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ATV Adventures: The Fifth Annual Green River Watermelon Crawl is OHV fun

By Lynn Blamires - Special to the Standard-Examiner | Feb 15, 2024

Lynn Blamires, Special to the Standard-Examiner

The Eagle Canyon Arch is a highlight of the ride through Eagle Canyon at the Green River Watermelon Crawl.

The only time OHVs and watermelons go together in the same sentence is at the Green River Watermelon Crawl — unless, of course, you are talking about hauling watermelons in an OHV. In this case, the Watermelon Crawl is an OHV jamboree.

The jamboree is hosted by the city of Green River and the UTV Utah OHV Club. Instead of catering meals for participants, riders are encouraged to support local businesses. Green River is a small community that thrives on events like this. So come ride responsibly, meet some new people and explore the stunning desert landscapes.

The dates for the Watermelon Crawl are set for March 22-23, when the weather is good for riding. Registration is online at https://www.greenriverwatermeloncrawl.com. Fees are $20 per person. Watching the videos and viewing the pictures will make it difficult for you not to sign up.

Guides for the trails are being supplied by UTV Utah and are rated from wild to mild. Seven trails are being offered. Some of them are familiar to me and they are some of my favorites.

The trails are rated on four different levels: expert, advanced, intermediate and beginner. A description of the trails and the rating are given on a different website, https://www.greenriverwatermeloncrawl.com/trails.html. You also will see the GPS coordinates for the staging location for each ride.

Lynn Blamires, Special to the Standard-Examiner

A view of the Eagle Canyon bridges, one of the rides offered at the Green River Watermelon Crawl.

These are the trail choices:

Behind the Reef

I rode this trail before I started writing articles in 2004. I would love to ride it again. It requires trailering 42 miles from Green River to a spot north of Goblin Valley State Park. The route goes on a scenic loop along the backside of the San Rafael Reef. It encompasses scenery in the San Rafael Swell, which is one of my favorite places to ride. This ride is 46 miles long and rated intermediate.


Riders will ride west out of town from the Shady Acres gas station. The Buckmaster Trail starts from the point that Highway 24 comes from the south to join Interstate 70. The trail goes west into the historical mining country and will continue north to Smith’s Cabin. This trail is fun for the whole family — it has a beginner rating and is 47 miles long.

Eagle Canyon

This trail is one of my favorites. Riders will trailer 31 miles to a staging area off I-70. This trail features a stop at Swasey’s Cabin where you will appreciate the difficulty Swasey had in earning a living in this harsh country. You will have a chance to visit the “icebox” where Swasey preserved his food. This is a place you would like to stay on a hot day.

A favorite stop on this trail is the Eagle Canyon Arch. It is a Kodak moment. You also will ride under the famous Eagle Canyon bridges that make it possible for the highway to cross Eagle Canyon. This trail is rated advanced and is 39 miles long.

Dry Lakes

Photo supplied

Lynn Blamires

This ride begins at the Shady Acres gas station in Green River and makes a loop on the south side of town. Green River is famous for its cold-water geysers, with the Crystal Geyser on the banks of the Green River being the most well-known. People on this ride will visit two of them. It is 71 miles long and is rated intermediate.

The Devil’s Race Track

If you take this trail, you will learn that the label is a misnomer. It is not a race track and it is not fast. I wrote about an experience on this trail on a ride I took in 2022 (see Standard-Examiner, Oct. 13, 2022). It is an amazing and challenging trail. Trailering is required, it is 40 miles long and rated extreme.


You will ride directly from town on this trail, which also is on the south side. I have ridden these trails and the scenery is like you have landed on another world. It is one of the reasons I like to ride the Green River Trails. It is rated intermediate and it is 46 miles long.

Lost Springs

I am interested in this ride because it will be new territory for me. The trailhead is 12 miles north of town off Highway 6. It will be on trails east of the San Rafael Swell. It is rated advanced on a 39-mile loop.

When you go, take plenty of water, keep the rubber side down and I will see you in Green River.

Contact Lynn R. Blamires at quadmanone@gmail.com.


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