In order to visit Flaming Gorge NRA, we first drove through Vernal, Utah. Vernal must be the Wave Petunia capital of the world! They were everywhere for miles along the main road and unbelievably lush and perfect.
Then we drove north on US 191 up a VERY steep hill until we found a place in the national forest to stay for a few days. The good news is that there were numerous excellent places for our purpose. We picked one about 29 miles north of Vernal and 6 miles south of the entrance to Flaming Gorge. (40.17998, -110.49458)
Now back to our hike. Years ago I had done part of a 7 mile hike that begins at the dam and follows the Green River downstream. So first we stopped to view the dam.
For any fact lovers out there, it was completed in 1964,
Height above bedrock . . . . . . . . . . . . . .502 feet
Height above original river channel . . . . .455 feet
Arc length at axis of dam . . . . . . . . . . . .1285 feet
Cost of dam and reservoir . . . . . . . .$49,600,000
Cost of power plant and switchyard $65,300,000
You can take a dam tour, but we passed on that.
Next we checked out the trailhead at the dam. Whoa! That's a long way down.
Since we were going to hike until we were half tired then turn around, we didn't relish the idea of climbing back up the 455 feet at the end.
So we started 7 miles downstream at 'Little Hole' which made for a much easier hike. The beginning wasn't as dramatic as I would have liked, but by the time we went about 1/2 mile or so, it improved.
I liked the look of these seed pods along the way.
It seems they have gone one better than the standard 'black pipe' outhouses with these modernistic self-composting ones. Pretty fancy.
Just when the canyon narrowed down more dramatically, we decided to turn around. I'm embarrassed to say we had probably only gone about 1 1/2 miles. We need to get into better hiking shape.
But we still enjoyed the part we did see.
And the trail will be better for having had Ron pass by.
Oh, and we saw another sign of autumn, even the poison ivy is putting on a show.