Jordanelle Reservoir, photo by Aspen Creek Realty

Monday, July 14 marked the hottest day of the year in Salt Lake, a triple-digit scorcher that turned asphalt into lava and bare feet into tender pieces of grilled chicken. July promises more of the same soul sweltering heat, which means it's time to divert our busy bee ingenuity away from trivialities like the impending Wasatch Fault earthquake towards more important issues—namely avoiding heatstroke.

Lucky for us, the hard thinking is already done. Thanks to the watercraft manufacturers who bless us with jet skis and powerboats, all that remains is to learn the best spots to put in and cool off this time of year. With that in mind, here are the current conditions for the most popular boating spots nearby along with rental info.

East Canyon

Found northeast of Salt Lake, East Canyon is accessible via Highway 65 and Jeremy Ranch Road. Water temperatures right now are hovering around 68 degrees, which is about as brisk as the famously cold Bear Lake. The cool of this mountain reservoir, however, will be balanced nicely by the high temperatures of July. Boat rentals and dry storage can be found at the onsite ClubRec, and there are modern restrooms and picnic cabanas as well.


In addition to balmier water temperatures than East Canyon, Jordanelle boasts a number of events. Foremost among these is Fire on the Water on July 19, a massive fireworks show over the reservoir. A $17 per car fee gives you access to evening festivities including a live band, hot dog eating contest, boat Parade of Lights and closing fireworks. The Jordenelle Marina has boat, jet ski, paddle board and kayak rentals as well as concession stand should you get peckish out on the water. With Willard Bay suffering painful lows in water level, Jordanelle is bound to see more traffic. Therefore, dusk and dawn patrols are recommended to avoid overcrowding.

Deer Creek

At 68 percent, water levels at Deer Creek are precisely as low as the 68 degree water temperature, so exercise caution around the loading ramps. Deer Creek is found at the top of Provo Canyon, tucked away near Midway, and one of the most scenic reservoirs in the Wasatch. The Deer Creek Island Resort, which offers rentals as well catered food services, also provides private wakeboarding lessons and group clinics throughout most of the summer. Deer Creek is another high-elevation reservoir, so while Utah's scorching summers are tempered in the majestic shadow of Mt. Timpanogas, the window of watersports opportunity here is open only briefly.