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Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area

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Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area Overview

Located in northeastern Utah and southwestern Wyoming, Flaming Gorge offers visitors world-class fishing, family boating, rafting, hiking, mountain biking, skiing, and wildlife viewing. Completion of the Flaming Gorge Dam in 1963 created 91-mile long Lake Flaming Gorge along the Green River. Both the lake and the Green River below the dam have produced record fish, and the surrounding recreation area contains a diversity of scenery and recreational opportunities.

Visitor Centers are located throughout the recreation area:

Flaming Gorge Dam Visitor Center on US 191 near Dutch John, Utah, is open year-round. Dam tours are offered seasonally.

Green River Visitor Center is just south of Green River, Wyoming on WY 530. Open year-round.

Flaming Gorge NRA Headquarters in Manila, Utah at junction of UT 43/44 is open year-round.

Red Canyon Visitor Center just north of UT 44 is open seasonally and overlooks spectacular Red Canyon and Lake Flaming Gorge.

Historic Sites

Open seasonally and located on short dirt roads suitable for most passenger cars; large RVs and trailers are not recommended.

Swelt Ranch is just off US 191 five, miles south of Flaming Gorge Dam, and represents a turn-of-the century homestead; guided tours.

Ute Mountain Fire Lookout Tower is off Forest Road 221, just west of Sheep Creek Geologic Loop. It is the first fire tower in the state and the last operating.

Interpretive Programs are offered throughout the summer; check at visitor centers for current schedule.


Located throughout the recreation area, campgrounds include from primitive, dispersed sites, boat-in only sites, and single and group sites with water and flush toilets. The recreation area enforces a 16 day limit per site.

Forest Service campgrounds do not have hookups; private campgrounds in Manila and Vernal, Utah and Green River and Rock Springs, Wyoming offer full service campgrounds.

Some campsites may be reserved in advance by calling 877-444-6777.

Lodging and food service within the recreation area include:

Flaming Gorge Lodge - four miles south of Flaming Gorge Dam. 801-889-3773.
Red Canyon Lodge - just north of UT 44. 801-889-3759.
Spirit Lake Lodge - near High Uintas Wilderness. Open seasonally. 307-780-8088.

Manila and Vernal, Utah and Green River and Rock Springs, Wyoming offer full services.


Sheep Creek Geologic Loop

An 11 mile scenic drive off UT 44 just south of Manila, UT. This road is paved with short stretches of gravel and is suitable for most vehicles. Highlights of the drive include spectacular geology and good wildlife viewing opportunities. The"Wheels of Time" interpretive publication is available from the Flaming Gorge Natural History Association.

Wildlife Through The Ages Scenic Byway

This byway connects Vernal and Manila! Utah along US 191 and UT 44.

Other recreational opportunities include hiking, mountain biking, cross country skiing, wildlife viewing, rafting, and many other year-round sports.

Lake Flaming Gorge

Managed by the USDA Forest Service as part of Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area. This 91 mile long reservoir was created in the early 1960s by the completion of Flaming Gorge Dam on the Green River. In 1968 Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area was created to enhance the area's superb outdoor recreational opportunities. The lake has since become one of the West's finest fishing and boating areas.


Lake Flaming Gorge offers the public a variety of experiences and facilities. The Utah portion of the lake is situated in spectacular mountain scenery, with dramatic cliffs and narrow canyons. The Wyoming section spreads out into wide, high desert plains. Summer water temperatures are cool, providing excellent fishing and water sports.

Boaters should note reefs and rocks are not marked. Due to fluctuating lake levels, boaters must use lake maps and familiarize-themselves with locations of hazards. Lake maps and other educational publications may be purchased from the Flaming Gorge Natural History Association. Safety equipment is required by state law.

Boaters careful not to disturb wildlife can enjoy dramatic views of nesting osprey, bighorn sheep, pronghorn antelope, and pelicans.


The lake is world famous. Record-breaking and trophy fish have been caught on the lake both summer and winter. Anglers try for lake trout (Mackinaw), Kokanee salmon, smallmouth bass, and other cold-water fishes. Bottom fishing is good with jigs; for trolling, try Rapalas. Ice anglers should be careful on the ice; check with local businesses for current conditions. Utah or Wyoming state fishing licenses are required; check about current regulations.

Lake Facilities


The following commercial marinas provide seasonal (usually March through October) services which include mooring, storage, fuel, minor repairs, limited rentals, and general supplies.

Buckboard Marina - 25 miles south of Green River, WY off WY 530. 307 875-6927.
Lucerne Marina - 7 miles east of Manila, UT. 801 784-3483.
Cedar Springs Marina - 2 miles west of Flaming Gorge Dam. 801 889-3795.

Boat Ramps

In addition to the marinas listed above, the Forest Service maintains paved boat ramps at the following locations:

Wyoming: Firehole, Buckboard Crossing.
Utah: Sheep Creek Bay, Antelope Flat, Mustang Ridge.

Boat Camping

The following seasonal campsites are accessible only by boat:

Hideout: 20 miles above Flaming Gorge Dam; near Sheep Creek Bay boat ramp. Tent pads, picnic tables, grills, drinking water, flush toilets, reserved docks. Fees charged. Some sites may be reserved by calling 1 (800) 280-CAMP.

Undeveloped sites between Flaming Gorge Dam and Lucerne Marina; first-come, first-served sites with limited facilities: Jarvie's Canyon, Gooseneck, Kingfisher Island.

Wyoming Floating Camps: first-come, first served for self contained boats-- Big Bend l, II, III (4 miles south of Buckboard Crossing); Flattop l, II, II (3 miles south of Squaw Hollow ramp).

Other Watersports

Water skiers

Skiers should note that the Utah portion of the lake consists of relatively narrow canyon channels.


There are two designated swim beaches for public use. Lake water is cool; lifeguards are not provided.

Sunny cove swim beach is located near Mustang Ridge campground just north of the dam.
Lucerne swim beach is located one mile west of Lucerne campground.


Canoeists and kayakers may boat to lakeside campgrounds, explore short side canyons in. Red Canyon, or explore Wyoming beaches.



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