Flaming Gorge Logistics and Info
Location: Northeastern Utah on the border of Utah and Wyoming. Click here for a map of Flaming Gorge.
Fees and Permits: There is no entrance fee to Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area. A Recreation Use Pass is required at all major boat launches and also at the Little Hole National Recreation Trail below the dam. Permits can be purchased at kiosks at the parking areas or from local vendors and forest service offices. Backcountry camping permits may be required for some areas. Contact the Ashley National Forest for more information.
Fee areas (Recreation Use Pass): $5 day, $15 for sixteen days, $35 annual
Campground fees vary by location: recreation.gov
Flaming Gorge climate and weather: The surface elevation of Flaming Gorge is over 6,000 feet, so while you will get a taste of Utah's semi-arid climate, summertime temperatures often peak in the high 80s F with night temperatures dropping by 30 degrees. November through late March sees daytime temperatures drop well below 49 F and nights will drop below freezing. Of course, when it gets cold in Flaming Gorge, snowmobilers and ice fishers come out to play.
When to visit: Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area is open year-round. The Red Canyon Visitor Center is open daily, 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Memorial Day weekend to mid-September. Flaming Gorge Dam visitor center open daily, tours April–Sept 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., limited throughout remainder of year.
Nearest groceries and supplies: Groceries, gas, and fishing supplies can be purchased at the Red Canyon Lodge. Additional services are available in Manila near the Wyoming border and all supplies and services are available in Vernal.
Geography and geology
In the northeastern shoulder of the state, the Uinta Mountains stoop down to meet the high desert. The diversity in geology, from the glacial-sculpted peaks of the Uintas to the river-carved canyons of Flaming Gorge below, makes for a thrilling ride. Also thrilling are the dinosaur remains, dating from 140 million years ago. Here geological and climatic forces have tilted, warped, and eroded the earth’s crust to reveal a treasure trove of fossils. The Flaming Gorge Dam backs up the Green River for 90 miles of spectacular canyons with walls up to 1,500 feet high.
Branching off Highway 44 about 10 miles south of the town of Manila, the scenic loop through Sheep Creek Canyon Geological Area is a tour past towering canyon walls, representing a billion years’ worth of variegated rock strata. The paved road through the canyon points out the different formations that were exposed when the earth’s crust broke along the Uinta Crest Fault. The drive eventually takes you out of the canyon and into the high country of the Uinta Mountains, where an excellent perspective of Sheep Creek Canyon comes into view. The gothic spires and towers in the canyon promise to keep you enthralled, as does the alpine scenery high above the canyon.
Pets: Leashed pets in campgrounds, picnic area and trailheads and under owner's control in national forest areas.
Overnight options: One mile up the Red Canyon overlook road is Red Canyon Lodge, where you will find a restaurant, cabins, groceries, gas, fishing, horseback rides, a gift shop, and a kids’ fishing pond. A wide array of lodging options are also available in Vernal. See the Flaming Gorge camping guide below.
Flaming Gorge Fishing Guide
Find out how and where to go to catch brown and lake trout, kokanee salmon, catfish and bass.
Find your campsite in the Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area or nearby Ashley National Forest.