Beautiful Flaming Gorge

by Phil Rowe

On the Green River, astride the Utah-Wyoming border, is one of America's finest lakes. Flaming Gorge reservoir is absolutely delightful, a great place to go boating, fishing or camping. We particularly like the campground called Antelope Flats. It's a few miles north of the dam on the eastern shoreline. And it gets its name aptly, for dozens of antelope do wander through
the area, pretty much unafraid of the campers. They make being there even more special.

The lake's waters are quite clear. And the surrounding cliffs and hills present a magnificent picture. Whether it's for boating, fishing or just relaxing in the campground, this place is wonderful. But one of the biggest attractions is star-watching at night, for there is no city glare to obscure the skies. You can see forever and discover more stars than you've ever seen.

I have paddled my 17-foot touring kayak around much of the lake's southern half. I especially like one section along a deep canyon of beautiful red-rock terrain. That's the part that gives Flaming Gorge its name. High atop the shoreline cliffs are Ponderosa pine forests. The contrasts on evergreens, red rocks and blue waters are truly breathtaking. It's a haven for photographers seeking landscape scenery unexcelled anywhere.

Fishing is reported to be quite good, though I haven't tried it myself. My information comes from the folks at the marina on the west side. They ought to know. For me it's just enough to be there, to be paddling my quiet kayak along whilst taking in the scenery. The antelope and abundant birds add to my joy.

One does have to be a bit cautious when winds shift to north-south. The lake is oriented that way and pretty high waves can build up quickly. Small boats can be dangerous under such conditions. Even though I can manage three-foot waves in my stable kayak, it's not wise to risk getting swamped when the winds and waves get ugly.

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