Leave No Trace
While enjoying the wild places of Heber Valley and its surroundings, the “Leave No Trace” principles are essential to help preserve this natural space for all of us, and for many years of pleasant access and use.
- Plan ahead and prepare
- Travel and camp on durable surfaces
- Dispose of waste properly (human and pet)
- Leave what you find – including the beautiful flowers and plants
- Minimize campfire impacts and know about fire restrictions in the area you are camping
- Respect wildlife and give animals ample space
- Always stay on the trail – life thrives in the soil around trails, so don’t kill it by walking on it
- Be considerate of other visitors
Do you know who has the right-of-way when there are multiple users and different types of users on the trails? Many routes are shared by different forms of recreators, and some trails and areas are more populated throughout the year. Knowing courteous trail use and passage is key to ensuring everyone can enjoy the trails in a safe manner. Be sure to always be in control of yourself and your equipment. And slow down when approaching or overtaking others on the trails.
- In general, downhill traffic yields to uphill traffic
- Bikers yield to hikers
- Bikers and hikers yield to equestrian animals and riders
Play Safe & Responsibly on the Water
As you’re planning that next lake visit, fishing trip, or river float, be sure to remember these tips for a safer and more pleasant experience.
- Life jacket: The familiar “click it” campaign doesn’t just apply to seatbelts. Life jackets save lives and are a must when on or in the water. Play safe this summer and wear a life jacket. State park marinas usually have life jackets for rent if you don’t have your own or if you forget to bring them.
- Sunblock: Our high-altitude valley means cooler summer temps, but also means greater likelihood for a sunburn. Don’t let the cold water fool you. Lather up before and during a day of water fun. Your skin will thank you for it.
- Bug spray: Although not a huge issue in comparison to warmer destinations, we do still have mosquitoes near areas of water, both moving and stagnant water. Be sure to pack the bug spray. It’s better to have it and not need it than the other way around.
- Stay hydrated: Even when spending a full day in the water, you can easily get dehydrated. Pack plenty of water for whatever fun activities you have planned and be sure to drink it up.
Wildfires are a serious issue in the west. Many damaging wildfires start from human activity. Please be aware of the fire risk and confirm if fires are allowed in the area you are visiting. This can change daily during the hot, dry months of summer.
Tips for building and maintaining a safe campfire:
- Use established rings or mounds, when available
- Keep fires small and manageable
- DO NOT burn garbage or anything other than wood – it is not good for the area environment
- Never leave a fire unattended
- Don’t put hot coals in dumpsters
- Always completely extinguish your fire, including the hot coals
- Once cool the next day, disperse cool coals to ensure no heat is remaining as wind can restart a fire long after you’ve left hot coals behind
- Leave your fire pit and campsite cleaner than you found it by packing out everything you brought with you and picking up extra trash that may be in the area
General Smart Tips
- Pay the fees: Know the areas you are visiting. Whether it be state parks, national monuments, forest service areas, or other fee-based destinations, be sure to pay for access and use. These fees help keep these spaces open, clean, and improved for years to come. Also, no one wants a ticket for not paying a nominal day-use or overnight fee. So, pay attention to your location and pay any necessary fees.
- Pack it in, pack it out: Or even better, leave it better than you found it. Do the good deed and pick up litter when you see it. This includes cleaning up after your pets.
- Limited cell service: Reception can be spotty in the more remote areas of Heber Valley and beyond. Stop by the Heber Valley Chamber Visitor Center (475 N Main St) during our open hours to obtain area maps and information, including GPS-based maps that will help guide you in areas where there is no cell service. And stop by the Forest Service Stations for additional information, if you need it for the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest or the Ashley National Forest.
- Know the weather: Check the weather the day before and day of your planned trip and activities. Weather can change quickly in this area of the state, and you don’t want to be disappointed by traveling for an activity only to arrive and not be able to enjoy it.
- Plan ahead: If you are headed out on a busy weekend or holiday, know before you go! Check road conditions, road construction impacts, park capacity, etc. State parks update conditions on individual state park social media accounts. UDOT (Utah Department of Transportation) updates road conditions on its website. Be prepared so you can enjoy all your time to stay and play.
- Have a backup plan: Just in case, know what you can do for plan “B” or “C” if your primary activity doesn’t work out. If Deer Creek and Jordanelle Reservoirs are full on a Saturday morning, consider the short additional 20-minute drive to Strawberry Reservoir instead. If the aqua park is booked up, consider a tubing trip down Provo River or take a zip line ride over the lake. In Heber Valley, there’s so much to do that you’ll run out of time before you can do it all!
10 Essentials Checklist
Regardless of your destination and outdoor recreation plans, the following “10 Essentials” list is handy for all types of adventures. Read through and make sure you are well-prepared before you head out.
- Navigation: compass, map, print, mobile – know where you’re going; know where you are; and know how to get to/from your destination, even in areas with no cell service.
- Sun protection: sunblock, sunglasses, hats, and full- or partial-coverage UPF-rated clothing are all recommended for all outdoor activities. Our high-altitude location increases your likelihood for a sunburn.
- Insulation: clothing and sleeping arrangements – the temperature can drop drastically in the upper elevations, even during the peak heat of the summer season. Pack extra layers and plan appropriately for the nighttime temps and sleeping conditions.
- Illumination: bring a headlamp, flashlight, or camp light. If relying solely on your mobile device flashlight, be sure to have a way to recharge your device.
- First aid: always, always, always have at least a basic first aid kit with supplies that are most likely to be needed for whatever activities you have planned. Accidents happen in the safest of environments, so be prepared to handle minor incidences, if they happen. Most small first aid kits can be purchased at the local grocery stores, hardware stores, and general stores.
- Fire materials: while most locations may have extra wood or pieces of already broken trees for a fire, be sure to at least pack matches or a lighter. We recommend that you take a fire starter substance and enough wood for your overnight stay. Taking from the surrounding campsite area can be damaging to the habitat of that area. Never cut down branches or parts of living trees as this is harmful to the area environment.
- Repair kit and tools: if applicable for your activities, be sure to pack any tools that may be needed to repair or do basic maintenance.
- Food: okay, so this is obvious… but many forget the necessary items to accompany food such as a can opener, or forks/spoons/knives, or even a garbage bag. Think through what all you will need to enjoy eating the food you’ve packed.
- Hydration: people often need more water than they take, so don’t underestimate your water intake. Pack extra!
- Emergency shelter: depending on your activity and duration, have a backup plan for inclement weather, especially if tent camping at higher elevations.
To learn more, visit our web page about Sustainable Fun in Heber Valley.
Located less than an hour from the Salt Lake City International Airport, a short 25 minutes from the Provo/Orem area, and a mere 15 minutes from Park City, the beautiful mountain town of Heber Valley, Utah is an outdoor recreation mecca unlike anywhere else in the world. Home to three expansive state parks with miles of pristine trails, three pristine reservoirs for lake recreation, over 15 miles of prime fly fishing angling access, and surrounded by mountain vistas, our charming valley has become a distinguished destination for day trips as well as overnight stays. The summer calendar of events is jam-packed, leaving you with lots of options to fill your itinerary. Come zip line over Deer Creek, hop on a horse for a trail ride, or ride along the historic Heber Valley Railroad track. Stop by for homemade ice cream and meet the cows, hit a round at one of five public golf courses, or hike to new heights for a bird’s eye view of the valley. Whatever your adventure, Heber Valley is the place to go! Just be sure to play responsibly and enjoy the summer days (and nights).