San Rafael Swell
The San Rafael Swell is located in central Utah. It is an oval shaped uplifted area of layered rocks that in geologic terms is called an anticline. It covers an area of 75 miles by 40 miles where the strata edges are exposed and angled almost vertically. This dramatic landscape is a remnant of the edge of a huge stone dome, uplifted sixty million years ago by internal pressures within the earth’s crust. The area contains some spectacular canyons that are narrow and slot-like, mesas, pinnacles, and arches.
The “Swell” is intersected by Interstate 70 with the largest nearby town being Green River. Green River is a good location to stay for exploring south to Goblin Valley State Park and Desolation Canyon to the north. Highways 191, Highway 6, and Utah Highway 10 access the northern section to Buckhorn Draw and the Wedge Overlook. Utah Highway 24 provides access to the south to Goblin Valley State and the Maze District of Canyonlands National Park.
Our first visit to the “Swell” included Bell and Little Wild Horse Canyons. Since that initial adventure we have expanded our exploration and have enjoyed more of its many treasures. We have more visits and hikes are planned for the near future so we’ll be adding information as we experience and gather it.