Rising Water Levels Threaten Unattended Campers at Flaming Gorge

Rising Water Levels Threaten Unattended Campers at Flaming Gorge

Here are a few campers that are parked along the Flaming Gorge Reservoir shoreline at South Buckboard. Photos courtesy of Angel Ruby.

SWEETWATER COUNTY — Residents who are planning on leaving their camper or RV for a few days to reserve a good camping spot near the shoreline of Flaming Gorge, should be aware that water levels at the reservoir are currently up over 8 feet from one year ago.

A high amount of mountain snowmelt runoff, increased outflows upstream from Fontenelle Reservoir, and decreased outflows at the Gorge itself have raised water levels nearly 3 feet during the first 14 days of June, according to the Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office.

“Obviously, if the water gets too high and you’re parked too close to the shoreline, at the very least, you’re risking water damage to your camper or other property,” Sheriff’s office spokesperson Jason Mower said. “We just want people to be aware and be smart about the rising water levels.”

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Unless otherwise posted, Mower said dispersed camping regulations on most BLM Wyoming-administered public land, including around the Gorge, allows for a 14-day occupancy limit within a 28-day period. The 14-day limit is reached either through several separate visits, or 14 days of continuous occupancy, during the 28-day period.

Campers may leave their personal property unattended for up to 72 hours, but the length of time property is left unattended still counts toward the 14-day camping limit, Mower said. After 14 days, campers must then move outside of a 5-mile radius from their previous location.

For more details on recreating on public lands in Wyoming, please visit the BLM’s website. For the latest updates on water levels at Flaming Gorge, please visit their water database website.