Flaming Gorge-Uintas National Scenic Byway

Details

  • DesignationNational Scenic Byway (1998)
  • Intrinsic QualitiesNatural
  • LocationUT
  • Length82 miles
Byway Visitor Information
USDA Forest Service
Statewide Byway Partners
Utah Byways Map
Utah Office of Tourism
A breathtaking view is captured looking west from a pullout along the Flaming Gorge - Uintas Scenic Byway.
A. E. Crane Photo

Overview

The byway meanders over the eastern flank of the Uinta Mountains and through the Ashley National Forest and Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area. View wildlife in their native habitats and experience the "real West" as passed down through western folklore of early explorers, homesteaders, mountainmen, outlaws and cowboys.

Local Byway Partners

Story of the Byway

As you drive the Flaming Gorge–Uintas National Scenic Byway, you will pass through one of the richest areas for wildlife and their fossilized ancestors in the western United States. Pull over at any of the 15 Wildlife Through the Ages interpretive sites and nature trails to explore an unusual diversity of natural ecosystems both past and present. Here you will find stunning landscapes that have been uplifted and carved by the earth’s forces, exposing almost seven miles of rock evidence of warm shallow seas along ancient coastlines and Sahara-like dune fields. The formations exposed comprise 770 million years of geologic history, making it one of the greatest varieties of formations found anywhere.

Driving Directions

From Vernal, drive north on US-191. At the junction of US-191 and SR-44, take either the right or the left route. Both are part of the byway. SR-44 will lead you to Manila where the byway ends. US-191 will take you past the community of Dutch John to the Utah/Wyoming border where the byway ends.

Points of Interest

  • Utah Fieldhouse of Natural History

    Take a virtual tour of our planet’s ancient history at this 22,000-square-foot facility in the heart of Dinosaurland. Includes full-size dinosaur replicas, and interactive exhibits.

  • Sheep Creek Geologic Loop

    A 10-mile section of road that takes you through the extreme forces of nature at work along the Uinta Crest Fault with opportunities to glimpse Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep.

  • Ute Fire Lookout Tower

    The 1937 fire tower is the last of its kind in Utah. See what living in a fire lookout was like, which includes a homing pigeon program that recalls wildland firefighting communications before telephones and radio. Ashley National Forest visitors at Red Canyon Visitor Center can release messages on homing pigeons to the tower.

  • Dinosaur National Monument

    This is the only place on the planet to see more than 1,500 dinosaur bones along one magnificent rock spine.

  • Ashley National Forest

    1.3 million acres of vast forest, lakes, and mountains

  • Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area
  • Red Fleet State Park

    Reservoir and fossil trackway of dinosaurs

  • Flaming Gorge Dam Visitor Center

    Dam built in 1964 to provide water storage and hydroelectric power. A 3-D model, flims, and interpretation give the visitor a sense of the recreational opportunites that abound.

  • Red Canyon Visitor Center

    Great views of the canyon, raptors, and bighorn sheep. Trails

Itinerary

  • Come for the Scenery, Stay for the Experience

    Day 1
    Stating at Vernal, Utah, stop in the Utah Fieldhouse of Natural History State Park Museum to get a feel for the area and its rich mysteries of the past. Great kids stop. Then head south on Route 40, turning north on Highway 149 to lead you to the Dinosaur National Monument. There you will see over 1500 dinosaur bones and history of the area. Camping, hiking, and guided whitewater rafting is available at Dinosaur National Monument. If you are wanting hotels and restaurants, return to Vernal.

    Day 2
    Leave Vernal and head north on Route 191, entering the Ashley National Forest. At Greendale Junction, turn west on Route 44, then Highway 095 to the north to stop at Red Canyon Visitor Center. There you can send a message via homing pigeons to the Ute Fire Lookout Tower. Return to Highway 44 and take it to Highway 218 and the Sheep Creek Geological Loop for 10 miles of views of Rocky Mountain Bighorn sheep. On the south side of the loop, take Highway 221 to Route 055 and the Ute Fire Lookout Tower. Did your message arrive via homing pigeon? Then back-track on Routes 055/221/218/44/191, taking Route 191 to the north and stop at the Flaming Gorge Dam Visitor Center. If you want to camp in the Ashely National Forest, there are many locations to choose from. Maybe you want to stop and float down the Green River or try your hand at flyfishing, boating, or paddling. Rustic cabins, resorts, and local eateries dot the byway. Watch the sun catch the red canyon walls as it seems to light them on fire. Get a good night sleep and continue the next day into the Wyoming portion of the Flaming Gorge-Uinitas National Scenic Byway.

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