Green River is just a short drive to some of the most spectacular country anywhere! Arches, Canyonlands and Capitol Reef are about an hours drive from the center of Green River. Plus there are numerous state parks, and thousands of acres of BLM lands surrounding our town. We even have a golf course in town with a golf pro on hand to help with that back swing.
Attractions: Green River State Park, San Rafael Swell
Visitor Information: Green River Information Center, 885 E. Main, 435-564-3526
Churches: Most major denominations
• Green River Medical Clinic, 110 S. Medical Dr., 435-564-3434
• Green River Community Health Center, 44 N. Solomen, Phone: 435-564-3331
Auto Services: 10 gas stations (some 24-hour), 5 auto repair
Bryce Canyon NP -222
Canyonlands NP – 119
Capitol Reef NP – 92
Cedar Breaks NM – 130
Flaming Gorge NRA – 217
Grand Canyon NP – 343
Glen Canyon (Lake Powell) NRA – 123
Zion NP – 272 Salt Lake – 182
Price – 63
St. George – 285
Green River, Utah is the perfect choice for exploring many of the attractions of Canyon Country and Castle Country. Always affordable, you’ll get a lot more for your hard earned vacation dollars.
Green River• John Wesley Powell River History Museum: Explore the history through the eyes of explorer John Wesley Powell.
• The River Gallery: The River Gallery is a non profit gallery located within the John Wesley Powell Museum and operating under the authority of the city of Green River, Utah. All sales through The River Gallery support the operations of the Museum and its programs.
The 1250 sq. ft. fine arts gallery represents fine artists from Utah and surrounding states in various mediums including sculpture in bronze, wood and metal, fine oil paintings, watercolor and acrylics, along with traditional Navajo pottery.
Highlighted artists include Serena Supplee, Ivan Kelley, J.P. DeBerney, Joseph Venus and Gary Prazen.
Green River• Green River State Park: Facilities include a 42-unit campground, hot showers, modern rest rooms, group-use pavilion, amphitheater for interpretive programs and boat launching ramp. A new nine-hole golf course with its meandering fairways, lakes and traps is challenging and fun for all levels of golfers.
Green River• Goblin Valley State Park: Scores of intricately eroded creatures greet visitors to Goblin Valley. Hike among intricately eroded rock formations in haunting coves in this photographers’ paradise.
Green River• Crystal Geyser: A rare cold water geyser on the banks of the Green River. It erupts every 14 to 16 hours, for about 30 minutes, with water shooting 80 to 100 feet high. From the Green River Visitor Center, drive east on Main Street cross over I-70 to an intersection 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.
• San Rafael Swell: The San Rafael Swell is a kidney-shaped upthrust of about 900 square miles of desert, domes, steep hogback ridges, and canyons–almost entirely within Emery County. This area includes activities such as: 4×4, Horse back riding, ATV trails, Mountain Bike Riding, Ancient ruins, Pictographs and Petroglyphs, The Outlaw Trail, Mining ruins, Geologic Wonders, Fossils and Dinosaur trackways.
• Book Cliffs: Deep Canyons; River and Rafting Access; Numerous Pictographs, Petroglyphs and habitation sites; Sandy Beaches; Great camping sites.
• Canyonlands National Park
• Arches National Park
• Capitol Reef National Park
Raft the Green River, explore the remote and beautiful San Rafael Swell or enjoy the many National and State parks in the area.
The Mighty Green River is famous for its world class rafting, boating and canoeing opportunities. And there is so much more to thrill and delight you. Book a tour on the rivers through one of our top notch local River Guide Outfitters. Both white water rafting or calm floats are options on the Green and the Colorado Rivers.
Not a River Rat? Green River is surrounded by millions of acres of pristine deserts offering many recreational oppportunities. Whether your preference is Hiking, Backpacking, taking to the 4×4 trails, Numerous ATV and OHV trails, Horse back riding, Mountain Bike Trails, Hunting, Golfing and so much more await you in this Desert Treasure. Our local land tour guides are on hand to enhance your visit to these areas, offering interpretive tours to many of the treasures of our desert.
Click to enlarge detail of map.
The area is surrounded by the Book Cliffs and the San Rafael Swell. Here you will find red cliffs, deep canyons, panoramic views, fantastic sunsets, a cold water geyser, petroglyphs and pictographs, a sandy beach, a river of rapids and calm floats, dinosaur tracks, old mining ruins, the outlaw trail used by Butch Cassidy and his Wild Bunch, and so much more. We also have a great 9 hole golf course at the Green River State Park which is being expanded to 18 holes in the near future.
