TRAVEL ALERT: Please follow local COVID-19 guidelines for safe, responsible travel. Read more.

High Uintas Fishing Itinerary

Discover Life Elevated by fishing in Utah's highest range.

Day 1: Drive from Salt Lake City to Dutch John

Distance and time: 208 miles (four hours)

Find your guide and start fishing!

Fishing with a guide:

  • Cost Estimate: $395 for two people — 8 hour fishing day or $315 for half day. (Transportation included)
  • Guide Services:  Western Rivers Fly-Fishing

Grocery store for supplies and fishing gear:  

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner:

Day 2 through 4: Keep fishing!

In late May the high mountain lakes start to thaw and the high Uinta Mountains are the place to be. The fishing is excellent at lakes and streams packed full of hungry brook trout, cutthroat, and rainbows.  Sometimes you will catch graylings!  The more accessible lakes include east and west Greens Lake, Brownie Lake, Sheep Creek Lake, Long Park Reservoir, Spirit Lake and Hoop Lake.

If you are adventurous and willing to hike, Tamarak Lake, Daggett Lake, Fish Lake and Island Lake are good choices.  The Flaming Gorge high country has remained naturally wild.  Native Americans and Mountain Men lived on these lands in the early days of our country.

A great strategy to fishing the high country is to hire a guide for one day and then fish on your own for two more days.  The guide will provide great experience and education on how to fish the streams and lakes.  They will show you the best flies or lures to be using for the season. On the additional days you can fish on your own in the same areas. You could also fish on Lake Flaming Gorge or the Green River.

In the mountains south west of Manila there are several large mountain lakes with abundant trout and plenty of excellent shoreline fishing. There are countless streams and ponds in the area.  Some of the lakes are large enough to use a small boat or float tube. There are many campgrounds in the area.

Consider a visit to the Spirit Lake Lodge to rent a rustic cabin for a few nights.  It’s so peaceful and relaxing to enjoy this beautiful mountain scenery. From Manila travel up 21 miles of gravel road to the lodge.

Backpacking and fly fishing in Utah’s Uinta Mountains is awe inspiring! The weather can range from sunny and warm to sudden thunder storms that stop as quickly as they started.  The high mountain lakes and streams are full of diverse types of hungry trout.  You will enjoy a peaceful feeling away from the blaze of digital life because….. there is no signal. 

This terrain is perfect for going on guided backpacking, fly fishing and camping trips. This is high altitude so you need to be in reasonable physical condition and pace yourself. Trips range from easy to very strenuous.

The only guide company currently providing service to the high country is Western River Flyfisher guides. The cost for a full day guide service includes transportation, flies and lunch. Check their website for 3 to 5 day backpacking fishing trips.  Call about horseback fishing trips.

Day 5:  Return to Salt Lake City

Optional activities during your stay:

Tour the Flaming Gorge Visitors Center — Located at the Flaming Gorge Dam and open all year.  Enjoy interpretive displays and free dam tours in the summer. The views from the dam are amazing! 

Red Canyon Visitor Center — Located on a rocky point 1,700 feet above the lake. A fantastic view!

Sheep Creek Geologic Loop — Near the west side of the lake.  This scenic back-way winds through dramatic geologic formations.  The Uinta fault runs through this area and is clearly visible in the extremely twisted rock layers.  You may see Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep in this canyon.  This 13 mile loop begins 15 miles west of U.S. 191 on S.R. 44 and five miles south of Manila.  Estimated drive time is 1 hour with stops.  This road is paved except for a short section of gravel in the middle and is passable by any vehicle.  Open spring through fall.

Raft on the Green River — For fishing or fun, a small raft and shuttle service costs about $165.

Boat tours of Lake Flaming Gorge – Provided from the Cedar Springs and Lucerne marinas.

Optional activities on the return trip:

Dinosaur National Monument: This activity would require a different return route to Salt Lake City. This may take one of your fishing days but if you like dinosaurs it’s well worth the side trip.  Travel south from Dutch John on U.S. 191 to Vernal.  Then travel southeast on U.S. 40 to Jensen. Turn north on S.R. 149 to the monument. Return to Salt Lake City on hwy 40 and I-80.

Visit the Olympic Sports Park: five minutes from I-80 at Kimball Junction.

What's Nearby

Mountain Resorts

Ride the Snowbird Tram to the top of Little Cottonwood Canyon (11,000 feet): 40 minutes south from I-80, as you enter the Salt Lake valley.

Great Salt Lake

View the Great Salt Lake from the Marina: 30 minutes from downtown Salt Lake City.

Bonneville Salt Flats

90 minutes west of Salt Lake City. 

Events and Information

Browse additional resources, driving distances from cities around the regions and events in the Flaming Gorge area.