Have you been to Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area in SW Wyoming and NE Utah? This is a spectacular gorge on the Green River. The Flaming Gorge Dam built in 1960's formed Flaming Gorge Reservoir as part of the Colorado River Project. Dam tours are available on a regular schedule. US 191 provides access to the eastern side of the NRA and Wyoming 530 and Utah 44 provide access to the western side of the gorge. Wildlife and scenery are spectacular. This is definitely a non-commercial kind of location. You will find a few small towns along the way but the major towns for shopping and RV camping are Green River, WY on I-80 and Vernal, UT to the south on US 191. You could stay in Green River to explore the upper reaches of the gorge and use Vernal for a base to explore the southern end and the dam. Fishing is one of the major attractions at this reservoir. Check local information when you get there. We drove a drive described as a geology loop. Along this road were some of the strangest rock formations anyone could imagine. I can't find information on that drive (I found it!) but we enjoyed it tremendously. There was one friendly Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep that hung around for pictures for quite a while!
Vernal, Utah is in the heart of Dinosaur country. Dinosaur National Monument is located to the east of Vernal, close to the Colorado state line. There is a very nice Dinosaur Museum in Vernal. The National Monument has scenic areas along the Green River (this is the river below the dam). I believe that canoeing or rafting can be done on this section of the river. The National Monument has a spectacular Dinosaur Quarry which was exposed and covered in a building. You could see dinosaur bones exposed in large numbers on a hillside inside the building. Unfortunately the building was condemned several years ago when shifting of the foundation made it unsafe for occupancy. The building was designed by a famous architect and is a historical building so the Park Service is facing difficulty replacing the building. When we were there three years ago they had no idea when they would be able to get the necessary funding to reopen the building. I would still recommend this park for a visit. I just read the Vernal website linked above and it indicates that the quarry is now open again!
Between Flaming Gorge Dam and Vernal Utah, US 191 descends from 7150 feet elevation to 5950 feet elevation, a vertical descent of 1200 feet in a straight line distance of 5 miles. The highway is anything but straight. There are a series of switchbacks that are numbered as you descend, cautioning you that there are 7, 6, 5, etc. more to go! Check your brakes before you descend.
US 40 links up to US 191 in Vernal. We enjoyed the trip across northern Colorado from Vernal to Denver on US 40 also but if you want to stay in Utah, you could head west on US 40 toward Salt Lake City and the Great Salt Lake. US 50 also crosses Utah, we took this highway into Utah from the west to where it joins I-70. The western reaches of US 50 are interesting. I wrote up this trip on my Blog here on the FMCA web site.
Tom and Louise Butler
2004 Monaco Windsor, Cummins 400 ISL
Roadmaster Sterling Tow Bar, Brakemaster, GMC Acadia, BikeE Recumbent Bicycles
After 9 1/2 years full time in our motor home and being Winter Texans we are now living at Sandpipers Resort in Edinburg, Texas. Now we are Summer Chickens!
"The tipi is much better to live in; always clean and warm in winter, cool in summer, easy to move... If the Great Spirit wanted men to live in one place he would have made the world stand still." -- Flying Hawk, South Dakota Oglala Sioux