Green River has over 600 motel rooms, 300 camping spots at our 4 campgrounds, as well as numerous restaurants, taverns and a private club to accomodate your needs. You will save a bundle on your accomodations and meals when you choose to make Green River your South Eastern Utah Destination over Moab. Lodging rates in Green River run anywhere from $25-$150 per night with an average of $50.
We are easily accessed by Amtrak, chartered air service, Greyhound Bus Lines, and Interstate 70. Shuttle Services are available to pick you up and drop you off at either the Bus or Train Station
Green River, located in Emery County, is a commercial and farming and ranching community situated in a valley where the Green River flows between low banks for several miles between Gray and Labyrinth canyons. The site was important long before the settlement era since it was the most accessible crossing point on the Green River south of the Uinta Basin. The Spanish Trail, a trade route between Santa Fe and Los Angeles in active use during the 1830s and 1840s, forded the river about three miles upstream from the present town, as did the 1853 railroad survey under the direction of Captain John W. Gunnison. The site’s accessibility also made it a natural staging and supply point for travel on the river.
Settlement began in the late 1870s in the form of Blake Station on the overland mail route between Salina, Utah, and Ouray, Colorado. The first permanent settlers of European stock were the families of Thomas Farrer and Matthew Hartman. The Farrers played a leading role in the community for several decades, operating a general store, a bank, and a ferry service.
The completion of the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railway in 1883 made Green River a shipping point for livestock and mining equipment and supplies. The railroad built an engine house, switching yards, and a three-story hotel called the Palmer House. The influx of railroad workers gave the town 375 residents by 1890, in addition to a fluctuating population of cowboys, sheepherders, and prospectors from the Book Cliffs and the San Rafael Desert. The town’s location on the “outlaw trail” between Robbers Roost and Browns Park also contributed to its “wild west” reputation during that period.
In the early 1890s, the railroad moved much of its divisional operations to Helper, cutting the Green River population by more than half. This boom-and-bust cycle was to be repeated several times in the twentieth century. An oil boom in 1901 brought a rush to locate claims and some drilling activity but no commercial production. In 1906 a land developer named E.T. Merritt began promoting Green River as a fruit-growing area comparable to the Grand Valley of Colorado. Several hundred acres of peach trees were planted on both sides of the river, but problems with the irrigation system and harsh winter temperatures killed most of the trees before they could come into production. The southeastern Utah uranium boom of the 1950s provided a temporary economic stimulus. More important was the establishment of the Utah Launch Complex of the White Sands Missile Base in 1964, which brought the town’s population to a high point of almost 2,000 before the closing of the complex in the 1970s led to yet another economic downturn.
Each of these boom cycles had some lasting impact upon the community. The “Farrer Subdivision” that makes up the southeastern portion of the town was a product of the railroad era. The “upper town” to the north and west was developed during the peach boom, a period that also saw the incorporation of the town in 1906 and the building of a high school in 1910. The Community Presbyterian Church was also established during this period. A Latter-day Saint ward was organized in 1904, disbanded in 1915, and reestablished in 1923. During the uranium boom, Jim Hurst developed an innovative flying service to carry workers and supplies to remote mining locations. The successors to Hurst’s operation now carry on an active business flying river running parties. The “missile base” era brought new schools and civic services and saw the Community Church become the Green River Bible Church. Catholic and Baptist worship services were also instituted during this period.
Agriculture and ranching have been important to the Green River economy from the beginning. While the climate proved unsuitable for peaches, the relatively long frost-free season and hot summer temperatures of Green River’s 4,000-foot elevation are ideal for growing melons. J.H. “Melon” Brown was experimenting with the crop as early as 1900, and the industry reached its peak in the 1920s when the Green River “winter melon,” a hard-skinned variety that would keep until Christmas, was well known in Midwestern and Eastern markets. The largest agricultural operation was the Wilson Produce Company, whose properties were later acquired by Thayn Brothers. Melons are still an important crop, and the annual Melon Days celebration is a highlight of the local social year.
Green River’s location is still its most important asset. Early attempts to establish commercial riverboat operations between Green River and Moab ended in failure, but pioneer “river rats” like Bert Loper laid the foundation for a recreational boating industry. The town’s river heritage is celebrated in the John Wesley Powell River History Museum, opened in 1990. The historic Green River crossing is now the route of Interstate 70. The 105 miles from Salina to Green River represent the longest stretch without services on the entire Interstate highway system, so traveler service industries are quite naturally the town’s economic mainstay today. The population of Green River in 1990 was 744 in Emery County plus an additional 122 across the river in Grand County.