Salt Lake City

Public Utilities

Customer Service: (801) 483-6900 | Report Emergency: (801) 483-6700

Little Dell Recreation Area

Fees, Hours & Seasons of Operation

Fees:  Daily use fee is $5/car, exact change required.  A fee is not charged for the upper parking lot, year-round, and people may walk into the recreation area for free.  Season passes are available for purchase at the guard shack. Regular season passes are $50, and senior citizen season passes are $25.  Season passes are only valid at Little Dell Recreation Area. Exact change or check only please. Change is available at Little Dell Golf Course if needed. No credit cards accepted.

Hours:  The recreation area entrance gate is open 8:00 a.m. to dusk every day from Memorial Day weekend to October 1st depending on weather. The recreation area is open to pedestrian access during daylight hours year-round. After October 1st the gate will typically open around 8:30 a.m.


From I-80: Take exit 134 and go north on State Highway 65 for approximately three miles. The Little Dell Recreation Area is past Mountain Dell Reservoir and Mountain Dell Golf Course.

From Emigration Canyon: Follow the canyon road (Little Mountain Pass) to State Highway 65, then turn north and proceed approximately ¼ miles to the Recreation Area entrance.

From East Canyon: Little Dell is approximately six miles south of the Big Mountain Summit on State Highway 65 (East Canyon Road).


There are several picnic sites available at Little Dell, some are shaded and some are not. Many are ADA accessible. There are no large group picnic facilities.

Picnic sites are first-come, first serve.  Note that there are no fires, charcoal barbecues or Dutch ovens allowed.  Only propane stoves may be used for cooking.

Please dispose of all picnic trash in the provided trash cans. There is no potable water available on site.


There are two boat launches at Little Dell Reservoir, and no docking facilities. Only non-motorized boats are allowed on the reservoir. Along with the State of Utah’s boating regulations, the following restrictions apply:

  • Hand launch only, no use of trailers.  The gate will not be opened to assist in launching boats.
  • Cleaning debris from boats in the reservoir or recreation area is prohibited.
  • Boats must be clean prior to entering the recreation area and launching.
  • All watercraft must stay 200 yards away from the dam.
  • Kayak rolling is not allowed.
  • Electric motors are not allowed.
  • Standup Paddle Boarding is not allowed.


Fishing is allowed on the reservoir in accordance with the current fishing proclamation issued by the Utah division of Wildlife Resources. The following restrictions apply:

  • Only artificial flies and lures may be used.
  • Anglers must wear clean waders while in the stream, in a float tube or pontoon boat.
  • No cleaning fish on site or anywhere in the protected watershed area! Please clean and dispose of fish waste outside of the canyon to protect the water supply and keep the area clean for others.
  • All cutthroat trout must be immediately released.

Prohibited Activities:

  • No dogs allowed, protected watershed area
  • Waterfowl hunting on the reservoir or within 200 yards of it
  • Hunting within the recreation area
  • Standup Paddle Boarding
  • Charcoal barbecues
  • Swimming
  • Open flames, charcoal barbeques, or Dutch ovens


The Little Dell Reservoir was built in 1993 for drinking water supply, flood control, and wildlife enhancement as a joint venture between the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, the Metropolitan Water District of Salt Lake City, and Salt Lake County. The reservoir and recreation area is operated and maintained by the Salt Lake City Department of Public Utilities.

While water quality preservation is the primary management goal of Little Dell Reservoir and the Parleys Canyon Protected Watershed, it also provides the added benefit of a pristine natural habitat and recreational escape from the city within 20 minutes of the Salt Lake Valley.

Questions? Call Watershed at 801-483-6705 for more information.