Flaming Gorge Reservoir is one of the largest bodies of water in Utah. It was built to impound spring floods in the Green River and store them for year-round use for Arizona, Nevada, and southern California. The reservoir is second only to Lake Powell in size and recreational popularity.
Accesses to Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area are on US-191 between Green River, WY and Vernal, UT.
Access from the north and west is also possible on Wyoming Highway 414, from I-80 at Fort Bridger, WY to Manilla, UT. Recreational areas are concentrated along the south side of the Flaming Gorge and Red Canyon on
U-44, which connects US-191 to W-414. Access areas are well marked.
There are dozens of campgrounds in the recreation area. For further recreational information, contact the Recreation Area Headquarters. There is a private campground in Manilla.
Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area 784-3445
Flaming Gorge KOA (Manilla) 784-3184
Reservoir Administrators Department of the Interior 524-5403
Elevation (feet) 6023
Depth (feet) maximum 436 mean 212
Length (miles) 42.6 Width (miles) .3 Shoreline (miles) 208
Visibility: 20 – 40 feet
Summer Water Temperature 60-68 °F
Aquatic life: Rainbow, cutthroat, brown trout, kokanee, smallmouth bass and channel catfish
Flaming Gorge has to be one of the top three places to dive in Utah. With slot canyons, walls, pinnacles and plenty of marine life. The most popular areas are those around Osprey Island (Mary Ann Island), Gilligans Island, Mustang Ridge, Dutch John Draw, Cart Creek Bridge, or the area near the Glades.
Osprey Island and Gilligans have some of the most natural features with the walls and pinnacles. There is still a cave line running from near the dock to both sides of Osprey. Osprey is accessible from the surface. If you dive to the dam side of Osprey and drop down the wall listen for unique sound of the turbines from the dam and look for some cool caverns. The max depth on this side is deep. 400+
Gilligans Island has more walls and pinnacles but diving from a boat is best.
Mustang Ridge is another wall with slots and caverns. Be careful to not venture to far into the slots as some narrow quite quickly. This is typically 90' max.
The area near the Glades is an easy shore entry and most of the time you can drive right to or into the water. Dives in this area are typically around 40' max.
Cart Creek Bridge is a great dive with more walls. Parking on the left side coming from Cedar Creek and you'll have to carry your gear down the trail. Maybe 100 yards. If not crowded with fisherman gearing up is quite easy. Explore the arm up stream
If you like to brave the cold there is an old truck off the Cedar Creek Marina boat ramp at about 100'. Special permission is required to dive the marina and don't plan on it during the summer due to high usage. Winter time they may let you when usage is low.
The area around Buckboard is reportedly one the better spots to shoot Burdot. Most success has been reported around dusk as the Burdot come up from depth to feed.
There is a 1949 Ford Truck that lies on the slope just off Cedar Springs Boat Ramp in about 100' of water. I would be very hesitant to attempt this dive during any season where there may be boat traffic with its close proximity to the ramp. Special permission must be obtained from the Park Ranger.
Visitor Center Parking 40°54'52"N 109°25'32"W
Mustang Ridge Parking 40°55'49.20"N 109°26'19.77"W
Osprey Island 40°55'1.80"N 109°25'34.21"W
Dam Cavern 40°54'51.58"N 109°25'25.94"W
Gilligans Island Spires 40°55'1.98"N 109°25'55.64"W
Cart Creek Bridge 40°54'34.63"N 109°26'7.96"W
Mustang Ridge 40°45'33.14"N 109°26'5.36"W
Dutch John Draw
Pillars Point 40°55'28.78"N 109°38'11.03"W
Buckboard 41° 8'36.95"N 109°32'31.09"W