A Guide To Causey Reservoir Camping: Best Campgrounds, Dispersed Camping, Tips & More!

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Last updated on May 26, 2023 by Wandering our World

Just east of Ogden, Utah, nestled at the top of the South Fork Ogden River, lies the picturesque Causey Reservoir, your next camping destination!

With an area of 140 acres, the reservoir was originally built in the 1960s by the Bureau of Reclamation to provide water to the northern part of the Wasatch Front. But today, the lake is the perfect weekend getaway during hot summers. Vacationers from all around the country arrive here attracted by the towering cliffs and thick forests that make up the shoreline of the lake. 

Unsurprisingly, with such stunning natural surroundings many decide to camp overnight and enjoy the region in its full glory.

And if you’re thinking of your own Causey Reservoir camping adventure then you’re in the right place!

We know this place like the back of our hand, so here we will share everything you need to know about camping in the region.

First we share our favorite campgrounds beside Causey Reservoir and explain what makes each unique.

Then we look at dispersed camping at Causey Reservoir, share some of our favorite trails, and even have a free camping game that’s perfect for kids (and fun adults!) at the bottom of this article too.

So read on to begin your Causey Reservoir camping adventure!

Photo for illustrative purposes only: iStock.com/Popartic

Camping At Causey Reservoir: An Adventure You’ll Never Forget!

There’s much to do here, which is why camping at Causey Reservoir is a vacation we repeat again and again.

However the water in the lake is ice cold even in the summer, owing to the fact that much of it flows down from high altitude mountains, so you have to brave if you want to swim here!

But in an attempt to maintain the quiet and serene atmosphere of the lake, motor boats are not allowed in the water. That’s made kayaking and paddle boarding two popular water-based activities here.

There are plenty of fishing opportunities too, with the water full of catfish, bass, trout, and crappie.

And with an average depth of 65 feet and 185 feet in the deep end, the reservoir has become the perfect destination for cliff jumping! But no worries if you aren’t into any of these activities. Just pick out a book and relax on the shore. 

In love with Causey Reservoir and want to stick around for a few days? Great decision! And luckily the lake is surrounded by numerous primitive camping grounds for you to choose from. One important piece of information to keep in mind is that you must only camp for 7 consecutive nights during a single visit to most of these campgrounds. 

To help you along, here’s a few of our favorite Causey Reservoir campgrounds and why they’re worth visiting:

Photo for illustrative purposes only: iStock.com/AndrisBarbans

The Best Campgrounds Near Causey Reservoir For Fun, Views & Adventure!

1. Weber Memorial Park

Less than a mile from the lake lies this seasonal campground, open May through October. The South Fork Ogden River actually passes through the campground, giving ample opportunities for water-based sports such as tubing, floating, and swimming!

Chipmunks, squirrels, and pot guts are a common sight here, so you’re right amongst nature. That also means raccoons wander through the camp at night so make sure you keep anything with a scent locked away. 

The campground in the park has 58 individual sites that can hold 8 people each, and three group sites that can accommodate 200 to 300 each. The individual sites have enough space for a tent and an RV. The campground also has a recently renovated historic lodge perfect for weddings, reunions, and retreats.

Amenities and Facilities

Each campsite has picnic tables and fire pits. A few of the sites have concrete pads. Firewood for campfires can be purchased from the host for the price of $5 a bundle.

The grounds have flushing toilets, water through spigots, and electric outlets at group sites. Some of the group sites even have volleyball poles and horseshoe pits.

In addition, most parts of the campground are ADA accessible. Pets are welcome but must be on a leash at all times. Unfortunately, there are no water or sewage hookups.

The Important Info

Rates: Starting at $25 per night

Address: 14375 Causey Dr, Huntsville, UT 84317

Photo for illustrative purposes only: iStock.com/Jacoblund

2. Perception Park Campground

Located three miles away from Causey Reservoir, inside the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, is Perception Park Campground which is very popular due to all the shade it offers to campers. 

It’s also the most disabled friendly campground at Causey Reservoir with paved roads and paths which can be navigated by wheelchairs.

