Skip to main content
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something that we have recommended. While clicking these links won't cost you any extra money, they will help us keep this site up and running! Please check out our disclosure policy for more details.

The Salmon Run this year in Utah has been kind of weird. 2019 has been full of rain, cold weather and then heat. I'm sure the salmon don't even know what to do anymore. We sure don't! I've actually had tried getting up to Causey Reservoir for the kokanee salmon run two different times and have been thawrted by cold, rainy weather. We FINALLY succeeded on Saturday! Be sure to read about my checklist for a successful Salmon Run at Causey below.

Honestly, this trip almost didn't happen for a number of reasons. The clouds were making things look iffy and then we were late getting out. When we were about 15 minutes away from Causey I realized I didn't have ANY of our life jackets. Luckily, we could stop at the gas station in Huntsville who happened to carry adult and children life jackets. Seriously though. It was just crazy. 

By the time we go to Causey, we WERE READY! We had just loaded the kids into the canoe and I pulled out my phone to take a photo and then suddenly, the canoe tipped over with the kids and all our stuff in it. 

I was so stunned by this, I just couldn't even think. Luckily, I overpacked and our friend Lisa (from Off The Couch) overpacked as well. Our kids were soon sporting wet suits with mismatching clothing. 


It probably took about 45 minutes to an hour to kayak/canoe across the water. We prefer to stay to the left when you come to the Y. I've just always heard the left side has better salmon, but the other side is actually accessible by hiking. 

We could barely keep the kids contained once we reached the end. There's LOTS of mud and it will SUCK your shoes right off. So be prepared. Tie those shoes and tread carefully. Honestly, it's easiest just to accept that you will get muddy and you will need to walk through the ice-cold water in order to see the salmon so JUST DO IT. 

We were SUPER excited to see 2 or 3 salmon on the hike up. You'll see plenty more...or maybe you won't, depending on how late in the run season you go. 

We actually packed the following for our trip. It's our second time doing the Kokanee Salmon Run at Causey so I've got a few tips as to what to bring.

  • Pack water shoes for everyone. Bring them in the canoe.
  • Pack socks and warm clothing for the way back. Snow Boots. Hats, Layering jackets, gloves...everything. You'll be cold after going through the water. The kids get extra cold especially if they aren't doing any paddling so make sure they are bundled up. Just make sure to put it in a waterproof bag. Luckily, I did this an even though our bag went into the water all the things were dry inside. 
  • Wet Suits, not really, but they saved our bacon. (Lisa actually brought these as spares) but it's a good thing she did. My kids were SOAKING wet after the canoe tipped over so I'm glad they stayed SUPER warm. 
  • Towels for mud or for keeping warm. 
  • Bring Snacks and Water.
  • Bring mosquitos Repellant. The hike up the river can get mucky and there are lots of mosquitos towards the end. I was so frozen I just didn't even notice. 
  • Camera!
  • You'll need at least 3 hours, maybe more. This does not include travel time. 

The kids had lots of fun spying salmon. I mean, they were FREAKING out. 

Somehow, my kids always find dead fish. Always. 

My little boy has been watching the Kratt Brother's episode about the Sockeye Salmon and he knew all the facts. I think he was really excited to see that they were, in fact, real and he already knew LOTS of cool facts. 

You may be cold at this point. You guys, keep GOING. Hike all the way until you find the bridge. It's magical. It's also magically filled with mosquitos. 

Beyond the bring is a camping spot that is on my bucket list for sure! 

The kids obviously couldn't stay off of the log bridge or the other bridge. It really was amazing. 

We hung out for a while and then headed back. 

There are so many pretty places to see on the way out. 

I almost felt like we were in Hawaii. ALMOST.

On our way back into the canoe, we noticed a small spot of earth that seemed more sandy than muddy. We got smarter this time and put in on the side so the sand could wash off easily. That mud...does not come off easily. AND IT'S FREEZING. 

Lisa is keeping moments real. Diaper changes on the kayak! 

The ride back was actually kind of peaceful. Our kids were tired and just snuggled up in some towels and warm clothing. I'll admit, these quiet times don't happen often enough. 

Lisa's boys, 9 & 11 did really well on the way back. They were much slower kayaking back, but Lisa planned ahead and brought some ropes to bungee the kids to her kayak in case they got tired. Which, they did. 

We watched this other family kayak out along with us. They just looked magical. 

Our canoe was much swifter than we thought. We unloaded the kids and our stuff and then my husband went back to help Lisa. The kids and I drove to the top of Causey to the overlook. The kids loved yelling down to their dad and Lisa.

It was a magical night! We loved seeing the Salmon and were SO glad we made the trip again this year! 

The Salt Project
This post is sponsored, but The Salt Project's opinions are 100% our own.
Usually about two weeks long in September
Entrance Fee(s)
Helpful Tips
  • Bathrooms located on South Side of Causey.
  • We always put in on the dike area.
  • You MUST have life jackets for every single person in the water. Many people have gotten tickets. 
  • CLEAN UP AND PACK IT OUT. Pick up some extra trash on the way out. 
  • Fishing is allowed but bring your license.
  • Wear lots of layers. We bring a warm fleece jacket then have a waterproof jacket to put on top of each kid. We also bring beanies, gloves, extra shoes and socks. We've found it's easiest to let the kids wear sandals when walking up the river. They can get warm on the way back in the canoe. We also bring towels or something warm to cover the kids up on the way back across Causey. It may seem like a lot but it really saved us this trip.
  • Bring snacks for kids and water.
  • Sunscreen may be necessary.
  • Don't touch the salmon and don't bother them. They really are doing their last living act spawning and then they die. Have a little respect. 

Add new comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.