Willard Bay is a freshwater reservoir located 12 miles northwest of Ogden on the flood plains of the Great Salt Lake. An earth filled dike and natural shoreline make up the 20-mile enclosures. The dike is officially named the Arthur V. Watkins Dam, for a former U.S. Senator from Utah who was essential in getting the Weber Basin Project passed through congress in 1949. The area had a need for a reservoir to store surplus water from the Ogden and Weber rivers that could later be pumped out and used on farmlands.
Design and construction of the dam was completed by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. The reservoir is operated by the Weber Basin Water Conservancy District and recreation activities are administered by the Utah State Parks and Recreation.
Willard Bay State Park consists of two separate marinas next to Willard Bay. Recently renovated, the park offers state-of-the-art day-use and camping facilities, boat launch ramps, and group-use areas.
Opened to the public as a state park in 1966.
Park Elevation: 4,200 feet
Park only in designated areas. Campground areas are for individuals paying the appropriate camping fee. Day Use and Fishing patrons are to park only in the day use areas. If you would like to occupy a campsite for the day please inform the gate staff upon entering so that the appropriate fee can be accessed.
Stop The Quagga: Please help us prevent invasive mussels from entering the reservoir. Boaters are required to certify their boat is mussel free every time they launch their boat. If you have been to an infected water (Lake Powell and Deer Creek are currently on the list) you must decontaminate your vessel. The two options to do this are professional decontamination or self decontaminating your boat. To self decontaminate follow the steps below:
- Clean all plants, fish, mussels, and mud off of your boat
- Drain all water from ballast tanks, bilge, live wells, motor, and all other water storing methods
- Dry your boat and equipment for 7 days in summer, 18 days spring and fall, 30 days in winter, 3 days winterized or freezing
Our staff can professionally decontaminate your boat if you choose that route. Please call our office and set up an appointment ahead of time. This will speed up the process and allows you to get out on the water quicker. If gates are unattended please get a certification form from the Quagga mussel signs located at both the north and south entrance station.
Park Fees: If no gate staff is on-duty at time of entry into park, then you must use a fee envelope to enter the park. Park fees are year round Detach and fill out the top portion of the envelope and leave it face up in your window dropping the envelope in the fee tube. Please remember to pay the park fee using the fee envelope system.
Dogs: Dogs are allowed in all areas of the park but must remain on a 6ft leash. Please clean up after your pets.
Boating Safety: All children under the age of 13 must have a properly fitting coast guard approved life jacket on and fastened while in the boat on the water. Visit http://stateparks.utah.gov/resources/boating/ for further safety requirements regarding boating safety and for a list of required safety equipment.