As for the campsites, Perception Park Campground includes nine single sites that can house up to eight people, six double sites for up to 16 people each, one triple site for 24 people, and three group sites for up to 50 people each. 

While this campground can accommodate RVs, the sites are quite narrow and anything over 30ft may struggle. In fact anything over that and you’ll likely have to book a double site.

Amenities and Facilities

Each campsite is equipped with picnic tables, campfire pits, rings, and cement pads. Drinking water is provided and vault toilets can be found on the grounds.

Collecting wood from the campsite is prohibited, but you can buy firewood from the host.

As for things to do on-site, well there are playgrounds, volleyball courts, and horseshoe pits! There’s also a paved trail that runs along the South Fork Ogden River if you are in the mood for a walk. 

Unlike most others in the area, this campground is fully ADA-accessible. In fact, the campground was initially built for individuals with disabilities! As a result, concrete platforms with benches have been placed along the river to ensure a seamless experience.

The Important Info

Rates: Starting at $24 per night

Address: 12566 UT-39 Scenic, Huntsville, UT 84317

Photo for illustrative purposes only: iStock.com/g-stockstudio

3. Willows Campground

Three miles from Causey Reservoir lies Willow Campground with its 17 primitive RV and tent campsites, all of them non-electric. Driving down Highway 39, the campground is around six miles east of Huntsville. 

Out of the 17 campsites, 14 are single sites that can hold 8 campers each, and the other three are double sites with a capacity for 16 campers each.

As it’s set back further from the road than many other campgrounds near Causey Reservoir, there is a little less road noise. Instead, this a place where you can hear the sound of birds and the river rushing by. It’s bliss.

Amenities and Facilities

The campground offers potable water and very well maintained vault toilets. Each site has a picnic table, fire pit, and cement pad. Firewood for campfires can be purchased from the host.

While the campground is not ADA accessible, pets of all kinds are welcome here. 

The Important Info

Rates: Starting at $24 per night

Address: Uinta Wasatch Cache National Forest, UT-39, Huntsville, UT 84317

Photo for illustrative purposes only: iStock.com/bokan76

4. South Fork Campground

Four miles from Causey Reservoir, set beside mountainside in the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, lies South Fork Campground, a Causey Reservoir camping destination that feels completely in nature.

This campground is popular thanks to its close access to South Fork Ogden River where campers can enjoy tubing, floating, and other water-based activities. Swimming is also popular but the shore is a bit rocky. However you can dip your toes in the small creek that runs through this picturesque campground.

Open year-round, the campground has 44 sites in total, including 35 single sites that can hold up to eight people each, and eight double sites that can hold up to 16 people each. A few of the sites are ADA accessible.

The campground is surrounded by willow and cottonwood trees, making it all the more picturesque. If you are lucky, you may get to spot a deer or a moose running through the grounds. The one downside is that some of the campsites are a little close to the road, so you sometimes get vehicle noise.

Amenities and Facilities

Each campsite is equipped with a picnic table, fire ring, and cement pad. Utilities include vault toilets and drinking water, but no showers.

Firewood for campfires can be bought from the host. Unfortunately, there are no electrical, water, or sewer hookups available.

The Important Info

Rates: Starting at $24 per night 

Address: UT-39, Huntsville, UT 84317

Photo for illustrative purposes only: iStock.com/nortonrsx

5. Magpie Campground

Situated on the banks of the South Fork Ogden River five miles from the lake on Highway 39, Magpie Campground is set at an elevation of 5200 feet!

The campground is set in a wooded area with cottonwood trees and lots of other vegetation, giving the sites enough shade to ensure an enjoyable camping experience.

Unfortunately, the vast vegetation leaves little space for much else, resulting in small tent sites. But that does mean you get a true nature-filled rustic camping experience. Everything is kept very clean and well maintained, and you even have direct access to the river from each campsite!

Magpie contains six single campsites, each of which can hold up to 8 people, and three double sites that can hold 16 campers each. The camp is pet-friendly, but make sure your four-legged friends do not cause any disturbance to the other campers.

