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Strawberry Reservoir Camping: Your Complete Guide for 2021

A scenic hour and a half drive south of Salt Lake City, Strawberry Reservoir, Utah is perched 7,200 feet high in Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest. Known best for its world-class trout fishing, the Strawberry Reservoir camping experience offers something for all visitors with boating, biking, hiking and horseback riding among the plentiful summertime activities. 

Strawberry Reservoir boasts four major campgrounds on its shores – each with access to well-stocked marinas offering daily watercraft rentals. With a combined 500+ campsites accommodating RV, tent and group camping you’ll be certain to find a site that suits your needs during the 2021 camping season. 

Overlooking Strawberry Reservoir
Photograph courtesy of Land Cruising Adventure Blog

In this Strawberry Reservoir Camping Guide, you’ll have at your fingertips everything you need to know about the Reservoir and the four shoreline campsites.  Among the information you’ll find: 

  • Detailed overview of the four Strawberry Reservoir campgrounds;
  • Dates and times for the 2021 Strawberry Reservoir camping season;
  • How to make phone and online camping reservations; 
  • Strawberry Reservoir camping weather;
  • Strawberry Reservoir Fishing and other popular activities

We are confident this 2021 Guide has answers to all your Strawberry Reservoir camping questions. We want to extend a special thanks to the Land Cruising Adventure blog for permitting us to use their extraordinary Strawberry Reservoir photography and Scott Catron for the gorgeous cover photo. 

The Four Campsites on Strawberry Reservoir, Utah

Four stunning campgrounds are nestled in the rolling sagebrush hills of Strawberry Reservoir – the largest reservoir in Utah.  Each campground is located in the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, the most heavily visited forest in the entire National Forest System [1]USDA Forest ServiceUinta is a Native American word meaning “pine tree” or “pine forest”.

Strawberry Reservoir Camping Site
Campsite at Strawberry Bay Campground courtesy of Land Cruising Adventure Blog

The four Strawberry Reservoir campsites are: 

  • Strawberry Bay Campground
  • Aspen Grove Campground
  • Renegade Campground; and
  • Soldier Creek Campground

Before we explore each campsite, let’s find out the dates of the Strawberry Reservoir 2021 camping season.  

2021 Strawberry Reservoir Camping Season

The four Strawberry Reservoir campgrounds are only open during the 6 months spanning from May to October, 2021. For reservations purposes, the camping season is broken up into three mini-seasons as follows: 

  • Early Season first-come, first-serve 
  • Peak Season
  • Late Season first-come, first-serve  

During the Early and Late Season first-come, first-serve seasons visitors are required to physically show up and claim a site. No online or over-the-phone campground bookings are permitted during these times. 

During the longer Peak season, visitors can reserve a campsite online or by telephone. We’ll detail how to make your Strawberry Reservoir campsite reservation below: 

How to Reserve a Strawberry Reservoir Camping Site

The booking process to reserve a Strawberry Reservoir campsite is straightforward. Both phone and online reservations are managed by Recreation.gov. When making reservations, it’s important to ensure you secure the campground and the specific campsite that will best suit your needs. You should be prepared with: 

  • Which campground you would like to stay at
  • Dates of Stay (having a range of dates in mind will help)
  • Size of party (single, family, group)
  • Type of Camping (RV, tent, trailer)
  • Required Amenities (full hookup required?)

Booking By Telephone

During the Peak Season, reservations can be made by phone for all four campgrounds by calling the Recreation.gov reservation line at 1-877-444-6777

Strawberry Reservoir Camping Reservations Screenshot
Screenshot of the Strawberry Reservoir online reservation system taken from Recreation.gov

Online Booking

To book online Reservations, simply go to the reservation sites below and scroll through the menu of available camping sites. 

  • Strawberry Bay camping reservations can be made online here
  • Aspen Grove camping reservations can be made online here
  • Renegade camping reservations can be made online here
  • Soldier Creek camping reservations can be made here

Reservations and payment can be made directly online. 

How far in advance can you book?

