Flaming Gorge Reservoir is one of northern Utah and southern Wyoming’s greatest gems. Literally, the water sparkles a sapphire blue color, and the flaming red cliffs tower high above. With at least a few days you can sample of some the most stellar outdoor recreation that the area has to offer. Find secret nooks on a boating adventure, or take advantage of the numerous hiking trails. For an adrenaline rush, kick it up a notch with a whitewater rafting tour on the Green River! One thing is for sure, wildlife abounds in this part of the state, so keep your eyes peeled for moose, bear, elk, bighorn sheep, and a variety of other native species.
This article was created in partnership with Flaming Gorge Country, Utah.
There are several options for accommodations around Flaming Gorge that still offer easy access to the lake. Choose from log-sided lodges, cozy bed and breakfasts, motels, and even yurts or tipis! The towns around Flaming Gorge may be small, but they offer wonderful amenities for travelers playing in the area. If you would prefer to pitch a tent or hunker down in your RV for the night, there is an abundance of campgrounds.
There’s nothing more satisfying after a full day of outdoor adventures than a home-cooked meal in the evening. The restaurants don’t come in heavy numbers around the reservoir, but the options available are highly satisfying. Don’t hesitate to treat yourself at the Red Canyon Lodge. Experience fine dining and flavors of the West, surrounded by local art in a gorgeous setting. A few minute’s drive from the lodge is the Red Canyon Overlook–definitely worth a stop!
Activities – First Day
Boat the reservoir
Fully immerse yourself in Flaming Gorge Reservoir. At 91 miles in length, taking to the water in a speedboat is one of the best ways to explore the landscape. Not only can you watch your surroundings fade from desert to forest, you may also see wildlife along the way. The reservoir maintains a quiet feel, free of lake congestion, so you can really let it rip! Pull your friends and family behind the boat on skis, wakeboard, or an inflatable tube. There’s really no better way to beat the heat this summer than getting on the water at Flaming Gorge. Oh, and you can rent everything you need at the Cedar Springs Marina or Lucerne Valley Marina. If you don’t fancy driving the boat yourself, you can hire a guide through the marina to take you out as well.
Activities – Second Day
Hike in the hills
There are hundreds of miles of trails in Flaming Gorge Country, and hiking is one of the easiest ways to appreciate the beauty of this underrated part of Utah. Hiking trails range from easy-going walks to challenging treks. A family favorite is the Little Hole National Scenic Trail which meanders along the Green River. Another easy trail takes visitors to Moonshine Arch (that’s right, there are arches in northern Utah also!). For a greater challenge, check out the Jones Hole Trail which wanders into a remote section of Dinosaur National Monument. Most areas of Flaming Gorge Country ignite with brilliant colors in the fall, and this particular trail really comes to life during that time. One of the most breathtaking views over the reservoir is from Dowd Mountain. It’s not a quick trek up, but the views from the top are incredible! Alternatively, visitors can mountain bike this trail (one of the best slices of singletrack in the region).
Activities – Third Day
Paddle through whitewater on the Green River
Whitewater trips have come a long way since the early explorations of John Wesley Powell–one of the most prominent historical figures in the Flaming Gorge region. Aboard a raft, you can relive the excitement of history and geology as you descend through one of the most notorious rivers in Utah–the Green River. There are multiple options of river trips, ranging from half day and full day trips, to multi-day expeditions. You can embark on your own on the family and novice-friendly “Dam to Little Hole” section of the river, or you can get a little more adventurous downstream with a guide. If whitewater doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, you can always opt for a mellow river float. Regardless of the option you choose, you’ll still get to enjoy the magic that is Flaming Gorge Country from a unique perspective. There are many outfitters eager to get you on the water, and make sure that you have the best (and safest) experience possible.