Despite its high desert status, the Park City surroundings offer lakes, rivers, and streams aplenty for water adventurers. 

Image: Doug Burke

Summer just wouldn't be summer without getting out to play on the water. Despite being considered high desert, this part of Utah is still blessed with plentiful opportunities to get wet in local lakes and rivers. Here are just five of the ways you can make a splash this summer. 

Paddleboarding

Explore the local waterways with a SUP (stand-up paddleboarding) excursion. This relatively new sport has caught like wildfire and you'll find SUPers hitting the water all around Park City, from the Deer Valley's "Pebble Beach" snowmaking reservoir on Deer Valley Drive to the nearby Jordanelle Reservoir. Local outfitters will get you set up with a board, paddle, and personal flotation device so you can spend the summer afternoon on the water; many also offer lessons. Never-evers should head over to the pond in the Deer Valley Snow Park area to get a lesson from Park City SUP

Fly fishing

The crystal-clear streams and rivers surrounding Park City offer plentiful fishing opportunities for anglers. Grab your waders and a pole and head over to the Provo or Weber River to try your luck at catching "the big one." New to the sport? Weekly Casting Clinics are offered every Monday night by Jans Sport at the Deer Valley ponds (1678 Deer Valley Dr N). Blue Sky Utah, All Seasons Adventures, and Destination Sports and Adventures are just a few of the local outfitters offering guided fly fishing services. 

River rafting on the Weber

While you won't be hitting any major rapids, a two to three hour float along the Weber River is a great way to beat the heat during the middle of the summer. Located just a short distance from Park City, this family-friendly river offers the perfect mix of excitement (Class I/II rapids and a few rocks) and relaxation. Along the way, you'll get a tranquil view of the surrounding area and even catch a glimpse of some wildlife. Local outfitters All Seasons Adventures and Park City Rafting offer trips down the river daily.

Sailing

If you've ever been on a sailboat, you know there's nothing that compares to the freedom and exhilaration you feel cruising through open waters. And while Park City doesn't have an ocean, you can still capture that emotion of sailing on the Jordanelle. Whether you want to learn to sail yourself or just spend a leisurely afternoon on a boat with someone else at the helm, Park City Sailing has you covered. Since 2008, the organization has been building the sailing community in town and offering visitors multi-hour trips out on the water. Book a lesson or let their experienced skippers take you out for a family excursion, complete with a picnic, swimming, and sailing into the sunset. 

Kiteboarding

Extreme sport enthusiasts looking to get wet need look no further than kiteboarding. A mix of wakeboarding and paragliding, kiteboarding let's you fly across the water on a board (reaching speeds up to 40 mph), propelled by a handheld kite. Your best bet for learning is Uinta Kiteboarding, the only certified kiteboarding school in the area, located in Deer Creek Reservoir. They offer a variety of lessons, starting on land and progressing to the water. Once you master the basics, you might even find yourself catching a bit of air and trying your hand at tricks. 

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Monday Night Casting Clinics

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Every Monday evening from Memorial Day through Labor Day, the Jans fly fishing experts in Park City, Utah offer free fly casting lessons and equipment tips s...