Bursting with adventure, color, and excitement, Emery County is known far and wide for its majestic mountain peaks, clear water reservoirs, premier OHV access, and scenery guaranteed to take your breath away. Welcome to San Rafael Country. Welcome to adventure.
Cinnamon-colored buttes provide a backdrop for this quiet desert oasis. Huntington State Park is a great weekend destination or a perfect picnic spot. Popular with locals, this warm-water reservoir is ideal for waterskiing, fishing and crawdad catching.
Huntington State Park prides itself on being a traditional family getaway destination. Gone are the large crowds and long lines of cars. Here, you can pull your vehicle into the park and experience that long-awaited sense of peace.
Fishing is one of the most popular activities at Huntington. Largemouth bass and bluegill are the most noteworthy fish in this warm-water lake. Rainbow trout have also been released into the waters, and it’s a popular place to catch crawdads. Who doesn’t love some freshly caught fish over a nighttime campfire? There are also fish cleaning stations available.
With a great water year behind us, water sports are increasingly popular in Huntington. Gaze out on the water and you’re sure to see boaters, wake surfers and other athletes enjoying the lake. If you forget your water toys, don’t worry: the park also rents out stand-up paddleboards, canoes, and kayaks. These rentals are done in-house right on the shoreline inside the park.
Camping is also a popular activity at Huntington. Staff recently updated the campsites so that electrical and water hookups are now available at every site in the campground. Sites with sewer hookups are also available to those bringing their trailers or RVs.
Planning a large family outing or corporate party? Ask about the group area that can hold up to 50 people and 25 vehicles.
The Playground Is Open
The San Rafael Swell is a playground of beautiful desert mountains and valleys just begging for you to let loose.
Within the Swell, you'll find endless opportunities to ride, climb, camp, hike and paddle. Best of all, you won't ever have to wait your turn. Within this vast expanse you'll find rugged ATV trails, off-the-grid camping and plenty of rock formation eye candy. The gravel roads make getting to the Swell a little more exciting, but that's kind of the whole point, right?
The landscapes found within the San Rafael Swell are ones you’ll want to remember forever. Don’t forget your camera on this trip. One must-see stop on your journey is the Wedge Overlook; commonly called Utah’s Little Grand Canyon.
The Wedge is a vast desert canyon gorge which overlooks the San Rafael River winding below and is a beautiful real-world example of the wonders of nature. It’s a popular destination for hikers, rafters and site-seers alike. Gravel roads lead to camping areas, picnic tables and restroom facilities. Remember to pack in some water for your trip, as there are no water stations available at The Wedge.
Emery County is also home to a variety of premier OHV trails. The Behind the Reef Trail takes visitors through a beautiful desert vista. The trail is considered an intermediate level, so most riders should have no problem navigating its breathtakingly beautiful scenery. This is one family-friendly ride you don’t want to miss.
For those seeking more challenging rides, The Eva Conover Trail, Coal Wash Trail and Devil’s Racetrack are where you want to be. The Devil’s Racetrack offers technical rock climbs, narrow sections, steep drops and high banking turns. While the Eva Conover and Coal Wash are not as difficult, riders can still expect a challenge with steep hills on the Eva Conover and fast flat trail on the Coal Wash.
Goblin Valley and Green River State Parks
With out-of-this-world scenery and geology, Goblin Valley State Park attracts many photographers looking to capture the area’s world-famous “goblins.” These hoodoos are the end result of erosion where the uneven hardness of the Entrada Sandstone leads some patches to resist erosion much better than others. Because of their other-worldly appearance, these goblins have even been featured in some Hollywood films.
Goblin Valley also offers beautiful mountain bike trails and trail access. In 2015 the park unveiled the Wild Horse Mountain Biking Trail System. Divided into five loops, these trails bring visitors into areas of the park seldom seen before, with a number of incredible sweeping vistas.
Biking not your thing? Goblin Valley also offers a nine-hole disc golf course, hiking opportunities, yurt campsites and some of the darkest skies in Utah!
If you’d like to vacation in a more modern setting, Green River State Park is for you. This park is home to a challenging nine-hole golf course, campground with tall, shady cottonwood trees, and numerous species of birds. If fishing is your activity of choice, you’ll find both catfish and carp in these waters.
Green River State Park is the put-in point for the 120-mile float through Labyrinth and Stillwater Canyons. This section of the river is rated for beginners and intermediate boaters. This trip takes you through a beautiful desert and Canyon scenery.
Are you ready to explore the natural wonders of Emery Count? Learn more and plan your adventures at stateparks.utah.gov.