Starvation State Park was established in 1972, two years after the Bureau of Reclamation’s constructed the dam, which created the 3,495 surface acre reservoir as part of the Central Utah Water Project.
The name “Starvation” has been credited to two legends. One saying that a group of mountain men caught in winter snows survived by stealing a cache of food belonging to local Indians and as a result the Indians starved. The other more often told legend, relates the opposite story of the Indians stealing the trapper’s cache of food leaving the trappers to starve. It is, however, very likely that neither legend, even if true, bears reference to the naming of the dam and reservoir.
In the late 1800s and early 1900s, cattlemen and homesteaders tried to make a go of it along the banks of the Strawberry River in the area now occupied by the reservoir and dam. Their story is one of hardship, perseverance and facing near starvation in a very hostile and harsh environment. Winters were hard, long and extremely cold. Their cattle and livestock often froze during these winter months, and the short growing season was hindered by flooding, hailstorms, early frosts and other calamities. They nicknamed the area “Starvation” and it was from this reference that the reservoir, dam and state park received their names.
The annual walleye fishing tournament has become a popular fishing event with trophy 10-plus pound fish being caught nearly every year. The scenic beauty of 3,500 acres of park land, many coves, remote beaches and unusually blue water makes this a favorite of boating enthusiasts statewide.
Opened to the public as a state park in 1972.
Park Elevation: 5,712 feet