Whether you want to sail as a hobby or just for a spectacular date, Utah Lake is the perfect place – KSL.com | Gmx Pharm

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There is just so much to do here. Utah’s national parks, red Martian rocks and Olympic-qualified ski resorts are famous around the world. Its reputation as a top destination for off-roading and crack climbing may be less known to the general public, but certainly not a mystery to enthusiasts of these disciplines.

But if you move down the list of what the Beehive State is really good at, you can find some real surprises. For example, you probably didn’t know that Utah is a great place to go sailing.

Utah Lake, a hidden gem in sight

When it comes to sailing, people usually think of places like the Pacific Northwest or Atlantic states like Maine or Connecticut. So it’s unexpected to learn that for sailing enthusiasts, Utah Lake is nowhere near as clear as its name.

Utah Lake, the third-largest freshwater lake in the western United States, is a remnant of ancient Lake Bonneville, which Visit Utah says was roughly the size of Lake Michigan.

Seeing Utah Lake from afar as you drive by on the freeway is a very different experience than being on the water. Though much of the lake is now surrounded by a bustling metropolis, there are still areas of the waterfront that are natural and relatively untouched. Utah Lake is an important habitat for more than 200 bird species, from bald eagles to pelicans to gray herons.

Whether you want to sail as a hobby or just for a spectacular date, Utah Lake is the perfect place
Photo: Explore the Utah Valley

The Utah Lake wetlands also provide habitat for a number of wildlife. Muskrats, mink, coyotes and deer are regularly sighted along the coast. The lake is popular with anglers looking for walleye (probably the best tasting fish in Utah), white bass, largemouth bass, catfish and more. The harbors are great places to catch bluegills and crappie with kids.

Today, Utah Lake measures about 24 miles north-south and 12 miles east-west, according to the Utah Lake Commission. Its shallow depth helps keep the water warm in spring and summer. Add in generally gentle winds and it’s the perfect spot in Utah for all water sports: boating, canoeing, kayaking, paddleboarding, and of course, sailing.

The Bonneville Sailing School

In addition to being a sailing hotspot, Utah Lake is the best place to learn to sail in the state – the title of skipper is earned, not awarded. So before you run out and buy your own boat, make sure you learn from the pros.

The professionals featured here are Todd and Louise Frye, a couple who are living their dream of “sharing the magic of sailing”. They are the proud founders of the Bonneville School of Sailing and Seamanship, which sounds as fancy as it sounds, offering instruction to sailors of all levels right on Utah Lake.

Your 2-hour Discover Sailing introductory course is designed to get you out on the lake and getting your feet wet (in every way). From there, you can enroll in the 18-hour Basic Learn to Sail program, the perfect course for beginners to learn the basics of the sport. The course also gives aspiring sailors the opportunity to get out on Utah Lake, get a feel for what sailing is all about, and most likely fall in love with sailing.

Intermediate and advanced courses are also available for those looking to take the next step.

Whether you want to sail as a hobby or just for a spectacular date, Utah Lake is the perfect place

Take a sunset sailing cruise

If you want to go sailing without learning to do it yourself, the Bonneville School still has you covered. For a reasonable $99, a couple can enjoy an escorted sunset cruise on Utah Lake. If you want more privacy and romance, you can be the only couple on the boat for $179.

If you haven’t seen a sunset on Utah Lake, you’ll be delighted. Reflections off the water can turn an ordinary sunset into an image worthy of a photo in an oversized coffee table book. And when you’re on the open water of the big lake, you’ll get a whole different perspective of the Utah Valley.

For do-it-yourselfers

Lindon Marina is probably your best bet for renting a sailboat and launching into the waters of Utah Lake. For only $25, you can take your date, boyfriend, or even your mom on a fun cruise on Utah Lake in a mini sailboat. If you decide you like it, each additional hour is only $10.

If you’re a seasoned professional and already own your own sailboat, you can start sailing at one of the lake’s 27 jetties. Check out the Utah Lake Commission’s map of all access points to start planning your Utah Lake sailing adventure.

Whether you want to sail as a hobby or just for a spectacular date, Utah Lake is the perfect place
Photo: Explore the Utah Valley

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