Range Roaming – Wyoming 2013 – Days 73/74

Exploring Flaming Gorge: Manilla, UT – June 26 and 27

Wednesday June 26, 2013

My mom and I spend two days exploring Flaming Gorge.

On the 26th, we hike all of the trails in the Red Canyon area and spend the late afternoon driving the tour loop and getting all nerdy in the Sheep Creek Canyon Geological Area. Parts of this driving tour are on dirt, but the road would be fine for a regular touring bike like mine. You can download a guide for the loop off the internet. The main road has all of the formations identified with large signs. The main Uintah fault is quite easy to pick out.

Red Canyon at Flaming Gorge.
This isn’t quite as precarious as it looks.
The nerd is unleashed again today. I’ve also been looking forward to this area for a couple years of trip planning. This geology loop is the primary reason I wanted to come down to the Flaming Gorge area. I have a pdf opened on Mom’s computer that explains all of the geology along the 15-mile loop. I read each description at each “stop”. At this stop, the bright red rocks have been uplifted by the fault (between the red and white rocks). The white rocks have been completely overturned and are much younger.
My mom is checking out the Weber sandstone.


On the 27th, we head over to Dutch John and do a long out-and-back hike along the Little Hole National Recreational Trail which follows the Green River right below the dam. This hike is really fun – highly recommended. We also check out the 3D map in the visitor centre at the dam and have our picnic lunch on the tables there. However, the heat (94 F) is really getting to my mom, so we do not do a late afternoon hike.

The Little Hole National Recreation Trail follows the river below Flaming Gorge. In many places you walk along boardwalks. This was a really fun hike, highly recommended.
On the Little Hole National Recreation Trail.
What a fun hike!

I also make the decision on my route leaving Manila. Originally, I had planned to ride back to Dutch John, and then on to Rock Springs. However, the following two days are forecast to have record heat. I am very concerned about not being able to carry enough water for the tough climbing between Dutch John and Rock Springs. I’m also not certain if I can make it all in one day. That means I’d need two days of water – way more than I think I can carry when planning for temps in the mid 90s F. So, I’m just going to ride directly to Rock Springs from Manila instead. With an early start, I should get to Green River by 10 or 11 am and be in Rock Springs in early afternoon. It seems a safer decision.


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