Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area was established by Congress October 1, 1968. The area contains 207,363 acres of land and water, almost equally divided between Utah and Wyoming.
Flaming Gorge Reservoir is the most popular attraction here. It is a huge reservoir providing outstanding opportunity for boating, fishing, skiing, jet skiing, houseboating and other water sports. Five full-service marinas offer launching, storage and maintenance facilities.
The reservoir surface water is cool even during the heat of summer. That means the reservoir provides excellent habitat for trout, and it is invigoratingly cool for water skiers.
Flaming Gorge is famous for its trophy lake trout. Good number of 30+ pound fish are caught each year. The Utah record went 51 lb 8 oz, and there may yet be a bigger one swimming in the reservoir. Fishing is also very good for rainbows, brown trout, kokanee salmon and smallmouth bass.
Only primitive roads lay across the eastern Uinta mountain range when construction of Flaming Gorge Dam began in 1958. Construction of the dam, development of the recreation area, and highway access have ushered in the modern era for this ageless country.
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Rising 502 feet above bedrock, Flaming Gorge Dam impounds waters of the Green River to form the reservoir, which extends as far as 91 miles to the north. The reservoir has a total capacity of 3,788,900 acre-feet. At full elevation of 6,045 feet, it has a surface area of 42,020 acres.
Petroglyphs (rock art) and artifacts suggest that Fremont Indians hunted game near Flaming Gorge for many centuries. Later, the Comanche, Shoshoni, and Ute tribes, whose members spread throughout the mountains of present-day Colorado and Utah, visited the Flaming Gorge country.
On a spring day in 1869, John Wesley Powell and nine men boarded small wooden boats at Green River, Wyoming to embark on a daring exploration of the Green and Colorado Rivers. Powell and his men slowly worked their way downstream, successfully completing their journey in late summer. It was on May 26, 1869 that Major Powell named the Flaming Gorge after he and his men saw the sun reflecting off of the red rocks.
Within the Ashley National Forest, the forest is thick with evergreen trees, pinyon pines, and junipers that grow down to the clear blue waters of the reservoir.
The reservoir provides varied recreational activities such as powerboating, waterskiing, camping, parasailing, rafting, swimming and fishing from boats or shore. The lake is famous for its trophy trout fishing (up to 40 pounds/18kg), and for the beautiful red rock mountains rising around it. Below the lake, the Green River is renowned for trout fishing and rafting. Neither a permit nor a commercial guide are required for rafting, and rented rafts are available nearby. The recreation area also offers many campgrounds and hiking areas. The trails wind through meadows, tree-covered slopes, and mountain peaks above timberline. The five-mile Canyon Rim Trail is accessible from the Greendale Overlook, Skull Creek Campground, or Greens Lake Campground.
Motel accommodations are available inside the recreation area near Dutch John, and also in nearby Manila. An area pass is required for use of the facilities within the recreation area. Daily, 16-day, and annual passes are available. Call 435-789-1181 for more information.
The high elevation of 6,040 feet/1840 meters at the reservoir keeps temperatures moderate, 80 degrees Fahrenheit/23.8 degrees Celsius, during the summer months.
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