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Green River Petroglyphs

Rating: 
Round Trip Distance: 4.4+ miles
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation: 8171 - 9085 feet
Cellphone: 1-5 bars
Time: 3-4 hrs.
Trailhead: Airport Road
Fee: none
Attractions: petroglyphs




Located on several benches above the Green River are a large number of petroglyphs that are in excellent condition. Most of the petroglyphs are upon boulders that form a haphazard pile of talus in a cove on the upper bench. One other boulder with over a dozen more images can be found on the next lower bench above the river. The site itself is about 2.5 miles south of the town of Green River, Utah.


To get there from town turn south off of Main Street onto Long Street and follow the signs for the airport. Right after the Airport Road passes beneath Interstate 70 and crosses a cattleguard turn left onto a dirt road.


In favorable conditions most vehicles can follow the dirt road for the first 3/4 of a mile. Beyond this point a short wheel base 4-wheel drive or other OHV would be preferred. The distance from the Airport Road to the rim overlooking the cove of boulders with the petroglyphs is 2.2 miles. There is an alternate route that will take you down below the boulders that will add 2 more miles. A person can also scramble over the rim to the lower benches and climb back out the same way for a total round trip distance of around 5 miles. Or 3.5 miles round trip if you drive the first 3/4 of a mile from the Airport Road like we did.


Hiking along the jeep road is pretty easy. There are multiple little hills but it goes by fairly quick on foot.


Stay on the main road and avoid taking any side trails. A little over a half mile from the end the upper rim of the small side canyon where the main petroglyphs can be found comes into view. At the bottom of this hill is where the alternate route branches off. Anyone with a jeep, ATV or dirt bike will probably want to take the alternate route or at least double back to it after looking over the rim.


There are several boulders that can be seen easiest from the west side of the rim. Keen eyesight or a pair of binoculars will come in handy. Trying to scramble down through the boulders from the rim would surely result in at least one broken leg but there are a couple of places on the west side where it's possible to get around the boulders.


It can be difficult to get good photos rom the rim of the boulders in the middle of the pile.


Notice the image that looks like a bighorn with horns facing forward. Sometimes two circles with a line connecting them represent 2 men talking.


There are quite a few gringo inscriptions on some of the boulders. They avoided writing over top of the images on this boulder but it's too bad they didn't pick one without any images at all. Please don't leave any markings of your own. Not only is it illegal it pretty much ruins a site like this.


I have no idea what the image on the right might be but something about it makes it one of my favorites.


On a small bench below the first there is a single boulder that has more than another dozen images. There is a little gap in the rim where you can scramble down for a closer look. If you don't take advantage of that spot it is quite a hike along the rim to the next suitable place.


We thought we had found some pictographs on the next level down near the river. After going through all the trouble to get to them we noticed they had the word 'DINASAR' above them. Some of the images could have passed for Barrier Canyon Style carrot men from a distance but the image all the way on the left looks like a fake that someone that can't spell dinosaur might make.


We have done this hike on several occasions and will probably do it again at some point. We have also explored the area for a mile or so in both directions both up on the level of the benches and down along the river itself. It is a great place to find some solitude and every once in a while you might come across something interesting. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.