Red Fleet State Park
Red Fleet Reservoir from the north
Red Fleet Dam
Red Fleet State Park is centered around some ancient dinosaur tracks that just happen to be close to Red Fleet Reservoir. Red Fleet is named for a Navajo sandstone outcropping just north of the reservoir's edge that resembles a fleet of ships. You can see it in the photo above, obscuring part of the reservoir.
Never mind the oil and gas exploration happening in the area, Vernal is in the heart of dinosaur bone and track country. Red Fleet State Park is a great place to fish, picnic or camp in the middle of that, just to the north of Vernal off the Flaming Gorge-Uintas Scenic Byway.
The dinosaur tracks in the Navajo sandstone at Red Fleet State Park are about 200 million years old and they are located maybe 30-minutes hike from the campground. Or you can go the other way and spend a good day in the boat just fishing. This is a beautiful area northeast of Vernal: Dinosaur National Monument to the east, the Uinta Mountains to the west, sandstone and desert country to the south, Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area to the north.
Red Fleet State Park is open year-round with no closures. Summer hours are 6 AM to 10 PM, winter hours are 8 AM to 5 PM. Red Fleet State Park is on US 191, about 13 miles north of Vernal.
Elevation: 5,500'. Surface water acreage: 750. Park acreage: 1,963
Dilophosaurus track found at Red Fleet State Park
Upper left photo courtesy of the US Bureau of Reclamation
Lower photo courtesy of Phil Constantin