Joe's Valley Reservoir Campground is located in a high mountain valley next to its namesake, at an elevation of 7,000 feet. Visitors enjoy boating, fishing and exploring the surrounding off-road vehicle trails.
The reservoir offers good fishing for cutthroat trout, rainbow trout, tiger muskie and trophy splake. Boating, water skiing and canoeing are popular on the lake. A boat ramp is located nearby on the eastern shoreline. Horseback riding, bouldering, hiking and mountain biking are popular in the area as well.
The campground contains several single- and double-family campsites, all of which are accessible. Many sites have lake views and some sites are shaded. Vault toilets and drinking water are provided. Roads and parking spurs are paved.
Joe's Valley is situated on the Wasatch Plateau in Central Utah. Juniper, pinyon pine and sagebrush cover the area, and aspens and pines dot the surrounding hillsides.
Renowned bouldering opportunities are located in nearby Straight and Cottonwood Canyons. Popular mountain fisheries at Grassy Lake, Pete's Hole, and Potters Ponds are all within 10 miles of the group site. The 370-mile Arapeen Off-Highway Vehicle Trail System can be accessed directly from the Reeder Trailhead. Attractions at Joes Valley Reservoir include the Orange Olsen Guard Station rental, and Joes Valley Group Pavilion.
ADA Access: N
Since I was about 3, my family has gone to Joes Valley Reservoir for an extended family reunion! We tend to reserve the entire lower loop for a week in August. It's a bit of a downhill walk to the lake, but worth it given that there are plenty of fish and crawdads to catch for a big fish-fry!
There are toilets and picnic tables, and the roads have been paved in recent years. The best part about the campground is its ability to host a large group. The area is spread out yet open enough to feel like everyone has their own space and still together as a group. So, if you're wanting to plan a family trip, this may be where you want to go!
It is a bit noisy, however. Everyone has 4-wheelers and most people bring RV's with generators… so expect some noise, lol.
Joe's Valley Reservoir Campground is in the Manti-La Sal Forest about 22 miles off the main road (Route 10). The water and OHV trails outside the campground are what draw people here.
No campsites are close to the water, but you can find a path to the water from the campground and there are nice views from many sites. The marina and boat launch are past the campground entrance. This is not the type of place for a quiet camping experience, but I didn't expect that at a reservoir campground with nearby OHV trails. (Trail maps are on the back of the information board as you enter.)
Sites 1 through 7 are the only non-reservation sites, but we had no problem on a Thursday afternoon choosing a site for one night among the reservable sites. Based on the reservation placards on the posts, the campground was filling up on Friday.
Our site (23) was wide and deep and had lots of trees. We enjoyed the privacy as we couldn't see sites on either side, and we were far enough back that we couldn't see the site across the road.
As you enter, sites 7 up through the 20s have many tall trees. The other side of the campground is more open, and the trees are not as tall.
Double sites (D on the post, 17 out of 48 sites) cost $18 instead of $10. A double site has two picnic tables and a pad that is double in width. There are no discounts on double sites with a pass such as the America the Beautiful Senior Pass.
Tenters, this doesn't look like the best place for tents, but people were managing to find relatively flat spots.
Pads on single sites for back in or pullthrough easily accommodate large trailers and fifth wheel campers. That translates to many generators which can be run from 6 am to 10 pm.
ATVs and larger OHVs are popular. People were riding the smaller ones on the campground loops…fast.
This is a no frills Forest Service campground with vault toilets and drinking water. Be prepared to take your trash home because there are no dumpsters.
Right near the reservoir, I had a freat, secluded time, while in between bouldering seasion. Will visit again but will camp roght outside park with the other renegades