Article by Lynn Blamires feature writer for My Local Utah
I had to do a little research to find out what watermelons had to do with OHVs. To begin with, Green River has some amazing OHV trails to ride. It is also known for its delicious watermelons and it is now the host of an OHV jamboree in Utah. Digging a little deeper, I learned that you don’t drive watermelons, you drive OHVs hence, The Green River Watermelon Crawl.
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. In support of the Watermelon Crawl, local restaurants, motels, and gas stations are offering discounts. You can take advantage of these by mentioning the Crawl while you are in town; a list of them is available on the website.
The dates for the Watermelon Crawl are set for March 24-25 when the weather is good for riding. Registration is online at GreenRiverWatermelonCrawl.com.
One of the best parts of this event is that there are no registration fees, but you must register to attend. 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 I have written about the experiences I have had in riding them. These are the different trail choices:
Behind the Reef.
I rode this trail before I started writing articles. 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.
This trail is one of my favorites. Riders will trailer 31 miles to a staging area off Interstate 70. This trail features a stop at Swasey’s cabin where you will appreciate the difficulty Swasey had eking out a living in this harsh country. You will have a chance to visit the “icebox” where he 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 definitely a Kodak moment. You will also 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.
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 last October (see Ogden Standard Examiner October 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 is also 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.
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.