The area around Green River, UT is full of history and interesting day trips. John Wesley Powell who famously was the first to take a boat trip thru the Grand Canyon, started his trip on the Green River which converges with the Colorado river in Canyonlands. They have a J W Powell River History museum here in town which had a Rock and Mineral expo last weekend. They hosted a couple of field trips with expert leaders to guide the trips. This was very interesting since Randy and I have done a lot of day trips lately having someone to tell you what you are looking at was great.
Our first field trip was to Sago Canyon which contains rock art from three different Native American cultures, some dating back as far as 7,000 BC. We have seen several different examples of rock art, but this was the first time there was painted art (pictographs) and not just the pecked or chipped art (petroglyphs). Having a group and discussing possible interpretations and other questions was nice. The rock art is usually in areas near water and with life style significance such as access for hunting or farming uses. This area must have been very important to the early civilizations since it was used for thousands of years evidenced by the variety of rock art in the area.
Our second field trip was to Fossil Point. On this trip, we had a Bureau of Land Management Paleontologist to assist in pointing out the dinosaur bone fossils. When we first arrived and he showed a fossil, I was skeptical and didn’t think we would really see much (his first example was not the best). But as we looked around there were large fossils everywhere. Some where the bone was still intact and a part of the rock and others where the bone had eroded away and only the void in the rock remained. These fossils date back to the Jurassic era 145 million years ago. There were even a couple where we found two large rocks that had split and if put back together would have a void of an entire bone. The size was really impressive. We plan to go back since it is only about 15 miles out of town.
The rest of our day trips have been self-guided but still interesting. Crystal Geyser is only about 7 miles outside of town and is a cold geyser fueled by carbon dioxide. They say that when it goes off it can reach between 30 and 60 feet high, but is not on a schedule and its eruptions are unpredictable, somewhere between every 8 – 12 hours. The first time we stopped by it was bubbling and spewing maybe a foot or two every now and then. Since then we have gone back 3 times once the area was completely dry, once the area was wet but no bubbling or spewing and the third time was about the same as the first?? We don’t know if it no longer erupts like it used to or if we have just been missing it?? None the less the travertine formations on the surrounding rocks are beautiful and there is a nice view of the Green River so we will probably go back, just in case.
We have also taken several scenic drives around the Green River, the Colorado River and the general area. We have seen several examples of rock art, loads of rock formations, numerous arches (outside of the NP) and the mighty rivers. This is truly a beautiful and mysterious land – We’re not in Kansas anymore!!! Also for you beach bums, paddle boards are not just for flat water anymore, not sure how they are in large rapids, but small they do pretty well.
Peace and Love!!