Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area in Rock Springs, WY
PHOTO CREDIT: Antony Boshier
Enclosed by bright red canyon walls and situated amidst the rolling hills of Ashley National Forest lies Flaming Gorge Lake – one of the best trout fishing destinations in the country. The 91-mile lake is the gem of the Flaming Gorge National Recreation area, which draws in vacationers who take advantage of the lake’s trophy-sized trout and ample space for boating, jet skiing, house boating and other water sports. For people who want to get off the grid for a few days, Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area is the perfect retreat.
“The area is great for recreation – it has fishing, water sports, horseback riding and all sorts of activities to keep visitors engaged,” says Dave Hanks, director of the Rock Springs Chamber of Commerce.
Wildlife Viewing at Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area
The Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area is also perfect for visitors who just want to sit and take in a gorgeous view. With 357 miles of shoreline, the Flaming Gorge Lake stretches from the high desert to the alpine forest, offering breathtaking waterfront views, as well as a large variety of wildlife.
“The lower part of the gorge is a 1,500-foot canyon with sheer cliff walls, which are great for wildlife viewing,” Hanks says. “You can spot bighorn sheep and birds of prey on the rocks, and then in the forest you’ll see elk, wild horses, deer and all sorts of large and small animals.”
Unlike other recreation areas, the Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area is void of commercial development, giving the scenery an ageless feel that defies typical scenery in modern-day America. The area boasts three lodges that offer cabin rentals and hotel facilities, but most visitors prefer to pitch a tent or park a motor home in one of the many available campgrounds.
“This is a tremendous recreation resource, and there are spectacular scenic drives,” Hanks adds. “But the thing is, it’s a very under-utilized resource. Most of the time, you will see very few people in the area. There are no huge population centers around here. If you really want to get away and see pristine wildlife, and just relax in gorgeous surroundings for a few days, this is the place.”
Go Fishing at Flaming Gorge Reservoir
While some visitors might be satisfied sitting back and taking in the views, Flaming Gorge also attracts fishermen from all over the country. Famous for its lake trout, the Flaming Gorge Reservoir is home to a number of trout that weigh in at more than 30 pounds. The Flaming Gorge Reservoir offers three full-service marinas to keep fishermen occupied, and thanks to its untouched landscape, most of the shoreline remains unspoiled.
“The fishing here is absolutely phenomenal,” Hanks says. “We’ve got lake trout, brown trout, rainbow trout, all sorts of fish. The part of the reservoir where the Green River flows out is one of the top three trout streams in the country. It has between 7,000 and 10,000 fish per mile in the river there. It is absolutely a fisherman’s paradise.”
For more information about the Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area, visit www.tourwyoming.com.
Read about more great outdoor activities in Rock Springs, WY.