Boating, camping, fishing, sandy beaches, and warm waters usually bring visitors to Yuba Lake every year. This year the drought in Utah has been so severe that most of the reservoirs, lakes, and rivers are extremely low and Yuba is no exception. We had heard that this reservoir was only about 10% water capacity so we decided to drive down last weekend to check it out for ourselves and turn it into an adventure.
We first drove in to the Painted Rocks section and we were so surprised to see a completely dried up lake bed. We were able to drive the truck right down to where the bottom of the lake would have been. It was such a weird feeling knowing that just at the beginning of the summer water covered the surface we were standing on, and last year the water was half way up the rock cliffs.
These pictures are where the Painted Rocks boat ramp and dock is. Completely dry! How often do you get the chance to stand in the middle of a dried up lake bed?
Since we had the little ones with us we didn’t make it up to the top of these cliffs to explore and try and find the Petroglyphs that are up there. Usually this is one of my favorite things to do when we are out exploring. Petroglyphs and pictographs are some of my favorite things about Utah’s history and the stories they tell about the ancient people who lived here. So next time we go back, this is definitely something I want to do! Lucky people can sometimes even find evidence of the ancient Native Americans who lived in the area by seeing old pieces of pottery, and stone tools. We were hoping to see something at the bottom of where the lake once was, but we didn’t have much luck.
We hiked and explored a little here, but it was hot and dry and definitely wasn’t the best conditions for our two little explorers to be on a hot August day when it was well over 100 degrees. So we decided to head over to the west and north beaches where there was still a little water left. We definitely put our Keen’s to the test hiking and exploring through mud, dirt, sand and water!
These west beaches are still open for now, but the guard told us that the Oasis boat ramp would probably be closing within the next few weeks too as the water gets lower. We were happy that at least for now there was still some water we could get in and cool off! The sandy beaches are so cool because you can still drive your truck right up to the edge of the water and get right out and set up your camp. I love that at this state park there is developed and primitive camping available and even designated beach areas where we were at – so there is something for everyone depending on what type of camping you like best. My boys had a blast playing in the mud, throwing rocks in the water, and swimming. If we had more time to spend here I definitely would have wanted to rent some jet skis and stand up paddle boards!
Our Rtic Hard Cooler that has been on all of our family adventures with us this summer! Investing in a good, durable cooler this year has definitely upped our camping game especially when we are out in the hot desert. It’s kept our drinks cold and our food dry because the ice lasts all weekend – we love it!
Are you a sticker person or not a sticker person?? For us it’s a definite yes! 🙂 Also, peep our new, “The Swell Life” sticker!!!
While the typical summer tourist season at Yuba may have been cut short due to water levels, here’s to hoping for an extremely wet and snowy winter to help out Utah’s water reserves and get things back to normal for next year at some of our favorite spots!