Joes Valley Recreation Area

Area Status: Open

Joe's Valley is situated on the Wasatch Plateau in Central Utah.  A 1200-acre reservoir (Joes Valley Reservoir) is the center of activities in the Joes Valley Recreation Area.  This recreation area includes picnic sites, campgrounds, a pavilion group campground, fishing sites, a marina, boat ramps, hiking trails, OHV trails, climbing sites, and an overlook/observation site.  Pinyon pine, juniper, and sagebrush cover the area, while aspen and pine trees dot the surrounding hillsides.  Just 14 miles northwest of Orangeville, it is the perfect basecamp for boating, water skiing, canoeing, fishing, hunting, camping, hiking, climbing, mountain biking, horseback riding, and OHVing.  Vault toilets and drinking water are provided in the campgrounds.  Roads and parking spurs are paved.  Joe's Valley Resort is also nearby, offering a restaurant and general store.  Boat, personal watercraft, off-highway vehicle (OHV) and bike rentals are available there.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: All sites in the Joes Valley Recreation Area are open for use. Water may not always be available at the campground. Bring your own water. The Orangeville to Ephraim Road is impassable at higher elevations.
Rentals & Guides: Joe's Valley Resort nearby has boat, personal watercraft, ATV and bike rentals.

Area Amenities: Accessible, Boat ramp, Tent camping, Camping trailer, Picnic tables, Toilets, Drinking water, Parking
Open Season: May
Usage: Medium-Heavy
Best Season: Summer
Restrictions: See Manti-La Sal National Forest's Camping and Travel Rules
Closest Towns: Orangeville, UT
Operated By: Forest Service

General Information


Joes Valley Recreation Area begins ~14 miles northwest of Orangeville, Utah, off of State Route 29.  From Orangeville, Utah, head northwest on State Route 29 and travel for ~14 miles until you see the reservoir.  The road is paved, but a bit narrow.  Straight Canyon is a favorite destination for climbers and fishers, so watch for pedestrians and vehicles on the shoulders.


Parking is available at fishing and boating areas around the lake.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Campground Camping

Recreation areas with activity Campground Camping:

Joes Valley Campground is adjacent to the reservoir.  This campground provides vault toilets and potable water (see current conditions), but no electricity. Roads and parking spurs are paved, and each site has a picnic table and fire ring. Some sites are shaded. Single and double sites are available, as well as wheelchair accessible sites and restrooms. Boat ramp campsites can no longer be reserved, but the parking lot is now used for day use and overflow parking when the main campground is full.


No. of Sites 32 single site(s), 17 double site(s)
Reservation Info Not reservable
Fire Information Fire Rings
No. of Accessible sites 5 of 49
Sleeping Shelter None
Fees: $10-$18 daily
Reservation required?: Y
Reservation info: Can be reserved online or by calling 1-877-444-6777, International 518-885-3639, TDD 1-877-833-6777.
Best Season: Summer

Rock Climbing

Recreation areas with activity Rock Climbing:

Straight Canyon, near Joes Valley is a favorite for bouldering.  Joes attracts bouldering enthusiasts from around the world to try their skills on some of the valley's classic problems with sandy landings, bomb-proof holds, and gorgeous surroundings.

Current Conditions: Spring is a favorite time for climbing in Straight Canyon.
Status: Open
Difficulty Level: Easy to Difficult

Lake and Pond Fishing

Recreation areas with activity Lake and Pond Fishing:

Joes Valley Reservoir offers fishing for cutthroat, rainbow trout, and trophy splake.

Current Conditions: A spring supplying the area dried up during 2010.  Although the Forest Service is attempting to restore water service, water may not be available during 2011 season.  Please come prepared with your own potable water.
Status description: Fishing is available year-round.
Rental info: Joes Valley Resort rents watercraft, OHVs and bikes.  Food Ranch in Orangeville has groceries, gas, propane, water, air and some sporting goods.

Boating - Motorized

Recreation areas with activity Boating - Motorized:

Joes Valley offers opportunities for motorboats, personal watercraft, waterskiing.

Current Conditions: Ice is off the reservoir, although water is extremely cold.  Watersports are best in summer when water is warmer.
Best Season: Summer
Rental info: Joes Valley Resort rents personal watercraft, and other gear.


Camping trailer: Yes
Picnic tables: Yes
Tent camping: Yes
Parking: Yes
Toilets: Yes
Accessible: Campsites and toilets accessible to wheelchairs.
Boat ramp: Yes
Drinking water: Yes (Seasonal)

Related Information

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


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