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Flaming Gorge area?

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Genesee, CO
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Flaming Gorge area?

I am thinking about a road trip from Denver up to Glacier National Park in Montana.

This is what I am thinking:

1) Highway 40 up to Granby-Steamboat Springs-Craig-Dinosaur-Vernal

2) 191 North through Flaming Gorge-Rock Springs-towards Jackson

3) From there thinking of bypassing Grand Tetons/Yellostone (was just there couple summers ago and would rather avoid the crowds and focus on getting up to Glacier) ... so 26 West to Idaho falls?

4) I-15 North to Butte then I-90 West to Missoula

5) 93 north up through Kalispell to West entrance.

Questions: I haven't been to Flaming Gorge since I was a kid and remember it was beautiful, but is it basically drivethrough scenery or is it worth getting out of the car for a few hours and exploring?

If we drove from Denver to Flaming Gorge, and wanted to spend the rest of the afternoon, where is good to stay around there? Does Dutch John actually have anywhere to stay? Or would we have to go farther north to Rock Springs? (Dont' really want to backtrack to Vernal for the night.)

Thanks,

Tanya

Roosevelt, Utah
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1. Re: Flaming Gorge area?

I live in the Vernal area; here are my suggestions:

first off, yes "the Gorge" is worth stopping and looking around. You can find a place to stay at Flaming Gorge Lodge (it's on 191 before you drop down to the dam). I'm not sure, but I don't think there is any lodging in Dutch John. There are a lot of camping spots though, so if you bring a tent you'd be very comfortable.

Spend some time at the dam, and then maybe take a drive down to the river at the Little Hole site. You can only fish with artifical lures at the river, (which is a premier fly fishing location) but fishing the reservior is just as fun. There are a lot of locations along 191 for fishing, and they're all just as good as the others.

You'll cross over a beautiful bridge (The Cart Creek Bridge) before you get to the dam -- notice the very large osprey nest on the top of the bridge! It's been there for years now, and sometimes you can catch the osprey couple fishing from the bridge or the rocks -- last year I was lucky enough to watch the Mom teach her young how to fish! It was quite a sight.

There was a wildfire a few years back in Dutch John, but the scenery is still beautiful. The road follows the reservoir for a few miles before it starts climbing, on the way to Rock Springs.

If I was going to stay the night in this area, I'd call and book a cabin at Red Canyon Lodge. This is NOT on 191 (191 turns and goes toward the dam, but intersects with Hwy 44 that leads to Manila) but it is approx. 10 miles farther on 44. They have nice cabins with different prices, and a beautiful restaurant (along with camping spots). There is also a nice visitor's center and views of Flaming Gorge that you'll never forget.

Here's a website with some pictures of the area:

go-utah.com/Flaming-Gorge-National-Recreatio…

Let me know if you need any additional information.

Genesee, CO
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2. Re: Flaming Gorge area?

thanks pixie for that information! I will look into those suggestions and great pics.

Also if anyone has any advice on the route from flaming gorge up to Glacier NP would appreciate it. I am pretty well set on the route from Denver up to Flaming Gorge, but after that a little bit iffy.)

Orem, Utah
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3. Re: Flaming Gorge area?

there are a few small motels a mile or two from the gorge but not right in Dutch John

Uden, The...
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4. Re: Flaming Gorge area?

Like I said Izzyblizzy, Flaming Gorge is awesome and Red Canyon Lodge is very good advice. Splendid location. From Vernal you can drive to Jackson of Lander-Cody on your way to GNP as mentioned.

Salt Lake City
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5. Re: Flaming Gorge area?

And Rock Springs is not a place you'd want to spend the night.

Uden, The...
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6. Re: Flaming Gorge area?

But fill your tank in Rock Springs, just off I80 first pump on us191 on your right.

Roosevelt, Utah
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7. Re: Flaming Gorge area?

I've never been north of Yellowstone before (yes I know, a personal tragedy that will soon be remedied) but I've taken 191 to Yellowstone before -- and it is the best way to go. You've got that part of your itinerary solved.

If you want to see some spectacular scenery but avoid the park, take 191 to 189 to Jackson Hole, then take Hwy 22 through Wilson over to Victor, ID. WARNING! Don't take this road if you have problem with heights! This road takes you over Teton Pass. Really a beautiful, out of the way road.

From Victor head north through Driggs and over to Teton, where you can head north again on 20 through Island Park over to West Yellowstone. Island Park is another place that should be a "must see".

the freeway is faster, but not as scenic. Personally, I think the "back side" of the Tetons are prettier than the Jackson/Yellowstone side.

*Pixie*

Salt Lake City, Utah
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8. Re: Flaming Gorge area?

I second Pixie's route to Jackson on 191 then over the Teton Pass (wy 22/ID 33) to Driggs and on to Rexburg and I-15. That is a great road and the only bad thing is that you'll be looking at the Tetons in your rearview mirror as you drive away from them.

About Flaming Gorge...Am i wrong in thinking that the best view of the "gorge" is west on the way to Manila? It isn't too far though and would be easy to back track to 191 if I am remembering correctly.

salt lake city
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9. Re: Flaming Gorge area?

Other suggestions for Flaming Gorge:

Rent a boat-they have several types (small fishing and platform). It's worth it to get out on the lake .

Genesee, CO
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10. Re: Flaming Gorge area?

thanks for the advice. I am now looking at that road! and seems like an excellent solution for not "way out of the way" ... but a very scenic small detour on the route.