An East Canyon excursion
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Overlooking East Canyon Reservoir, with boaters and anglers in the water

An East Canyon excursion

Visit Utah's East Canyon Reservoir, which is just a quick drive from Ogden or Salt Lake City!

Jessica Horton
DWR Social Media Coordinator

There's a ton of fun to be had in northern Utah, both in the beautiful outdoors and in the region's bustling urban areas. Check out this travel guide for tips on great fishing at East Canyon and Echo reservoirs, camping, glamping, bird-watching and even a museum visit or two.

Fishing and outdoor fun

East Canyon Reservoir
Overlooking East Canyon Reservoir, with boaters and anglers in the water

East Canyon Reservoir is just under an hour's drive away from Salt Lake City or Ogden, making for an easy day trip or weekend getaway. This Blue Ribbon Fishery offers great fishing and more, with a huge variety of recreation opportunities within the state park that surrounds the reservoir. And like at many Utah state parks, you can rent small watercraft from on-site vendors. Maybe this is the chance to give kayak fishing a go?

East Canyon State Park also offers the opportunity to rent a yurt, RV or even a covered wagon for a unique glamping experience.

This waterbody is a great place to catch trout, especially when fall temperatures drop. When the weather gets cold, trout tend to head to shallow water, which is great for shore anglers. If you prefer fishing from a boat — whether your speed is motorized or a more leisurely human-powered canoe — fall is a great time to target warmwater species, like bass and wiper, which head to deeper water. Plus, we are now stocking kokanee salmon at East Canyon Reservoir for even more fishing diversity. (Note: While kokanee are exciting to see any time of year, anglers are not allowed to keep any kokanee salmon caught anywhere in Utah from Sept. 10 to Nov. 30, during the spawning season.)

East Canyon State Park also has great angler amenities like boat ramps, fish cleaning stations and restrooms.

Mormon Pioneer Historic Trail

The Mormon Pioneer Historic Trail is an amazing way to experience a piece of Utah's history and take in the natural beauty of this region at the same time. It's one of four National Historic Trails that wind through Utah, and access is very close to East Canyon State Park.

Overlooking the Mormon Pioneer Historic Trail from East Canyon Reservoir

Overlooking the Mormon Pioneer Historic Trail from East Canyon
Photo courtesy National Park Service

Adding this hike to your fishing trip itinerary is a fun way to stretch your legs and learn some U.S. history while you're at it. This trail was originally blazed by the ill-fated Donner party, who passed by East Canyon on their way to California in 1846. A year later, Brigham Young and a group of emigrants used the same route, and four days after passing through East Canyon, those settlers reached the Salt Lake Valley.

A part of the trail is accessible by taking a just under five-mile drive from the reservoir itself: From East Canyon State Park, head south on Highway 65, bear left at the fork onto Jeremy Ranch Road and continue on this road to the trailhead.

If you want to spend some extra time exploring this scenic and historically-rich part of the state, camping is available near the Mormon Flat Historical Marker at the Mormon Flat group campground, located along the trail route.

Echo Reservoir

If you haven't quite gotten your fill of fishing for one trip, plan a visit to this mid-sized waterbody for even more fantastic fall angling. At just a 20-minute drive east of East Canyon, Echo Reservoir is a slightly smaller fishery and has similar species as East Canyon, but also has yellow perch if that's a fish you're interested in catching. A new boat ramp is also set to open late fall of 2022, making boat angling access to this reservoir a snap.

View of the pristine water at Echo Reservoir, reflecting a partly cloudy sky

Cooling temperatures in the coming weeks means that anglers may start seeing ice form over the water, though safe thickness for ice fishing may take a while. Keep an eye on our social media and the Fish Utah interactive map for updates on great ice fishing at Echo Reservoir and other waterbodies throughout the state.

Ogden, Utah

Ogden's Historic 25th Street

Video courtesy

For dining, drinks and fun, stop by Ogden's historic 25th Street, which is about an hour north of East Canyon State Park. This Utah city is full of history — from being home to the former junction of the Union Pacific and Central Pacific transcontinental railways, to having a rough-and-tumble reputation at some points. (An interesting bit of O-town backstory: During Prohibition, it was rumored to be too rowdy for even Al Capone.)

Now, Ogden is a friendly town full of charm that still aims to remember its roots. You can see beautiful art deco architecture throughout downtown, notably Ogden High School and the U.S. Forest Service building. Ogden's Union Station, while no longer a functioning train station, is a building full of railroad history, and is home to the Utah State Railroad Museum and other exhibits.

And great food and drink isn't far away: Just head down bustling 25th Street and you're sure to find something to quell any craving.

Ogden River Parkway

The Ogden River Parkway is an easily-accessible trail system that winds through the city and is perfect for any skill level. You can choose to bike if you'd prefer, and leashed dogs are allowed. You'll see views of the Ogden River as it babbles through the cityscape. From the trail you can access parks, a few restaurants and even the Ogden Botanical Gardens. How's that for a peaceful way to spend the day in northern Utah?

A large rookery at Eccles Wildlife Education Center, with many heron perched


Eccles Wildlife Education Center

Also sweetly situated in northern Utah, just west of Farmington you'll find our very own George S. and Dolores Dore Eccles Wildlife Education Center. To toot our own horn a bit, the DWR-run education center, surrounding nature preserve and waterfowl management area are all pretty cool. Within a few minutes drive from the city, EWEC is a spot where you can feel totally transported into nature.

Upon visiting, you'll quickly start spotting a multitude of different wild bird species flying, nesting or floating all throughout the area. There are hundreds of wildlife species that call this WMA and nature preserve home, so make sure to bring your binoculars, camera and bird list. The 1.6-mile wheelchair- and stroller-friendly nature loop trail is a great way to experience the unique sights and sounds of the Farmington Bay wetlands up close.

How was your trip?

Woman holding a wiper fish caught at East Canyon Reservoir

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!

Jessica Horton

Jessica Horton

Jessica Horton began working for the DWR in 2021 and has enjoyed it ever since. She has a lot of love for Utah's wildlife and outdoors, so getting to learn about and participate in outreach for both of those things has been a blast. When she's not working, she enjoys eating pizza, watching reality TV and parenting her two cats.

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