Amenities and Facilities

Each site is equipped with a picnic table and potable water. The ground has vault toilets and allows campfires. Unfortunately, the grounds are not ADA accessible.

A popular activity for campers staying here is tubing down the nearby South Fork Ogden River. But there’s also plenty of trails to enjoy too.

The Important Info

Rates: Starting at $24 per night

Address: FR 20079, Huntsville, UT 84317

Photo for illustrative purposes only: iStock.com/West

6. Cobble Creek Campground

Want to spend a weekend disconnected from the rest of the world? Then why not visit Cobble Creek which is located five miles east of Causey Reservoir.

With absolutely no cell service, it is impossible for you to work while vacationing here! The sites are shaded by sagebrush and Gambel oak trees, offering a primitive and peaceful atmosphere.

The campground itself is owned and operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and would have to be accessed through the community.

The ground consists of 10 campsites, two of which are group sites that are large enough to accommodate RVs while the rest are single tent sites. The sites are rustic and not particularly level, but we think that just adds to the charm.

Amenities and Facilities

The campground is equipped with clean bathrooms and flush toilets, and there’s an open field for sports, a dump station, a volleyball net, and an amphitheater – although that’s unfortunately under the open sun for the most of the day.

One of the group sites is also equipped with a pavilion. The grounds have tables and a shared kitchen too.

The Important Info

Rates: Staring at $21 per night

Address: Huntsville, UT 84317

Photo for illustrative purposes only: iStock.com/cookelma

7. Anderson Cove Campground

About 13 miles away from Causey Reservoir on the shores of the nearby Pineview Reservoir sits one of the largest campgrounds in the area – Anderson Cove.

Most people visit this campground to enjoy the recreational opportunities offered by the lake. As unlike Causey Reservoir which only allows non-motorized boating, Pineview allows motor boats and provides ample opportunities for water skiing, boarding, swimming, and more. The campground also has its own boat ramp which is open to campers for a fee of $19. So if you’re looking for a bit more adventure, this could be the place for you.

Unlike the other campgrounds in the region that offer just single, double, and group sites, Anderson Cove has a wide variety of options to choose from. The campground is home to 80 single sites, 18 tent-only sites, 9 double sites, 9 glamping sites, and 4 group sites that can accommodate 100 people each!

This place can get busy, so if you’re looking for peace and quiet in nature this may not be the campground for you! But when the water level is high and the sun is shining, it’s a very beautiful spot for lake activities.

Amenities and Facilities

Each campsite has a fire ring and a picnic table. A dump station and vault toilets are located on the grounds. Drinking water is available throughout the site.

You can even find a general store with basic supplies nearby.

The Important Info

Rates: Starting at $22 per night

Address: 6702 UT-39, Huntsville, UT 84317

Photo for illustrative purposes only: iStock.com/Ashley-Belle Burns

Dispersed Camping At Causey Reservoir: Everything You Need to Know!

DISCLAIMER: Below we give general advice, but we always recommend staying in an official campsite. If you choose to go dispersed camping, then make sure you do so with someone who already knows the area where you’re planning on camping for your own safety.

Are public campgrounds too crowded for you? No worries. Dispersed camping is legal across the state of Utah – as we’ve written about before – as long as you follow a few simple rules. 

Where Can You Camp?

Except for a few select areas across the state, Utah is open to dispersed camping in almost all of the lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), National Park Service, and the U. S. Forest Service. Use this interactive map from Utah BLM to find the perfect spot for you. 

Also keep in mind that you must camp at least one mile away from allotted campsites, trailheads, and at least 200 feet away from the nearest water source.

In some cases, you may have to gain permits from the local district office to camp at a particular spot. This can happen if you are camping with a group of 75 people or more.

Photo for illustrative purposes only: iStock.com/Eshma

How Long Can You Camp For?

How long can you camp: If you are on BLM lands, you are allowed to camp for two weeks in a 28-day period within a 30-mile radius.

The rules are different for state forests. There, you can stay 16 days in a 30-day period within a five-mile radius. 

What About Campfires?

Fires are only to be built in grills, fire rings, and pits. Contained storm stoves are recommended instead of building fires, as they reduce the risk of wildfires.

