Water Adventures in a Desert State – Ogden, Utah

Despite being a desert state Utah has plentiful bodies of water, all of which offer photo-worthy sights and lots of surface area to cruise. 


Photo courtesy of Rugg Media.

The winter snow isn’t the only place to get your ski on in Utah.

Jet skiing is a popular activity for adventure seekers and relaxation connoisseurs alike. Utahns love jet skiing for many reasons. Trevor Stauffer says he loves drifting around, doing donuts and watching the wakes he creates. Mikayla Sanders says she can go anywhere she wants to let her mind clear. Bret Hansen loves the wind flowing through his hair as he is “hitting the waves.” Katelyn Bindrup Kopecky says it makes her feel alive and helps her recognize how beautiful our world truly is. 

There are Facebook groups dedicated to jet skiing, jet ski meetups, and companies all across the state that offer jet ski classes and rentals. It is no wonder people love it so much a day on the water is a great way to spend time with family and friends and studies have even shown that jet skiing can show health benefits such as muscle strengthening, improved balance, stress relief, and improved blood circulation. This makes for a great way to get a workout in without even realizing it. (Having fun is good for your mental health, too!) 

The appeal is certainly heightened in Utah by the diverse scenery. You can stop at any of the boatable lakes in the state and find yourself zipping around the water with a beautiful view. 

With Utah being a desert state, and the second driest in the nation, it can be deceiving for those who love water recreation. In fact, Utah has plentiful bodies of water, all of which offer photo-worthy sights and lots of surface area to cruise. 

There are more than 100 options for lakes and reservoirs to visit if you want to try watersports, with some of the most popular being Lake Powell, Bear Lake, Flaming Gorge, Deer Creek, and Pineview Reservoirs.

Pineview Reservoir in Weber County is a favorite for those living in Northern Utah. Nestled in Ogden Canyon, Pineview offers a mountainous landscape on every side of the reservoir, with calm waters that stay at a comfortable temperature in the summer, and many beach choices on which to set down your cooler. Pineview has pay-to-visit and free points of entry. 

The sandy and mud beaches are all open from 6am to 10pm, with boat launches located at Cemetery Point Marina, Port Ramp Marina, and Anderson Cove Campground Boat Ramp. There is a designated swim area for those who are only interested in open-water swimming on the furthest west end of the reservoir, and several off-road entry points. 

Jet skiers tend to appreciate the low wind levels that come with being surrounded by mountains, the many options for pass purchases, and the nearby amenities. Many jet-skiers coming from out-of-the-area stay at nearby campsites or lodging options. 

You can access Pineview Reservoir via Trapper’s Loop or Ogden Canyon, which makes it easy for visitors to get there no matter which direction they’re coming from. Twitter user Hailey Higgins shared that, “Jet skiing at Pineview is my most favorite thing to do in the whole wide world.”

People living in Ogden take day trips to Pineview all summer long, and it remains a top destination every year, making jet skiing and other lake activities in the area extremely popular. 

If you want to give a water ski a whirl but don’t want to buy one of your own, you can rent one from a company like Club Powersports who specialize in rentable machines. Club Powersports has large inventory of professionally managed and maintained power sports equipment and watercraft. 

While jet skiing is a blast, it is important to follow safety guidelines: Always wear protective equipment like a life jacket, eye protection and a wetsuit if it is chilly; Do not operate the jet ski in less than 24 inches of water; Keep a safety whistle and fire extinguisher handy; And keep your clothes, limbs and hair away from the pump intake. You will also want to ensure you are following title and registration requirements as outlined on dmv.utah.gov and checking the lake’s rules and regulations before choosing to use it for watersports. 

Remember: keep the water clean, yourself safe, and your hat secured.

Have a great summer on the water here in the Beehive State!


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