Dutch John Bay, Flaming Gorge

Tuesday, July 15

Bridget, Spike, and I leave camp and go north on Highway 191.  We bear right at Greendale Junction, entering Flaming Gorge Recreation Area.  A pass is required.  Daily passes are $5.  A pass for seven consecutive days is $15.  A pass for one calendar year is $35.

Of course, with a Senior Pass ($10, good for life), the crew and I enter for free!

1-1-DSC05723 - Copy - Copy - Copy (2)Cart Creek Bridge, Flaming Gorge Reservoir

1-DSC05770The bridge was built in 1962.

Before driving over the dam, I stop at the Visitor Center.

People are waiting to take a tour of the dam.  I pass on that, not wanting the crew to wait in the Perfect Tow Vehicle.  I’m not much for tours anyway and it’s a lovely day for a drive.

I read in a brochure that a large colony of ospreys nest in the Dutch John Bay area.

1-DSC05729 - CopyFishing pier and Osprey Island in Dutch John Bay

Flaming Gorge Reservoir is a dream for boaters and people who like to fish.

Lake trout, kokanee salmon, rainbow trout, brown trout, small mouth bass, channel catfish, and burbot inhabit the reservoir.

What’s a burbot?  A marmot with indigestion?  I don’t know!

1-DSC05741Thank heaven for chain-link fences.

I drive us over the dam.

We continue on Highway 191, past Dutch John, and around the bay.  I stop at an overlook.  I leave the crew in the PTV because I don’t want them falling off a cliff.

1-DSC05739Flaming Gorge Dam (502 feet tall)

There are very few boaters out today, it being a weekday.

Here are more photos taken from the overlook.

1-DSC05737 - Copy - Copy - Copy - Copy1-DSC057361-DSC05738Back on Highway 191, we make our way across arid land toward Antelope Flat.

If in the distant past you traveled Highway 191, which runs north-south on the east side of Flaming Gorge Reservoir, this section looks quite different now.  Evidently a fire raged through the area between Dutch John and Antelope Flat.  Where it was once green, it is now exposed tan earth with sage brush and charred, leafless trees.  A drab landscape!

I’m curious about Antelope Flat.

I’ve heard dispersed camping at the water’s edge is available in addition to a campground with boat ramp.

When we move camp and head into Wyoming, the crew and I won’t go along the east side of the Reservoir.  I plan to take Highway 43 along the west side.  In order to see Antelope Flat, we’re taking this little excursion today.

In the next post I’ll show you Antelope Flat and the “flaming” rock which inspired John Wesley Powell to give the gorge its name.



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80 Responses to Dutch John Bay, Flaming Gorge

  1. Mick'nTN says:


  2. Kay says:

    Headed to Wyoming? I’ve got a great site where you can boondock and it’s PRIVATE property if you’re interested….

    Lovely photos. The best time to sight see a great attraction is to go during the week!

    Have fun…

  3. Marsha in MI says:

    A burbot is a cod- like fresh water fish (I had to look it up).

  4. ZenOnWheels says:

    Wow, amazing photos once again Sue! I’m looking forward to hearing about Antelope Flat next time.

    I want to thank you for turning me on to Benchmark maps. I’m a map geek and these atlases are like candy to me. I just treated myself to a full set of the western states. I’m in map geek heaven! Thanks again for the tip!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Michael. I saw where someone had ordered a full set. If that was you, thanks for ordering through my blog!

      As you travel and if you get into boondocking, you’ll find the maps even more helpful as time goes by. They hold a lot of information and I haven’t come across any errors. I love ’em!

  5. Terri From Texas says:

    Gorge-ous Pictures!

  6. Diann in MT says:


  7. Lisa W says:

    Lovely photos – as usual. I really like the ones of the arch bridge. Have a great time in Wyoming.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Lisa. We won’t be going to Wyoming for a few days yet. That arch bridge is a pretty accessory on the reservoir.