You may collect dead wood, but never cut or break branches for firewood. As a general rule you should never make a campfire when dispersed camping – the risk of wildfire exists, and fines for starting one can be huge.

Photo for illustrative purposes only: iStock.com/Valerii Apertroaiei

What Should You Do When Leaving?

When you leave, your camping spot must look exactly the same way as you found it.

Any human waste must not be deposited within 100 meters of a water source and must be buried at least six inches underground using a trowel. 

The Best Time To Visit & Go Camping At Causey Reservoir

As with most other camping spots across the country, Causey Reservoir is at its best during the summer. During this season, the lake turns a shade of aqua green due to the minerals found in the water, making it all the more beautiful and extremely photogenic.

Choosing this destination for its water-based activities, visitors can ward off the heat by swimming and cliff jumping in the ice-cold water.

It is generally never too hot for hiking or camping here too as the forested hillside tends to provide ample shade from the scorching heat of the sun.

Photo for illustrative purposes only: iStock.com/naumoid

Some Of Our Favorite Hiking Trails Near Causey Reservoir!

In addition to boating, kayaking, paddling, swimming, cliff jumping, bird watching, and camping at Causey Reservoir, there’s also some fantastic trails to hike.

Here’s a look at some of our favorite trails along the reservoir, ranging from easy to challenging: 

1. Skull Crack Trailhead

This out-and-back trail around Causey Reservoir is a five-mile hike that takes an average of 2 hours and 10 minutes to complete.

A moderately challenging route, it starts at the south parking area of the lake and travels towards the eastern arm of the lake. The trail is open year-round and welcomes dogs, even off-leash in some areas. 

2. Wheatgrass Trail

This 11-mile trail is generally considered challenging and takes around 4 hours and 40 minutes to complete.

It starts at the northern tip of Causey Reservoir and follows a path through the mountain canyon, finally connecting to the road at Little Monte. Owing to the amount of time it takes to cover the trail, the best time to visit is April through October. Dogs are welcome but must be kept on a leash at all times. 


3. Skintoe Trail

The trail begins on the north side of Causey Reservoir below the Boy Scout Camp, forks up into the hills after around a mile, and eventually connects with the Baldy Ridge Road. The upper trail then winds through stands of aspen, oak, and mountain mahogany, and you may get to see moose, elk, and deer along the path!

This trail is fairly easy, but has rocky stretches along the way and takes the best part of a day to complete. We think the best time to visit the trail is in mid-May when the wildflowers are in bloom.

4. Baldy Ridge Trail

Generally considered a challenging route, this trail covers 19 miles and takes around 9 hours and 30 minutes to complete.

Starting parallel to the lake shoreline, the trail climbs steeply to the ridgeline and goes all the way to Highway 39 near Monte Cristo.

Since the trail is one of the longest in the area very few hikers use it, resulting in this path being overgrown in parts and hard to follow. But that does mean you could have this hike all to yourself.


Causey Reservoir Camping: Bear Safety Tips

Like many areas of America, there are bears roaming around Utah. Black bears are the only species in the state, and while encounters are rare – and very rare around Causey Reservoir – you must take steps to avoid attracting them to your campsite. 

With that being the case we advise:

  • If you have a vehicle nearby, store food there rather than in a tent.
  • Use a bear box or bear canister to store food, rubbish, and anything with a scent.
  • Don’t pitch your tent near where food is being stored.
  • Never approach any bear, regardless of its size.
  • Don’t spray anything with a scent – that can attract bears.

Camping At Causey Reservoir: Scavenger Hunt Game!

If you’re looking to keep kids amused while camping at Causey Reservoir – or you fancy having some fun for yourself – then we’ve created a printable scavenger hunt game!

Save the image and print it out, then tick off what you find and achieve during your camping holiday.

The game encourages players to get out and discover wildlife and nature, as well as make new friends and do fun camping activities. Enjoy!


  • Wandering our World

    Hi and welcome to Wandering our World! This article was written by one of the Wandering our World team - a team of travel enthusiasts who live around the globe.