Flickr album link: Swinging Bridge Campground
A previous article presents an overview of Wildlife Drive in the Browns Park National Wildlife Refuge. This preserve is located on the border between Craig, Colorado and Flaming Gorge, Utah, so as can be imagined when browsing a map, fuel management will be a priority in this desolate region. For those who wish to make the most of the venture, camping onsite is definitely the way to go. There actually is plenty to see and do in this area and the local destinations include the historic Browns Park School House, Sand Wash Wild Horse Management Area and the Dinosaur National Monument Gates Of Lodore. Float trips and fishing along the Green River are also part of the venue, while observing the wide variety of wildlife in Browns Park certainly is a pastime.
The Swinging Bridge Campground is located on the banks of the Green River next to the Browns Park National Wildlife Refuge. This cozy little riverside campground is operated by the Department Of Fish & Game in conjunction with the wildlife refuge. The fees are separate from the cost of admission in Browns Park and there are many rules to be aware of, so reading the bulletin board will be necessary to do. This campground is equipped with basic facilities and primitive campsites with fire rings. The dirt road going through is silty, but it is packed firm enough for an RV camper to negotiate. There are only a few cottonwoods for shade, but the cool river water is literally only a few feet away.
Swinging Bridge Campground is a good spot for an overnighter, since getting the day started at dawn is best for birding and wildlife viewing. Across the old historic one lane bridge is where more adventures await in the BLM backcountry and there is a very lengthy 4x4 trail that goes through Dinosaur National Monument to Jenson, Utah. This trail is rough, but the majestic landscapes will make it worthwhile, but once again, fuel management is the key and in my case there was not enough gas in the tank to do the trip. The wildlife viewing in the refuge was sparse that morning, so the best option for birding was in the neighboring Browns Park Waterfowl Management Area and this turned out to be a fruitful experience. This all makes Swinging Bridge an ideal spot for setting up a basecamp and for those who pack fishing gear, the odds of catching dinner in the Green River are pretty good!
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