  8. Denise - Richmond VA says:

    Hi, Sue,

    Looks like you all had a beautiful day! Was it very hot at the reservoir?

    Gracie (pup) and I are looking forward to exploring Wyoming with you and the Crew!

    Sending you wishes for sweet, peaceful slumber. 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Denise,

      No, it wasn’t hot at all. It was very comfortable, probably around 78-82, depending on whether sun or shade. We were there in the morning. Thanks for the lovely wishes. I hope the same for you!

  9. Sputnik Goes says:

    Lovely place and pictures! Glad you and your crew made it through the night of the bear intruder!

  10. Cinandjules (NY) says:

    Neat bridge!

    Love that island! Rainbow trout gets my vote!

  11. Timber n' Me says:

    Wow Sue, look at all that soaking water for Spikey. Some bear bugin’ you the other day, well next you’ll see some Elk, maybe.. ,,,,,Timber says hi Tooo

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Rusty,

      Great to see you here again. I missed you while you were having computer problems. Maybe you didn’t see my posts about elk that come into the meadow by our camp. Lots of them! Hi to Timber! 🙂

    • Timber n' Me says:

      Oh ya, you might even see Buff? , Buff?, Ta Tonka ,,,,,,,,Timber

  12. Diane, Blue Ridge Mts., VA says:

    Hi Sue and Crew, nice to see the Flaming Gorge shots, Couldn’t wait to see your next new home but guess we’ll have to wait till tomorrow. Enjoy the explorations there.
    Thanks and take care.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Diane,

      The crew and I aren’t leaving this camp right away. Wyoming is where we will go at some point, don’t know exactly when. I’m reluctant to leave Flaming Gorge and Ashley NF because the weather is ideal, the surroundings are beautiful, and nature is up close and personal. 😉

  13. DesertGinger says:

    I am really taken with the bridge! It’s lovely. I am also wondering what spot you will find for your next camp. suspense! Love it.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Ginger,

      I have the same reaction to the bridge. It adds charm while being simply functional.

  14. BuckeyePatti (OH) says:

    After your last post, I found the second line of this one humorous: We “bear” right to Greendale Junction… Freudian slip? I mean, you coulda said we turned right, we veered right, etc. Ahhhh, okay, so it’s a rainy & blah day in Ohio and guess I’m looking for entertainment? Been a nice summer; we don’t need bears here…the dern winters will kill ya. HA

    Anyhoo, can’t wait for the next episode. You continue to entice all of us to get out there and see this great country!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Patti,

      I remember the many, many times I woke up to “a rainy & blah day” in New York state during the first 25 years of my life . . . and after a horrendous, snowy, cold winter. You deserve a nice summer!

      That bear post certainly stirred up some excitement. I checked the comments under that post this morning and presently there are 270. The next time someone asks me how to increase readership on a blog, I’ll say, “Have a bear try to break into your rig.”

      Wishing you sunshine and smiles . . .

  15. weather says:

    Good morning Sue,
    The third photo captivates me.A quick glance shows such similarity in content to the banner we see everyday on your page.Gazing,I see it holding statements about much more that pertains to this blog.

    The island has elements of all the earth,rock and vegetation seen in your recent travels,in microcosm-like the way you appreciate every small thing’s beauty.Named for osprey,raptors with a unique way of experiencing the world.

    Mankind’s metal/cement pier- what many see as improvement .The island,set apart from the shore,once explored,becomes again only land.

    It’s the wind-blowing across the sky,through the treetops,tossing the water-that’s ever fed my excitement about life.

    Having chosen that,instead of heaters and air conditioners,may you find the birds it brings you delightful this promising day.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good morning, weather,

      Osprey Island is a focal point of the bay. Looking at the other photos you can see the fishing pier isn’t as close to it as the first photo makes it look. We were there around 9 a.m. when the air was still fresh. I was pleased to find the place absent of people and lingered there the longest.

