“If you liked Lake Powell, you should consider cruising the Flaming Gorge Reservoir.”
Shortly after we cruised Lake Powell in 2011, we started to hear about a place called the Flaming Gorge Reservoir from other boaters. They said, “If you liked Lake Powell, you should consider cruising the Flaming Gorge.” With a little research we found out that the the reservoir was formed upon completion of the Flaming Gorge Dam, in 1964. That was the year the Beatles first toured the U.S. Flaming Gorge Reservoir is located in southern Wyoming and northeast Utah on 91 miles of the 730-mile long Green River. The dam was built to create hydroelectricity. Today the Reservoir is a fishing and water recreation paradise. Our cruise concentrated on the 26-mile stretch from Lucerne Valley Marina, in Utah, through the canyon area all the way down to the dam.
With only 26 miles between the marina and the dam, and a bright and clear sunny day at hand, we decided to cruise the entire distance on our first day out. We made our way into the majestic canyons, while occasionally ducking into the side creeks and canyons scouting out potential anchorages for our three-day cruise. We like the unknown and unexpected when it comes to cruising destinations and shortly after we headed into the gorge, as we approached the three-mile long Horseshoe Canyon, we knew we would not be disappointed. With canyon walls 400 feet tall and water beneath us 160 feet deep, we enjoyed a slow pace through the glass-like water. We repeatedly cocked our heads up and around to take in all of the spectacular rock formations.
We continued into Kingfisher Canyon, past Hideout Boat Camp, Hideout Canyon and up into Carter Creek. Hideout Creek runs about 3/4 of a mile south off of the main canyon route and increasingly narrows the further back you go. At the end we found a sandy beach with a mountain stream running into the creek. The water was 10 feet deep almost up to shore and very suitable for beach anchoring. We made a note of it for for our return trip. Exiting Carter Creek we continued through Red Canyon, 11 miles of serpentine canyon. I’m sure the canyon got its name from the red hues that are very pronounced when the sun rays reflect off of the rock walls. Along the way we ducked into a few more small creeks, including Trail Creek. We found the east arm of Trail Creek to be very inviting and returned a couple hours later to beach anchor for the night.
After investigating Trail Creek and selecting it for our first night’s stay we headed the final four miles to the dam. We cruised slowly past Cedar Springs Marina, the Flaming Gorge Dam and up into Dutch John Draw. We took in visual delights that can only truly be appreciated from the vantage point of a boat in the water. We returned to Trail Creek, happy to see we had the entire creek to ourselves for the night.
Back to Trail Head Creek to anchor for the night. A beautiful, pristine spot with just enough sandy beach for us to nose our bow up onto to beach anchor Lake Powell style – bow on the beach with anchor buried farther up on shore and our backup stern anchor buried in the sand off the starboard side with a line tied to a rock off of the port side.