Johnson Valley Reservoir, Utah, USA
Johnson Valley Reservoir is a 700-acre lake just three miles northeast of Fish Lake in the heart of Utah’s Fishlake National Forest. The reservoir was created in 1899, ten years after Fish Lake was purchased from the Paiute Indians. Because of rapid settlement in Utah in the late 1800s, construction of storage reservoirs became necessary to manage water resources. The State of Utah built a dam on…
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Welcome to the ultimate guide to Johnson Valley Reservoir! Article topics include:
- All About Johnson Valley Reservoir
- Where to Stay
- Vacation Planning Tools
- Things to Do
- Known Fish Species
- Johnson Valley Reservoir Map
- Statistics / Weather / Helpful Links
- Johnson Valley Reservoir Gifts
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All About Johnson Valley Reservoir, UT
Johnson Valley Reservoir is a 700-acre lake just three miles northeast of Fish Lake in the heart of Utah’s Fishlake National Forest. The reservoir was created in 1899, ten years after Fish Lake was purchased from the Paiute Indians. Because of rapid settlement in Utah in the late 1800s, construction of storage reservoirs became necessary to manage water resources. The State of Utah built a dam on Sevenmile Creek, and Johnson Valley Reservoir is the result. The meadow where it lies is part of the upper section of the Fish Lake Plateau. Surrounded by rolling hills and tall aspens, the reservoir seems like the perfect little mountain swimming hole. The meadow itself is most likely an ancient caldera, as evidenced by the volcanic deposits found around the reservoir.
Johnson Valley Reservoir receives much less traffic than its popular neighbor, Fish Lake. The shoreline is publicly owned and administered by the Fishlake National Forest with unrestricted public access. The reservoir is used for recreation, coldwater game fishing, and agriculture. The Fremont Irrigation Company administers the reservoir and dam. Open grazing and erosion have caused the lake to be classified as hypereutrophic (high nutrient levels).
A boat launch is located on the northern section of Johnson Valley Reservoir, and it is free for public use. You will also find a few picnic tables in the same area – but no public restrooms. Since the reservoir lies within the Fishlake National Forest, the Forest Service maintains two campgrounds – one completely free and completely primitive (no drinking water), and one that offers water but no electricity. There are also a few housekeeping cabins with kitchens.
Though Johnson Valley Reservoir doesn’t receive as much attention as its nearby counterpart Fish Lake, it is a popular spot considering its size. Swimmers, water skiers, boaters, and fishermen have plenty of space to enjoy their particular brand of recreation. Fishing is definitely one of the favorite activities on the reservoir. Rainbow and Cutthroat Trout are the main species, though Brook Trout are growing in numbers.
Hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, and ATV trails snake through the countryside around Johnson Valley Reservoir. The region is a dream for people who love to be outside, and offers plenty of activities for every season. Nearby recreation spots include Fish Lake and Koosharem Reservoir, Capitol Reef National Forest, and Fishlake National Forest, just to name a few. For some adrenaline-pumping fun, hop on your ATV (or rent one from one of the local businesses) and head off on the Paiute Trail. The main portion of the trail is over 900 miles long, and if you add in all of the side trails, it grows to nearly 2000 miles! The beauty of the trail is supposedly unmatched and the grandeur is unbelievable. The highest point of the trail is around 11,500 feet above sea level, and allows you to see over a hundred miles in every direction – on a clear day of course.
Johnson Valley Reservoir is a diamond in the caldera and offers so many opportunities for fun that it should not be missed.
Things to Do at Johnson Valley Reservoir
These are some activities in the Johnson Valley Reservoir, UT area visitors can enjoy:
- Water Skiing
- Cabin Rentals
- Horseback Riding
- National Forest
What Kind of Fish Are in Johnson Valley Reservoir?
Johnson Valley Reservoir has been known to have the following fish species:
- Brook Trout
- Cutthroat Trout
Find Places to Stay at Johnson Valley Reservoir
If you’re considering a Johnson Valley Reservoir lake house rental or hotel, we’ve made it super easy to find the best rates and compare vacation accommodations at a glance. Save time using this interactive map below.
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More Sites to Book a Johnson Valley Reservoir Vacation
Our interactive Johnson Valley Reservoir lodging map above is an easy tool for comparing VRBO rental homes and nearby hotels with Booking.com, but there could be times when you need to expand your search for different types of accommodations. Here are some other lake lodging partners we recommend:
Johnson Valley Reservoir Statistics & Helpful Links
Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed
Water Level Control: Fremont Irrigation Company
Surface Area: 704 acres
Shoreline Length: 5 miles
Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 8,819 feet
Average Depth: 14 feet
Maximum Depth: 21 feet
Water Volume: 9,997 acre-feet
Completion Year: 1899
Drainage Area: 54 sq. miles
Trophic State: Hypereutrophic
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