      In my anticipation for the day (and the fact that my breakfast larder had become meager), I took off on this excursion without eating anything. (Bridget and Spike had their breakfast, of course.)

      While at the overlook I suddenly realized I was very hungry. The PTV never lets me down! I found a spoon — washed it with water I always have onboard — and a can of pineapple chunks in the PTV’s “pantry.” I ate a tropical fruit breakfast while gazing at Osprey Island and the reservoir.

      Wind in the treetops, white-capped waves. . . I know what you mean. 🙂

      Birds are quiet this morning. Peeked out the window this morning to deer grazing on the knoll behind our camp.

      Wishing you a wondrous day with your troupe gathered ’round . . . .

      • weather says:

        Tropical fruit eaten near a shoreline-an experience only royalty could choose at will once-,now yours when you leave a home where elk herds sweep by- circling hillsides topped with forests …

        You never take for granted being the recipient of all that’s being given .

        The first car I had always held meals to be enjoyed at a moment’s notice for my son,then a baby.To this day,I,too,always carry food and drink in what I drive, so whatever goes on,it’s at hand.Not much has really changed about us since we carried our lunch into the woods ,has it? 🙂

  16. Good morning, Sue! What a beautiful area–good to breath easy after your bear post! That encounter was the essence of terror! I’m curious about a comment you made awhile back–you said you don’t get drinking water out of your fresh water tank. Why is that? Jim & I are going to be leaving in early January & we’re trying to get as many of the kinks worked out as possible before we hit the road.

    Cheers to you & the crew–take good care!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Cheers to you, too, Dawn.

      Boondocking as I do, timing is important. I found that using the water from the fresh water tank only for flushing the toilet, hand washing and incidental washing (not dishes or bathing) results in the fresh water running out at approximately the same time the black tank needs to be emptied.

      When I dump tanks, I fill up the fresh water tank. Great timing!

      It seems nicer to me to pour water from a jug into a basin for dishes, bathing, into the coffee pot, filling up the crew’s dish, rather than listen to the dang pump churn it into the sink. A quirk of mine. And, again, the fresh water tank would empty too soon.

      Of course, with two people the timing is entirely different. You will figure out what works best for the both of you according to your habits. I advise having water containers to supplement the fresh water tank supply, unless you will camp mostly in RV parks and campgrounds with water.

      I keep the empties in the PTV. I rarely pass a drinking water spigot without stopping to fill up any empties I might have.

      You’re wise to do research and ask questions now as they arise. January will be here before you know it! It’s fun planning, isn’t it… 🙂

      • Thank you so much for your wisdom & prompt reply, Sue. Having empty containers sounds like a really good idea. Any particular size or brand you prefer? I’ve seen some that have a little built-in spigot that looked very handy.

        I’ve written down the essence of your post for my notes & will think of you whenever we stop for fresh water. We already have our water bandit! We plan to boondock as much as possible. We’re just not RV park types!

        I hope you & the crew never have another bear encounter. I can understand why you have so many comments!

        Hope your weekend is going well, Sue. My oldest granddaughter Emma is here & she’s learning how to make pillowcases. Take good care!


        • rvsueandcrew says:

          You’re welcome, Dawn. It’s my pleasure to talk about myself. LOL!

          I don’t use water containers made for that purpose, although there are several good ones available for purchase.

          Due to the weight of water, I like one-gallon jugs that were once containers for Arizona brand iced tea (the ones with Arnold Palmer’s face on them). They have a sturdy grip and are easy to handle. The caps screw on securely.

          Be careful to get a container with a spigot that doesn’t leak. Amazon customer reviews are helpful.

          Enjoy your time with Emma!

  17. Robert, in it for the long haul says:

    The new fish…….hmm I thought I knew of all of them (freshwater) Burbot….lol I looked it up, too, kinda looks like a cross between a Catfish and an Eel , betcha it tastes like chicken.
    Hey Sue, see if there is a tour of the dam and sneak off and show us all the cool stuff.

