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Green River - Wyoming

Exeditin Island Park, Green River

Expedition Park, historic island in the Green River - Wikipedia Commons

When the Union Pacific Railway made its way across the West, the Green River was used to float timber from the mountains to be made into railroad ties at the small town of Green River. By the time the railway arrived, Green River had a population of two thousand.

The main information center for Green River and the Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area is located on State Route 530, two miles south of downtown.

Here, you'll find all the information you need for visiting the gorge —located south of Green River—plus several fascinating booklets on the history and scenic attractions of the town, including a self-guided tour of historic Green River buildings, and a booklet on natural geological landmarks in the area.


Earlier, the area was part of the Mexican territory and was annexed to the United States after the Mexican War. This area, dominated by Flaming Gorge, has a fascinating geology. The land is made primarily of sedimentary rock formations, piled one on top of the other, made by accumulations of silt on the bottom of a huge fresh-water sea during the Tertiary period -- 40 million years ago. John Wesley Powell mapped the region extensively in 1869 and 1871 as he went down the Green River, naming the Flaming Gorge canyon and other features of the southern Wyoming landscape.

Two thirds of the world's supply of soda ash (trona) comes from Green River, supplying America with an essential ingredient of baking soda, detergents and glass.

What to See and Do

Flaming Gorge—one of the great canyons of America—is located south of town, south of the Utah border. Flaming Gorge Lake is 90 miles long, offering recreation activities and campsites along its 375 miles of shoreline. Closer to Green River is Firehole Canyon, another fascinating piece of scenery which is north of Black's Fork, featuring pinnacles and chimneys.

There are two ways to get to Flaming Gorge from Green River. You can take the Highway 530 route southnfrom town, through Manila (Utah). The alternative route which leads through the Firehole Canyon region is reached by driving east from Green River on Interstate 80 for eight miles and then turning south onto Highway 191. The road to Firehole is 13 miles south of the Interstate 80 junction and leads 10 miles to the canyon. Hwy. 191 continues south to Dutch John, the site of the Flaming Gorge Dam. The prime canyon viewpoints are to the west off Highway 44.

See the Flaming Gorge Drive, one of our Great Drives, starting in Vernal, Utah and ending in Green River.

Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge is located 37 miles north of Green River. This outstanding river area is home to more than 170 species of birds during the year and is a breeding ground for Canada Geese, ducks, teal and sage grouse among others. The refuge lies along the Green River, covering more than 14,000 acres. The preserve hosts most of Wyoming's native raptors including prairie and peregrine falcons, owls and hawks. The refuge takes its name from the Shoshoni word for the Green River: Seed-kee-dee-Agie," River of the Sage Chicken.

Where to Eat

Penny's Diner, at 1170 W. Flaming Gorge, has a full menu including burgers, sandwiches, and full meals. It's the traditional home-style restaurant, suitable for the whole family, complete with fountain drinks, malts, black cows, and desserts.

Another place specializing in burgers, shakes and malts, as well as lunch and dinner, is the Arctic Circle, at 444 East Flaming Gorge.

For south of the border cuisine, go to Don Pedros Family Mexican, at 520 Wilkes Drive #10.

The restaurant with probably the most complete menu is at Little America (the ultimate truck stop) located 10 miles west of Green River, off I-80.



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