River otters, Rocky Mountain elk, mule deer, Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, beavers, Bald Eagles, Magpies, and Brown Trout in the Flaming Gorge National Recreation area.
The entire area comprising Flaming Gorge Country is one that can be compared to nothing short of breathtaking. Whether you're taking in the beautiful scenery, enjoying the numerous activities available or simply relaxing and enjoying the slower-paced lifestyle we enjoy here, there's an abundance of resources that are sure to bring a smile to your face. Browse through the tabbed information below to get a great overall picture of how much there really is here and a few specifics about each area in Flaming Gorge Country.
For thousands of years the Green River carved its course through the colorful rock formations of the area to form the deep canyons that now serve as a geographic marvel to all visitors. With the construction of the Flaming Gorge Dam in the early 1960’s, a recreational setting was established which has become one of the most visited sites in the continental United States. Visitors and residents alike are spellbound by the beauty of the Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area, with its 91 mile long lake, the Green River and its deep canyons. The majestic High Uinta Wilderness serves as the backdrop to this marvelous place.
The beauty and grandeur of the landscape are not the only reasons for the popularity of the area. Many come to learn of the prehistoric and historic events that took place here. This area has attracted human activity for thousands of years. Paleo Indians, Fremont culture people, and Ute and Shoshoni Indians have all called this place home. In the nineteenth century, the area was frequented by mountain men and explorers, followed by settlers and notorious outlaws.
Modern day explorers are drawn from all over the world to enjoy a huge variety of world class outdoor recreation activities in a majestic landscape.
Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area is managed by the USDA Forest Service, Ashley National Forest, and USDI 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 Forest encompasses almost a million and a half acres in northeastern Utah and southwestern Wyoming. It lies in three geographical areas: the east-west range of the Uinta Mountains, the Wyoming Basin, and the Tavaputs Plateau. Elevations range from 6,000 feet to over 13,500 feet.
Steep canyons, high mountain peaks, glaciated basins, large open meadows, and desert badlands, all contain a rich diversity of vegetation and wildlife. The grasses and shrubs of the high mountain desert are replaced by pinion and juniper as the elevation rises. In mid-elevation areas, aspen dominates and becomes mixed with conifer. Higher up, the vegetation changes to conifer forest composed of lodgepole pine, fir and spruce. Grasses, forbs, and stunted, twisted conifers called krumholtz are found above timberline. Wildlife is abundant. Larger species include bear, mountain lion, moose, elk, mule deer, pronghorn antelope, and bighorn sheep.
Neighboring lands include the Uinta and Ouray Indian Reservation to the south, the Uinta and Wasatch-Cache National Forests to the west and north, and a mixture of Bureau of Land Management, State of Utah, and private lands to the east and southeast. Compared with other National Forests, relatively few small tracts of private land lie within the Ashley's boundary.
Completed in 1964, Flaming Gorge Dam was built to provide water storage and hydroelectric power. It rises 502 feet above the Green River and a Visitor Center is open daily through the summer for guided tours and information services. Please call (435) 784-3445 for information on winter hours.
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.
A major western destination for flyfishing, anglers fish for trophy rainbow, cutthroat and brown trout, while rafters enjoy the relatively easy whitewater between the Dam and Little Hole. Hikers too, can enjoy the river along the seven-mile Little Hole National Scenic Trail.
The best of the high country in the Uinta Mountains was protected by Congress in 1984 to preserve its primeval character. Utah’s highest peaks, hundreds of lakes, abundant wildlife, lush forests, clear streams and unique alpine tundra abound in this special area. Backcountry trails are plentiful in the wilderness for those seeking solitude, fantastic fishing or adventure.
Flaming Gorge Dam Visitor Center is open year round, and free guided tours of the Dam are available. Red Canyon Visitor Center, open seasonally, is located just north of UT44. 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 National Recreation Area Headquarters in Manila, Utah is open most business days.
Daggett County is a very scenic county, from the red rock cliffs of Sheep Creek bay to the splendor of the Uinta Mountains. The County is located in the most northeastern corner of Utah and is bordered by Uintah County to the south and the states of Wyoming and Colorado to the north and east. The majority of the county’s land is public (about 90%) and is managed by state and federal agencies. The population of Daggett County is about 920 (last census was in 2000), primarily located in the communities of Manila and Dutch John.
Only five miles from Flaming Gorge Reservoir lies the recreational community of Manila. The town's ideal location allows easy access to a variety of boating, fishing, hunting, scenic drives and outdoor adventure in Flaming Gorge Country. In the winter, it is a perfect homebase for snowmobiling, cross-country skiing and ice fishing. Situated in the transition from the vast Wyoming desert to Utah's high Uinta Mountains, Manila's unique location allows visitors to experience the diversity of Flaming Gorge Country.
Year-round services for visitors include motels, restaurants, convenience stores, gas stations and campgrounds with hook-ups. Manila has a paved, lighted airport and the largest marina on the lake lies only 7 miles away. The town also serves as the headquarters for the US Forest Service Information Center of the National Recreation Area. Visitors are sure to enjoy their stay in this scenic rural town, where old West hospitality is still a way of life.
Vernal, Utah, is dinosaur country! A popular attraction is Dinosaur National Monument, only 20 miles to the east. As you explore the craggy hills, discover fragments of a long ago world where the largest land creatures of all time once roamed and died. In downtown Vernal, you'll find the Utah Field House of Natural History with interpretive displays of the regions ecological, historical and prehistorical diversity. Outside you will find the Dinosaur Gardens, home to 14 life-size replicas of prehistoric creatures. Vernal is the center of commerce for the Uintah Basin and its Western Park Complex hosts many exciting annual events. In July, the Dinosaur Roundup Rodeo and Outlaw Trail Festival thrill visitors with genuine western entertainment.
Green River, Wyoming, was a vital crossroads in the development of the western frontier. The City is rich in western history and served as a stopover for both the Overland Stage line and the Pony Express. In addition, several major emigrant trails passed nearby, including the Oregon, California, Mormon and Cherokee trails. With the arrival of the transcontinental railroad in 1868, Green River was firmly established as a major western destination and railroad buffs still enjoy a visit to the working railroad today. Near downtown is Expedition Island National Historic Site - where John Wesley Powell began his famous explorations of the Green River. This celebrated past is remembered in several annual events, including the Overland Stage Stampede Rodeo and Flaming Gorge Days.
Rock Springs, Wyoming, is known as "The Gateway to the West," due to its strategic location along Interstate 80. It is the closest major city to Lake Flaming Gorge, and is surrounded by magnificent high desert scenery, fine fishing and hunting and colorful history. Modern visitors can follow Indian and pioneer trails, visit volcanic monoliths and moving sand dunes, and hunt for a variety of gemstones. Western Wyoming Community College offers spectacular life-size displays of Wyoming dinosaurs, prehistoric animals and Indian artifacts of Southwest Wyoming. The Flaming Gorge Fishing Derby, Desert Balloon Extravaganza, Red Desert Roundup Rodeo, and Sweetwater County Fair are just a few of the annual events to enjoy while in the area.