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.
Cart Creek Bridge & Flaming Gorge Dam – Flaming Gorge Recreation Area, Utah
Before you reach the Flaming Gorge Dam, there’s another structure that demands your attention. The Cart Creek Bridge crosses one of the creeks that feeds the Flaming Gorge Reservoir.
You’re not supposed to walk across the arched suspension bridge, so you’ll have to be content with the view from either end.
From Cart Creek Bridge, US 191 travels along the edge of the reservoir for about a mile, before you reach Flaming Gorge Dam.
US 191 runs along the top of the dam. Before you cross, there’s a big parking area and visitor’s center…
… complete with a real-life example of the dam’s power-generating turbines.
If you have time, you can take a tour of the dam, starting at the visitor’s center. You’ll have to pass through a security checkpoint for the tour, but not to enter the visitor’s center (take a hint, Glen Canyon Dam!)
You will find the best view of the dam after you’ve crossed it. There’s a turnoff for a viewpoint that gives you this perspective.
Note: This trip was first published in 2008.