The city of Green River was once a stomping ground for Butch Cassidy and his Wild Bunch, and, as you might expect from the name, is a haven for river runners who raft places such as Desolation and Gray Canyons. The climate makes for perfect melon growing, and Green River boasts some of the best melon in the world. Green River is the West, pure and simple — wide open, untapped, solitary, and mystical. The population is around 1,000 people, but this isn’t your average small community.
Green River is home to the John Wesley Powell Museum where you can see the historic boats used by adventurers before the onset of rubber rafts, and the town is within easy driving distance of three National Parks (Arches, Canyonlands — read more below — and Capitol Reef). Goblin Valley State Park and the San Rafael Swell are other can’t-miss natural marvels nearby.
No matter your personal brand of outdoor recreation, return from your adventures in Utah's red rock country for mouth-watering food at Ray’s Tavern or delicious dining at Tamarisk Restaurant.
Green River, Utah, is 180 miles southeast of Salt Lake City on Interstate 70, and about one hour north of Moab. Green River is a terrific stop on many Utah road trips as well as an excellent base camp to southeastern Utah adventures.
Green River Slideshow
John Wesley Powell Museum
For a glimpse at the early exploration of the Green River by men who lived to tell the tale, be sure and visit the John Wesley Powell Museum, filled with creative displays about these early explorers and their exploits.
This cold-water geyser is one of only fifteen of its kind in the world. The mineral-rich water that erupts and froths from the well creates brilliant orange travertine terraces at it flows into the Green River. Visit at sunset to see the watery travertine glow.
Green River State Park
Rest under a canopy of cottonwood trees or accept the challenge of a nine-hole golf course on the banks of the Green River. Green River State Park is also a starting point for boaters adventuring through Labyrinth and Stillwater Canyons.
An annual tradition since 1906, Melon Days attracts thousands of people from all around to celebrate all things melon in September. The parade includes a giant melon float, and the park is full of booths and activities like watermelon eating and seed-spitting contests—fun for the whole family.
This otherworldly landscape of Goblin Valley State Park was created by years of wind and water erosion wearing away goblin-like “hoodoo” formations out of the sandstone. Visitors can freely wander among the collection of ghoulish and goofy natural sculptures and seek out secret caves and nooks within the rock. Hike or bike one of the park’s several developed trails.
North of Green River, this white sand beach spans a long bend in the river shaded by cottonwood trees along the edge of the Book Cliffs. 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 site provide a kayaking playground.
River running opportunities near Green River abound and provide a way to experience the thrill and beauty of Utah’s wild desert rivers. Both Colorado River and Trail Expeditions and Holiday River Expeditions launch river running trips that start in Green River.
For more detailed information on attractions, historic sites, accommodations and dining, visit Utah's Castle Country www.castlecountry.com and add Green River to your next Utah trip itinerary.
San Rafael Swell
From the 1,000-foot view at the Wedge Overlook to hiking the Little Grand Canyon, explore a rugged and remote landscape filled with adventures.
Arches National Park
An amazing landscape featuring the largest proliferation of arches in the world, unforgettable hikes and grand adventures for the whole family.
Canyonlands National Park
The currents of the Green and Colorado rivers molded Canyonlands into a rugged and beautiful place, with experiences ranging from the iconic Mesa Arch and White Rim Trial to remote backcountry.
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Holiday River Expeditions - Utah Rafting Day Tours
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