By Darryl Alder
May 20, 2017

Where to Go Day Camping: Burraston Ponds

Our troop has always liked this campsite for fishing, swimming and canoeing. Camping is no longer allowed, so this will be a daytime fishing or swimming trip.

The rope swings may look fun but but they don’t fit into the Safe Swim Defense program. This reminder from David:

#3 “No elevated entry is permitted where the person must clear any obstacle, including land.”  Most rope swings I’ve seen you need to cross land before entering the water.
Also, elevated entry; “Persons should not jump into water from heights greater than they are tall” Enjoy Burraston Ponds but do be safe.

The ponds were stocked on May 17.(Last update 05-23-17). The Division of Wildlife Resources says, “Try using garlic PowerBait, a nightcrawler tipped with a marshmallow or a Gold Red Dot Jake’s Spin-A-Lure. (Last update 05-09-17)” and  said, “Being spring-fed the water is very clear and well stocked with fish judging by all the feeding ripples on the pond at morning and sunset.  Also the ponds teem in dozens of different species of birds, so much so that at times it seemed like air traffic control would be required to avoid mid-air collisions.”

Directions

Burraston Ponds can be tricky to find, but just get to Mona, UT—about a 45-minute drive from Provo, head south on I-15, and you’ll be nearly there.

Take the Mona exit (#233) off I-15, and head west. Turn left onto Main Street, and head south for 1.8 miles. Craig Caldwell says, “There isn’t a good sign at the turn. There is an old faded sign facing east just past the turnoff that you would probably miss. But head west a half a mile on this road and cross over the railroad tracks.” 

Historical

This is a historical site, so follow the Leave No Trace Principles we use in Scouting. 

  • Burraston Ponds was the campsite of the Escalante Expedition on September 27, 1776. The expedition went from Santa Fe to the Utah Basin. Father Escalante mapped this area and named this spring “Ojo de San Pablo” or Eye of Saint Paul.
  • The great Indian chiefs before and during the Walker and Black Hawk Indian Wars used this campsite as a meeting place.
  • The Burraston family settled the area in 1865, giving the ponds their current name. They were on assignment to protect the mail route and raised cattle for the LDS Church. The family donated the area to the state of Utah in 1901 to commemorate Utah’s statehood for the enjoyment of the people.

NOTE: an earlier version of the article was amended, since the DNR no longer allows overnight camping.
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Author: Darryl Alder | Strategic Initiatives Director, Utah National Parks Council, BSA

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7 thoughts on “Where to Go Day Camping: Burraston Ponds

  1. David

    Rope swings may be fun but not sure how they fit into the Safe Swim Defense program.
    #3 “No elevated entry is permitted where the person must clear any obstacle, including land.”
    Most rope swings I’ve seen you need to cross land before entering the water.
    Also, elevated entry; “Persons should not jump into water from heights greater than they are tall”
    Enjoy Burraston Ponds but do be safe.

    Reply
    1. Jamie

      I have the same question! I tried calling Utah DNR to verify but had to leave a message. I’m not sure how else to verify if it’s open again for camping. Any ideas?

      Reply
    2. Darryl AlderDarryl Alder Post author

      I called DNR. It is day use only. Last I checked we were in discussion with DNR to manage this for them. Maybe we can get this fixed, but not promises

      Reply

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