Reservations for individual campsites are accepted on a rolling 6-month basis – meaning that reservations for July 28, 2021 are being accepted on January 28th, 2021. Reservations must be made 5 days in advance. Reservations for group campsites are accepted on a rolling 1-year basis

As campsites begin to book up quickly, you should consider booking your trip 4-6 months ahead of time if you want to secure your desired site. 

Strawberry Reservoir: Types of Camping Offered 

While they all share sweeping views of Strawberry Reservoir in common, each campground differs in geography, size, amenities and pricing.  It is important to note that Strawberry Bay Campground is the only campground that has more than one full-hookup site available.

This map provides a visual for the layout of the Reservoir and four campsites. You will see ample fishing opportunities at each site as well as the location of the marinas and boat ramps. Map provided from the excellent UtahFishingInfo

 

Below you can find an extensive breakdown of each campsite updated for the 2021 season (fees and availability subject to change): 

Strawberry Bay Campground

Strawberry Bay is the largest and most popular of the three Strawberry Reservoir camping sites. The campground offers a variety of campsites for tents, RVs and groups of up to 50 people. The site is known for its cleanliness, friendliness and sweeping views of the Utah sky. 

There are seven (7) loops of campsites at Strawberry Bay with over 350 camping sites, with one loop (Loop B) offering 26 full-hookup sites. If your RV does not have a generator and you require electric, Strawberry Bay should be your preferred campground. 

Field overlooking water
Strawberry Bay campground. Photo courtesy of Land Cruising Adventure Blog

The 2021 camping season at Strawberry Bay is: 

Early Season First-Come, First ServeMay 14 – May 20, 2021
Peak SeasonMay 21 – September 6, 2021
Late Season First-Come, First ServeSeptember 7 – October 17, 2021

While the grounds do not have showers, flush toilets and drinking water are provided at the site. As far as amenities go, covered picnic shelters, tables, grills and campfire rings are found at most sites (although not all). Campers can purchase firewood from the site host. 

Below are the types of sites with total availability and 2021 cost: 

Type# AvailableCost per Day ($)Capacity
Single Sites295$24/day8
Full Hookup26$39/day8
Double Sites25$48/day16
*Group Sites6$232 (non-electric) and $348 (electric)50 per group
Long TermVaries$17/day (single) and $22 (double) 

Regulations at Strawberry Bay campground are as follows:

  • No ATVs or OHVs in campground. 
  • Pets must be leashed. 
  • Quiet hours are from 10PM to 6AM. 
  • No discharge of firearms or fireworks. 
  • 2-day minimum stay on weekends.
  • 3-day minimum stay on holiday weekends.

Aspen Grove Campground

Aspen Grove Campground is located above the Soldier Creek section of Strawberry Reservoir at 7,800 feet. The coveted Loop A is situated among dense stands of Aspen offering shade and stunning fall colors. Loop B is fairly exposed,  covered only with sagebrush and grasses. 

Aspen Grove has close to fifty (50) campsites over 2 loops for RV, tent and “Glamping”.  Yes, that’s right, you can book one of the 5 glamping yurts that are available on site! There is only 1 full-hookup site, but the remainder of the sites do not have electricity. The campground does have full flush bathrooms and fresh water. 

Gopher in grass
Wildlife at Strawberry Reservoir Campground courtesy of Land Cruising Adventure Blog

Aspen Grove provides campers with a good mix of wildlife (look out for the plentiful deer!) and stunning views of the Reservoir. When making reservations, be sure to ask for a spot on Loop A for the most shade. The best part about Aspen Grove is its close proximity to the Reservoir. Campers can simply walk down the paved path to access the boat ramp. 

One important note is that at the date of publication, this site does not accept credit card. Be sure to bring cash if you want plan on purchasing anything onsite from the Marina! 

