What’s a powdery-soft, white-sand beach doing in the middle of Utah?
Stop asking questions and just enjoy it, I told myself.
Hard not to at this place. Swaseys Beach sits on the Green River in Central Utah not far from Interstate 70. It’s surrounded by sandstone buttes and table-top mesas, and the water is great for swimming on a hot summer day.
And just to be clear. This is a BIG beach. Not one of those tiny sandbars that are frequent on western rivers. Swaseys Beach is long, wide, and legit.
If it were any closer to civilization, this place would be packed. That’s the thing: it’s in the middle of nowhere.
Green River, Utah is definitely isolated. To the west on I-70, the closest town is Salina, 110 miles away. There isn’t even a gas station or restaurant between Salina and Green River. To the east, it’s 90 miles to the first real civilization – across the Colorado state line to Fruita and Grand Junction.
But if you’re driving through Utah on I-70, it’s an excellent place to camp for a night to break up a long drive.
There’s a developed campground at the beach for $15 per night. There’s also a good number of primitive campsites upriver from Swaseys for no charge. A dirt road continues for eight miles past Swaseys, leading to a designated boat launch as this section of the Green River is popular for river rafting.
I was there during July. It was hot, both day and night. The morning and evening hours were perfect but the sun exposure in the afternoons was intense.
The velvety sand feels great on bare feet at the right time of day, just don’t try and walk across it in the middle of the day during the hot summer months.
GREEN RIVER, UTAH
The town of Green River is interesting in its own right. The first settlement began in 1876 when a ferry crossing was established. It’s now home to the John Wesley Powell Museum and is not far from places like Canyonlands National Park, Arches National Park, Goblin Valley State Park, and the San Rafael Swell. Green River is also known as an agricultural area famous for its delicious melons of all things.