Day 1 - Experience the Swell
The San Rafael Swell is a wonderland of slot canyons, crazy rock outcroppings, and plenty of adventure. Make sure the car has plenty of gas and stop by the Melon Vine Food Store on Broadway to grab snacks and lunch for your day out (there’s no food available where you’ll be going). Get on the interstate and head west. Admire the magnificent, otherworldly rock formations of the San Rafael Swell as you take Highway 24 south for some excellent canyon exploration.
Morning: Rappel the Chamber of the Basilisk
If you’re looking for a true canyoneering experience, get in touch with Get in the Wild Adventures who host technical canyoneering trips in Goblin Valley’s Chamber of the Basilisk and Robbers Roost. Learn how to rappel and access otherwise forbidden canyon treasures.
From Green River: 50 minutes, 50 miles to the park entrance
Afternoon: Eye of Sinbad
For a short, easy hike (3 miles roundtrip) over slickrock, the Eye of Sinbad offers a unique and surprising destination—a hollowed slickrock chamber complete with natural oculus that frames the sky above. After turning on to Goblin Valley Road from Temple Mountain Road, look for a dirt road heading west after about 0.3 miles. Drive down this road 0.25 miles to a dirt parking area and follow the trail to the slickrock. You can see the cave to the west from the parking area.
From Green River: 44 minutes, 44 miles to the trailhead
From Goblin Valley: 10 minutes, 6 miles to the trailhead
Evening: Swasey's Beach
Laze about on the sand or finish your day with a campfire and spectacular sunset at Swasey’s Beach. North of Green River, this white sand beach shaded by cottonwood trees spans a bend in the river along the edge of the Book Cliffs. Shallow water gives children plenty of opportunity to frolic, and bighorn sheep frequent the water’s edge. From Skyfall, head east on Main Street, then turn left on Hastings Road and follow it all the way to the beach parking area.
From Green River: 17 minutes, 10 miles to the beach
Day 2 - Explore Red Rock Country
The brilliant Red Rock Country between Green River and Moab exemplifies the power of water on this high desert landscape: whittled arches, carved canyons, high bluffs, and large expanses of slickrock reveal the work of water and erosion and provide some of the most breathtaking views and adventures in the entire world. World-famous Arches and Canyonlands National Parks wait to be explored, the Colorado River remains to be rafted, and many hills, gullies, and terraces await your mountain bike. There's so much to do, so plan your time wisely. We recommend packing your lunch and eating at one of the great viewpoints in Arches National Park.
Morning: Arches National Park
Arches boasts some of the most unique rock formations in the world. It is, of course, named after the more than 2,000 natural stone arches found throughout the park. The most famous are Delicate Arch (featured on Utah license plates) and Landscape Arch, the longest natural arch in the world. Arches is a relatively small National Park, but there is plenty to see and do.
We recommend getting to Arches as early as possible to beat the crowds and the heat. The Delicate Arch hike (3 miles round-trip, 480 feet of elevation gain) is worth the trek to see Utah's most iconic landmark. True adventurers should plan to hike the 7.2 mile loop of Devil's Garden, or seek a permit from the visitor center to explore the Fiery Furnace.
From Green River: 43 minutes, 47 miles to the park entrance
Afternoon: Mountain Biking
Great mountain biking awaits in the red rock landscape between Green River and Moab. Plenty of easy to advanced loop trails can fill up half or all of your day along the Moab Brands or Klondike Bluffs bike trails. Didn't bring a bike? Get in touch with Poison Spider Bicycles in Moab for a rental.
From Green River: 28 minutes, 29 miles to Klondike Bluffs trails
From Green River: 44 minutes, 42 miles to Moab Brands trails
Evening: Crystal Geyser
One of a handful of cold-water geysers in the entire world, the Crystal Geyser draws sightseers for its vigorous eruptions and for the brilliant orange travertine formations the mineral-rich water creates. This is a great sunset spot.
From Green River: 18 minutes, 8.3 miles to the geyser
Day 3 - Wedge Roadtrip
Though world-famous Arches National Park and increasingly popular destinations like Goblin Valley State Park and Little Wild Horse Canyon are must-do adventures in the Green River area, plenty of lesser-known yet no less spectacular places await your discovery. This drive to the Wedge (Utah's little Grand Canyon) combines drive-by scenery and some easy hiking. Be sure to pack your lunch.
Morning: Black Dragon Canyon
The beautiful and easily accessible Black Dragon Canyon is a must. A short hike into the canyon reveals several rock art panels. See if you can spot the dragon-like creature to the left of the main panel. If you’re feeling really adventurous, scramble up the rockfall to the left of the rock art and search for the entrance to a hidden cave. From Skyfall, get on I-70 west. Prepare to pull of the interstate at mile marker 147. Go through the gate. Cross the wash and follow the dirt road for about a mile.
