"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood... And sorry I could not travel both. I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference." --Robert Frost

Monday, April 22, 2019

Flaming Gorge Reservoir, Utah

Dutch John, Utah
Dripping Springs NF CG

We were excited to get on our way and finally check out Flaming Gorge Reservoir.  My brother has fished here before and we wanted to check it out, both in the lake and the Green River which flows into it.  It was a cold but sunny day and the drive got prettier the closer we got.

There is a lot of geological formations here and I like how they had signs giving a little bit of information as your drove by a particular area.

Driving up Rt 191 with its ever changing views.

Red Fleet Reservoir.
The parallel, upturned ridges are remnants of rock strata know as hogbacks.  They are all that is left exposed from erosion that began millions of years ago.  These were folded and uplifted to form the Uinta Mountains.  This process also exposed many fossils of prehistoric animals.
As you get to the summit you will be above 8400 feet.  There is still quite a bit of snow up here.

As we approach Dutch John it was funny to see a bunch of shrink wrapped boats in the field.  I guess boating season still hasn't gotten under way.

The Cart Creek Bridge.
Crossing over the dam at Flaming Gorge.
I'm surprised you're still allowed to drive over this dam.  It seems nowadays there are usually bypasses or bridges so that you can't drive over the dam itself.  If you look at the above picture after the curve you will see that that part of the roadway is built on stilts hanging over the edge.
 Right now we are driving over the stilt section.  Kind of an eerie feeling.
As we approach closer to the campground it is obvious that a fire has gone through.  I asked in town and looked some info up and found the fire was in 2003 and lasted for 10 days. It was caused by sparks flying from a camper that lost a wheel as it went over a cattle guard. Apparently once the driver of the camper realized what had happened he pulled over to try to put out the small blaze but was reportedly ordered by a National Forest employee to continue driving. The man went on dragging the broken trailer with its axle grinding the pavement and sending sparks sailing, creating new blazes.  I'm sure he felt horrible.
The area that once was dotted with pines and junipers is now covered with grasses but very few trees.
Site #19.
Its a small campground, just the size we like, but has several sites that will fit a larger rig.  It is paved, has water spigots throughout, bathrooms, gazebos, tables and firepits.  There is no dump station in the campground but there is one in the tiny nearby town of Dutch John.  The water was still off due to freezing temps. 
For such cold weather it was pretty full.  This is a popular fishing and hunting area and the place was full of fisherman with their drift boats.  Our neighbor had his hunting tent with them which included a wood burning stove.  It's a lot of gear but somehow they fit it all in the back of a truck.
We later took a drive down to a boondocking site that Jim & Barb had told us about.  It's several miles down a dirt road, right on the lake near an inlet.  We needed to check out the road as the next few days called for possible rain and snow.
Several nice spots like this facing the lake (above) and the one (below) facing the inlet. You do need to be careful to stay out of the deep sand. The forecast didn't look good though so we decided not to chance it and stayed in Dripping Springs campground.

On the way back out we came upon a good sized herd of Pronghorn.  They just looked at us then ran across the road in front of us. It took Hurley a while to see them.
Once he noticed them he wanted to go play too.  You'll hear him at the end.
And plenty of deer around.
 Back to camp to have dinner and watch a little TV.
Today we took the road a short ways past the campground to the Fishing Access Area on the Green River to look around.  Above you can see one of the drift boats in the distance from the Little Hole Overlook.
 We popped into town for propane and had to take a picture of the Worlds Large Fishing Fly out front.  There is a private campground here that is also popular with the anglers and hunters.
The dam is 455 feet above the river and extends 47 feet below.
We had planned on visiting the Visitor Center/Museum but it appears it is no longer open.  Perhaps it was just the season but we couldn't get any info about it.  So we took a few pullouts to read about it.

In the walkways in front of the dam there were some great views looking towards the Cart Creek Bridge and towards the dam.

We also took an hour drive north on Rt 191 to I80 to the larger town of Rock Springs in Wyoming as we needed to copy and fax some documents as our machine was acting up.  The library in Dutch John was closed as well as most everything else and since it was so cold and windy we didn't mind.
More beautiful views along the way, especially up on the plateau overlooking the valley below.
We spent some time at the library in Rock Springs and took care of what we needed to and headed back.  It's a very large town and has anything that you could need.
Spotted some Elk on the way back.
 As much as the skies threatened to rain and snow, they didn't.  As the sun went down though, those clouds made for one of the most beautiful sunsets I've seen.

 The horizon just glowed pink and orange.
As we dropped back into Dutch John we pulled over and just watched the rest of the show.  The color was all around and above in every direction.
Truly spectacular.

It rained and snowed our last couple of days so once again, no fishing.  But we enjoyed our quiet time. We have another shot at the Green River up in Wyoming on some gold medal water at a spot our friend Skip told us about.  It's a highlight of this year we've been looking forward to.
We'll see if the weather cooperates!


  1. Great pics but I see they have shrunk. That’s quite the fishing fly. Beautiful sunset!

    1. It really was one of the most beautiful sunsets. 360 degrees of color!

  2. Flaming Gorge is an amazing place. We spent two weeks in Vernal, Utah and explored it from there. There was so much more to see than we could fit in. We did take an awesome river trip on the Green river below the dam. I really enjoyed the pictures to remind me of a great place.

    1. Was your river trip on a drift boat? We'd like to go back again in warmer weather. Very pretty area.

    2. Sorry for the late reply. We did the float on our Sea Eagle Explorer inflatable kayak. The worst rapid was class 2-3. We did catch a bunch of fish.

  3. Great pictures. What do you do for your TV? I know you boondock a lot so I was wondering what you use to watch TV. We were looking at getting Dish or Direct TV. Thanks.

    1. We used to use a Dish Tailgater which worked great. We just found we didn't use it much and got tired of paying for the service. If we get over-air we'll watch it. Sometimes DVDs. Otherwise we don't miss it.

  4. Beautiful area and you captured some great shots! I love those geological information signs, and wish they'd do that in more places. Are those flowers or sunlight on the slops behind the elk? Gorgeous!

    1. They had many signs and it was very interesting to be able to drive through the area and know what we were looking at. Sunlight on the slopes? Ha, that's snow!

  5. One of our favorite areas! We have yet to fish the Green but have fished the lake with some success. Bummer you could not camp down by the lake.

    1. We'll definitely go back again and try the fishing later in the year.

  6. Nice sunset photos! What a treat after doing errands :-)


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