Flaming Gorge-Unitas National Scenic Byway

State: Utah
Length: 82 mi / 132 km
Time to Allow: 2 hours, including backtracking

This byway hosts a unique theme: “Wildlife Through the Ages.” Visitors to this region not only get to experience some of the most striking, preserved land in Utah, they can also see evidence of prehistoric creatures throughout both trace fossils and the incredible mineral deposits left behind. This byway takes only 2 hours to drive, and while it does extend into Wyoming, the Utah portion alone features enough stops to keep you busy for several days, and will easily become your favorite roadway in all of Utah.

Those looking for self-guided learning and exploration will be right at home on this byway. With 15 interpretive sites and 4 nature trails, Flaming Gorge-Unitas National Scenic Byway rewards those with a mind for discovery. For those more focused on the natural world, the scenic nature trails wind you through one of the lushest mountain ranges in Utah, and one of few mountain ranges that developed east to west. Incredible geological features capture the eye and give a hint of the complex history of this area, from the open pit phosphor mine that exists due to long-dead ancient marine organisms that decomposed to create rich minerals for fertilizer, to the incredible fossilized dinosaur footprints that give us a glimpse into ancient American history.

Industry meets nature with the Flaming Gorge Dam, an incredible structure that offers both guided and self-guided tours to the discerning visitor. Not only can tourists learn about the massive, 502-foot (153-meter) dam, they can also take pictures of the 91-mile (146.4-kilometer) Flaming Gorge Reservoir, which exists thanks to this manmade structure.

Fans of hiking will find themselves right at home along this byway, with access to several gorgeous locations (pun intended). From the breathtaking Red Canyon Overlook to the oft-overlooked Sheep Creep Canyon Geological Area, the discerning traveler will never find themselves bored on this incredible byway. Red Canyon Overlook features a visitor center that makes a perfect midway stop on this byway and gives you access to an incredible photo opportunity that is hard to pass up. Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area offers 700 individual campsites for the discerning camper, as well as 360-miles (579-kilometers) of shoreline to explore along the Flaming Gorge Reservoir. As a bonus, many of the locations along this byway are free and open year-round, making it a cost-effective way to add a pinch of discovery to your next vacation.

From the priceless scenic views to the mind-blowing peek into ancient history, Flaming Gorge-Unitas National Scenic Byway gives travelers a unique mix of educational and entertainment options, while still preserving the wild scenery that makes this byway so striking. Not only is this area dedicated to the preservation of living wildlife, but it also prioritizes preserving ancient history for future generations to explore and enjoy. If you are looking to experience Utah wildlife as you’ve never seen them before, or take advantage of a breathtaking backdrop of unique geography and heart-stopping views, this scenic byway is sure to become one of your fast favorites.

More Utah Byways

You can check out additional Byways in Utah by clicking on the list of byways below, or by going to the Utah Byways home section. To find even more of scenic byways in the United States, visit our scenic byways map.