A scenic Scofield getaway
Great fishing and more in beautiful southeastern Utah
DWR Social Media Coordinator
Early summer is a great time to experience southeastern Utah before the arid landscape really heats up. Additionally, this area has plenty of recreational opportunities and beautiful places to see. From Scofield Reservoir — for kayaking, fishing and more — to the burgeoning artists' town of Helper, where you can birdwatch along the scenic Riverwalk.
Southeastern Utah has something for every kind of adventurer to enjoy!
Located within Scofield State Park, the reservoir has boating access and two campsites, and anglers will find this southeastern fishery is making a huge comeback. Scofield Reservoir was once a Blue Ribbon rainbow trout fishery, but an expanding Utah chub population impacted the rainbow trout numbers and Blue Ribbon status was removed. We have stocked predators such as tiger muskie, wiper, cutthroat trout and tiger trout into Scofield Reservoir to control the Utah chub. We have seen chub numbers significantly decrease, and the quality of the rainbow trout fishery improve in recent years. Scofield has also become an excellent place to catch tiger muskie, wiper, cutthroat trout and tiger trout that we have stocked into the reservoir.
This waterbody is steadily climbing back up in quality, and is once again known for great rainbow trout fishing. The reservoir may regain its Blue Ribbon status at some point in the future. (Pro tip: Use mealworms or nightcrawlers to fish for any of the trout species in Scofield Reservoir.)
Gooseberry Reservoir is about a half-hour drive from Scofield Reservoir, and is located in the beautiful Manti-La Sal National Forest. At this 58-acre waterbody, you can catch good-sized rainbow trout, wild cutthroat trout or recently-stocked Arctic grayling — a unique opportunity for many anglers!
There's also a U.S. Forest Service campground on the west side of the reservoir for a convenient overnight stay.
If you're planning to harvest some fish on your visit to southeastern Utah, please check on current regulations, bag limits and species-specific slot limits in the current Utah Fishing Guidebook. Those rules — as well as stocking updates, conditions and tips for anglers — are also available on our interactive Fish Utah map.
Scofield State Park
Scofield State Park has spacious campgrounds, ramps for boaters and group-site pavilions for large parties. Stay at either the Mountain View or Madsen Bay campgrounds, which are run by the Utah Division of State Parks. You can also rent kayaks or paddle boards at the entrance booth if you'd like to experience the reservoir from a smaller watercraft.
Energy Loop and the Huntington and Eccles Canyons National Scenic Byway showcase amazing views of the southeastern corner of the state, including Electric Lake and Scofield Reservoir. This drive is a kind of choose-your-own-adventure trip, depending on how much of the route you'd like to tackle; without stops, it takes about two hours to complete the full byway circuit.
There are interesting sites all along the drive to stop at and take in, including historic homes of early settlers in the area and the Fairview Museum of History and Art. Or, explore the Nuck Woodward trail system — established in the 1930s — that offers great access for horseback riding, hiking and mountain biking.
Energy Loop was listed as a National American Byway in 2000. To be nominated for this title, a route must have specific cultural, archeological, historic and recreational qualities.
The town of Helper
Helper, Utah was settled in 1881 and named after the "helper" coal-powered steam engines that assisted freight trains making the tough journey through the surrounding canyons. Now, the city is known as a charming and walkable rural art hub. Stroll along historic Main Street, enjoy local restaurants and cafes, and end your day with some stargazing. (The International Dark Sky Association has designated Helper as an International Dark Sky Community.)
Courtesy Carbon County (see @carboncorridor on Instagram)
And don't miss the newly-restored Helper Riverwalk while you're in town. This wide community trail connects many popular spots, and is perfect for birdwatching, taking a scenic bike ride or even swimming! This area also provides important habitat for native fish, plants and wildlife. The trail begins at the corner of Ivy St. and S. 100 West.
How was your fishing trip?
Part of how we work to improve fisheries — and help anglers have a fun and successful experience — is by making sure our waterbodies are great places for anglers to spend time in Utah's outdoors. Post a review of your most recent fishing trip to the Fish Utah interactive map!