Flaming Gorge Recreation Area, Utah
South of Flaming Gorge, Route 44 crosses over a plateau that's quite boring. Just when you think you've seen the most dramatic scenery the Gorge has to offer, there's a turnoff from the main road, leading to Red Canyon.
Flaming Gorge Reservoir winds its way through a tall, narrow canyon, on its way through the gorge. It's the kind of dramatic scene that can't be done justice with a mere picture (especially on a cloudy day, which calmed the intensity of the red canyon walls.
With a little Photoshop magic, I brought out some of those colors. I'm betting it's this intense, or better, on a sunny day.
The Red Canyon viewpoint is a couple of miles off the main road, past a small resort and store. There's a short trail at the end of the road which leads to several good views looking west, north...
... and to the east. The only thing that's hard to look at here...
... is the visitor's center. I took a picture of it, because I'm fairly certain it's the ugliest building I have ever seen. It does, however, have a great view from the inside:
Plus, you can pick up a souvenir here. On the way back to Route 44, I stopped at the small store next to the lodge, which had more touristy treasures.
Red Canyon is 1,700 feet, or about a third of a mile deep, and about 4,000 feet wide. It was first explored by non-Native Americans in 1825, when General William Ashley followed the Green River as part of a fur-trapping and exploration trip.
Just beyond the turnoff to Red Canyon, Route 44 runs into US 191. Make a left and head north.
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