The Utah Backcountry Discovery Route, or UTBDR, is a scenic driving route across the state of Utah, from Arizona to Idaho, for dual-sport adventure motorcycles and 4×4 vehicles. This 871 mile long south-north route uses mostly un-paved backroads and will pass through a number of iconic locations including Moab, Valley of the Gods, the Abajo and La Sal Mountain Ranges, Nine Mile Canyon, and the northern Wasatch Mountains.
The Utah Backcountry Discovery Route was produced and released by Curbsyde Productions with major support from Touratech-USA, KLiM Technical Riding Gear, Butler Motorcycle Maps, NEMO Tents, WARN Winches, Sidi Boots, and Noren Films. Additional support provided by Canyon Lands Jeep Rental, BMW Motorcycles of Utah and The Edge Powersports KTM.
RUN WILD! RUN RIVERS!
In 2011, Colorado River & Trail Expeditions (“Crate”) will be celebrating its 40th year in business. Dave and Vicki Mackay founded the company in 1971, because they loved being on the river and wanted to make it their life’s work. It was their intention then, as now, to outfit rafting trips of exceptional quality for folks who longed to escape from the hubbub of everyday living. With the support of smart, fun, and experienced guides, Crate has enabled thousands of people from all the world to travel down the Green and Colorado Rivers through Utah’s magnificent canyon country.
Guiding Rafting Vacations for 60 Years.
Green River Rafting Trips and Colorado River Rafting from the town of Green River, Utah
One-Day rafting in Gray Canyon on the Green River. This is a great trip for families with children as young as 6, and first-timers on the river. We include lunch on this mellow 12-mile stretch of the river just north of town. We bring along 2-man inflatable kayaks or 6-man paddleboats for the adventurous to enjoy the half-a-dozen fun Class II rapids along this section of the Green River. Or if you prefer to relax and just enjoy the scenery, you may ride in one of our 18-foot rafts rowed by our guide. An affordable, fun day on the river, we have discounted rates for youth.
This section of the Green River runs through Gray Canyon which is the last day of our 5-day Desolation Canyon trip. Fun Class I to III rapids will be encountered on this 8 mile stretch. More of a Wilderness canyon, this pristine section of the Green allows viewing of petroglyphs and is home to the occasional big horn sheep, birds of prey and migratory birds. Perfect for floating, kayaking, paddling and water play. Children 5+ welcome!
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Ernie’s Canyon is off of SR-24 heading to Hanksville from Green River. The turn of is at gps coordinates 38° 41.990 N 110° 30.763 W, past mile marker 143 heading south.
38° 43.777′ N
110° 32.002′ W
From Green River, UT, take Interstate 70 west approximately 15 miles. Turn south across the highway on a dirt road after mile marker 145, go through the gate (make sure you close it) and go a little over a mile, on the west there will be a place to park off the road and you will see Little Spotted Wolf Canyon about a quarter mile from the road.
Little Wild Horse Canyon is 58 miles from Green River. The Little Wild Horse Canyon/Bell Canyon loop hike is the most popular hike in the San Rafael Swell for good reason. The canyons are two of the best slot canyons in Utah. This hike is suitable for just about everyone. If you enjoy a long walk in the park than you can probably complete this hike with little problem. The canyons can be hiked individually for a short distance or connected together to provide an easy half day loop hike.
Twelve miles north of Interstate 70, a developed BLM campground at Swasey boat ramp includes vault restrooms, trash disposal and fire rings. The white sand beach spans a long bend in the river and is shaded by cottonwood trees. Shallow water gives children plenty of opportunity to frolic in the river, and bighorn sheep frequent the water’s edge. Rapids upstream from the campground provide a kayaking playground. Designated as recreational access with no permits or fees for camping or boating, Swasey’s Beach provides barrier-free access for those with disabilities.
Although officially a detached unit of Canyonlands National Park, the Horseshoe Canyon area could be better described as a little hidden jewel lost in the desert. It’s definitely worth the time it takes to get there. If you already plan on a few days in the Maze, you won’t be disappointed if you spend a half-day of your vacation at Horseshoe Canyon. If you’re going to the Maze from Green River, Horseshoe Canyon is a convenient stop. The Great Gallery is one of four major rock art sites in Horseshoe Canyon, but the fabulous rock art is only part of the attraction. Horseshoe Canyon would be well worth the stop without it. It’s a great day hike in a secluded canyon with majestic cottonwoods shading the sheer sandstone cliffs.
Black Dragon Canyon is very popular with rock art enthusiasts. The panel receives its name from a pictograph, which resembles a flying dragon. Pictographs and petroglyphs are spread out along the base of the high canyon walls. Unfortunately, the site has been seriously damage by inconsiderate visitors. DO NOT outline pictographs with chalk for photographing.
Goblin Valley’s eminent feature is its thousands of hoodoos and hoodoo rocks, which are formations of mushroom-shaped rock pinnacles, some as high as several meters. The distinct shape of these rocks comes from an erosion-resistant layer of rock atop softer sandstone.
The vast landscape of sandstone goblins may have visitors wondering if they’re on Mars or in Utah. The movie, Galaxy Quest, was filmed at Goblin Valley State Park because of its unearthly scenery. Scores of intricately eroded creatures greet visitors to Goblin Valley. Hike among these rock formations and discover numerous haunting coves. Adjacent to the park, off-highway vehicle enthusiasts will find hundreds of miles of dirt roads to explore.
Arches National Park is 48 miles from Green River.
A red rock wonderland containing some of the most scenic and inspiring landscapes on Earth, Arches National Park contains the world’s largest concentration of natural sandstone arches. Although over 2,000 arches are located within the park’s 76,518 acres, the park also contains an astounding variety of other geological formations. Colossal sandstone fins, massive balanced rocks, soaring pinnacles and spires dwarf visitors as they explore the park’s viewpoints and hiking trails. Geologic faulting has exposed millions of years of geologic history within the park.