The camping season at Aspen Grove is: 

Early Season First-Come, First ServeMay 14 – May 20, 2021
Peak SeasonMay 21 – September 6, 2021
Late Season First-Come, First ServeSeptember 7 – October 17, 2021

Below are the types of sites with total availability and 2021 cost: 

Type# AvailableCost per Day ($)Capacity
Single Sites36$24/day8
Double Sites9$48/day16
Full-Hookup Double1$63/day16
Glamping Tents5$133/day4

 Regulations of Aspen Grove Campground are as follows:

  • Only one (1) full-hookup available at this location
  • Gates close nightly at 10 p.m. Quiet hours are from 10pm-6am 
  • Drinking water may be shut off after Labor Day.
  • Pets must be leashed. 
  • No horses, ATV’s or OHV’s allowed in the campground. 
  • 3 day minimum stay on holiday weekends.
  • A per-day, per-vehicle fee will be collected on-site for extra vehicles.
  • Bring cash or checks for onsite payments. No credit cards.
  • No discharge of firearms or fireworks. 

Renegade Campground

Although not situated directly on Strawberry Reservoir, the Renegade campground is just a short skip away from the Reservoir’s boat launch area. With well-paved roads, it’s easy to access all the Reservoir has to offer. 

The campground offers several single and double-family campsites, but it’s important to note that unlike Strawberry Bay there are no electricity hookups or phones. However, flush toilets and drinking water are provided and sites come equipped with picnic tables, fire rings and grills. 

Improvements to the Renegade Campground include paved roads, a boat launch ramp, fish cleaning station and garbage service. Like Strawberry Bay, there are no shower facilities at this campground. 

The 2021 camping season at Renegade is: 

Early Season First-Come, First ServeMay 14 – May 20, 2021
Peak SeasonMay 21 – September 6, 2021
Late Season First-Come, First ServeSeptember 7 – September 26, 2021

Please note that the camping season at Renegade is over 3 weeks shorter than at Strawberry Bay and Soldier Creek. 

Below are the types of camping sites with total availability and 2021 cost: 

Type# AvailableCost per Day ($)Capacity
Single Sites57$24/day8
Double Sites5$48/day16
Long-term Sites7$17/day (single) and $22/day (double) 

 Rules of the Renegade campground are as follows:

  • No all terrain vehicles or off highway vehicles allowed in campground.
  • Pets must be leased at all times. 
  • Quiet hours are 10pm to 6am. 
  • No discharge of firearms or fireworks.  
  • 2-day minimum stay on weekends. 
  • 3-day minimum stay on holiday weekends.
  • Check out time is 1pm.

Soldier Creek Campground

Within walking distance to the Soldier Creek Marina, Soldier Creek Campground is a beautiful campground that offers sweeping views of the Reservoir. Like Renegade, Soldier Creek does not offer electrical hookups, but does offer flush toilets and fresh drinking water. 

Field of flowers
Flower fields at Strawberry Reservoir Campground. Photo courtesy of Land Cruising Adventure Blog

Campsites at Soldier Creek are close together and some campers complain about the generator noise coming from all sides. Campers do note, however, that the generous sites are plenty big to accommodate fifth wheels, large trailers, diesel pushers and other Class As. 

The 2021 camping season at Soldier Creek is: 

Early Season First-Come, First ServeMay 14 – May 20, 2021
Peak SeasonMay 21 – September 6, 2021
Late Season First-Come, First ServeSeptember 7 – October 17, 2021

One thing to be aware of is the exposed campgrounds make Soldier Creek susceptible to intense winds. Sites on Loop A provide shade from Pines and Aspens, however is furthest back from the Reservoir. Loops B, C and D are closest to the Reservoir, but are totally exposed and provide no protection from the sun or wind.

Below are the types of sites with total availability and 2021 cost: 

Type# AvailableCost per Day ($)Capacity
Single Sites150$23/day8
Double Sites10$46/day16
Group Sites1$348/day100 per group
Long Term SitesVaries$17/day (single) 

 Rules of the Soldier Creek campground are as follows:

  • No all terrain vehicles or off highway vehicles allowed in campground.
  • Pets must be leased at all times. 
  • Quiet hours are 10pm to 6am. 
  • No discharge of firearms or fireworks.  
  • 2-day minimum stay on weekends. 
  • 3-day minimum stay on holiday weekends.

