Flaming Gorge Recreational Area



Flaming Gorge National Recreational Area is a popular attraction for van lifers and the RV community for years. It is a vast reservoir providing an outstanding opportunity for boating, fishing, skiing, jet skiing, house boating and other water sports. Three full-service marinas offer launching, storage, and maintenance facilities.  


The northeastern portion of Utah and the southwestern corner of Wyoming are home to the Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area. Located south of Interstate 80, it stretches through the Uintah Mountains from Green River and Rock Springs, Wyoming, to Vernal, Utah. A wide range of summer and winter activities may be enjoyed in the area due to its diverse climate, terrain, and recreation options.


Flaming Gorge is one of Utah’s most popular tourist attractions because of its beautiful hiking paths. This wonderful national park is home to a plethora of different hiking trails, from the short and easy to the lengthy and difficult. A few of the most popular hikes are:

  • Canyon Rim Trail (3.5 miles, Easy)
  • Tamarack Lake Trail (2.8 miles, Easy)
  • Little Hole Trail (7 miles, Easy)
  • Elk Park (18 Miles, Hard)


Including approximately 91 water miles (with a remarkable 360 miles of shore line) and various mountain getaways, over 700 individual campsites and 27 group sites are split across 43 campgrounds. We can accommodate everyone who wants to come. If you’re looking for a more remote experience, “primitive” camping is an option, as are river camps for individuals who want to make their river trips last more than a day. 


Boondocking spots abound in the region of the Flaming Gorge Recreation Area. The Forest Service has issued a map showing all of the designated boondock sites. The Red Canyon Visitor Center sells copies. There is a 16-day limit on free-range camping. Popular boondocking spots include:

  • Spring Creek Road
  • Jug Hollow
  • Forest Raod 13
  • Forest Raod 217
  • Grizzly Ridge Meadow
  • Firehole Canyon
  • Black Forks

Fire Hole Canyon: One of the main draws of Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area is Firehole Canyon, which the United States Forest Service maintains. In Wyoming’s section of the Gorge, Firehole Canyon provides miles of natural sandstone spires, grooved canyons, and plenty of free, dispersed campsites along the reservoir’s eastern shore.

Jug Hollow Dispersed Area: offers some of Flaming Gorge’s most stunning scenery and is free to campers. There are cows around, therefore there is cow dung all over the place. It’s also highly busy, so you might not find any empty campsites by the time you get there. The quality of Verizon’s 4G cellular service is fair at best.

Black Forks: Towards the western end of the reservoir, near the point where Wyoming State Highway 530 crosses Blacks Fork, is the Blacks Fork Dispersed Area. This is the least beautiful and least populated spot, but it’s also the closest to a town with all the essentials (Green River, Wyoming). On both sides of the road, you can pitch a tent. However, there is still no mobile service in this area. No need for a Gorge Pass.

Flaming Gorge Pass

All “High Impact Recreation Areas” require a Flaming Gorge Pass. A Gorge Pass is always required, even if you’re merely parking to take in the scenery. Passes can be purchased at kiosks at the parking areas or from local vendors and forest service offices.

According to the United States Forest Service, a “High Impact Recreation Area” is a path that has been enhanced with amenities for outdoor enthusiasts. Facilities such as this include restrooms, fish cleaning stations, courtesy docks, divider docks, picnic spaces, paved parking areas, garbage service, multi-lane boat ramps, interpretative services, security services, and developed beaches.

A Flaming Gorge Pass is obligatory if the area appears to have been developed further by the United States Forest Service. However, if you get to the beach and there is nothing there besides the sand, then you don’t need a pass.

Price of Flaming Gorge Pass…

  • Daily fees of $5 or weekly rates of $15.00
  • The cost of an annual pass is $35.

Having Flaming Gorge National Recreational Area is a privilege for our enjoyment, so please practice Leave No Trace principles. 


To get to Flaming Gorge Red Canyon Visitor Center from Salt Lake City, you can follow these directions:

  1. Start by heading east on I-80 E from Salt Lake City. Continue on I-80 E for approximately 82 miles.

  2. Take Exit 99 toward US-191 S/Vernal/Dinosaur. Merge onto US-191 S and continue on this road for about 34 miles.

  3. Once you reach the town of Dutch John, turn left onto UT-44 E. You will see signs for Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area.

  4. Continue on UT-44 E for approximately 6 miles, and then turn right onto Red Canyon Lodge Road. This road will lead you to the Flaming Gorge Red Canyon Visitor Center.

  5. Follow Red Canyon Lodge Road for about 1 mile until you reach the visitor center. You have arrived at Flaming Gorge Red Canyon Visitor Center.

Please note that road conditions and traffic may vary, so it’s always a good idea to check for any updates or use a GPS navigation system for real-time directions.

References and Links:


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