Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area was given its name by the explorer John Wesley Powell for the spectacular red sandstone cliffs that surround the Green River.
In 1964 the government built the Flaming Gorge Dam, and the Flaming Gorge Reservoir was created.
The Recreation Area has 360 miles of shoreline, creating a playground for boaters and anglers on the reservoir, and rafters downstream from the dam.
Split between Wyoming and Utah, you can choose between deserted brown desert to the north, or lush green pine forests at high elevation to the south.
We were lucky to score a sweet spot in the Red Canyon Campground at 7,400 feet – close to an amazing bend in the river that provided both a perfect perch for our afternoon reading and a spot to watch the sun drop to the west over the far canyon rim. Normally we try to boondock (dispersed camping in the middle of the forest), but we knew that we wanted to be close to the canyon rim and some of the trails, so this was perfect for us.
While driving down to see the dam and visit some other campgrounds, we were surprised how quickly the scenery changes from lush pine forests to juniper scrub to low scrubby brush as you get closer to the dam. We found nothing interesting about the lower campgrounds at all unless you have a boat at the marina by the dam.
Another spot on our return list someday with the next RV, probably later in the season as we wander around aimlessly doing some fall leaf peeping.