An Afternoon At Lloyds Lake
- Date Visited: May 25, 2021
- GPS: 37.85232, -109.36463
We were boondocking in Manti-La Sal National Forest outside Monticello, Utah when we decided to take the pets for a hike. We just started driving around, but couldn’t find any hiking trails. The area is riddled with places to take your ATV’s on, but nothing for hiking.
While studying some maps at one trailhead we ran into a local and asked if he had any tips on where we could take Dexter and Everest. He informed us Llyods Lake was only 10 minutes away and had a hiking path around it. So we thanked him, jumped back in the car and typed in Lloyds lake in the Garmin.
I’m telling you wherever you are camping if you have the opportunity to strike up a conversation with a local do it. They always know the best places to shop, eat, hike, fish and camp. If we hadn’t of ran into this kind stranger we would of completely missed out on an incredible afternoon on the lake.
Lloyds lake, sometimes referred to as Lloyds Reservoir, is a man-made reservoir right outside the town of Monticello. The lake isn’t massive and the water level was down quite a bit when we visited. The floating dock wasn’t even in the water anymore. With the drought going on in the southwest this year though I wasn’t surprised.
There are a number of picnic tables, firepits, grills and even a shaded pavilion. There are a couple bathrooms too (even though I don’t think they have been maintained in a while). Swimming, kayaking and canoeing are allowed here. No motorized boating is allowed on the lake though. Fishing is also popular and it is stocked regularly with Rainbow Trout.
The trail around the lake is a little over 2 miles long, easy to hike and well maintained. You get to walk over the dam, on the water’s edge, through some trees and even over the cutest little wooden bridge. There are many places where you can walk off of the trail to get to the lake to cast out a line or take a swim.
It’s an incredible place to waste the afternoon.
The mountains in the background made the the views spectacular. There was an abundance of wildlife as well. We saw mule deer in the field beside us and a few furry critters (chipmunks and a rabbit) crossed the trail in front of us. A number of different species of waterfowl were enjoying the lake including multiple Great Blue Herons.
There were a ton of dogs there. I lost count of the number of dogs running up and down the shore and jumping in the lake for a swim. Dexter hates to get his ears wet so he won’t swim. He does love running as fast as he can on the waters edge though. Occasionally he’ll wander a little farther into the water, but he never let’s it get higher than his chest.
Everest is a typical cat and hates the water, but man does he love getting dirty. After rolling around on the rocky, sandy shore for a bit he was quite content to sit under his umbrella and watch all the birds. Yes, Everest has his own umbrella. He overheats easily so we always try to make sure he has shade if it’s sunny out. Our pets are NOT spoiled, I swear lol.
We spent probably three hours at the lake hiking and playing in the water and had an absolutely wonderful time. We had just left Moab where we spent two weeks in tourist mode visiting national parks, hiking and just constantly on the move. It was such a refreshing change of pace just to sit back, relax and completely immerse ourselves in nature.
While there’s no overnight camping allowed at Lloyds Lake the Manti-La Sal National Forest is just 15 minutes away with an ample amount of spots to boondock as well as a couple little campgrounds. Internet in the forest if pretty iffy at best, but we got great service at the lake.
The lake isn’t that big, but it’s still a great spot to get a little exercise or get in some afternoon water therapy. Throw in your kayak for an hour, take a dip to cool off or just lay on the shore for a nap. When the sun goes down head into to the forest, start up a campfire and just stare at the stars.
In my opinion it’s a great way to spend a weekend!