Strawberry Reservoir Weather

With 12-hour days of sunshine, crisp nights and very little rain, Strawberry Reservoir boasts ideal camping weather. 

When planning your trip is important to remember that the Strawberry Reservoir camping sites do not enjoy the forest cover of other national parks that you may be used to. While Pines and Aspens will offer cover on a limited number of sites, you should be prepared to be exposed to the heat and wind during your camping trip. 

Beautiful Sunset
Gorgeous Strawberry Reservoir sunset. Photo courtesy of Land Cruising Adventure blog.

The Strawberry Reservoir weather will be mild during the months of May and June, while July and August can be very hot and humid. Things will cool back off at the end of the season in September and October. 

Here is what you can expect during the camping months: 

MonthAvg. High (F°)Avg. Low (F°)PrecipitationHours of Sunlight
May7247< 1 inch11 hours
June8354< 1 inch13 hours
July 9161< 1inch13 hours
August8959< 1inch12 hours
September7950< 1inch11 hours
October64391inch9 hours

Statistics compiled from Weather2

Although Strawberry Reservoir weather is fairly mild, the exposed campsites will leave you vulnerable to the wind and the strong Utah sun. Remember to pack a high SPF sunscreen! Most of the activities, especially those out on the Reservoir, will leave you susceptible to sunburn during the hot summer months 

Traveling to Strawberry Reservoir Camping Sites

The natural beauty and award-winning fishing of Strawberry Reservoir attracts visitors from all over the United States and abroad. The Reservoir is easy to reach by road and less than a 90-minute drive from Salt Lake City which has some of the best RV dealers and rental agencies in the West. 

The travel time from Salt Lake City, Utah is just under 1.5 hours. 

Here are the vehicle travel times from some of the biggest metropolitan areas in Utah and bordering states : 

  • Park City, Utah to Strawberry Bay Marina: 56 minutes (47 miles) 
  • Provo, Utah to Strawberry Bay Marina: 1 hour 5 minutes (55.6 miles)
  • Salt Lake City, Utah to Strawberry Bay Marina: 1 hour 18 minutes (74.8 miles)
  • Grand Junction, Colorado to Strawberry Bay Marina: 4 hours 16 minutes (242 miles)
  • Boise, Idaho to Strawberry Bay Marina: 6 hours 4 minutes (412 miles) 
  • Las Vegas, Nevada to Strawberry Bay Marina: 6 hours 18 minutes (433 miles)
  • Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona to Strawberry Bay Marina: 8 hours 17 minutes (510 miles)

The “largest” city next to Strawberry Reservoir is Heber City with a population of just over 17,000. While it certainly won’t be mistaken for Las Vegas, Heber City is a beautiful town that offers a wide array of outdoor activities such as biking, hunting, golf and cross-country skiing. 

If you are looking to stock up on supplies while on the road, there is a Heber City Walmart that permits overnight RV parking. There are also grocery chains such as Natural Grocer and Smith’s.  

Strawberry Reservoir Camping Activities

The main attraction of Strawberry Reservoir camping is the myriad of family-friendly activities. From Blue-Ribbon fishing to hiking, biking and boating visitors travel from all over the country to enjoy the rolling hills and glistening waters of this part of the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest. 

Let’s take a look at some of the most popular activities:  

Strawberry Reservoir Fishing

With over 19,000 acres of well-stocked fresh water, Strawberry Reservoir is a fisherman’s paradise. Attracting both professional anglers and hobbyists from across the world, the Reservoir gets over 1.5 million fishing hours a year – which is about the same as Lake Powell despite being less than 8% the size! [2]Utah Fishing Info 

Strawberry Reservoir is a Blue-Ribbon designated fishing location. Currently, only seven states currently have bodies of water designated as Blue Ribbon.  Official Blue Ribbon status is based on a set of established criteria which typically addresses factors such as water quality, accessibility and fish species. 

