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'Absolutely amazing!;' Visitors praise new campsites at popular Utah state park

Posted at 5:26 PM, Jul 12, 2023

WASATCH COUNTY, Utah — With views of the iconic Mount Timpanogos and the Deer Creek Reservoir, a new campsite at Deer Creek State Park offers new opportunities for people to explore Utah’s outdoors.

“This is absolutely amazing. This is the most beautiful park we’ve been to, we’ve been all over the United States and it’s the views here,” said Peter Firestone.

Firestone, his wife and dog named Whiskey happened to stumble upon the new Fox Run Campground.

“It's my first time to Utah and it was by accident that we were able to find this park because we went to the state park on the other side and they were full down there, but they had a spot for us here,” he said.

The family parked their RV in one of the 31 new spots for visitors.

“This actually increased our camping opportunities by about a third,” explained Deer Creek State Park Manager, Ranger Stephen Studebaker.

Studebaker said the site provides an option close to town with facilities like bathrooms, showers and outlets, so that the outdoors can be for everyone.

“We get a lot of folks from Heber that come down, a lot of folks from Utah County that will come up, and it's a popular area because it's easily accessible and that's one of our biggest things,” he said. “We want to have as many opportunities and amenities to cater to as many options as possible.”

Outdoor recreation has been a hot topic at the state’s legislative sessions in the past couple years. The legislature has passed bills and invested hundreds of millions of dollars when it comes to expanding opportunities for the visitors flooding in each year.

“That’s why, if you've come back to state parks and you've noticed improvements, like there's a zip line here at Deer Creek State Park, there's a floating playground, there's all kinds of campsites and beaches and picnic areas,” said Director for Utah State Parks Jeff Rasmussen, “There's something for everyone when you come to state parks. And the beauty of that is everybody has something to do.”

Executive Director of Heber Valley Tourism and Economic Development Dallin Koecher says the revenue from the millions of visitors coming in each year is critical to nearby cities like Heber.

“We did a study, it looks like about 46% of our sales tax is generated by visitors,” said Koecher, “So almost half of our sales tax that, you know, takes for public safety, city functions and other things of that nature comes from visitation.”

It’s a win-win for the hosts and guests of sites like Fox Run Campground.

“It's a full hook up and, you know, it worked out great,” said Firestone, “We just, I mean, love it. It's cold at night, hot during the day, the golf course close by the boating and it's just perfect.”