Flaming Gorge Area Info
The Adventure Next Door
Experience truly wild country just a few hours from a major metropolitan area. Unspoiled and lacking the crowds of most recreation areas, Flaming Gorge Country is an outdoor wonderland. Year-round recreational opportunities are centered on the 91-mile Flaming Gorge Reservoir and the famed Green River. There is a wide range of active pursuits to fill your days, or you can just sit back and take in the breathtaking scenery and watch the abundant wildlife.
Halfway between Yellowstone and Canyonland National Parks, the lake, river and surrounding area in southern Wyoming and Northeastern Utah are designated National Recreation Areas. A rewarding stop along your tour of the natural wonders of the West, it provides the contrast in scenery for which the West is famous, from the rugged Uinta Mountains to the expansive Wyoming deserts. This spectacular combination serves as home to a variety of big-game animals, including moose, Rocky Mountain elk, pronghorn antelope and bighorn sheep.
Rich in Western lore, Flaming Gorge Country was home to mountain men, pioneers, outlaws and Native Americans. John C. Fremont and John Wesley Powell were early visitors during their scientific explorations of the West. In his 1869 journey down the Green River, Powell named many local landmarks: Flaming Gorge, Horseshoe Canyon, Red Canyon, the Gates of Lodore – names that attest to the dramatic scenery that still impresses visitors today. The legends of Butch Cassidy, Jim Bridger and Queen Anne Bassett were forged in this country. Historic Swett Ranch, Brown's Park, Fort Bridger, and the Oregon Trail all offer carefully preserved glimpses of the early days of the Western frontier.
When it comes to outdoor recreation, Flaming Gorge Country may have no equal. From an exciting raft trip to a leisurely scenic drive - the choices are endless. Boating, rafting and fishing are only some of the ways to enjoy our Flaming Gorge Country. Hiking, biking and camping reward visitors with an intimate encounter with the splendid backcountry.
Scenic drives are an easy way to experience Flaming Gorge's beauty. In fact, one of the best ways to see our famous wild horses is to look right out your car window! Our premier tour is the recently completed Flaming Gorge-Unitas National Scenic Byway, offering many roadside exhibits and short nature trails. Most of the other highways are designated state scenic byways. Side trips, like the Sheep Creek Geologic Loop Tour, offer exciting views of bighorn sheep.
The fun doesn't end with the warm weather. Winter is a magical time of year here in Flaming Gorge Country. Whether on cross-country skis or snowmobiles, there are miles of trails to explore. Come share the winter solitude with our spectacular wildlife. Enjoy year-round fishing or a cozy sleigh ride.
Of course, there is fishing in Flaming Gorge Country. From enormous Macs in the lake to big browns, cuts and bows in the river, renowned world-class fishing is found here. The scenic lake waters are the prime habitat for a variety of trophy fish, including hefty Mackinaw (lake) trout, rainbow trout, smallmouth bass and delicious Kokanee salmon. In fact, many world-record fish have come from our lake! The Green River, below Flaming Gorge Dam, is regarded as one of the finest tailwater fisheries in the world. It is a prime fly-fishing destination, offering abundant populations of huge rainbow, brown and cutthroat trout.
Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area is managed by the USDA Forest Service, Ashley National Forest, and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. Over 600 camping and picnic units (including boat-in and floating camps), two visitor centers, over a hundred miles of trails, and many other visitor facilities offer you a wide range of recreational opportunities. The Flaming Gorge Dam Visitor Center is open year-round. Some facilities are fully handicap accessible, including camp sites, picnic sites, and fishing platforms.
If you are looking for the undiscovered, untrammeled wilderness of the past you need look no further. Flaming Gorge Country is truly the adventure next door. Ask our knowledgeable staff at Red Canyon Lodge to help you with any of your activities during your visit to Flaming Gorge Country.
The best way to experience the fullness of Flaming Gorge Country (aside from sleeping at Red Canyon Lodge, of course) is to sleep outside, right in the middle of the most stunning country in the U.S.
Most NRA campsites are operated by concessionaires; contact operators below or the U.S. Forest Service at 435-784-3445.
Almost all of the NRA campsites may be reserved in advance by using the national campground reservation system.
1-877-444-6777 or www.recreation.gov
Flaming Gorge Corp. (Lucerne Valley Marina)
7 miles east of Manila, UT. Various campgrounds with 143 campsites, 8 group sites.
Main season – 7:00 am-9:00 pm. Open daily. March-Nov. 15.
888-820-9225 or 435-784-3483.
American Land & Leisure
Various campgrounds. Overnight camping, picnic, and day use areas. 24 hours daily. April – Oct.
Other excellent campground information may be found by visiting the Go! Flyfishing the Green River Camping Page.
