• Josh ZapinJosh Zapin
  • Date:  May 21, 2013
  • Life

Memorial Day 2013 – Green River Utah

What We’re Doing

This Memorial Day (Thursday May 23- Monday May 27), a bunch of us are heading west to Green River State Park . While the Green River itself is nice, we’re using it as a launching point to explore the Colorado Plateau: amazing region of Southeast Utah that has canyons, valleys and other cool high-desert features.

The rough itinerary is as follows:

  • Thursday, May 23 (PM) – Arrive at our campsite. See the Where We Are staying for more details.
  • Friday, May 24 – Goblin Valley State Park This is an awesome kid-friendly park where the vast landscape of sandstone goblins have people wondering if they’re on Mars or in Utah. We’ll hike among these rock formations. It is about an hour drive so we will try to spend most of the day here (think 10 AM – 2 PM) including Lunch.
  • Saturday, May 25 – Green River/San Rafael Swell – We’ll take a ‘lazy’ day and hang out around camp and, if it’s hot enough, swim in the river. If we’re feeling adventurous (and if I can find a good hike), we may hit the San Rafael Swell, a cool part of the Plateau just west of Green River
  • Sunday, May 26 – Little Wild Horse & Bell Canyon These two canyons are great, kid-friendly that will give our kids a taste of the slot canyon experience. They can be made into a loop but we’ll likely do each separately. These canyons are also about an hour away so, like Goblin Valley, we’ll spend the whole day here.
  • Monday, May 27 – Lazy AM/Schlep back to Front Range.

I compiled a bunch of maps and trail descriptions for you to download and print out. (Both are ZIP files.) There are many more than we will actually do. Still, it’ll give us some options.

Where We Are Staying

We’re staying at GR2 (Group Site #2) at the Green River State Park campground in Utah .

Amenities include the following:

  • Ada Restrooms
  • Birdwatching
  • Boat Launch
  • Canoeing/Kayaking
  • Comfort Station
  • Drinking Water
  • Dump Station
  • Golf Course
  • Hiking Trail
  • Hot Showers
  • Modern Restrooms
  • Parking
  • Pets Allowed
  • Picnicking
  • Ranger Station
  • Scenic Views
  • Sewage Disposal Station
  • Showers
  • Sports Activities
  • Wildlife


  1. Print out my receipt.
  2. Go to site.
  3. If asked, show the receipt and mention my name.


Here is a map with the campground.

View ps-trips-memorial-day-2013-greenriver in a larger map

Click on the pushpin, then click Directions to get exact driving directions from your home.
If you want to see an area map click here.

Who is Coming? How much will it cost?

I created a complete list of who is coming here.

In there I split up the full cost ($191) by each family. Whether you come for 1 night or all three nights, your cost is the same.

As of the writing of this note, the cost is $48/family for all four nights.

As of the writing of this post, I still have room for two more families.

What to Bring

Icon-blankIt’s Car Camping, so the usual (tents/sleeping bags/chairs/etc.) is required. See my handy checklist if you’d like to spark some ideas on what you should bring.

Important for Canyon hiking: good sneakers/closed-toed shoes that can get wet. The canyons are made out of sandstone and has numerous rocks, sand features, and water holes. Good, sturdy shoes that can get wet is recommended.

Please bring one batch of wood per car. We will definitely do camp fires at night (and roast marshmallows, apples, or whatever else you want.)

There is potable water at the campground, so bring jugs to store it.

Bring sports equipment, kites (there may be a good wind in the area), frisbees, etc.

Meals: Breakfasts and Dinners

UPDATE: We’ll do our meal potluck style. Because some folks are leaving early, the math isn’t working. Just plan for 3 meals for your family. We can coordinate in real time if we want to share some of the responsibilities.

We’ll do Breakfasts around 7 AM and Dinners around 6 PM.

Lunches/snacks should be done on your own.

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