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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
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.
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
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.
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 high 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
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.
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.
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.
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 place 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.
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Utah Camping: The Complete Guide to more than 400
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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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