Weekend Backpacker: Salt Lake City
Surrounding the Joradanelle Reservoir at the base of the Wasatch Mountains, the Jordanelle State Park includes the Hailstone Recreation Site and the more primitive Rock Cliff Recreation Site. Completed in 1995, this is one of the newer parks in the state.
About 27 miles of hiking trails surround the reservoir and connect to other trails in the area. Trails are open to hikers, bikers, horseback riders, and cross-country skiers.
While the Hailstone Recreation Site draws many boaters, the quieter Rock Cliff Recreation Site is the best place to commune with nature. With over 160 species of birds, including eagles and raptors, Rock Cliff is surrounded by riparian wetlands and is ideal for fishing.
Camp at Rock Cliff and take the perimeter trails around the reservoir to Hailstone. The trail is 14 miles one-way. Hikers can also access the Historic Union Pacific Rail Trail State Park from the perimeter trail.
Rock Cliff Recreation Site has four walk-in camping areas with 50 sites. Cost is $13. The Hailstone Recreation area has walk-in tent sites and tent and trailers sites for $15 per night. Call ahead to make reservations.
From Park City, head east on Kearns Boulevard. At U.S. 40, headsoutheast four miles to exit 8 and follow the entrance road into Hailstone. To get to Rock Cliff, continue on Highway 40 for another two miles and take Highway 32 east and follow the signs.
Camping permits are available at the Hailstone visitor center or the Nature Center at Rock Cliff, as well as at the entrance stations.
Maps are available at the Nature Center at Rock Cliff and at the visitor center at Hailstone.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication