It is a privilege to live in Sweetwater County. That was the main takeaway I had from the Sweetwater County Travel and Tourism’s first Flaming Gorge Tour I went on recently.
As the busload of us that went on the trip noticed, you don’t have to go very far from home to find some of the most incredible places surrounding us. Millions of years combined with geological forces have tailored some of the best places to see.
And they are right in our backyard – literally.
The tour is one that I highly recommend taking for yourself or visiting family members. I’ve lived in Rock Springs my entire life, but I learned so many new things about this special place we call home during my time on the tour.
Below are a few highlights of the tour along with some photos from the day.
Flaming Gorge Gateway Sign
The first stop of the tour will occur at the Flaming Gorge Gateway sign. After taking a perfect picture with the sign, you’ll get a glimpse of geological artwork as you gaze out on open landscape. Interpretive signs explain some of the forces involved in carving the rocky land before your eyes.
Heading further down a two-way road, keep your eyes out the window to see the many unique rock formations. Upon arriving at Firehole Canyon, you’ll see chimney rock formations.
After getting off the bus you’ll explore the sediments deposited by Lake Gosiute. The lake previously covered the Green River Basin over 60 million years ago, eventually disappearing and leaving behind a beautiful landscape.
Camping, mountain biking, hiking and a shooting range are just a few of activities visitors can enjoy while at Firehole Canyon.
Flaming Gorge Dam
Pulling into the Flaming Gorge Dam, you’ll likely see people from all over the world out on the lake attempting to catch the next record lake trout. Some of the best fishing can be found at the dam, making it a must-stop destination.
The Visitor Center also has a wealth of information on the area. Open year-round, all are welcome to learn and take a free summer tour of the dam to discover its rich history and purpose.
Not only does this tour feed your hunger for the outdoors, but it also provides a spectacular lunch at the Red Canyon Lodge or Flaming Gorge Resort. Grab a burger, turkey sandwich or chicken sandwich and recharge for the rest of the day.
Red Canyon Visitor Center
Prepare yourself for a gorgeous view at the Red Canyon Visitor Center. From 1,700 feet above the lake looking down, you might just want to spend the rest of the day here.
Along the self-guided trail, you’ll also learn about some of the plant species that surround the area.
Sheep Creek Bay Overlook
Equally as impressive as the Red Canyon outlook, you’ll want to grab a camera to capture the view of the Sheep Creek Bay. This fantastic view is where you’ll see the red landscape that gave the Flaming Gorge its name.
Sheep Creek is home to many different kinds of wildlife. Bighorn sheep are just one example that you might come across, so be sure to keep an eye out.
Salmon Interpretive Site
Heading towards Manila, Utah, the Salmon interpretive signs will explain the spawning season that happens in the Sheep Creek. Salmon will spawn during August and September in this area.
In addition, giant rock formations and trees surround the creek, making it the perfect place to spend a day exploring.
Lucerne Valley Marina or Buckboard Marina
A full-service marina will be busy with visitors at Lucerne Peninsula. The Lakeside Grill is sure is a great place to grab some afternoon grub or ice cream. Plus, you’ll become well acquainted with a few resident antelope as they wander through the marina grounds.
Buckboard Marina is the only marina on Wyoming-side of the Gorge and offers a great place for ice fishing.
To cap off the tour, you’ll see Expedition Island in the heart of Green River, where John Wesley Powell began his historic voyage down the Green and Colorado Rivers.
Visitors can see the many trails and water activities available to enjoy.
No matter what you know or where you’re from, don’t miss out on these incredible tours that will be hosted by Sweetwater County Travel and Tourism, starting Summer 2021.