Make Green River your home base for fun and adventure.
Green River, Utah is your hub of activity for you and your family to go sight seeing, hiking, biking, atv or dirt bike riding, swimming, fishing, golfing, horseback riding and much more. Come explorer the spectacular rock face of the the San Rafael Swell, the towering height of the Book Cliffs and the canyon cutting Green River.
|History of Green River
The city of Green River, population 1200, is located near the site of the historic river crossing used by both Native Americans and Spanish explorers. Settled in 1878, the town served as a mail relay station between Salina, Utah and Ouray, Colorado, until the coming of the Rio Grand Western Railroad in 1882. The town has since supported and survived economic ups and downs of a variety of industries including cattle and sheep ranching, railroad and highway construction, uranium and oil exploration and mining, and an Army missile base. Today the town is supported mostly by river recreation and tourism, although it is most famous for its production of juicy, flavorful Cantaloup, Honeydew, Crenshaw and other fresh melons. A “Melon Days” festival is held every third weekend of September to celebrate the delicious harvest. Click for more information.
|The Green River
The Green River originates in the Wind River Mountains of Wyoming and flows to its confluence with the Colorado River west of Moab, Utah. First used by Native Americans, then trappers, the Green was explored by General William H. Ashley in 1825. It is now a favorite with river runners for its deep canyons, beauty and diversity. Both relaxing, one-day, calm-water float trips and exciting, multi-day, white water rafting adventures are offered in the Green from late spring through summer. Click for more information.
John Wesley Powell River History Museum
In 1869, explorer John Wesley Powell and his crew undertook an expedition down the wild, uncharted waters of the Green and Colorado Rivers. The party braved fierce rapids in wooden boats to map the unexplored territory. Today a museum exists to honor these brave explorers. Follow Main Street to the river crossing. The museum is located on the east side of the river, on the north side of the road. Click for more information.
The Crystal Geyser was “formed” in 1935/36 when a petroleum test well was dug on the banks of the Green River. It erupts 3 to 4 times a day, about 7 minutes per eruption, with water shooting up to 60 feet high. From the John Wesley Powell River History Museum, drive east approximately 1.3 miles, cross I-70, and turn left (east) onto the frontage road. Follow the frontage road 2.7 miles then turn right (south) and continue 4.4 miles to the geyser. Click for more information.
|Green River State Park
Green River State Park is a favorite of visitors and locals alike for its large manicured lawns, tall shady Cottonwood trees, and its proximity to the water. The park has campsites with picnic tables, paved parking and BBQ grills and is open year-round. From the John Wesley Powell River History Museum head west on Main Street to Green River Blvd. Turn left (south) and continue several blocks to the park entrance on the left (east) side of the road. Click for more information.
|Swasey’s Beach & Rapid/Nefertiti
On a major bend of the Green River north of town is inviting Sway Beach — a long, sandy river beach backdropped by shady Cottonwood trees. A small rapid just upriver bears the same name. Further up the road is a rock formation named its likeness to Egyptian Queen Nefertiti. From the John Wesley Powell River History Museum head east to Hastings Road. Turn left (north), follow the road for 10.1 miles to Sway Beach and Rapid. Continue 8.5 miles (road may become rough) to Nefertiti where the road ends. Click for more information.
|Thompson Canyon/Sego Canyon
These connected, narrow canyons north of the little town of Thompson, Utah, contain the rock art of several ancient cultures as well as the remnants of a turn-of-the century coal mining town. Take I-70 Thompson Exit 185 (25 miles east of Green River) and drive north to Thompson. Continue north across the railroad tracks (east of the Amtrak station) on paved road (becomes dirt after .5 mile), into Thompson Canyon. At the first creek ford, 3.5 miles from town, look for the petroglyphs and pictographs on rock walls to the left (protected by wood fences). To get to Sego, continue north on the road, and after the second creek ford look for a fork on the right (not marked). Turn up this road, which leads through a notch into Sego Canyon, and continues one mile to the ghost town (private land). Click for more information.
Goblin Valley State Park
Thousands of delicately eroded sandstone formations give this park it’s name. From the parking area a short trail leads to the Valley, where visitors are free to wander among the goblins, pedestals, spires and balanced rocks weathered from Estrada sandstone. Camping reservations are accepted (not required) Monday through Friday, 8:00am – 5:00pm, by calling 800-322-3770. From Green River travel west to SR-24 to Hanksville. Head south for 24 miles on SR-24, watch for the sign for Goblin Valley State Park turn right (west) and travel 5.3 miles, then turn left (south) 7 miles to the park entrance. Click for more information.
|Black Dragon Pictograph
The famous winged “Black Dragon” is just one of the intriguing images found on this Native American pictograph (painted) panel in the San Rafael Swell. From Green River, head west on I-70 approximately 19 miles to a dirt road (which heads north) just passed mile marker 145. This is not a regular freeway exit and is not signed; be extremely cautious of other traffic! Please close the gate behind you as you enter the area. Follow this road 1.1 miles across a small wash and through a second stream bed for Black Dragon Wash. Turning left, follow The wash 0.4 miles to the canyon entrance, then walk approximately 1/4 mile up-canyon to the panels. (Passenger cars may have difficulty crossing washed in wet weather. In this case, park the car prior to the crossings and walk to the site.) Click for more information.
|San Rafael Swell
The rugged, rocky uplift 19 miles west of Green River is known as the San Rafael Swell. The BLM maintains campgrounds with restrooms in the northern section of the Swell – contact the BLM, San Rafael Resource Area, 801-637-4584 for further information. Free brochures provide further information on the Swell. The brochures are available from the John Wesley Powell River History Museum. To reach the Swell, travel west from Green River on I-70 for approximately 20 miles. (Roads in the Swell may be muddy in the spring.