There are several marinas in the area that can accommodate your water recreation needs.
25 miles south of Green River, Wyoming off WY Hwy 53
Open daily. April-Nov. limited winter.
There are numerous visitor services surrounding the Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area in the gateway towns of Manila and Vernal, Utah and Green River and Rock Springs, Wyoming. For more information, please contact;
Area at A Glance
LOCATION: Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area is located in southwestern Wyoming and northeastern Utah.
FLAMING GORGE DAM: Completed in 1964, Flaming Gorge Dam was built to provide water storage and hydroelectricity. It rises 502 feet above the Green River and is open most days for guided and self-guided tours.
FLAMING GORGE RESERVOIR: The lake is 91-miles long and has over 350 miles of shoreline. The Utah portion fills narrow, colorful canyons; the Wyoming section is wider and surrounded by high sagebrush deserts. Anglers try for trophy-size lake and rainbow trout, kokanee salmon, and smallmouth bass. Three marinas are located on the lake.
GREEN RIVER: Anglers fish for trophy rainbow and brown trout while rafters enjoy the relatively easy whitewater between the Dam and Little Hole. Hikers look for wildlife along the seven-mile Little Hole Trail connecting both trailheads.
VISITOR CENTERS: Flaming Gorge Dam visitor center is open year round; tours of Flaming Gorge dam are offered. Red Canyon visitor center is located just north of UT44; it is open seasonally. Red Canyon viewpoints are always open and provide spectacular views of Flaming Gorge Reservoir 1400 feet below. Green River visitor center on the south side of Green River, Wyoming is open year-round. The NRA headquarters in Manila, Utah, is open most business days.
ACTIVITIES: Fishing, rafting, boating, water sports, hiking, wildlife viewing, birding, camping, mountain biking, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, and hunting. See recreational opportunities for more information.
SCENIC DRIVES: A Wildlife Through the Ages@ scenic byway is along US191 and UT44 between Vernal and Manila, UT. Sheep Creek Geological Loop (pictured above) is off UT44 just south of Manila, UT and is open during the summer.
FLORA AND FAUNA: Rocky Mountain elk, mule deer, Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, and pronghorn antelope are easily seen. Near the water you can look for otters, watch for bald eagles in winter, and osprey and their nests in summer. Marmots are frequent in grassy areas in summer, and numerous species of birds are common year- round.
Vegetation ranges from lower elevation grasslands and sagebrush deserts in Wyoming, through pinon pine and juniper woodlands surrounding the river and Utah portion of the lake, up to ponderosa pine parklands and lodgepole pine forests on the Uinta Mountains. Aspen groves and spruce and fir forests cover the upper elevations just below the alpine meadows of the highest peaks.
HISTORIC SITES: Swett Ranch, located near Flaming Gorge Lodge, represents historic Western homesteading. Ute Fire Lookout Tower, located just off the Sheep Creek Geological Loop, was the first and is the last operating fire tower in the state of Utah. Both are open seasonally and are accessed by short dirt roads suitable for most vehicles. John Jarvie Historic Site in nearby Browns Park is managed by the Bureau of Land Management. It is approximately an hour's drive from Flaming Gorge Dam on a combination of paved and dirt roads.
WEATHER: Flaming Gorge area weather is unpredictable and may change rapidly. Summers are usually warm with occasional thunderstorms and strong winds. Spring and fall bring cooler temperatures with chances of rain, snow, and wind. Winters are cool to cold with snow common at higher elevations. Portions of the lake may freeze between January and March.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Visitor centers (above), local businesses, and seasonal recreational facilities are good sources of information. Forest Service information is available by calling 435- 784-3445.
Dinosaurland Travel Board
Flaming Gorge Fee Program
In order to maintain and improve recreational facilities at Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area, visitors who use most NRA facilities are required to have a recreation use pass. These passes are available at all Forest Service offices and visitor centers, and most area businesses. Passes are available for the following periods.
Sixteen-day pass $ 15.00
Annual pass $ 35.00
Passes must be displayed in the primary mode of transportation, or kept on your person if you are entering the recreation area on foot, horseback, or bicycle. Visitors who do not stop on the main through highways, or who stop at recreation area stores or restaurants do not need a pass. Pass vendors have more information.
This pass program has been authorized by Congress and over 80% of all fees collected remain here at Flaming Gorge NRA. The US Forest Service is using the fee money to maintain and improve existing facilities like reads, campgrounds, docks and visitor centers. Thank You for your support of this program.
NOTE: For 2007, recreation use passes are not required for Green River parking at the dam launch area or Little Hole. However, an independent parking fee of $2.00 is required. Annual river parking passes are also available for $20.00. These passes may be purchased at area vendors or on-site at the Green River parking areas.
Additional Information is available in these helpful PDF's: