Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area, UT
Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area (Photo by Nushin Huq)
By Nushin Huq
Between 2 Pines Magazine
Located in the northeast corner of Utah and southwest corner of Wyoming, Flaming Gorge is a great place to hike and camp.
WHAT TO SEE
The main attraction at Flaming Gorge is the Green River and water activities. The beauty of red sandstone against the water, makes it a great place to spend time in nature whether in or out of the water.
WHERE TO STAY
Lodging is available in the towns of Manila and Dutch John, Utah. Or consider staying in Vernal, Utah and combining the visit with Dinosaur National Monument.
For camping, there are 43 campgrounds with over 700 individual campsites. Reserve your site at recreation.gov.
WHERE TO EAT
Towns of Manila and Dutch John are nearby or pack a picnic lunch to enjoy.
BEST HIKES FOR FAMILIES
The Canyon Rim Trail starts at the Red Canyon Visitor center. It's a 3.5 mile trail. The first part takes hikers on a short interactive nature trail. This is great for families, especially ones with small kids looking for something short and easy. To access the rest of the trail, you'll turn into the forest and follow the signs. The trail isn't difficult, but you'll have to be able to walk on uneven surfaces. The views are great.
Another easy trail is the Little Hole Trail. We like this 7-mile trail because there's very little elevation and it makes it an easy trail for all ages. It runs along the banks of the Green River, and you can hike as far as you want. This trail starts by the Flaming Gorge Dam. You'll see a lot of wildlife as well as other visitors fishing, so it's also a good trail to keep kids entertained.
BEST TIPS FOR KIDS
Flaming Gorge is best known for it's fishing, so consider taking a family fishing trip to this park.
Flaming Gorge NRA is under the US Forest Service, not the National Parks Service, but it also has a junior ranger program. You can pick up a booklet at the visitor center. Take a moment to visit it's quaint visitor center as well.
A visit to the Flaming Gorge Dam is always a fun visit. There's a year round visitor center, which provides access to incredible views. You can also sign up for a guided tour.