Five Things to Do with Kids at Flaming Gorge

Flaming Gorge with Kids

Our family recently spent a week at Flaming Gorge and we wished we could have stayed for a month.  With rivers, lakes, forest, and trails, there is no shortage of kid-friendly recreational opportunities.  You can spend the morning hiking with the kids in the pine forest, and the afternoon swimming on red rocks.

Here are five of the top activities in the area–and a few others thrown in just because there’s that much to do here.

1) Go to the beach.

Swimming at Flaming Gorge

There are several swimming beaches at Flaming Gorge.  Our favorite was Sunny Cove.  There is a somewhat sandy beach, but even better, there are lots of rocks to climb and jump off of.  There is a fairly large “swimming area” that is roped off.  Parking is $5.

2) Float the Green River.

The stretch of the Green River right below the dam is exceedingly family-friendly.  You can rent a raft and float it yourself sans guide.  Rentals and shuttles are availble from several business in Dutch John near the dam.

3) Explore the Red Canyon Rim.

Flaming Gorge Overlood

High above Flaming Gorge Reservoir, the rim provides cool shade and massive views.  At the Red Canyon Visitor Center, you can stand on the edge of a 1,400 foot cliff–behind glass, of course.  A mile down the road, the Green Lake Lodge has a kids fishing pond, horseback rides, and a lovely resteraunt with an outdoor patio.  We camped at Greens Lake and enjoyed the cool air and glimpses of wildlife.

4) Visit Swett Ranch

Swett Ranch Flaming Gorge

Swett Ranch is a well-preseved historical ranch from the early 1900s.  With expansive views and cool Aspen tres, this place is a little bit of heaven.  Take a picnic lunch (there are tables) and let the little ones run free and explore the old ranch.  On the weekends during the summer, some of the buildings are open for you to explore.  When we went, they were closed but we still had fun roaming the sprawling ranch with its many buildings.   It is free to visit, and 50 cents for a walking tour brochure.

5) Go SUPing

Flaming Gorge is an amazing place to explore by Stand Up Paddleboard.  There are lots of places to rent them around the lake.  Paddle to a deserted cove to swim and spash in your own private paradise.  Young children can ride on the front of a board with an adult, while older kids can paddle their own, or try a kayak instead.

Bonus Ideas:

  • Visit the Dam visitor center.
  • Go fishing.
  • Rent a speed boat or jet skis.
  • Go camping at one of the campgrounds around the reservoir.  There are lots!
  • Go hiking on the Red Canyon Rim trail.
  • Drive to the Down Mountain overlook for great views and a picnic.
  • Watch for wildlife.  You could even do a wildlife bingo.  We saw so many animals while at Flaming Gorge: deer, moose, big horn sheep, eagles, and more.
  • Attend a nature program.  We saw several different programs posted at the various campgrounds and marinas we visited.