by Julie Trevelyan
You’re heading to our Green River headquarters to embark on a sweet river rafting vacation—maybe Desolation Canyon, or Westwater Canyon. Or you just finished up your Utah whitewater rafting adventure and have some more vacation days at your disposal. Either way, you’re looking for a little more to do and want to extend your trip to this amazing part of Utah. Don’t put up your feet just yet after your rafting trip, because there are more great outdoor activities to explore around here.
Powell, the original river rafting expert, has his very own museum in Green River. Full-size replicas of the actual wooden boats used are there for you to ogle (and then be grateful you have a more modern choice). Also a 25-minute film and a gift shop. Free/Children Under 5, $2/Children 5-12, $6/Adults 12+, $15/Family (immediate). 8am-7pm daily. (435) 564-3427
Yes, a real geyser, the nature-powered kind that shoots water into the air. This cold-water geyser isn’t as predictable as Old Faithful, but if you have a bit of patience, you might be rewarded with a fascinating sight. You’ll take your chances on whether or not you get to see the geyser going off, but it’s a short hike to the site, which is just outside town.
If you want to golf, relax under shade trees, or discover famous Melon Days after your rafting trip, this is the place to go. Every third weekend in September, show up to sample some of the best melons you’ll ever taste (no, really), compete in seed-spitting competitions, and see how small towns have some fun. Camping facilities available. Summer 6am-10pm. $5/Day Use, $16/Camping. (435) 564-3363
The remote Maze District of Canyonlands is found in rugged, beautiful country south of Green River. Horseshoe Canyon harbors a world-class example of rock art panels and a great leg-stretcher of a hike. Mid-summer might be a bit brutal, but spring and fall can be wonderful times of year to explore this canyon and its ancient treasures in the form of pictographs. Guided ranger hikes available at certain times of the year. Open year-round; sometimes roads may be impassable due to weather. Camping available. (435) 259-2652
An easy drive 50 miles south of Green River, Goblin Valley looks like some sort of alien landscape. Sandstone hoodoos (those totally funky formations that look like little goblins in a wide variety of odd poses) dot the park and open the imagination. You can camp, climb on the hoodoos (use your best judgment, of course!), and check out area slot canyons like Little Wild Horse and Bell for some memorable hikes. $7/vehicle, $16/camping. Visitor Center 8am-5pm daily. (435) 275-4584
If you want to head straight to the “big town” (pop. 5,000-ish), check out our short list of some activities in Moab. Find it 52 miles southeast of Green River.
There are also some interesting things to do around teeny town Blanding, which actually has a little more to offer than you might imagine. Located 126 miles south of Green River, en route to Lake Powell, Capitol Reef National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Zion National Park.
Written by Julie Trevelyan.
Julie is a freelance writer and wilderness guide in southern Utah. She especially enjoys books, coffee, yoga, wild country, horses, and dark chocolate.
See more of her work at www.wildgirlwriting.com