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3 reasons Flaming Gorge should be on your summer vacation list

By Spencer Durrant, KSL.com Contributor | Posted - May 29, 2020 at 12:16 p.m.



THE GREAT OUTDOORS — Utah isn't lacking for outdoor recreation opportunities. In fact, Utah probably offers a bigger diversity of outdoor recreation in a small area than anywhere else in the world. So it's no surprise that some corners of the Beehive State don't get near the attention — or use — they deserve.

Flaming Gorge is one of those areas. Located in northeast Utah near the Utah-Wyoming border, this national recreation area is chock-full of family-friendly adventures and challenges for the solo outdoor enthusiasts alike.

As we move into a more fully-open state, Flaming Gorge is a great place to spend your time and money while maintaining proper distance and protecting yourself and others.

With that in mind, let's take a look at a few specific reasons that you should visit Flaming Gorge this summer.

More than just fishing

The Gorge is known for its fantastic fishing. Back in the '80s, the lake was home to the world-record brown trout. These days, the reservoir is full of rainbow trout, lake trout, cutthroat trout, kokanee salmon, smallmouth bass, and burbot. A lot of the traffic that Flaming Gorge sees is made up of anglers either chasing fish in the lake or fly fishing on the world-renowned Green River below the Flaming Gorge Dam.

But there's more than just fishing that should attract you to the gorge. It offers some of the most scenic paddle boarding trails in the state, in addition to kayaking. You can find a ton of info on the paddling and kayaking opportunities and trails here.

Along with the kayaking and paddleboarding, there are a few beach areas located around the reservoir. Sunny Cove, near Mustang Ridge, which is just north of the town of Dutch John is a great place to set up shop for the day and enjoy the warm summer sun and cool high-country waters.

Hiking and camping

Whether you prefer the seclusion of the backcountry or having a few amenities in a U.S. Forest Service campground, the entire recreation area around Flaming Gorge is a camper and hiker paradise. The hiking trails are seemingly endless and you can use the Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area as a jumping-off point to start excursions into the High Uintas Wilderness.

You can take a look at some of the hiking and camping opportunities here.

Mountain biking

If you want some new trails to challenge yourself with this summer, you'd be missing out if you didn't see what the gorge has to offer. There are a lot of mountain biking trails already in existence and more are coming soon. You'll get the chance to bike through the high country of Utah's Uinta Mountains, alongside the stunning — and striking — red rock walls of Flaming Gorge. There are only a few places in the world where you can bike through such dramatic landscape.

Flaming Gorge is more than just a place to go fishing for the weekend. It's full of activities for the entire family, and this list doesn't even scratch the surface of what you'll find there. From caves to petroglyphs, the only limit on what you'll find to do at Flaming Gorge is how many days off in a row you can be away from work.

Do you enjoy the Flaming Gorge area? Let us know your favorite part about the gorge in the comments.


Spencer Durrant

About the Author: Spencer Durrant

Spencer Durrant is a fly fishing writer, outdoors columnist, and novelist from Utah. His work has appeared in Field & Stream, TROUT Magazine, Hatch Magazine, and other national publications. He's also the Managing Editor of The Modern Trout Bum. Connect with him on Twitter/Instagram, @Spencer_Durrant.

Spencer Durrant

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