Ashley National Forest

Quick Facts

Ashley National Forest

Utah

(435) 789-1181

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

Located in the northeastern portion of Utah and southwestern portion of Wyoming, the Ashley National Forest comprises 1.3 million acres. The lands are located in three major area: the northern and southern slopes of the Uinta Mountains, the Wyoming Basin, and the Tavaputs Plateau. The heart of the Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area is a 91-mile long reservoir, created by the Flaming Gorge Dam. With over 300 miles of shoreline, boat ramps, full service lodges and marinas, Lake Flaming Gorge is an aquatic paradise. While mostor boating, sailing, swimming, windsurfing, water skiing, and scuba diving are among the lake's popular recreation activities, "The Gorge" is most famous for its fishing. White water rapids and gorgeous canyon scenery also lend to the popularity of river rafting below the dam and hiking Little Hope National Recreation trail. The highly acclaimed Sheep Creek Geological Area is located adjacent to the Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area. The High Uintas Wilderness encompasses 460,000 acres and is the largest wilderness in Utah. The Ashley National Forest has two Scenic Byways and two Scenic Backways offering spectacular views and experiences off the Interstate Highway system.

Map of Ashley Nat'l Forest

Latitude, Longitude: 40.697850, -110.007222

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Activities

  • Boating

    Boating and Water Sports --The Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area is a popular boating and water sport area. Boating ramps and marinas are located at several sites around the Lake. There are 26 campgrounds in the immediate area of the Gorge, four of which are accessible only by boat. Boaters and water sport enthusiasts should be especially careful since high winds may be encountered, and the waters of the Lake are cold. Know and obey all State and Federal regulations while using the Lake. The Green River below Flaming Gorge Dam also provides adventures for non-motorized water craft meeting state and federal regulations for river running. Twenty six miles of the Green River are open to approved water craft without permit. Permits from the National Park Service are needed for the 26 miles of the Green River within the Dinosaur National Monument.

  • Bicycling

    Contact park for Bicycling rules and regulations.

  • Auto/Motorcycle

    Backways. All offer spectacular views and experiences off of the Interstate Highway system.

    FLAMING GORGE - UINTAS NATIONAL SCENIC BYWAY crosses the Ashley National Forest between the communities of Vernal and Manila. A segment of this Byway also crosses the Flaming Gorge Dam and terminates at the Utah - Wyoming border. Byway travelers can view and experience the greatest variety of wildlife and wildlife habitat in the State of Utah. Information and interpretive facilities are found at the Northeastern Utah Visitor center in Vernal, Flaming Gorge Dam, the Forest Service office in Manila, and at 14 interpretive sites along the Byway.

    "Wildlife Through The Ages," is the theme and vision of the Flaming Gorge - Uintas National Scenic Byway. This Byway offers a unique opportunity to interpret wildlife and wildlife habitats both past and present. Visitors will explore wildlife and its diversity; discover the habitats animals prefer; experience seasonal and daily changes; and learn when, where, and how to view and photograph wildlife as they travel along a route passing through one of the richest areas for wildlife and fossils in the West.

    The backdrop to this unique corridor of wildlife discovery is the majestic peaks of the Uinta Mountains; forests of aspen, ponderosa, pinyon/juniper and lodgepole pine; sandstone towers and cathedrals; giant red-rock formations; cottonwood and willow lined mountain streams; and the blazing red cliffs called Flaming Gorge.

    The journey begins north of Vernal among the ancient habitats of the Frontier, Morrison, and Chinel formations. Dinosaur bones and tracks, sharks teeth, fish scales, and seashells common to these formations can be viewed at the Utah Field House of Natural History State Park in Vernal, the Dinosaur Quarry in Dinosaur National Monument, and in the rocks near Steinaker and Red Fleet State Parks. More modern records of wildlife are found in the rock art and trails left by Indians that used Brush Creek as a travel corridor on their way to better hunting grounds.

    As the journey continues, ancient sand and limestone formations, rich in fossils of primitive seas, shape today's habitats. Elk and deer now walk over the sands of ancient seas, hawks and eagle fly over areas where dinosaurs walked and fish swim among the remains of petrified forests. Deep water and shallow wetlands, created by Steinaker and Flaming Gorge reservoirs, are seasonal homes to osprey, loons, ducks, geese and numerous wading birds. Sagebrush flats and pinyon/juniper forests shelter wintering herds of deer and elk. Mountain meadows and forests of aspen, ponderosa and lodgepole pine provide homes for a wide variety of birds and mammals, including moose, black bear, marmots, snowshoe hare, golden eagles, goshawks, and red flicker woodpeckers. Clear mountain streams supply insects for dippers and spawning gravel for salmon and trout.

    As the journey nears it northern end, bighorn sheep can be seen among the rocky outcrops above Sheep Creek, and the cottonwoods and willows above the stream harbor more species of migrating song birds than any other spot in Utah. The journey ends in Mancos or Hilliard Shale formations near Manila and Antelope Flat. Here the antelope and jackrabbits wander through the remains of an ancient sea.

    INDIAN CANYON SCENIC BYWAY begins in the community of Duchesne on US Highway 191 and crosses the colorful terrain between the Uintah Basin and the San Rafael Swell near Price, Utah. Varied landscapes of steep and colorful rock formations and conifer and aspen trees provide a special visual treat to Byway Travelers.