The variety of species at Strawberry Reservoir are plentiful and you will be likely to come across:

  • Crawdads
  • Cutthroat Trout
  • Kokanee Salmon
  • Rainbow Trout
  • Red Shiner
  • Utah Chub
  • Utah Sucker

The real attraction of Strawberry Reservoir fishing is the trout. Strawberry Reservoir is Utah’s most famous and popular trout fishing lake and has a well-earned reputation for consistently producing large rainbow and cutthroat trout. The Reservoir is carefully managed by the Utah DWR by stocking sterile Rainbow Trout large enough to escape predation by native predators. [3]Utah Fishing Info 

If you want to fish from shore, Spring & Fall are the best seasons. The water is cold and the fish can swim freely. In the Summer, the hot sun warms the surface and the fish seek the cooler temperatures of deep water. 

You can certainly catch some fish from shore, but the best way to reel em’ in is to take a boat or a float tube out in the water. You can rent a boat from either the Strawberry Bay Marina or the Soldier Creek marinas. Boat rentals can be purchased for either ½ or full days with some of the larger fishing boats being able hold 9-13 people. 

Rainbow Trout

If you prefer the expertise of a local guide, you can arrange for a 4 or 6 hour guided fishing tour of the Reservoir. You can be specific and request if you’d like to fish for Kokanee Salmon or Trout. 

Be aware that you will need to obtain an Utah fishing permit to fish. Utah fishing permits are easy to purchase, simply go to the Utah Division of Wildlife Service here to order your permit. 

Before you head out for Strawberry Reservoir fishing, there are just a few regulations you should know[4]Utah Fishing Info:

  • Limit: 4 fish (Trout & Kokanee are counted together)
  • No more than 2 can be cutthroat trout under 15 inches
  • No more than 1 can be a cutthroat trout over 22 inches
  • Cutthroat from 15 to 22 inches must be immediately released

Boating

Whether you are looking to fish or just enjoy a day out on the lake, Strawberry Bay Marina and the Soldier Creek Marina are both stocked with a wide variety of watercrafts for daily rental. Rentals from Strawberry Bay Marina and Lodge include: 

  • Kayaks (Strawberry Bay only)
  • Stand Up Paddle Boards (Strawberry Bay only)
  • Fishing Pontoons
  • Kokanee fishing boats

sailboat on lakeSailboat on Strawberry Bay Marina. Photo courtesy of Land Cruising Adventure Blog.

Some campers will complain that boat rentals are pricey, but the ease and convenience of renting a watercraft for a beautiful day on the Reservoir will make it worth your hard-earned money. 

Hiking

Strawberry Reservoir offers miles of scenic hiking trails ranging in difficulty from easy to extremely difficult.  The region is known for its wildflowers, Aspens and stunning lake views. Pants socks and closed toes are highly recommended since you’ll encounter tons of thistles on your hike. 

Our recommended resource for Strawberry Reservoir hiking is GAIA GPS – an awesome site to check out a wide range of Strawberry Reservoir hikes. GAIA provides all the details you need to choose the best hike for your ability including distance, starting and end points, level of difficulty and hiker reports. 

Horseback Riding  

A 30-minute drive from Strawberry Reservoir in nearby Heber City, riders rave that KB Horses offers one of the most exciting and friendliest horseback riding experiences you will ever have. 

The professional wranglers assess your riding comfort level to match you a horse specifically suited to your skillset. The incredible views and warm and friendly staff make this is can’t-miss day experience for couples and families alike. 

The final Word On Strawberry Reservoir 

As the long, dreary winter turns to Spring and you begin to plan your 2021 camping trips, Strawberry Reservoir camping needs to be near the top of your list. There are few places in the country that boast the rare combination of natural beauty, outdoor activities and wide-open Western skies that Strawberry Reservoir has to offer. In our humble opinion, it’s a “must-see” for any camping enthusiast. 

We encourage you to leave comments about your Strawberry Reservoir camping experience. If you have a story to share about your time at Strawberry Reservoir or another beautiful camping location, contact us. We love to share your enthusiasm for RVing and camping with our loyal readership. 

   Easy Travels, 

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