The Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area (NRA) is a large reservoir found within a canyon on the Green River. The reservoir contains 207,363 acres (839 square kilometers) of both land and water, which is divided almost evenly among Utah and Wyoming. The canyon was named by explorer John Wesley, who upon first looking at the red gorge believed that it was on fire.
In 1958 the Flaming Gorge Dam was created, which today is what keeps the water contained in the reservoir. The Flaming Gorge reservoir is extremely popular for boaters for it contains 5 full-service marinas, which offer launching, storage, and maintenance facilities. Because the water in the reservoir always remains cool, even in the extreme heat, it is an avid spot for water sport enthusiasts. The reservoir is also known for attracting a large number of trout, which makes it a keen area for fishermen. The Green River, which is part of the Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area is also very popular for fishing. The river is additionally well-liked for rafting. The Flaming Gorge National Recreational Area in addition contains many campground and hiking trails found along the 360 miles of shoreline, including some secluded grounds only accessible by boat.
The Flaming Gorge NRA is located in the northeast corner of Utah and the southwest corner of Wyoming. It is South of I-80, between Green River and Rock Springs, Wyoming and extends into the Uintah Mountains towards Vernal, Utah.
- Rock Springs-Sweetwater County Airport (RKS) has daily service to and from Denver on United. Delta also runs regular service to and from Salt Lake City.
- From Salt Lake City (approx. 3.75 hours), take I-80 E towards Fort Bridger, WY. Keep right at the fork to continue toward I-80 BUS E and merge onto I-80 BUS E. Turn right at WY-414 S. Continue onto UT-43 E. Turn right at UT-44 S/Main St and proceed to enter Ashley National Forest.
- From Cheyenne (approx. 5.5 hours), take I-80 W toward Laramie. Take exit 99 for US-191 S toward E Flaming Gorge Rd and proceed to enter Ashley National Forest.
- From Denver (approx. 6.5 hours), take I-70 W toward Grand Junction. Take exit 90 for CO-13 N toward Rifle/Meeker. Turn left at CO-64 W. Turn left at US-40 W/Brontosaurus Blvd. Turn right at US-191 N/N Vernal Ave and proceed to enter Ashley National Forest.
There are no entrance fees into the recreation area.
Information and interpretive facilities are found at the Northeastern Utah Visitor center in Vernal, Flaming Gorge Dam, the Forest Service office in Manila, and at 14 interpretive sites along WY-44.
- Sheep Creek Geological Area/Loop
- Red Canyon
- Cart Creek Bridge
- Flaming Gorge Reservoir and Dam
- Mustang Ridge
- Scenic Byways and Backways
There are over 1,000 miles of mix-use trails in the Ashley National Forest. The following are some of the highlights. They are also good choices for day hikes.
- Canyon Rim Trail -- Starts at the Red Canyon Overlook and follows the canyon rim for approximately 1.5 miles before ending at the Greendale Overlook.
- Little Hole Trail -- Starts at the Flaming Gorge Dam spillway and ends at the Little Hole boating site. This trail follows the Green River.
- Dry Fork Flume Trail -- Starts at the forest boundary to the northwest and ends with a connection with the Sink Ridge trail.
- Rock Creek Trail -- Runs along the west edge of Upper Stillwater Reservoir and then follows the Rock Creek before entering the Wilderness.
The Ashley National Forest has many opportunities for Blue Ribbon fishing. Whether fly fishing in the Duchesne or Green River, or jigging on Flaming Gorge Reservoir, this area is an angler’s paradise.
Boating and Water Sports
The Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area is a popular spot for boating and water sport. There are boating ramps and marinas located at several sites around the Lake. There are 4 campgrounds in the immediate area of the Gorge that are accessible only by boat. The Green River below Flaming Gorge Dam also provides adventures for non-motorized water craft meeting state and federal regulations for river running. Twenty six miles of the Green River are open to approved water craft without permit. However, permits from the National Park Service are needed for the 26 miles of the Green River within the [Dinosaur National Monument].
Parts of the hiking trails are suitable for horseback riding. There are parking, horse unloading facilities, and comfort stations at most trailhead locations.
Many areas and trails on the Forest are open to off-highway vehicles.
Many of the same areas and trails used for ATVs are open to cross country skiing or snowmobile use during winter. There are facilities called "Yurts" that are available to rent for overnight stays. The Yurts are about four to seven miles from the Flaming Gorge on the Uintas Scenic Byway.
There are gifts and souvenir shops at the Red Canyon Lodge and the Flaming Gorge Dam. The gift shop at Red Canyon Lodge serves as a general store for nearby campgrounds.
Dining is available at the lodges and marinas.
There are 43 campgrounds hosting over 700 individual campsites and 27 group sites, all spread over nearly 91 water-miles. There is also the opportunity to set up “primitive” camping for those wishing a more secluded adventure, or river camps for those extending their river runs for more than a day.
- AL&L, 747 E. 1000 S., Orem, Utah 84097, toll-free: .
- Flaming Gorge Corporation, P.O. Box 10, Manila, Utah 84046, ☎ .
- Flaming Gorge Resort, 1100 E. Flaming Gorge Lodge, Dutch John, Utah 84023, ☎ .
- Red Canyon Lodge, 2450 W. Red Canyon Lodge, Dutch John, Utah 84023, ☎ .
- Spirit Lake Lodge, P.O. Box 338, Dutch John, Utah 84023, ☎ . ,
Search also in Manila, Dutch John, and Vernal for accommodations and other services.
Boaters and water sport enthusiasts should be especially careful since high winds may be encountered, and the waters of the Lake are cold. Know and obey all State and Federal regulations while using the Lake.
|Routes through Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area|
|Grand Teton N.P. ← Rock Springs ←||N S||→ Vernal → Moab|