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Flaming Gorge Route

Bedford,U.K
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Flaming Gorge Route

Travelling in Mid June.

Have a long day planned leaving Moab (Canyonlands sunrise onwards) around 10am.

Will be stopping at the Dinosaur Quarry at Vernal (3.5hr drive) before making my way for an overnight at Green River.

Want to pass through Flaming Gorge which is naturally en-route, but question is do I go over dam and carry on up the 191 to G.R. This road seems to track far away from the reservoir and im not sure how scenic that would be.

Other option is to drive to dam, then backtrack and take 530 to G.R via Manilla.

Does it make much a difference which route I take? Or is the west side "much" more spectacular. Have 2 drivers this trip.

My route only affords a drive by rather than have much time to explore.

Regards

5 replies to this topic
Steamboat Springs...
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1. Re: Flaming Gorge Route

You're talking Green River Wyoming, I assume. I have only done the 191 rt and you really only see Flaming Gorge at the dam and a few other spots. It is a nice road ride up to I-80, fairly scenic. Can't tell you if the west side rd is better. Maybe Kbec or Pixie have done that other one. I would think time wise it would be a bit longer.

Salt Lake City, UT
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2. Re: Flaming Gorge Route

I've been on the route via Manila a couple times and would consider it very scenic. There is some red rock-type scenery, and also beautiful pine forests. I would encourage you to use Google street view to check it out. Along the way is the Red Canyon visitor center, with stunning views across a narrow section of canyon (albeit flooded at the bottom by the reservoir).

There is also the Sheep Creek loop off of this road, which I unfortunately haven't had the chance to visit, but sounds interesting.

Salt Lake City, Utah
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3. Re: Flaming Gorge Route

I have not taken 530 north from Manila to GR. So can't help with that route.

My favorite places for Flaming Gorge are the Calf Creek Bridge on 191 by the dam and dam area on that side of the lake. And then on 44 the Red Canyon viewpoint (which is off the road, but a beautiful detour) and the Sheep Creek area (and yes the Sheep Creek geologic loop was spectacular, but would be a long detour as speeds are slow).

The lake north of the state line is mostly in the flat wyoming plains as far as I recall and not much for scenic value. So I'm not sure it matters which side of the lake you travel on.

I'd probably recommend you drive to the dam, and then backtrack and take 44 and 530.

Roosevelt, Utah
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4. Re: Flaming Gorge Route

Both routes are the same mileage from Vernal and both are pretty scenic. It would depend on what you're most excited to see, and how much time you have for detours! (be aware, the 191 route takes you to Rock Springs, you'll have to backtrack to Green River, but only 5 miles or so.)

191 from Vernal to I-80 takes you across the Flaming Gorge Dam. You also get to drive across the beautiful Cart Creek Bridge (with its HUGE osprey nest on top!); you can tour the dam or drive down to the river where the rafters get on. You will drive through tiny Dutch John, built by the Bureau of Reclamation for dam construction housing but currently surviving due to river rafting, fishing and boating tourism. Turning east just outside of Dutch John takes you down to Little Hole, a beautiful fishing hole known for it's fly fishing, it is one of the top fly fishing destinations in America.

191 is scenic in that it is a higher elevation road that climbs the Rockies, but the views aren't all that spectacular once you leave Dutch John.

Highway 44 heads west and takes you past the Red Canyon complex (which has a restaurant, lodging, lakes, wildlife and a nice visitor's center-- with some spectacular views of the Red Canyon section of the Green River). Past Red Canyon, the views of Flaming Gorge are much more plentiful than on 191. Many overlooks and turnouts abound: Dowd Mountain is especially nice. Mentioned above, Sheep Creek Geologic Loop is below the Sheep Creek switchbacks, which are fun and give you a spectacular view of the formation that gives "Flaming Gorge" it's name! The loop is worth the time to explore if you have an extra hour or two. 44 ends in Manila, UT and then 43 takes you to 530 and Wyoming. This road follows the reservoir closer as it winds it's way to Green River; this part of the reservoir is highly prized for it's boating and fishing and there are a lot of spots where you can get to the lake, plus the views are really nice.

I hope this helps, but I'm available for more questions just let me know!

If you've got time, make sure and stop at the new Museum in Vernal, if for nothing else but to look a velociraptor eye to eye. Grab a dinosaur bone at the rock shop for a memento! (:

Have a great trip!

*Pixie*

Bedford,U.K
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5. Re: Flaming Gorge Route

Thanks for the info.

Looks like I'll be doing Red Canyon first, then go 191 over the bridge and Dam.

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