Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Campground Review: Burraston Ponds Wildlife Management Area Mona, UT

Mona, UT is a tiny little town along I-15 about 60 miles south of Salt Lake City.  Just to the southwest of the city limits lay the Burraston Ponds Wildlife Management Area that is administered by the Utah DNR.

Someone really banged the side of this metal sign hard!
I traveled to the Burraston Ponds shortly before the Memorial Day weekend after spending my first night in Utah at an indifferent RV campground in Price, Utah that at least allowed me to dump tanks and replenish the Tank's fresh water.  Getting to the Ponds a little ahead of the Memorial Day crowd allowed me to snag one of the best spots in the whole Area.

I had to "stretch" the 3-day stay limit a tad after seeing this site.
The three large spring-fed ponds that make up Burraston Ponds were discovered in 1776 by the Escalante Expedition out of Sante Fe.  Father Escalante mapped the area and named the ponds Ojo de San Pablo or Eye of Saint Paul.  The Burraston family settled the area in 1865 giving the ponds their current name.  The family donated the Area to the state of Utah in 1901 to celebrate Utah's new statehood.

Just past the entrance there's this plaque that tells the history of the ponds.

Here's the site data for Burraston Ponds:

Hookups:                                None (bring the fresh water you’ll require)
Fire ring:                                  Yes
Water Access:                         Yes
Dump station:                          No (there ARE trash dumpsters)
WiFi:                                       No
Level sites:                              Yes
Laundry:                                 No
Store:                                      No
Pool:                                       No
Shade:                                    Yes
Verizon reception:                   4G, 2 out of 4 bars
Millenicom reception:              2 out of 4 bars
Cost:                                      Free, 3 day limit (relaxed enforcement)

View from the Tank's back door.
I really regretted having left the kayak in storage back in Houston as the ponds would have been perfect to kayak in....oh well!  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.

Mt. Nebo....still snow capped in late May.
The one ding to the outstanding camping experience at Burraston Ponds is that there is a fairly active rail line that skirts it's eastern edge with trains sometimes as early as 6 am but they seemed to stop after about 10 at night.

I took this after the 6am train woke me up...sunrise over Mt. Nebo.
The Burraston Ponds Wildlife Management Area, with it's three ponds, is a tremendous free camping experience and I can't give it enough stars!  It DOES get understandably crowded on holidays like Memorial Day so I wouldn't plan on rolling in Friday after work and finding a great camp site but after the holiday it wasn't at all crowded.  Bring a float or a kayak!

Thanks for reading!

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