Location: Provo Canyon
Float Length: 4.5 mi
Time Required: 2.5 - 3.5 hours (from BYU)
Season: Late May til mid-September
Gear: PFD (life jacket) - REQUIRED BY LAW
Starting below the Deer Creek Reservoir dam and ending at Vivian Park, floating the Provo River is fun and refreshing on a hot summer day. Whether in a tube, on a duckie, or simply in a life jacket, the Provo River quickly moves down the scenic canyon.
Before going, organize your group with a shuttle vehicle and ensure that every member of your group has a Type V whitewater PFD (life jacket). Proper PFDs are required by law and Utah Highway Patrol and the Utah County Sheriff heavily patrol and ticket users on the Provo River.
Look at the forecast; the Provo River feeds from the bottom of Deer Creek Reservoir and is a frigid 40° to 45° year-round. Outside air temperatures of 75° or higher and sunny are highly recommended. Use sunscreen and watch for hypothermia!
Finally, the Provo River current can be fast and dangerous; several deaths have occurred in the past decade because users underestimate the power of the river. Please use caution anytime you are on the river.
Head north on University Avenue into Provo Canyon. At Vivian Park, leave a shuttle car behind and continue up Provo Canyon.
About 4 miles up the road, just before the dam bridge, turn right. Immediately turn left at the T, and descend toward the river bank on the gravel roads. Find parking nearby the small one-lane gravel road bridge. The water is generally calmer on the other side (river left) of the bridge; several eddies exist and it's easiest to put in here. (See detailed map below)
Immediately after putting in beware of the pylons and supports to the bridge. Continue floating down the river, trying to stay in the main river channel. If you fall out of a boat or are floating down without a craft, keep your feet down river and lay as flat as possible to avoid rocks and other obstacles.
The most dangerous obstacle in this section of the Provo River is a railroad trestle halfway down river. Channels through the trestle are frequently blocked with fallen branches and other debris. Pull out before reaching the trestle and walk ~100 yards to the other side.
At Vivian Park, be sure to pull out on the river left side of Vivian Park before going under the South Fork Road bridge. River right is private property. There will be large rocks and concrete blocks to help get out of the water.
Put-In Detail View: