Strawberry Reservoir, Utah – Springtime Beauty with Ice & Snow!

April 2018 – We left Goblin Valley State Park with big smiles on our faces, but a layer of sand covered everything in the RV! It was time to get away from the dusty desert.

Starvation Reservoir Utah Indian Bay campground RV trip-min

Starvation Reservoir, Utah. Windy, but not dusty!

The fun thing about getting away from the red rock hot spots that are so popular in Spring and going into the greener, more mountainous areas that are filled with RVers come summer, is that we can get ahead of the crowds.

As we headed towards northern Utah, we found ourselves so far ahead of the season that at the interestingly named Starvation Reservoir one campsite’s picnic table was awash in waves!

Picnic Table in water Starvation Reservoir Utah RV trip-min

Pre-season camping sometimes involves unusual situations like waves breaking over the picnic table!

But it was at Strawberry Reservoir where we found true beauty and solitude. This fabulous and enormous lake is surrounded by campgrounds that are filled with weekenders and vacationers in the summer, but when we arrived in April all we found was closed campgrounds and a vast sheet of snow covered ice!

Strawberry Reservoir Utah frozen lake RV trip-min

Strawberry Reservoir was completely iced over with snow on top!

Strawberry Reservoir Utah snow on frozen lake-min

Strawberry Reservoir, Utah – The whole lake was iced over.

Ice and snow Stawberry Reservoir Utah in early Spring-min

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Strawberry Reservoir Utah in snow and black and white-min

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It was absolutely beautiful, and we did a slow drive all through the park. The roads weren’t all open, so we had to turn around before seeing everything, but how cool it was to be the only souls there.

Snowy landscape frozen Stawberry Reservoir Utah in early Spring-min

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Snow and Melting ice Strawberry Reservoir in Utah-min

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The ice was melting along the shoreline, creating beautiful patterns of white and blue.

Strawberry Reservoir melting ice on lake Utah RV trip-min

There was a thin strip of by the shore.

Strawberry Reservoir Utah frozen in early spring-min

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Strawberry Reservoir in Utah Early spring RV trip-min

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Despite the melting ice by the shoreline, there was snow on the mountains and a wonderfully brisk chill in the sun-filled air.

Early spring Strawberry Reservoir in Utah RV trip-min

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Melting ice Strawberry Reservoir in Utah RV trip-min

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Melting ice Stawberry Reservoir Utah in early Spring-min

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Some herons and other water birds were fishing at the shore.

Herons fishing at Strawberry Reservoir Utah in snow and black and white-min

Birds fish by the shore.

And a brave ice fisherman was set up at a fishing hole carved through the ice in one of the coves!

Ice fishing Strawberry Reservoir Utah in Spring-min

An ice fisherman waits patiently by a hole in the ice.

There are boating and camping facilities along the shores of Strawberry Lake, and we drove down to Strawberry Bay Marina. There wasn’t anyone around, although the buildings looked like they must be full of life and activity in the summertime.

The floating docks had been pulled up into the parking lot for the winter. and Buddy hopped up on them and had a look around.

Puppy explores the docks at Strawberry Reservoir Utah-min

These docks will be floating in the lake soon.

At the Strawberry Reservoir Visitor’s Center there’s a nice little nature trail on a boardwalk that runs alongside the Strawberry River and crosses it a few times on the way to a fish hatchery. The Visitor’s Center wasn’t open, and when we first took a look in the morning, the boardwalk was covered frost.

Frost on fish hatchery boardwalk trail Strawberry Reservoir Utah RV trip-min

The boardwalk on the nature trail was frosted over when we first stopped by.

When we returned a little later, the frost had melted and we took a walk through some very pretty scenery.

Walking the boardwalk to the fish hatchery Strawberry Reservoir Utah-min

Frost-free by afternoon, we enjoyed this brief elevated nature walk.

Boardwalk to fish hatchery Strawberry Reservoir Utah snowcapped mountains-min

Several bridges crossed the Strawberry River.

There wasn’t a soul around, and the fish holding pens at the fish hatchery had been drained for winter. But then we noticed a car parked in a dirt lot and saw a fellow emerge from a doorway. It turned out he was a Fisheries Biologist who works at the reservoir year round studying the fish and managing the stock.

We had a fascinating conversation about fish and fish management, and he described the long term study he had been working on.

Boardwalk to fish hatchery Strawberry Reservoir Utah-min

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It struck me that this isn’t a bad place to work collecting fish lifestyle data and helping the fish thrive, even if it is a little remote and very cold in mid-winter!