    RED CLOUD LOOP SCENIC BACKWAY can be accessed from Highway 131 in the Vernal area or at the junction of the Backway and the Flaming Gorge-Uintas National Scenic Byway located 15 miles north of Vernal. The Backway travels through majestic sandstone canyons, mixed conifer and aspen forests, and large meadow areas. Backway travelers are provided breathtaking views of the High Uintas mountains. The majority of this Backway is over unpaved roads.

    SHEEP CREEK SCENIC BACKWAY crosses the highly acclaimed Sheep Creek Geological Area adjacent to the Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area. The Backway provides the traveler with outstanding views of twisted and colorful geological formations which rise above the traveler like city skyscrapers.

  • Camping

    Visitors will find campgrounds located throughout the Forest. Many of the campsites can be reserved prior to arrival by calling the US Forest Service National Reservation Center. There are also sites available first come first served in many of the campgrounds. Camping in undeveloped areas (outside of designated campgrounds) is permitted. Please stay on existing roadways when accessing these undeveloped areas, and follow the practices in "Caring for the Forest" when camping in undeveloped areas. Camping in undeveloped areas must occurr within 150 feet of a designated route in Utah and within 300 feet of a designated route in Wyoming, at least 1/4 mile away from any administrative site, (boat ramps, guard stations, campgrounds, or visitor centers).

  • Climbing

    Climd around on the over 1,000 miles of trail that exist on the Ashley National Forest providing visitors with access to backcountry and wilderness areas.

  • Fishing

    The Ashley National Forest has many opportunities for Blue Ribbon fishing. Whether fly fishing in the Duchesne or Green River, or jigging on Flaming Gorge Reservoir, this area is an angler's paradise.

  • Hiking

    Hiking, Backpacking, and Horseback Riding --Over 1,000 miles of trail exist on the Ashley National Forest providing visitors with access to backcountry and wilderness areas. Trailhead locations for many of these trails are listed under trails. Parking, horse unloading facilities, and comfort stations exist at most trailhead locations.

  • Historic Sites

    The Ashley National Forest was established by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1908. Its forest and range lands are protected and managed to ensure timber, grazing, minerals, water, and outdoor recreation for the American people. The history of the Ashley National Forest is a colorful parade of trappers, explorers, outlaws, and settlers. Their deeds and lives create a colorful and interesting picture in the development of this area.

  • Horseback Riding

    Parking, horse unloading facilities, and comfort stations exist at most trailhead locations.

  • Hunting

    Contact park regarding hunting rules and regulations.

  • Off Highway Vehicles

    Many areas and trails on the Forest are open to off-highway vehicles. The District travel maps show travel opportunities available for high clearance vehicles, ATVs, and motorcycles. The Ashley National Forest adopts States of Utah and Wyoming Off-highway vehicle regulations, with the basic direction that all "areas and routes are closed unless designated open." Thus, areas and routes open to off-highway vehicles are designated and shown on these maps.

  • Picnicking

    Picnicking is encouraged.

  • RVing

    Contact the park about RVing oppurtunities.

  • Water Sports

    Boaters and water sport enthusiasts should be especially careful since high winds may be encountered, and the waters of the Lake are cold.

  • Winter Sports

    Cross Country Skiing, Snowmobiling, and other Winter Sports activities --There are areas and trails open to cross country skiing or snowmobile use. Two facilities called "Yurts" are available to rent for overnight stays by cross country skiers. The Yurts are about four to seven miles from the Flaming Gorge - Uintas Scenic Byway. Construction of other such facilities in various areas of the Forest is planned. Brochures about winter sports activities are available at Forest offices. Winter safety tips are included under the section entitled Safety and Health In the Forest.

Park Partners

Intermountain Natural History Association

Intermountain Natural History Association is a private, not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization created to aid the educational and scientific activities of the National Park Service at Dinosaur and Fossil Butte national monuments, the U.S. Forest Service at the Ashley, Uinta-Wasatch-Cache national forests and the Bureau of Land Management at the John Jarvie Historic Property in Browns Park. The profits from all bookstore sales are donated back to these public lands. Since INHA's inception in 1956, donations have exceeded $2.5 million.

Donations are given to the agencies to support specific activities or projects. These can include production and printing of newspapers, construction of information kiosks, or the financing of roadside displays, trail guides, and handouts. INHA donations help to purchase items as large as the cast skeleton of Allosaurus at Dinosaur, and as small as a roll of film for documenting projects.

The organization was founded in 1956 as the Dinosaur Nature Association. In 1999, it expanded beyond its relationship with the National Park Service to begin serving the USDA Forest Service and the BLM. To better reflect these relationships, in 2002 it officially became Intermountain Natural History Association.

INHA's offices are located just outside the Dinosaur National Monument boundary on the Utah side of the park, four miles north of US Highway 40 on Utah State Road 149. The physical address is: 2430 South 9500 East Jensen, UT 84035 Turn north at the Sinclair station!

(800) 845-3466

Directions

Driving

There are several access routes into the forest just north of Cedar City from both I15 and US 89.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(435) 789-1181

Links