Massai Point, Chiricuhau National Monument, AZ

Massai Point, Chiricuhau National Monument, AZ

Monday, 3 October 2022

Flaming Gorge, Antelope Flats, Red Canyon and Sheep Creek Geological Loop, Utah October 1 and 2

Saturday morning, we hit the road by 9am headed down Highway 191 to the other end of the Flaming Gorge. What beautiful scenery. Going along a mountain ridge for most of the way with great expansive views.





This might be why they call it Antelope Flats. lol



Antelope flats is only an hour away so we arrived by 10 am. The road in here is 4 miles of well-graded gravel.

Again the campsite is closed even though the website said it's open! We unhooked the car and drove down to the boat launch. They have a huge day use boat parking lot and we decided to set up there even though we used quite a few levelling blocks.  Fantastic view here. A little cool this morning at 11C.


After set up, we decided to do a little touring after first eating lunch in the little town of Dutch John that was created to build the dam. (Elevation 6400 Feet). A little Korean food at the local gas bar lol It actually was quite tasty. Onwards down highway 191, stopping at the dam and various other viewpoints.

First up Flaming Gorge Dam.

Visitors Centre. No dam tours at this time due to lack of staff we were told.

The top of the dam you drive over.


Drove down a little further to the dam overlook.


This is the map in the Visitor's Centre. The top of the picture with the lighted circle is Firehole Canyon Campsite. Now we are at Antelope Flats where there is a little dot on the right hand bottom of the gorge on the widest part.


Back in the car heading down Highway 191. Next stop is the Cart Creek Bridge.






Boat coming up to go under the bridge.

Further along another overlook, Cedar Springs.




We reached the Junction of Highway 191 and Highway 40. Turned up 40 towards Manilla to the Red Canyon Visitors Centre and Overlook. All I can say is WOW!

Red Canyon Visitor's Centre is closed and is apparently only open from May long weekend to the September long weekend. Most of it closed behind wire fencing "for repairs".


See my foot Dianne ... it's a long, long way down. lol

Ray in the distance for perspective.







They have a lot of this area below roped off too. Look at this large crack. It seems to go around the whole point, right up to the Visitor's Centre. It's like a huge chunk of the cliff fractured and is going to fall down to the bottom of the gorge.


Driving back to the highway we stopped to get a couple of pictures of West Green Lake, part of the Red Canyon park. There are lots of campsites here, but again, closed for the winter. Judging by the extenders on the highway delineators for the plows, they get quite a bit of snow up here.



After this we turned around and headed back to camp, a half an hour drive back. Great day.

Sunday morning we woke to a bit of a rain shower. Ray hoped for some sunrise shots of the huge red cliff across the way from us but no dice. We had a nice quiet night though with no one here but us.

At 8 am the rain stopped and the sun broke through so out he went. :) As I previously mentioned. we have a gorgeous view out our front windows.




By 9am we were ready to head out for our scenic drive today, especially since the sun is out. This time we're going past the Red Canyon area from yesterday and continue further down Highway 40 to Manila, UT. There are quite a few viewpoints along the Sheep Creek Canyon showing all the various colours of rocks from the upheaval in the earths crust millions of years ago. This area is well-known for fossils.


Sheep Creek Overlook

The other side of the lookout towards Manila.

Sheep Creek Boat Launch: They also have a large camping area next to the boat launch. I imagine it's quite busy in the summer.

Ray doing his thing. lol


Looks like our boat only red.



After going through the canyon we carried through Manila to Lucerne Peninsula which we can see across the gorge from where we are currently camped. Hard to believe we can see that campground and marina. Driving time from here and without stopping would have taken us 1 hour and 15 minutes. 

You can just see our MH in the distance on the left in the parking lot. lol



Lucerne Marina, starting to cloud up.


Funky rock formations next to the road on the way out to Lucerne Spit.

We fueled up the car in Manila, a very small ranching community, and stopped for lunch at a small diner. We ordered burgers and fries, it was okay but nearly as good as our steak dinner a few days ago. lol It actually is 17C with the sunshine. Beautiful. Overheard some ranchers talking about chasing down their cows and could not find them and another bunch said they had been chasing deer all morning.

Back on the road we decided to tour the Sheep Creek Geological Loop as we noticed the flashing sign said it was only closed Monday to Friday for road work and today is Sunday so off we went.

"The Sheep Creek Geological Loop takes you on a 13-mile long adventure through some of Utah's most beautiful terrain."

They were not kidding. Absolutely stunning.




See the arch?

We even came across wranglers herding their cows, bringing them down for the winter from the high plains. I stopped and put my hazard lights on and waited for them to pass and got a thank you. :)




We carried on winding around the top of the mountain before starting the way back down.

The upward thrust is noticeable here, with vertical lines

You can see how high we are with the aspens changing colour at the top of the mountain.









The road below, I think there was 4 switch backs in a row.




The pictures hardly due this justice. Here is a short video.




Big Springs

Sheep Creek





Towards the end of the loop on the valley bottom, I saw some caves in the rock with a guard on the biggest hole. Talk about surprised to see 2 people emerge from one of the holes next to it. lol




Once we got back onto Highway 40 towards home we could see the black clouds following us. They finally broke and poured on us a few miles from the campsite. We saw lightening as well. Talk about a lucky break with the weather today for our tour.

I originally planned for us to come down the gorge from Manila. We cancelled our camping reservation as we could not get here in time due to our repairs in Everett, WA. Turned out it was a much better decision to come down Highway 191 from Rock Springs. The road Highway 40 to Manila is a very windy up and down road and would have been hard on the MH gearing up and down and braking constantly. The scenery was spectacular but you wouldn't have been able to enjoy it while "white knuckling the steering wheel. :)

Ray started out going through over 100 pictures of todays drive! He was a busy boy later today. The final count was 66 pictures. 

Just before dark we had a beautiful sunset to say goodbye to this lovely place.



Moving on tomorrow to Dinosaur National Monument.

3 comments:

  1. That Flaming Gorge/Dutch John area is one of our favorites. Lots of memories, great scenery and great fishing!

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    1. Fishing must have been good as there were at least 6 or more boats every day that we could see out fishing. We did see someone land a fish from the shore at Firehole Canyon.

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