    I Grew up in Redding Ca. and took several tours of Shasta Dam over the years and finally got a young tour guide to show me some neat stuff, I got the little kid in him to take me on a private tour……what a blast……..life is good!

    Enjoy, I do! and we all love when you take us to places we more then likely wont have the time to go see, so we get to see it thru your camera.

    • Robert, in it for the long haul says:

      Oh yes, and very important, don’t get arrested in doing so….lmao

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Hi, Robert,

        They give tours at the Flaming Gorge dam. One was about to start when I was there, but I wasn’t in the mood for a tour. Dams and power units don’t inspire me. Lots of guys get excited about that stuff. I’m more the butterflies-and-pretty- view type.

        It’s nice to know people like yourself are enjoying parts of the country they’ve never seen by looking at my blog.

        (I removed your last comment about your spelling because I fixed it.)

  18. Chas anderson says:

    I will have to try Northern Utah.Have probably spent 6 weeks over the years down in the Canyons of Southern Utah.Just turned 62 and got my senior pass after 7 years of retirement paying full price.Best deal in America.

    p.s. My dog Juice who had cancer and had lower jaw amputated is thriving and playing like a young pup again.She is an inspiration.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Chas,

      Congratulations on receiving your Senior Pass. Makes getting old a treat! Haha!

      I’m so happy for you and Juice! I’m glad you mentioned her. I hadn’t forgotten the story of the dog with cancer who had her jaw amputated. I remember the stories and details of my readers, but I usually have trouble remembering which story — which dog, for instance — goes with which reader.

      Yes, Juice is an inspiration and a testimony to the skill and care provided by her surgeon and caretakers, including you.

      Do explore northern Utah! There’s a lot more to the state than her spectacular and famous canyons.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        BTW, Chas . . . How does Juice eat without a lower jaw?

        • Chas anderson says:

          Lost half of it.Hinge and back half of her teeth are there so she can eat .She has trouble picking stuff out of the bowl so you have to pile it a certain way or hand it to her.When she drinks she loses half of it but it doesn’t seem to bother her.She’s a doll, best dog I ever had.

    • Willow (AZ) says:

      Love to Juice for being so brave and you for taking such good care and love to your best companion

  19. Jolene/Iowa says:

    Just beautiful! Loving this area of the country!

  20. JodeeinSoCal says:

    The water is such a rich blue, it looks very cold :-). Funny how so many of us reacted to that little bridge…..it’s really nothing spectacular, but I too loved the photo! Wyoming will still be there, enjoy your lovely butterfly-flowers-elk-no-more-bears meadow for as long as you can.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, JodeeinSoCal,

      Remember that first batch of photos of the Gorge? The pic where the water was such a deep blue and calm. I said it looked solid. That’s a different blue than these photos. You even can see a slight difference in the blue from one photo to the next. It depends upon the light.

      On the way out of the Gorge area, near the Cart Creek Bridge, the water wasn’t blue. It was steel grey. Ah, the many moods of Flaming Gorge Reservoir!

  21. Cherie from OH says:

    Pretty bridge. The first photo put me in mind of the Gateway Arch in St. Louis. I’m looking forward to reading your next entry. I hope you find some interesting campsites at the water’s edge. Spike is overdue for a dip!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Cherie,

      Our drive out to Antelope Flat was out of curiosity and also to research for possible camping in the future, if and when we travel the east side of Flaming Gorge. We won’t camp there this trip as we’re taking the route on the other side of the Gorge.

