Flaming Gorge Reservoir is impounded by the Flaming Gorge Dam, completed in 1962 along the Green River.
Located within the Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area, this extensive region spans both Utah and Wyoming, with 360 miles of shoreline and over 90 water miles.
These lands also reside within Ashley National Forest. The region includes mountainous areas in Utah that have canyons and forests, as well as a desert region of Wyoming with low hills and shrubs.
The Red Canyon Visitor Center in Utah is an excellent place to get impressive views of Flaming Gorge. Full facilities are generally open from Memorial Day to Labor Day, and observation areas are open year-round.
The region received the name “Flaming Gorge” as Major John Wesley Powell noticed the impressive red color of the Uinta Mountains while boating through the gorge in 1869.
The US Bureau of Reclamation began planning a dam along the Green River in 1958. The nearby site of Dutch John, located east of the dam in Utah, was established as a location to house the personnel involved in the construction and later operation of the dam after it went into service.
The 42,020-acre reservoir began to fill in December 1962. President John F. Kennedy started the first power generation at the Flaming Gorge Hydroelectric Dam in September 1963. First Lady Claudia ‘Lady Bird’ Johnson attended the dam’s dedication in August 1964.
Shared by Utah and Wyoming, this impressive reservoir reveals some of the most beautiful canyons in the area and offers a variety of year-round recreation activities.
- Swimming is permitted at Flaming Gorge Reservoir.
- Tubing is permitted.
- There are designated swimming beaches at Sunny Cove near Mustang Ridge Campground and Lucerne Swim Beach near Lucerne Campground.
- Scuba diving is permitted.
- Boating and water skiing are permitted at Flaming Gorge Reservoir.
- Both motorized and sailboats are welcome on the reservoir.
- Canoeing, kayaking, paddleboarding, and similar activities are permitted at Flaming Gorge Reservoir, including between the narrow canyons that are 1,000 feet deep.
- Fishing is a popular year-round activity at Flaming Gorge.
- Kokanee salmon and smallmouth bass are popular summertime catches.
- Rainbow trout and lake trout take the bait much of the year.
- Burbots thrive in the fall, winter, and early spring.
- Winter ice-fishing is permitted.
- Many alcoves and streams are located in Flaming Gorge for those who enjoy a quiet fishing spot.
Utah State Fishing Records for Flaming Gorge Reservoir:
- Kokanee salmon (6 lbs. 5 oz., 2015)
- White sucker (2 lbs. 8 oz., 1992)
- Brown trout (33 lbs. 10 oz., 1977)
- Lake trout (53 lbs. 15 oz., 2020)
- Rainbow trout (26 lbs. 2 oz., 1979)
Wyoming State Fishing Records for Flaming Gorge Reservoir:
- Smallmouth bass (5.94 lbs., 2003)
- Channel catfish (28.52 lbs., 2017)
- Kokanee salmon (6.31 lbs., 2015)
- Brown trout (25 lbs. 13 oz., 1982)
- Lake trout (50 lbs., 1995).
- Antelope Flat Campground, 10.5 miles west of Dutch John, Utah.
- Arch Dam Group Campground, near Dutch John, Utah.
- Buckboard Crossing Campground, Wyoming, halfway between Manila, Utah, and Green River, Wyoming.
- Canyon Rim Campground, near the Red Canyon Visitor Center.
- Cedar Springs Campground, near Dutch John, Utah.
- Dutch John Draw Group Campground, near Dutch John, Utah
- Firefighters Memorial Campground, three miles from Flaming Gorge and near Dutch John, Utah.
- Firehole Campground, northeast corner of Flaming Gorge, south of Green River, Wyoming.
- Flaming Gorge Resort, with commercial RV options, is 5.5 miles southwest of the dam.
- Greendale Campground, six miles southwest of the dam.
- Greeens Lake Campground, near Red Canyon, Utah.
- Hideout Canyon Boat-In Campground, accessible by boat or hike-in, Utah.
- Kingfisher Island Boat-in Campground, Utah.
- Lucerne Campground, near Manila, Utah.
- Mustang Ridge Campground, near Dutch John, Utah.
- Red Canyon Campground, near the Red Canyon Visitor Center.
- Sheep Creek Bay Campground, near Manila, Utah.
- Stateline Cove Campground, near Manila, on the Utah-Wyoming border.
- Willows Campground, near Manila, Utah.
- Bear Canyon: A three-mile trail located near Firefighters Memorial Campground.
- Dutch John Draw Trail: Connects with the Mustang Ridge area on the lake’s north side.
- Green River Canyon Rim Trail: A 4.6-mile moderately challenging trail with a 301-foot elevation gain, near Dutch John, Utah.
- Greens Lake Trail: A 1.1-mile trail near the Greens Lake Campground.
- Little Hole Trail: In the Dutch John area, this trail has an 885-foot elevation gain along its 14.2-mile out-and-back path.
- Red Canyon Overlook Trail: Easy trail at Red Canyon area.
- Red Canyon Rim Trail: Located near the Red Canyon area of Flaming Gorge, this 9.3-mile trail has an elevation gain of 800 feet.
- There are numerous ATV trails accessible in the Flaming Gorge Reservoir area.
Events and Other Activities
- Annual Flaming Gorge Car Show at Flaming Gorge Resort, Utah.
- Burbot Bash is a popular ice-fishing competition held in January.
- Horseback Riding at Red Canyon Lodge.
- Bighorn sheep, elk, deer, antelope, and a variety of wildlife are found in the Flaming Gorge area, in both Utah and Wyoming.
Picnic Areas near the Reservoir
- Dowd Mountain Overlook, 18 miles southeast of Manila, Utah.
- Mustang Ridge Amphitheater, at Mustang Ridge, near Dutch John, Utah.
Notable Access Points to Water:
- Antelope Flat Boat Launch, Utah.
- Buckboard Marina, Wyoming, halfway between Manila, Utah, and Green River, Wyoming.
- Cedar Springs Marina, near Dutch John, Utah.
- Flaming Gorge Marina at Lucerne Valley, Utah.
- FMC Park, upriver from the gorge, in Green River, Wyoming.
- Mustang Ridge Boat Launch Area, Utah.
Notable Access Points at Dam Area:
- Flaming Gorge Dan Visitor Center, near Dutch John, Utah.
- Spillway Boat Launch, immediately downriver of the dam and Flaming Gorge.
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