Some consider Wasatch Mountain State Park a getaway without really getting away. Tucked away in a small canyon in the northwest corner of Midway, it offers true mountain camping, away from the fast-pace world of city living, and yet is only minutes away from stores, gas stops and eating establishments… and all this about an hour’s drive away for most Utahns.
The park is roughly 50 miles from downtown Salt Lake City and 30 miles from Provo’s city center. It’s no wonder Wasatch is one of the most popular state parks. It doesn’t hurt that the park also holds one of the state’s most popular golf courses.
It’s a hard combination to beat—mountain camping and championship golf—and right next door are the sit-down restaurants, full-service stations, shopping centers, movie house and laundry list of assorted activities, such as boating, fishing, swimming, special events, and a few miles away, another 36-hole championship golf course—Soldier Hollow.
Lake Course, Wasatch Mountain State Park Golf Course. Photo courtesy of Utah State Parks and Recreation.
The park was opened in 1961 and is today considered one of Utah’s most developed state parks. Named after the mountain range it butts up against, the park covers 21,592 acres and sits at an elevation of 5,900 feet.
It comes in two sections—one for camping and one for golf.
Available are 139 campsites, complete with tables, barbecue grills, water and electrical hookups. Most appealing is the camp areas, carved out within thick mountain vegetation, offering campers a little privacy and a true outdoor atmosphere.
The golf course is one of the most popular in Utah, along with being affordable and scenic. Golf Digest listed the course as one of the Best Places to Play. And, as noted, a few miles to the South is Soldier Hollow, another state-owned, 36-hole golf complex that also gets high marks.
A popular side dish is off-highway travel. Nearby is the Dutch Hollow Trail system of roughly 19 miles open to non-motorized travel—foot, mountain bike or horse. There’s nearly 30 miles of trails and dirt roads open to off-highway vehicle travel, with another 30 on Forest Service land.
NRCC OHV Ride, ATV Riding near Little Deer Creek at Wasatch Mountain State Park. Photo courtesy of Utah State Parks and Recreation.
The area is also home to a wide range of wildlife, including deer, elk, moose, sandhill cranes, turkeys, red-tailed hawks and golden eagles, all of which are common visitors, along with seldom seen animals such as bobcats, mountain lions and coyotes.
A short distance away are two of Utah’s most popular reservoirs—Deer Creek and Jordanelle. Both mid-elevation waters are open to summer recreation like swimming and boating, and to year-round fishing.
Nature Hike at Historic Huber Grove. Photo courtesy of Utah State Parks and Recreation.
The park is also open to winter activities, like cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling. At the northern end of the park there will be, when the snow falls, a 7-mile groomed track for skiers. At Solider Hollow, site of the 2002 Olympic Nordic events, there is a 31-kilometer trail system for skiers and snowshoers.
Snowmobilers will have access to nearly 90 miles of maintained trails. All this is available within a comfortable and relatively short getaway from home.
Soldier Hollow Golf—435-654-7442
Reservations: 800-322-3770 or online at ReserveAmerica
Open year-round: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Entrance Fees: Day use $5 per vehicle
Camping: $20 to $25 overnight for services. $13 primitive.
Cabins: $65 per night
Group Day Use: $125
Group Overnight: $250
Golf: $42 per 18 with cart