Payson Lakes is a popular place for camping and day use for fishing and kayaking in the Nebo Loop.
It is a gorgeous place to go in the fall!
There is a parking lot next to the largest of the three Payson lakes, Big East Reservoir. It’s pretty cool to see the wispy clouds reflected in the lake like that.
When it opens around Memorial Day there are flowers (dandelions) nearby and the water was pretty full.
By fall the water levels have dropped, but those aspens are glorious!
There is also a paved trail that goes all around the lake called Payson Lake Loop. The lake is surrounded by pines and aspens, so it has nice views.
Big East Reservoir a great place to kayak, fish or play in the water.
In September the water levels get low, so the water is pretty mucky, but it still works for fishing.
By October the colors are amazing!
All of the above photos are from Big East Reservoir, the larg of the Payson Lakes. The other two lakes are accessible by trail or by car by taking the north entrance to the campground.
The first lake you come to is the smallest, McClellan Lake.
The second lake, Box Lake, is bigger and near the group campsites.
The first photo is on the north side and the other two are the middle and south end.
Stats: Distance – 1.0 miles roundtrip path around reservoir, 20 yards from parking lot
Approximate hiking time – 30-60 minutes
Elevation gain – 26 feet
Difficulty – Easy
Trail – paved
Bathrooms – At Trailhead
Seasons to hike – May-October
Permits needed – $10 day use per car or National Parks Pass
Pets allowed – Yes
Other nearby hikes are Grotto Falls, Devil’s Kitchen, Salt Creek Waterfall and Escalante Cross.