There are three primary fish species in Strawberry Reservoir that live at different depths: Cutthroat and Rainbow Trout and Kokanee Salmon.

I was surprised to learn that, when they are ready, the fish migrate out of the reservoir and up the Strawberry River towards the hatchery at night rather than during the day. When they sense the electric field of an electric fence they make the turn that takes them into the hatchery!

Golden willows Strawberry Reservoir Utah with snowcapped mountains-min

Spawning fish swim up the Strawberry River overnight and are then guided to the fish hatchery.

Bushes in the landscape all around the Strawberry River and Reservoir were a beautiful golden hue, and the Fisheries Biologist explained that these were willows that had been planted in huge numbers all around the area to help with erosion.

Colorful willows Strawberry Reservoir Utah early Spring RV trip-min

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Golden willows and fenceposts Strawberry Reservoir Utah-min

Willows planted to stave off erosion erupt in golden tones in the afternoon.

What we loved was the way these willows lit up our photos. What gorgeous colors!

Willows and snowcapped mountains Strawberry Reservoir Utah-min

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Strawberry Reservoir is undoubtedly a fantastic Utah destination to visit for boating and fishing during the warmer months of summer. And even though it’s 7,200′ elevation makes it slow to warm up in the Spring, it is still well worth a stop to see the beauty of the lake when it is iced over and the surrounding mountains are covered in snow!

Golden willows Strawberry Reservoir snowcapped mountains in Utah-min

It wasn’t camping season yet, but our stop at Utah’s Strawberry Reservoir was very rewarding!

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More info about Strawberry Reservoir:

Another fun fish encounter we bumped into:

The Salmon Festival in Stanley, Idaho – A neat celebration of all things salmon, about halfway down the post.

Other blog posts from northern Utah:

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14 thoughts on “Strawberry Reservoir, Utah – Springtime Beauty with Ice & Snow!

  1. Just beautiful! Buddy’s getting big. 🙂
    Love the people we meet on the road. So interesting. Love the golden willows.

    • Thanks, Phil!!! We were so surprised by the beauty of this area, especially off season. Buddy is definitely growing up. He’s 22 lbs. now and he can run 6 minute miles alongside our bikes no problem!!

  2. Always kind of nice to go through a complete weather/scenery change for a few days. And especially when you’re one of the only ones there. The willows were just gorgeous!

    • We love most of the places we visit, but as you say, Debbie, it is so nice after being immersed in one kind of scenery to be able to jump into another. That’s one reason we love the full-time RV lifestyle so much. If the weather or scenery begins to get to us, we just hitch up and go somewhere else. We are really blessed that North America has so much variety!!

  3. I was excited to get home and find a new post! I really look forward to each and every one. Great pictures again…the ones provided by the outstanding photography and those painted by your story. I agree with Phil, Buddy is getting bigger. I look forward to your next stop! JJ

    • Thank you very much, Jeff. I’ve had a little more time available plus we’ve been moving to new places, so I’ve been trying to get extra posts published. I sure appreciate your enthusiasm. Buddy is definitely getting bigger — now we have more of him to love!!

  4. Always enjoy reading your posts! We are actually at Lost Dutchman State Park in Apache Junction AZ right now, leaving tomorrow for Bakersfield CA. We visited several of the same spots that you two visited when you were here, plus did some fantastic hikes around the Superstition Mountains. Oh and we also FT in a 43′ fifth wheel. Whenever I see a Hitchhiker on the road, I check to see if it is you! Maybe someday, somewhere, our paths will cross!

    • That’s such a great area, Connie. I’m glad you enjoyed it. Also good to know that your 43 footer was comfortable in the campsites at Lost Dutchman!! Thanks for checking all the Hitchhikers you run into to see if it’s us. We’ve had a few people come across us in our travels, and it’s so much fun to meet up with someone who reads our blog. Hopefully our paths will cross somewhere along the line. Enjoy Bakersfield!!

  5. The peaceful “off season”….beauty because it’s “all yours”. Especially loved the ethereal photo of the birds fishing at the shore…a Japanese effect.

  6. These landscape pictures are just gorgeous! Desolate and still yet so much movement in composition with the snow cover. And I love it when Buddy pops into the scene. Cutie!!

    • Wow! Thank you, Edith!!! The stirrings of Spring beneath the snow and on the edges of the ice made it especially lovely. We could feel the excitement of the upcoming summer there even though all was quiet for the moment…

    • We’ve had our cold spells lately, Pete, and for a few days, the northern part of Utah we were traveling in was the coldest part of the US!! And I can’t say the forecast has a lot of warming in it for us right now either!! But that keeps the beautiful places very quiet…

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