Little Dell is a 20 minute drive from Salt Lake City. It's the perfect spot for a quick kayak after work.

Located just 20 minutes from the heart of Salt Lake City, Little Dell Reservoir is the perfect quick getaway for a recreational paddler or angler.

The reservoir is surrounded by mountains in Parleys Canyon, just off of Interstate 80 and along Utah State Route 65. The parking and ranger station are located on the north side of the reservoir, and there is a $5 fee for a day. When you enter the parking area, turn right to get to the put-in. During the off-season (typically October-April), this area is closed and requires paddlers to portage down to the water, for which having a friend or portage wheels would be extremely helpful.

Chances are you will be the only one on the reservoir. There are plenty of areas to explore and spot wildlife along the shore or on the water. It's a perfect place to have a casual paddle with friends or a quick training session after work. If you'd like to spend the day, there are plenty of picnic tables conveniently placed along the shore.

Things to keep in mind: Little Dell keeps the drinking water for Salt Lake City, so no swimming is allowed. The dam on the southwest end is heavily protected and boaters need to stay 200 feet away. Fishing is allowed, however bait fishing is not allowed. Check with the ranger for current fishing regulations.

My favorite place to eat after kayaking at Little Dell is in Emigration Canyon (on the way back to the city), called Ruth's Diner. Don't miss the chocolate pudding for dessert!

Pack List

  • Kayak
  • PFD (Personal Floatation Device)
  • Paddle
  • Kayak skirt
  • Waterproof camera
  • Water
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
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Activities Chillin, Fishing, Photography, Kayaking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Features
Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Handicap Accessible
Lake
Picnic Area
Scenic

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

Great Scenery

Came here on a rainy weekend in early April. The views were stunning and the water was so calm it was like glass. We had the place all to ourselves, with the exception of one lone kayaker. There are, however, some restrictions, particularly regarding dogs. Something to keep in mind. Overall a great little find- and only 30 minutes or so from downtown!

little deuce coup

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NwgGuadsqyo

Not For Paddle Boarders

This beautiful reservoir is off limits to paddle boarders and dogs. I drove there after reading the other review. Now I realize "paddlers" is referring to those who will be kayaking. I was not even allowed to walk around, as I had a small dog in the car with me.


Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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