      Spike has substituted lying in cool grass for soaks. This is a temporary measure in the absence of a stream, river, lake, mud puddle, etc. 🙂

  22. Tawanda says:

    Amazing how a bear going bump in the night can bring on the bear stories and all kinds of commenting vs a serene drive around such a beautiful area 😉
    Gotta say for me that bridge is a bit of a spectacle in the beautiful landscape that surrounds it, wonder what they were thinking in 1962 in that remote area (at the time)?
    In all the years I have lived in Ut. have never been to Flaming Gorge, Vernal area west have been where I’ve roamed the forests and gone fly fishing in some pretty awesome streams with equally awesome surroundings. Your pictures are almost like being there, close enough for now being home bound with parent care full time, but will archive it on my ‘places to go list’ !!!
    Thanks Again for sharing, and, for always keeping it real!!! 😉

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Tawanda,

      You’ve never been to the Gorge and you’ve lived in Utah for years? That’s like me growing up in New York state and never seeing Niagara Falls, which I haven’t.

      What were they thinking constructing that bridge in 1962? That’s when the dam was built across the Green River, thus forming the reservoir. I don’t know, but I’m guessing that Highway 191 became impassable at that location and a bridge was needed. The suspension/arch design allows boats to go beneath the bridge without having to navigate around piers. That bridge is a jewel.

      Flaming Gorge will be your reward for your compassion and care for your parents!

    • JodeeinSoCal says:

      California my whole life – never been to Yosemite! Guess we always think we’ll get there. Now it’s just too crowded :-(.

      • ZenOnWheels says:

        You’re right about Yosemite being crowded. The crush of tourists and vehicle traffic can really mar the experience. It’s still worth giving Yosemite a try..absolutely stunning. A good time to visit is November or April. It’s off season during these months so much less crowded but the weather is still usually pretty good. Camping in Yosemite is OK, but if you can afford it a stay at the Ahwahnee hotel is worth the splurge for a memorable weekend in the valley.

        I also recommend a visit Kings Canyon and Sequoia NP just to the south. It gets less traffic but, Kings Canyon NP in particular, is nearly as breathtaking as its cousin to the north.

  23. Barbara says:

    Hi!! How do you get the Senior Pass? I will be traveling soon, and I could sure use it.
    Thanks, Barb

    • Alan Rabe says:

      Barbara, just about any federal park, monument or wildlife preserve with a visitor center should be able to provide you with one. However not all accept credit cards so bring cash. Happy travels.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      National Forest Service offices sell them. I believe you also can purchase them online at nfs.gov.

      • Barbara says:

        Thank You!!!

        • ZenOnWheels says:

          Barbara, because I was curious I looked up the requirements for purchase. I’m not quite the right age yet to get mine, but here are the requirements for purchasing the $10 senior pass, according to the National Forest Service website.

          1. Must be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States.
          2. Must be 62 years of age or older.
          3. Must obtain in person.
          4. Must show proof of age, which may be a state driver’s license showing birth date, a birth certificate, or similar document.

          • rvsueandcrew says:

            I know you’re directing your comment to Barbara, but if I may butt in..

            Thanks for correcting me. I don’t know why I thought the passes could be obtained online.

            • ZenOnWheels says:

              I had to chuckle when I saw your reply because I realized that somewhere out there in the internet universe of US Government websites one just might be able to do this purchase online. One thing I’m commonly finding as I use federal websites is conflicting information between different agencies. NFS, for example, says to purchase the pass “in person” while the USGS will sell you one via regular mail. Go figure!

              So, you might actually be right…there may be a way to do this purchase online. Unfortunately, if there is it’s still a secret. 🙂

  24. Mick'nTN says:


    This is the air horn I decided to use.

    Kleinn Air Horns Chrome Direct Drive Dual Air Horn Kit

    It has metal horns and should be loud. The less expensive models had plastic horns and many reviews said they were flimsy.

    The best way to do this would be to mount the compressor near the battery or power panel but this might require some professional help. Then just the “PanicButton” would be mounted anywhere convenient.

    I will make the test unit so that the compressor and button mount on the wall and a wire goes to the cigarette plug. This may not give enough power to the compressor but is the easiest way to try it out.