From Green River: 18 minutes, 17 miles to the trailhead
Afternoon: Scenic Drive to the Wedge
The strip of Interstate 70 that winds through the Swell is one of the most scenic stretches of interstate in the country and makes for a great drive all by itself, but we recommend you make a roadtrip of it. From Green River, head west and enjoy the views and scenic overlooks as you wind through the Swell all the way to exit 131. From here, head north on Buckhorn Draw Road. You can make stops at a mysterious sink hole and the Buckhorn Draw rock art panel on your way. Continue following signs to the Wedge Overlook, a sweeping vista of the canyon carved by the San Rafael River.
You can return the way you came or head east on the Green River Cutoff Road to US-6. These are dirt roads but are well-maintained and should be passable for any vehicle.
3 hours, 30 minutes, 124 miles round-trip
Day 4 - Swell Slot Canyons
Head back down to the Goblin Valley area to hike two of the best slot canyons in Utah.
Morning: Little Wild Horse Canyon
For adventurers of all ages and skill levels, head to Little Wild Horse Canyon, one of the most spectacular and easily accessible slot canyons in Utah. The committed can finish the whole Little Wild Horse-Bell Canyon loop (about 8 miles), but those content with less can hike as far as they like and then return the way they came.
From Green River: 1 hr 10 minutes, 54.7 miles to the trailhead
Afternoon: Ding and Dang Canyons
The true adventurous slot canyon experience awaits one mile past Little Wild Horse at Ding and Dang Canyons. This five mile loop provides some more intense scrambling and climbing than Little Wild Horse, but doesn’t require technical skills or gear.
From Green River: 1 hour 15 minutes, 56 miles to the trailhead
From Little Wild Horse: 3 minutes, 1 mile to the trailhead
Evening: John Wesley Powell River History Museum
Stop by the John Wesley Powell River History Museum to learn the history of the Green and Colorado Rivers and the river runners who explored them. If you’re interested in more local history, head downstairs and check out the John Wesley Powell Research Center and Archives to hear about the towns first residents.
Just across the street from Skyfall Guestrooms
Day 5 - Red Rock Country
The brilliant Red Rock Country between Green River and Moab exemplifies the power of water on this high desert landscape: whittled arches, carved canyons, high bluffs, and large expanses of slickrock reveal the work of water and erosion and provide some of the most breathtaking views and adventures in the entire world. On your second visit to the area, we recommend heading to Canyonlands and then have a little high adventure ziplining across the bluffs. You can pack lunch or drive into Moab for various dining options.
Morning: Canyonlands National Park
Canyonlands National Park provides a veritable wonderland of plateaus, water-carved canyons, mysterious formations, and quiet landscapes. The park is divided into three districts: The Island in the Sky (bounded by the Green River to the west and the Colorado to the east), The Needles (to the southeast) and the very remote Maze district (to the southwest). The Island in the Sky is the most accessible of the three as well as the closest to Green River. The park is far less crowded than neighboring Arches, and if you go for a hike you may only see one or two other individuals.
We recommend you plan to drive to the Grand View Point Overlook and take a hike to Mesa Arch or the Upheaval Dome Overlook. This will fill a leisurely morning.
From Green River: 1 hr 12 minutes, 54.7 miles to the park entrance
Afternoon - Raven's Rim Zipline
Need more high adventure? Look to Raven's Rim Zip Line for a unique perspective on the desert landscape. These trips include 4WD off-road excursions, zip lining fun, and a suspension bridge walk.
If ziplining isn't your thing, we recommend you spend your afternoon returning to Arches and seeing what you missed on Day 2, such as the Windows, Skyline or Double Arch.
From Green River: 44 minutes, 49 miles to Raven's Rim offices
From Canyonlands: 32 minutes, 30 miles to Raven's Rim offices
Evening - Sunset at Arches
Finish your day with another spectaular sunset, this time with under the red glow of the arches. We recommend the short and easy hike to the Windows to see the brilliant colors of dusk merging with the remarkable colors of the sandstone.
From Green River: 43 minutes, 47 miles to the park entrance
From Raven's Rim: 7 minutes, 4 miles to the park entrance
Day 6 - Raft the River
All Day: Westwater Canyon Rafting
The Green and Colorado Rivers boast some of the best whitewater in the country, and Westwater Canyon on the Colorado provides a thrilling one-day rafting excursion for the adventurer. Both Holiday and CRATE guide services take trips down Westwater in the spring and summer and provide a safe and thrilling experience of these class IV rapids.
Day 7 - Recenter
All Day: Yoga in the Wild
Looking for a restorative experience in the wondrous landscapes of canyon country? Get in the Wild Adventures offers wilderness yoga excursions that combine the perfect balance of invigorating hiking and rejuvenating yoga practice. This is a great way to soak in the beauty of the region one last time while getting yourself ready for the return home.
From Green River: 50 minutes, 50 miles to Goblin Valley State Park