Boating on Pineview Reservoir in northern Utah is a blast!
Pineview Reservoir is located in Ogden Canyon, 7 miles (11 km) east of Ogden Utah and about an hour’s drive north of Salt Lake City.
It has both sandy and rock/mud beaches for sunbathing, paddle boarding and swimming.
But boating on Pineview Reservoir is by far the best way to enjoy the area.
A Note About Our Boating Adventure During COVID-19
Everyone on our Pineview Reservoir boating adventure was living together in our US Digital Nomad Coliving and Coworking House in Wolf Creek Utah.
So no COVID-19 prevention best practices were violated during our adventure. We all wore masks on the dock and practiced social distancing from those not staying together in our digital nomad house.
In fact, we quickly realized that boating is the perfect COVID-19 recreation. Family groups have natural social distancing from others yet everyone gets to enjoy the great outdoors together. Just one more reason to Discover Boating!
About Pineview Reservoir
Pineview Reservoir was created in 1937 when an earth and rock dam was completed in the Ogden Valley as part of the civil works programs meant to reduce unemployment during the Great Depression.
The purpose of the dam was to control and store Ogden River flood waters.
But the side effect was to create Pineview Reservoir, a large and gorgeous body of water that is perfect for boating.
Pineview Reservoir is encircled by the Wasatch Mountains which provide incredible scenery and all but eliminate wind from the water’s surface.
Recreation Areas on Pineview Reservoir
Restrooms, picnic areas, group pavilions, etc. are available at all four areas. Use of group areas requires a reservation using the links above.
Pineview Reservoir beaches are open daily from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Alcohol is not allowed in any beach area. But alcohol is allowed on the water. Public intoxication laws and operating a vehicle under the influence laws are strictly enforced on the Reservoir. As is the ban on glass containers.
Regulations forbid littering as well as beach fires or charcoal grilling. No wild camping is allowed. But Anderson Cove Campground is available for overnight stays.
Life preservers are required to be readily accessible for all watercraft on Pineview Reservoir – and this includes paddleboarders! So wear one or have it with you.
Free Access to Pineview Reservoir
In addition to the beach and reservoir access facilities there are also pullovers and trailheads where you can park for free and access the reservoir for free.
Free access to beaches is available at Pineview Trailhead (aka Windsurfer Beach), North Arm, and Spring Creek. Toilets are available at each.
Additional access to the water is also available at various roadside pull-outs, but pay attention to signs regulating parking.
You may get ticketed and/or towed if you violate parking regulations.
Getting to Pineview Reservoir
Pineview is almost exclusively accessed via either Trappers Loop (Hwy 167) or Ogden Canyon (Hwy 39).
Visitors coming from points south typically take I-84 up Weber Canyon to the Mountain Green exit, then take Trappers Loop (Hwy 167) into Ogden Valley.
But a more interesting drive is to approach the reservoir from Ogden. You drive east on 12th Street which turns into Ogden Canyon (Hwy 39). You’ll be on a scenic byway with towering peaks, waterfalls, and a stream (that stream is actually the Ogden River, now tamed by the Dam and Reservoir). The narrow canyon and road follow the winding path of the Ogden River to Pineview Reservoir.
Our drive from our Wolf Creek digital nomad coliving and coworking was simple and quick: 10 minutes down the mountain!
Boating on Pineview Reservoir
Boating is the crown jewel of Pineview Reservoir in summertime.
The protective mountains significantly reduce wind and wave action on the reservoir. So you’ll have smooth to slightly rough surface conditions most of the time. This makes it a popular destination for boaters, kayakers, paddle boarders, water skiers, wake boarders, etc.
The reservoir has buoys marking areas of the water surface designated with speed or boating restrictions.
And be sure to bring fishing gear!
A variety of fish inhabit the reservoir, making it an excellent fishing hole. Locals talk about the tiger muskie which is a cross between a muskie and a pike. The biggest caught on the reservoir weighed 33 pounds and measured 49 inches.
For fly fishing, the South Fork of the Ogden River, just above the dam, is popular and abundant with trout.
Bringing Your Own Boat to Pineview Reservoir
For boat owners there are several access points to the lake.
Day-use and boat ramp fees for Cemetery Point, Anderson Cove and Port Ramps cost under $20. The ramps are wide and high quality.
But lines to access the boat ramps can get very long in the summertime – especially on weekends. So arrive early or be prepared to wait.
Also be aware that a limit on the number of boats on the lake at one time is monitored at the ramps.
Renting a Boat at Pineview Reservoir
We don’t own a boat. No problem!
We rented a double decker pontoon ‘party boat’ from Club Rec right on the water at Cemetery Point.
We did a 4-hour afternoon rental, and splitting that 11 ways we each only paid about $45!
Do note, however, that access to Cemetery Point is limited. And so there can be long lines to get to the area on weekends. We spent an hour in 5-mile backup waiting to get in. So be sure to leave for your boat rental early.
Our Boat on Pineview Reservoir
Our double decker pontoon party boat was perfect for an afternoon on the water!
Those with boating experience – or those willing to learn – took turns driving the boat.
As noted, the local Sheriff Department strictly enforces boating while intoxicated laws on the reservoir. We took that responsibility seriously.
The rental boat was perfect for exploring the whole reservoir. The 150 HP engine gave us plenty of speed for our various boat drivers to zip us along the shorelines and take us to all of the amazing views surrounding the water.
Our rental boat included a wakeboard and rope. Our buddy Dylan took a ride, but the rope was a bit too long for less experienced wakeboarders.
And for those like me with no experience, it seemed like an awful lot of work on a lazy afternoon!
By far my favorite feature of the Club Rec rental pontoon boat was the water slide!
The slide has a forced water pump to keep the slide slippery and cool. We took a turns on the slide.
Some of us took dozens!
Our friend Nicole decided she was going to go off the slide and into a tube. 9 tries and a couple of hours later, she finally did!
Diving and Swimming in Pineview Reservoir
Those with the gumption and experience enjoyed diving off of the top deck into the reservoir.
Others chose to enter the water by slide or off the back of the boat.
The water in Pineview Reservoir was cool but not cold on this hot June afternoon. Absolutely refreshing.
Floating in the Reservoir
By far the most popular activity on our boating afternoon was floating lazily in the reservoir.
We brought along a couple of cheap pool tubes for this specific purpose.
So we floated around while enjoying adult beverages (Mango White Claw was the official drink of our US Digital Nomad House). Approximately infinity MWCs were consumed on our boating adventure.
Tube, White Claw or not, we really just loved floating on the water.
Bottom Line – Boating on Pineview Reservoir
Pineview Reservoir is a gem.
The water is great, the views are spectacular and it’s got easy and affordable access.
Our four hours boating on Pineview Reservoir flew by and all too soon we were returning our rental boat.
So for us, while we do recommend the beaches as well as kayaking and paddleboarding there, boating on Pineview Reservoir is the best way to spend an afternoon of adventure, relaxation and fun.