Whitmire

Strawberry Reservoir is a large body of water that lies southeast of the city of Heber in central Utah. Renowned for its excellent fishing, the lake provides four major fishing areas: Strawberry Basin, Meadows Basin, Soldier Creek Basin, and the Narrows. Fish species most prevalent in the lake include rainbow trout, cutthroat trout, and kokanee salmon. Strawberry Bay Marina rents pontoon boats suitable for lake exploration or fishing. The marina also offers the services of experienced guides to help you find the best spots for angling. In winter, the marina rents snowmobiles for use on trails around the lakeshore and also has guided snowmobile tours. Ice fishing on the lake is great during the winter months.

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3. Utah Lake

utah lake
Source: Flickr/Jim Mullhaupt

Located within the Provo-Orem metropolitan area, Utah Lake is a large, shallow freshwater lake that is immensely popular for a variety of recreational activities. EPIC Recreation at Utah Lake State Park on the east side of the lake offers rentals of power boats, pontoon boats, jet skis, kayaks, and sports equipment. The lake offers great fishing for largemouth bass, channel catfish, walleye, bluegill, and perch. The Bonneville School of Sailing has wonderful family-friendly cruises around the lake. The Utah Lake Wetland Preserve and other locations around the lake provide opportunities to view over 200 species of birds such as double-crested cormorants, sandhill cranes, mallard ducks, great horned owls, and golden eagles.

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4. Pineview Reservoir

Pineview Reservoir
Source: Flickr/denebola2025

Pineview Reservoir lies in a verdant valley surrounded by mountains east of the city of Ogden in northern Utah. Several wide sandy beaches provide opportunities for swimming and sunbathing. Club Rec at the town of Eden on the north shore rents power boats for water sports and pontoon boats for fishing. The calm waters are ideal for water skiing and wakeboarding. The lake offers excellent sport fishing for record-size tiger muskie. Other fish often caught at the lake include smallmouth bass, bullhead catfish, crappie, perch, and sometimes trout.

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5. Bear Lake

bear lake
Source: Flickr/Edgar Zuniga Jr.

Sapphire-blue Bear Lake is in the northeastern corner of Utah, with half the lake in Utah and the other half in Idaho. Rendezvous Beach on the south side of the lake has a long stretch of white sand for swimming and sunbathing. Bear Lake Funtime provides rentals of power boats, fishing boats, kayaks, canoes, and recreational accessories from several sites around the lake. Funtime also offers the Fly Dive Hydro Flight, during which you strap on boots that shoot out jets of air propelling you up to 30 feet over the water. Experienced guides are available for fishing, lake tours, and water sports lessons at Bear Lake Marina. Fishing is good for cutthroat trout, rainbow trout, mackinaw trout, and whitefish.

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6. Deer Creek Reservoir

deer creek
Source: Flickr/Burnzz

Beautiful Deer Creek Reservoir lies a few miles northeast of vacation rentals in Provo in northern Utah. On the northeast side is a sandy beach that’s ideal for swimming and relaxing in the sun. Deer Creek Island Resort on the east side of the lake offers rentals of sport boats, pontoon boats, and fishing boats. If you prefer quiet paddling, the facility also rents canoes, kayaks, and stand-up paddleboards. For an unforgettable thrill, take some kite-boarding lessons with Uinta Kiting. Another exciting adventure over Deer Creek Reservoir is the Zipline Utah Screaming Falcon Course featuring 10 zip lines and seven aerial bridges.

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7. Willard Bay Reservoir

Willard Bay Reservoir
Source: Flickr/r. nial bradshaw

Located in the northeast corner of Great Salt Lake in northern Utah, Willard Bay Reservoir is a portion of the lake that was partitioned off, drained, and filled with fresh water. Willard Bay now serves as a recreational site for Salt Lake City and its surrounding towns. On the eastern shore is Willard Bay State Park, which features sand beaches, showers, and restrooms. Club Rec has an onsite location for renting pontoon boats, jet skis, kayaks, peddle boats, and other equipment for water fun. Birdwatchers enjoy walking the shore to observe bald eagles, yellow warblers, common loons, and other bird species.

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8. Flaming Gorge Reservoir

Flaming Gorge Reservoir
Source: Flickr/Jimmy Emerson, DVM

Flaming Gorge Reservoir lies in eastern Utah on the border with Wyoming, with half the lake in each state. Much of the Utah portion of the lake is protected by bright red sandstone canyons, which makes it ideal for a variety of recreational water activities. Lucerne Valley Marina on the Utah side rents patio boats, fishing boats, and power boats for water sports. The lake holds numerous fishing records for lake trout, kokanee salmon, and smallmouth bass.

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9. Jordanelle Reservoir

Jordanelle Reservoir
Source: Flickr/CodeFin

Jordanelle Reservoir, with its breathtaking backdrop of mountains, is a few miles north of Heber City and east of Salt Lake City in north-central Utah. Jordanelle State Park on the west side offers boat launches, picnic areas, restrooms, and showers. Jordanelle Rentals provides power boats, jet skis, kayaks, and stand-up paddle boards. Take the kids to the Aqua X Zone, a large inflatable water sports park. On the lake’s east side is Rock Cliff Recreation Area, an excellent site for bird watching and observing wildlife such as mule deer, moose, and elk.

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10. Sand Hollow Reservoir

Sand Hollow Reservoir
Source: Flickr/TheKilens

Sand Hollow Reservoir, surrounded by Sand Hollow State Park, lies east of the city of Saint George in southern Utah. The Beach at Sand Hollow, at the southwestern end of the lake, rents kayaks and paddle boards for water fun. The facility also rents ATVs for exploring Sand Mountain, which comprises 15,000 acres of bright red sand dunes along the lakeside. The Dive Shack at Sand Hollow provides lessons and guides for snorkeling and scuba diving at the lake.

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