Although we spent the night in Rock Springs - because of Home Depot and Walmart - we still opted to return to Green River - which we had driven past the day before - to get on highway 530 south. The alternative route south is via the 191, however we thought that the 530 would be more scenic.
In the end, I think they are both somewhat scenic but in the end - if you want to see Flaming Gorge - the real action is on the south end. The ride starts out in Wyoming and finishes off in Utah.
Having spent the morning shopping, we stopped for lunch at a rest area just south of Green River - here is the map of the area we were about to enter.
A lot of - well - nothing out here. There are side roads - gravel - that lead to the gorge along this route but we opted to forgo them.
Entering into the town of Manila just into Utah - an agricultural area in the valley.
At this point the road descends down into the gorge area.
Just at the bottom we pulled off at a picnic/trail area where the Sheep Creek Loop starts. We didn't take the loop but it looks like an interesting detour. We did hike the nature trail however.
Many of my pictures show Cassia and Derek but Cas and I do walk together quite often - here I am trying to take a picture - she's isn't always so willing. What a cutie!
A lovely walk - lots of information and a beautiful warm day.
We all enjoyed a chance to be out of the van.
The real magic of the gorge - it turns out - happens just south of this pull off as you wind through the area and then ascend up through the very steep switchbacks.
It was difficult for me to take pictures as we were going up so Derek pulled off at the top so that I could take these. Very impressive - the pictures don't really do this area justice.
We were on the road that you see winding through the valley.
A view of our driver - thank goodness Derek is behind the wheel is all I can say.
My favourite shot - looks like a painting.
Once you reach the top, this is the view for miles and miles. We can't say that we loved the ride from the top of the gorge all the way to Vernal. Not something we would do again.
As you get closer to Vernal the road goes down - really down. Notice how the sign tells us that there are 9 more switchbacks? Actually the sign before told us there were 10 in total at an 8% grade - then it counted them down for you.
When we had 5 switchbacks left we pulled off to admire the view in the distance - looking south.
A last look at the rock formations before we hit the lowland.
Initially, we thought that the trip through the Flaming Gorge would take us a few days. Sadly, all of the campgrounds were closed in September. With such lovely weather we most likely would have stayed a few days if they were open along Sheep Creek. There were many RVs boondocking up in the higher regions - looked to be ATVers and hunters - but we had enough of camping in the bush over the summer.
So, we carried on.
We may have also stayed overnight in Vernal but since our next destination, Dinosaur National Monument, was just up the road with a campground, we continued on arriving around 4:30pm.