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Browns Park

This storied valley lies in a remote and rugged region along the Utah-Colorado border. Well sheltered from severe storms, Browns Park was a favored wintering spot for Ute and Shoshoni tribes. The area was explored in 1825 by Major William Ashley and his party of fur trappers, who floated through on the Green River in bull-hide boats. It was likely named after Baptiste Brown, a French-Canadian fur trapper who arrived in the valley around 1827, although at that time it was known as Browns Hole.

In 1869, explorer John Wesley Powell recorded the name 'Browns Park' in his journals and the name has stuck. A who's who of famous fur trappers and mountain men frequented the Park, including Kit Carson, Jim Bridger, Joe Meeks and Uncle Jack Robinson. Cattlemen were soon attracted to the valley and ranching in the Park prospered.

Its remote location along state borders also attracted outlaws and Browns Park became a notorious way station on the Outlaw Trail. Its most famous residents were Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, although a colorful list of others like Matt Warner, Tom Horn, Queen Ann & Josie Bassett, Isom Dart and Mexican Joe Herrera added to its notorious fame. Today, the charm of Browns Park is that it is little changed from those frontier years, although flyrods have replaced six guns for most of its visitors.

Address
170 South 500 East
Vernal, UT 84078
Phone
435-781-4400 (BLM Office)
970-365-3613 (Browns Park NWR)
Cost
Free

Customizeable Directions

Directions

The Browns Park Road is located off US Hwy 191, about 76 miles south of Rock Springs, WY and about 74 miles north of Vernal, UT. This road is a 25 mile mixture of paved and graded dirt that may be difficult for travel in very wet weather. It descends into the northern end of Browns Park via Jesse Ewing Canyon. From the south, the Park may be accessed via paved CO Hwy 318 70 miles from Maybell, CO.

Click Here to view a large regional map showing Browns Park relative to local recreation areas.

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