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CampingFlaming Gorge

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Flaming Gorge is a high altitude version of Lake Powell. This is a huge reservoir surrounded by red rock cliffs in the lower half of the lake. The upper portion of the lake is more open and vast. As the full pool elevation is 6040 feet, this lake has a definite alpine feel. The red rock sandstone cliffs provide a stunning contrast to the green of the pines which surround this lake.

The lake was named by John Wesley Powell for the color of the sun on the red rocks. Flaming Gorge was one of the first areas Powell encountered on his exploration of the Green and Colorado rivers. Construction on the Flaming Gorge dam began in 1958. This dam rises 502 feet above the bed of the Green River. The road to Dutch John actually drives over the top of the dam. There is a pull-out and view area just downstream of the dam. You can actually walk across the top of the dam and view the Green River far below. Be sure and visit the visitor center, this interesting diversion will inform you of the history of the dam.

WildlifeThis is an area where you will see a lot of wildlife. Mountain goats can be seen scampering among the rocks from the reservoir. Moose and Mule deer can be seen from the roads around the area frequently. I have seen beavers working on their abodes in some of the side canyons of this lake. Osprey are found throughout the region, these raptors build impressive nests on the top of rock formations.

Flaming Gorge is the first place we took our son camping. Two weeks after delivering a baby by c-section my wife and son were camping here. This is also the first place we noticed how cool air affects an open diaper to a male child. There is a picnic table in the Canyon Rim campground that I would definitely put a tablecloth on.

The CampingCanyon Rim Campground

There are many campgrounds located throughout the region. My favorite place to camp is the Canyon Rim campground. If I remember correctly it is 12 dollars to camp here. The sites are fairly far apart. Any site in the campground features wonderful views of a Red Canyon Overlookhigh alpine vista of pine covered mountains. The gem of this campground is the overlook of Red Canyon, Flaming Gorge is visible far below, boats look tiny from your perch high above.

There are several campsites that are boat access only. If you have a boat you can camp in these places in relative seclusion. Jarvis and Gooseneck boat camps each have few campsites that are located in secluded bays.

Lucerne Valley, Antelope Flats, Cedar Springs, and the Firefighters Memorial
campgrounds, are all well maintained forest service campgrounds. The sites
are well spaced for the most part, and offer various views and aspects.Firefighters Memorial
Cedar Springs is close to the marina, Firefighters offers beautiful views
over the reservoir. Wherever you choose to camp you really can't go wrong,
the area is beautiful from everywhere within the recreation area.

I must admit I have once gone there without roughing it. We rented one of the luxury cabins at the Red Canyon Lodge. These cabins are situated alongside an alpine lake. Very nicely furnished and featuring a kitchenette, this is a very nice way to spend a weekend.

The Boating/Fishing

Flaming Gorge offers some of the best boating and fishing in Utah. This is a lake covering over 42,000 acres. The boat ramps are fairly spread out along the lake, Sheep Creek and Cedar Springs are popular places to put in your boat.

This is a lake that begs to be explored; the Southern half of the lake is the more scenic. Side canyons branch off the main river channel in this region, exploring these somewhat short canyons can provide a scenic journey.

Flaming Gorge is the Lake Trout capital of Utah. The state record of just over 50 pounds was caught here. These fish haunt the depths and are somewhat hard to catch. Common methods used for catching these beasts include, trolling with downriggers, vertical jigging heavy jigs or trolling steel line. Expect to put in a lot of time trying to catch these fish.

Rainbow and Brown Trout are planted here on a regular basis. These can be caught easily by trolling flatfish or popgear. Run your lures about 50 yards behind the boat and troll at about 2 mph. Although generally running less than a pound apiece, there is a chance to hook a monster. Flaming Gorge is also the home to the state record Rainbow and Brown Trout.

In the spring the Smallmouth Bass fishing is very good. As the bass move into the shallows to spawn they become vulnerable to anglers in the know. Cast crawfish imitating lures on rocky shorelines to catch these hard fighting fish.

This is one of the few lakes in Utah that have Kokanee salmon. These fish can be hard to find but usually travel in schools, once you find one there are others around. Kokanee can usually be found around 40 feet deep. Downriggers or weight is required to get your lure down to them. These are rather small fish averaging around a pound, the state record is just over 5 pounds. During certain times of the year, the fishing for these gets very hot and catching your limit is not a problem.

Overall

Flaming Gorge is a very scenic place to visit. The drives around the reservoir are worth the trip alone. There are no major cities around here, Manila is the best Red Canyon Lodgeplace to find supplies at. Either Flaming Gorge lodge or Red Canyon Lodge are the place to get the things you forgot in the Southern part of the area. To truly experience this place to its fullest you must get out on the water. This is a great place to water ski, fish, or just take it easy putting around.

Please try and get here someday.

Nearby Areas:

Book Cliffs

Nine Mile Canyon

Starvation Reservoir

Dinosaur National Monument

Steinaker Reservoir

Red Fleet State Park

Resources


Maps

Flaming Gorge/East Uintas Trail Map

Flaming Gorge/East Uintas Trail Map

More than just a map - National Geographic Trails Illustrated topographic maps are designed to take you into the wilderness and back. Printed on durable tear-resistant waterproof material this map can go anywhere you do! Each map is based on exact reproductions of USGS topographic map information updated customized and enhanced to meet the unique features of each area. Folded and printed on plastic for durability.



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Utah Camping: The Complete Guide to more than 400 Campgrounds (Foghorn Outdoors)

by Tom Wharton, Gayen Wharton

Utah's National Parks: Hiking, Camping, and Vacationing in Utah's Canyon Country: Zion, Bryce, Capitol Reef, Arches, Canyonlands

Camping Utah (Camping)

Utah Camping Guide : The essential handbook for ...

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