Flaming Gorge

(nr McKinnon WY)
I chose to visit Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area from the west side. Heading south on WY-530, which follows the lake, I hoped for good views.

Tall cliff with clouds

Navajo Cliffs

Buckboard Crossing was my first glimpse of the reservoir, at the far north end, and still in Wyoming. It had a campground and a boat launch, but that was all.

Lake with distant mountains

Buckboard Crossing

River at the base of mesa

Blacks Fork River

The first day was spent at Lucerne Valley with decent views of cliffs, the lake, and mountains beyond. There were two nice campgrounds there on the water. But, I found a boondock spot up high overlooking the scene.

Jagged rocks in front of lake

View from Lucerne Valley Campsite

Antelope posing in high grass

Pronghorn Antelope

While driving around on the forest roads, a herd of pronghorn antelope was found grazing on the hillside. It was nice of them to pose for photos.

(nr Manila UT)
I entered Utah the next day and explored the Sheep Creek Canyon area. Hiked the Nature Trail by the creek, which was short but not very interesting. The photo is from up the road, not on the trail.

Stream heading toward mountain

Sheep Creek

Drove the Sheep Creek Canyon Geological Loop Road, which was breathtaking. The cliffs were gigantic with  different types of rock, each with a name. Not sure I got them all recorded correctly, but they identify the geology.

Rugged cliff at edge of canyon

Sheep Creek Canyon

It was so impressive, a separate post on Sheep Creek Canyon will be needed to share the views. There was a nice small campground as you enter the canyon at the base of the Navajo Cliffs. I would have camped there, but it was still too early in the day.

Inlet between mesas

Sheep Creek Bay

Further down UT-44 was Sheep Creek Bay; mainly a fishing area with boat ramp. Appeared to be a popular launch because there were lots of parking spots.

Then, I found a boondocking camp on the other end of the Geo Loop. There were lots of well marked dispersed sites, with a 16 day limit, mostly amongst aspen trees. But, I spent just one night, as it began raining and continued through the night and into the next day.

Deer feeding by lodge

Deer, Ducks, Birds at Red Canyon Lodge

(nr Dutch John UT)
Still raining into the next evening, I went to the Red Canyon Lodge for dinner and decided to stay in a campground near the rim. That put me close to the Visitor Center and the Rim Trail for the following morning.

Lone tree overlooking gorge

Tree on Edge of Red Canyon

Lake at bottom of deep gorge

Red Canyon Gorge

Several good shoots of Red Canyon, and then down the road a piece to the Greendale Overlook. A final view of Flaming Gorge with the Swett Ranch below.

Wide valley with lake in distance

Greendale Overlook with Swett Ranch

(nr Vernal UT)
After leaving Flaming Gorge NRA, I boondocked in the Ashley NF for a few days to get through the Labor Day weekend.

RV camped by tall pines

Tardis in Ashley NF

I had a very enjoyable time exploring the canyons and forest around Flaming Gorge. The next time through, I will see the east side of the gorge.

Camps: Boondock – Ashley NF, Flaming Gorge NRA-Red Canyon CG
Scene: River, creek, lake, gorge, cliffs, animals


8 Responses to Flaming Gorge

  1. J. RICHARD SECOR September 4, 2014 at 7:23 pm #


    • Pleinguy September 4, 2014 at 7:26 pm #

      Thanks Dick. I appreciate the kind words.

  2. Dizzy-Dick September 4, 2014 at 8:11 pm #

    Very good post and pictures. That is a beautiful place. I love the spot where you are boon-docked. It looks mighty peaceful there.

    • Pleinguy September 4, 2014 at 8:36 pm #

      Thanks for the good vibes. The boondock spot would have been nice and quiet; except it was Labor Day weekend, and ATVs came by often. Win some-lose some.

  3. Ted September 4, 2014 at 10:11 pm #

    Too bad about the ATVs. They’re hard to avoid. Nice pronghorn catch!

    • Pleinguy September 6, 2014 at 6:45 pm #

      Yeah, ATVs seem to be popular with the camping crowd. The antelope seemed to be posing for me.

  4. jonthebru September 10, 2014 at 7:31 am #

    That is a beautiful area and looks to be relatively uncrowded on the whole.

    • Pleinguy September 11, 2014 at 11:26 pm #

      On a normal day, I expect it would be quiet. But, I was there during Labor Day weekend. Thus, not so uncrowded.

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