Basecamp to the Super 6
You know by now that Utah has more than its fair share of make-you-wanna-quit-your-day-job natural wonders. Since you can’t quit your day job, you need a place that will get you to all the awe-some adventures you’ve got on your bucketlist…enter Green River, Utah. It's your new homebase for Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, Capitol Reef National Park, Goblin Valley, San Rafael Swell and Swasey's Beach. Read more…
If there was ever a local’s best-kept secret, this town is it. (Sorry, locals…cat’s outta the bag). Green River is the epitome, nay, the nucleus of Utah’s best landscapes for families and adventurers alike…and you’ll never wait in a line to sit down for a meal at Ray’s Tavern or have to book months in advance to stay at the Tamarisk Boutique Inn. Because Green River ain’t no outdoor Disneyland—it’s the real deal genuine town that’s committed to showing you the best of what Utah has to offer. Not convinced? Fine. See if we care. The locals will be relieved their secret is safe.
45 minutes from Green River
Arches is definitely the most visited park in the area. Wouldn't you be excited about the possibility of seeing over 2,000 natural stone arches? Ever heard of Delicate Arch? And the longest natural arch in the world, Landscape Arch, is just a ten minute walk from a parking lot. Easy Access is this park's middle name. Scenic drives, red-rock monoliths and distant vistas of beautiful mountain ranges. Must see: Devil's Garden, Balanced Rock, Windows Arches...and Delicate Arch.
1 hour from Green River
Canyonlands is a wonderland of plateaus, water-carved canyons, mysterious formations, quiet landscapes, and night skies even dreamers can't fathom. The park is so huge-mongous that it's been divided into three districts: The Island in the Sky, The Needles, and (the most remote of them all) The Maze. Island in the Sky is most accessible and closest to Green River. You won't have near the crowds here as you'll experience in Arches. There are plenty of scenic drives with grand overlooks and hikes to arches and crazy geological formations like Upheaval Dome. And then (and then!) there's Horseshoe Canyon with rock art aptly named the Great Gallery.
1 hour, 40 minutes from Green River
What do you call a nearly unbroken ridge of tilted rock that spans 100 miles? Waterpocket Fold. Where do you go if you want to see ancient pictographs just off the highway? Fruita. Wish you could consume a homemade pie after a long hike? Get yourself to the Gifford House near Capitol Reef's visitor center. Want some good ol'-fashioned fruit pickin'? Head back to Fruita. What do you call a rock formation that looks like a chimney? Chimney Rock.
1 hour, 5 minutes from Green River
If you were a cowboy looking for missing cattle, boy oh boy, wouldn't you be surprised when you stumbled into Goblin Valley? Them rock creatures ain't no bovine no-how, no way. But local lore tells us that's just how this place was "discovered." What made these goblin creatures? Erosion's best friends: wind and water. Visitors can freely wander among the ghoulish natural sculptures and seek out secret caves and nooks within the rocks--the ultimate hide-and-go-seek landscape. If you like the sandstone formations, you'll go gah-gah over the night sky's constellations--the dark skies here are unparalleled. You can camp overnight in your RV, tent, or rent a yurt. Bonus: stop by Little Wild Horse Canyon in the San Rafael Swell.
20 minutes from Green River
This is where wildness was born. "The Swell" (as locals call it) is a geologic marvel: a mass of rocks that was pushed above the earth's crust. Say hello to majestic cliffs, thrilling slot canyons, arches, crazy rock features, ancient rock art and mining ruins. There's still a lot to be explored and discovered in this area. Less crowds with national-park-worthy landscapes. You can hike, climb, ride, camp, and explore this area like a legit explorer. Start with Little Wild Horse Canyon and Black Dragon Canyon.
15 minutes from Green River
Fact: Utah has a white sand beach. With shady cottonwood trees to boot. And, if you're into scenic stuff, there's incredible views of the Book Cliffs--geological layering extravaganza (extravaganza is probably a legit geological term, right?). Bring the kids. Bring the cooler. Bring your duckie. And bring the sunscreen. You're gonna be here a while. Local tip: pick up lunch from the Chow Hound on Main Street. Campgrounds are claimed on a first-come, first-serve basis.
San Rafael Country
75 E. Main St.
Castle Dale, UT 84513