You might be in good company if you visit Enterprise Reservoir in Enterprise, Utah. That is, if you consider mule deer, mallard ducks, free-range cattle, coyotes and mountain lions good company instead of humans. On a recent afternoon road trip along Old Highway 120 to Enterprise Reservoir, a sense of anticipation grew at the opportunity to spend time in a place where, once inside, a total of only two cars came leisurely rolling along the roadway during a two-hour visit. The reservoir’s expansive landscape consists of two clear blue water reservoirs, volcanic tuff rocks, pinyon-juniper trees, and lush green grass dotted with content cattle, which literally seem to be smiling at their good fortune.
Bring a fishing rod and a small non-motorized boat, canoe or kayak. All are welcome at the reservoir, including your canine companions, located 12 miles from the heart of Enterprise. Slide into a “lake” where on most days, you might be reminded of how big, vast and uncrowded the world can be, and where trout and smallmouth bass flourish.
Camping sites with grills, tables, and shade trellises are also available on a first come, first-served basis. “Without Enterprise Reservoir, the City of Enterprise would not exist,” explains Jim Simpkins, President of the Enterprise Reservoir and Canal Company.
Agreeing that Enterprise Reservoir could most likely be called a hidden destination, Simpkins credits the vision and tenacity of hard-working pioneers who in 1895, undertook the task of building the reservoir through the leadership of Orson Huntsman. “His idea wasn’t very popular back then,” Simpkins, 79, said. “But he was guided by the spirit and not by engineers. He owned all the property that Enterprise now sits on. He charged less than $10 to anyone for a building lot in 1896.”
After an earthquake shook the nearby town of Hebron in 1902, people eagerly began flocking to Enterprise, drawn in by one of the biggest necessities to support life: water. The reservoir was dedicated to the City of Enterprise in 1903, and has undergone substantial and costly improvements throughout the years, continuing to function at full capacity for a town that today has approximately 2,000 residents.
“Water means a lot to us,” Simpkins said. “It’s obviously a very important resource.” Catching reservoir overflow is Pine Creek, which runs along the five-mile stretch of Enterprise Reservoir Road off Old Highway 120. The water from the reservoir is used for agriculture rather than culinary water.
Pine Creek adjoins Shoal Creek, located approximately eight miles from Enterprise near Beryl Junction, creating a unified and abundant waterway. Perhaps it’s time to pack a picnic lunch, a fishing pole, or your favorite small watercraft and head to Enterprise Reservoir. Visitors have a lot to look forward to.