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41 miles N of Vernal, 210 miles E of Salt Lake City

Tucked away in the far northeast corner of Utah and stretching up into Wyoming is Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area, one of the region's most scenic areas and a wonderful place for outdoor recreation. A dam was built on the Green River for flood control, water storage, and the generation of electricity, but a wonderful side effect was the creation of a huge and gorgeous lake -- some 91 miles long, with more than 300 miles of shoreline -- that has become one of the prime fishing and boating destinations of the region.

Here is some of the best fishing in the West, well over 100 miles of hiking and mountain-biking trails, and hundreds of camp and picnic sites. It's a boater's paradise, filled with everything from kayaks and canoes to ski and fishing boats to pontoons to gigantic houseboats with everything on board (including the kitchen sink).

Named by Major John Wesley Powell during his exploration of the Green and Colorado rivers in 1869, Flaming Gorge has a rugged, wild beauty that comes alive when the rising or setting sun paints the red rocks surrounding the lake in a fiery, brilliant palette. It's a land of clear blue water, colorful rocks, tall cliffs, dark forests, hot summer sun, and cold winter wind. It'll take more than a dam to tame Flaming Gorge.