San Rafael Swell

Eons ago, tremendous geologic upheavals formed a giant dome of rock - a "swell" in the earth's surface.

The harsh elements beat against this dome and eroded it into a wild, broken array of multi-colored sandstone. Wind and water carved this jumble of rock into incredible formations as buttes, canyons, pinnacles and mesas emerged, making the Swell one of the most ruggedly beautiful pockets of terrain in the world. That was how this area came to be known as San Rafael Swell.

For years the San Rafael Swell has been considered one of the "undiscovered" natural wonders of the American West. Managed by the Bureau of Land Management, the Swell offers visitors many of the same sights that can be seen in several of Utah's national parks but allows these visitors to enjoy these sights in leisurely solitude. The San Rafael Swell also provides sights that cannot be found anywhere else, such as Goblin Valley and the San Rafael Reef. Hiking possibilities here range from easy to strenuous- technical canyoneering.
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Discover

River Terrace Lodge

Your basecamp for adventure

Get In The Wild Adventures

Explore with the pros

3 Sites that make it Swell

Check out three amazing sites near the San Rafael Swell in Utah including Goblin Valley.

Whitewater Rafting

Raft the green

Get In The Wild Adventures

Explore with the pros

Find Your Dream Bed

In Green River

Goblin Valley's Dark Sky

Discover why Utah's Goblin Valley has been designated as an International Dark Sky Park.

Get In The Wild Adventures

Explore with the pros

Green River

Your new adventure hub to the Super 6 & the San Rafael Swell

Robbers Roost

A stronghold of Butch Cassidy's Wild Bunch

ATV the Swell

Some of the best riding anywhere

Once you play here

You will want to stay here

Book Cliff Outfitters

Hunting guides

Hiking the San Rafael Swell

 


A part of the Colorado Plateau, the San Rafael Swell is high desert country, vastly different from the Sonoran desert of the Southwest. In some sections, it is a sweeping country with towering mesas, buttes, and pinnacles rising from flat desert floors. In other areas, it boasts rolling pasturelands populated with antelope and wild horses. And just around the bend it can become an incredibly wild, broken land with streams cutting through slot canyons that open up to panoramic vistas.

There are numerous roads that only four-wheel drive vehicles can negotiate. Spring and fall are ideal seasons to explore this country because temperatures are usually moderate. Summer days can be uncomfortably hot. Winter nights get very cold but winter days are often mild - very pleasant for hiking, biking and jeeping. Make sure your car is filled with gas and bring plenty of drinking water.

 
 

Travel Tips

 

Things to Do

General Information

  • Driving Directions

    From Salt Lake City to Price is approximately 119 miles.

    To get to Price from Salt Lake City merge onto I-15 toward Las Vegas/Cheyenne. Merge onto US-6 E via Exit 258 toward US-89 E Price/Manti. Take the US-6-BL Exit 240 toward Price.


    From Las Vegas, NV to Price is approximately 404 miles.

    Take I-15 N via Exit 76B toward Salt Lake City. Merge onto I-70 E via Exit 137 toward Richfield/Denver. Take the UT-10/UT-72 Exit 91 toward Price.


    From Grand Junction, CO to Price is approximately 166 miles.

    Take I-70 W toward Green River. Merge onto US-191 N/US-6 W Exit 157 toward Price/Salt Lake.

Request Information

  • Travel Bureau Information

    San Rafael Country

    75 E. Main St.
    Castle Dale, UT 84513
    888-564-3600
    Visit website

  • Request Info & Brochure

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Feb

38F 17F Average Temperature
1.5" Avg. Precipitation (inches)
17.1" Avg. Snowfall (inches)
 
 
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