Everything to know about Steinaker State Park located near Vernal, Utah
Utah is famous for its National Monuments and National Parks. A great secret about Utah is its incredible state parks. When visiting Vernal, Utah for one of our white-water rafting trips we recommend taking a little extra time and check out one of our local state park favorites. Steinaker State Park sits just four miles outside of the heart of Vernal, Utah. Steinaker state park is one of Utah’s hidden gems with awesome year around recreation. The summer months provide a water oasis in Utah’s desert heat and the winter months it is a beautiful place to embrace the outdoors.
Steinaker reservoir is a man-made lake created by a diversion dam on Ashly Creek. The dam, built in the early 1960’s, redirects the water from Ashley Creek into Steinaker where it is held for irrigation in the Ashley Valley. The side effect of the diversion dam, is an 820-acre haven for summer water recreation. The water is warm in the summer months, in July reaching temperatures up to 70 degrees, perfect for swimming, boating, paddle boarding or almost any water recreation you can think of. The lake is stocked with largemouth bass, rainbow trout and a few brown trout if you want to try your luck fishing. Surrounding the lake are sandy beaches for kids to play on, picnic tables, and barbeque pits. For overnight stays there is a wonderful developed campground with improved campsites, RV hookups and cabin rentals are available.
In the Winter months, the reservoir continues to be a recreational mecca. The lake freezes over providing the perfect location for ice fishing, a friendly game of pond hockey, or ice skating, the desert rocks providing a beautiful backdrop for a day outside. This year on February 3rd is the annual Steinaker ice fishing tournament, so try your luck or head out to spectate the festivities. There are also miles amazing of snowmobiling trails north of Steinaker on the Ashley National Forest.
If you are interested in geocaching, there is a geocache hidden somewhere near the park entrance. It has a clue “A great view of the lake.” Quadrants for the cache, specific to your GPS, can be found at https://stateparks.utah.gov/parks/steinaker/geo-cache/ .
The designated campsites located in the park are a great way to view the night sky. Steinaker just became one of only four parks in Utah holding the title of an “International Dark Sky Park.” This means the Park has taken great efforts to protect the area from light pollution and hosts events to throughout the year showcase the striking night sky. In the spring of 2018, they will be hosting an event to celebrate the recent designation, so don’t forget your telescope! Here is a great link for more information about the incredible night sky found at Steinaker. http://www.darksky.org/utahs-steinaker-state-park-becomes-worlds-newest-international-dark-sky-park/
Steinaker is a picturesque place to recreate in Utah with access to numerous activities year-round, don’t leave this state park unexplored! To find out about more upcoming events in at Steinaker State Park check out https://stateparks.utah.gov/parks/steinaker/events/.