    Thoughts anyone?

    Please do not reply to Mick’s comment at this location. See my message below. Sue

    • rvsueandcrew says:


      I have put up a temporary page for discussion of the air horn system that is in development. You can access it from the header under the title “Air Horn” (next to”About RVSue and Crew.”)

      Please make your comments about the air horn there. Thank you.

  25. weather says:

    good job 🙂 saw it,now you can erase these,cool

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’ll leave Mick’s comment in order to give readers an idea what all this air horn talk is about.

  26. Bob Wells says:

    Hi Sue, I see you are headed toward Wyoming next and I am at the Grand Tetons NP now. I’m not sure of your timing but I can show you some great boondocking spots within a 1/4 mile of the Park and with great views of the Tetons. If I’m still here I’ll show you in person and if not I’ll send you a map.

    All the best to you, and watch out for those bears!!!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Bob… I do know about the free camp on Grassy Lake Road near the south entrance. At this point I’m not sure if I’ll be going that way. I’ll contact you if I do.

      What the heck are you doing at the Grand Tetons? I thought you were in Alaska. Gosh, you’re covering a lot of ground this summer!

  27. R. (Western Colorado) says:

    Flaming Gorge is on my list of places to visit. Love your pictures of the gorge.
    Did you notice any small and quiet campgrounds for tent camping and near hiking trails?

    I just came back from my exciting tent camping trip and I see you had some exciting experiences as well. My campground had only three sites for tents, it is free. Nobody camped there until today but me and Mr. Bear! Maybe it was Mrs Bear. S/he kept me one time in a camp restroom for about 20 minutes. I wish I had something to read. From now on I’ll be carrying my kindle. Anyway, I’m so pleased you won’t give up on your joy of camping and freedom. I did not read comments (there are 272 of them ) but I bet you got recommendations to get out of there. Just be smart, aware of surroundings and personally I would forget about raw meat and liver. Smell of those things means there is food for bears and they can smell food for miles. Those beautiful intelligent creatures are just hungry. I’m not sure why I’m telling you what to do, you’re smart, intelligent person and know what to do in such situations. In a way I’m glad you did not have a bear spray. Using it inside your Casita could have disastrous consequences to you and your crew. I have so many bear stories and personal encounters with them but my post would be too long.

    If you decide to visit WY keep in mind there are wildhorses in Bighorn National Recreation Area. They are probably in other places too I don’t know about. Beartooth Highway is spectacular and near Red Lodge, MT (located at the end of the Beartooth Scenic Byway) there is one of my favorite hiking trail, Sioux Charley Lake. Dogs are allowed and you don’t have to walk too far to appreciate this spectacular spot. I’m not trying to suggest you have to go there. By now I know you come up with your own ideas where to go, where to camp but keep these places in mind. Another less known and visited area in WY is Snowy Range between Saratoga and Laramie, WY. Not too long ago I included details under one of your posts.
    Have a delightful and peaceful evening.
    Goodnight Sue. Goodnight Crew.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, R., for the interesting hints on places to go in Wyoming. I was looking at the Snowy Range, thinking about autumn. There’s also a Wild Horse Loop by Green River, WY, I notice on my map.

      Whoa! Bear outside the restroom! I’m sure you have many bear stories, what with all the hiking you do. Yes, I received many urgings to get out of here fast! Not my style…. Of course, if the bear came back repeatedly I’d think about moving on.

      I really would hate to give up on the raw meat diet for the crew. Now that they’ve had a taste of the good life, I’m sure they would feel punished if I returned them to a diet of kibble. It is a dilemma.

      I don’t know offhand of any campgrounds with trails, except a short 1.5 mile trail at Canyon Rim Campground near the Visitor Center. I have noticed the trailheads have a vault toilet. One can sometimes find established campsites nearby. This is true for the Uinta Highline Trail that one can access from this forest road #062.

  28. Gettin’ caught up!

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