Where NOT to paddle on Flaming Gorge?

I was studying a map of Flaming Gorge Reservoir yesterday. The farthest northern section is marked as having “shifting sand and gravel–dangerous navigation”.

Does that mean unpredictable braiding? Or just shallow water where motorboats cannot safely travel?

I have paddled in parts of Flaming Gorge but never in the northern section. Any input from someone who has paddled there would be welcomed.

Don’t Worry
That warning is for powerboats. The Green picks up a lot of silt that settles in the lake. I have visited that section in my truck but decided I don’t really want to paddle it. Only because there is more color in the south. The section of the Green between the dam and the Gates of Lodore is a good paddle.

I put in at Green River WY
In 2003 and took five days to get to the dam. I never had any problems. It’s more high desert where the lower section is more mountains.

If you float the river watch for sections of sedimentary rock where you can see all the layers punched down for a couple feet. I wonder if theres a dinosaur foot print in there?

Take a warm sleeping bag, you’ll need it.

Hope you enjoy it. It’s a beautiful area.


Is Flaming Gorge kind of like Fire
Island? Anyway, we drove in to the upper part of Flaming Gorge, and it looked good-to-go for canoes and kayaks.

I don’t know where Fire Island is
What state?

Oh, no…you must be referring to THAT Fire Island, where the “flamers” hang out!

Anyway, Flaming Gorge Reservoir has two different parts: the much larger northern section is big skies and open land–pronghorn country. Wyoming wind! I have only paddled a little of this part, in the south.

The southern portion in the red canyon walls is very river-like. I have paddled a lot of that section, as a day trip.

There are a few designated campsites in the southern section. I am trying to find out what the policy is in the northern section, where high winds could make mileage on a given day very unpredictable and therefore I hope it’s all “camp anywhere you want.”

Toured the length of the reservoir on
Terraserver, checking topos and aerial photos, but did not find anything real useful. We car-camped at the more northern of the upper-lake campgrounds. As for camping anywhere, you might check with BLM, as I think it is their reservoir.

who to check with

– Last Updated: Feb-27-05 12:14 PM EST –

The Forest Service actually handles camping and that sort of stuff, or at least they did when I worked there. You could contact the Ashley National Forest office in Vernal, Utah, or the Flaming Gorge Ranger District in Manila. Here's one of the websites with the contact information:

It's probably worth verifying that this applies to the reservoir, but their website says "Camping in undeveloped areas (outside of designated campgrounds) is permitted." (That's on the camping page under "recreational activities.")

Dispersed Camping is Allowed
Camping is allowed anywhere along the Lake. Down river is where there are restrictions. Self-issued permits can be purchased along the highway. Just in case you show up on a weekend.

Thanks, all of you.

About a year ago, I tried to get a straight answer about dispersed camping and kept being referred to another agency, then another, then another…

I’ll give it another go this spring. If nobody can give me a definite answer, I’ll consider it not one of their top priorities and treat it as “dispersed camping allowed” in the main lake body (I’ll be by myself so can be discrete). I know that the canyon section has some designated water-access campsites and plan to use those down there.