Is Green River Safe? Crime Rates & Safety Report

Updated On July 5, 2024
Green River, United States
Safety Index:
83
* Based on Research & Crime Data

Green River, Utah, is a centrally located oasis of adventures within 90 minutes of three national parks in Utah’s Mighty Five.

However, it’s the river that steals the show here, as the Green River was made famous by John Wesley Powell’s expedition in 1867.

While he’s most known for his adventures through the Grand Canyon on the Colorado River, it was the Green River where Powell’s party got started.

As a white water rafter, I think Green River might be one of the best places on Earth.

Some of the most expert guides are available here to take multi-day or week trips down the Green River to where it meets with the Colorado in the wilderness of Canyonlands National Park.

The Swell stuns with its expansive, rugged landscape, filled with hidden ancient sites and challenging terrain.

Instead of busy national park crowds, you’ll likely get to explore without seeing another person for hours.

The region also has slot canyons, ATV trails, mountain bike adventures, and some of the best melon varieties you’ll ever taste.

Visiting Green River means you get the bonus of a lush landscape surrounded by the hallmark Utah red rock beauty.

Plus, you’ll be less than four hours from Salt Lake City.

Warnings & Dangers in Green River

Overall Risk

OVERALL RISK: LOW

There's a low risk in Green River, but some safety preparations you'll need to make to enjoy the outdoor adventures. We'll give you all that information as we go through this article.

Transport & Taxis Risk

TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: LOW

The Salt Lake Express bus does have a route to Green River, which is about $62 each way and takes about three and a half hours. Paddle tours will usually have shuttle transportation from the end of the ride back to the beginning. Taxis and rideshare will be limited, and having a rental car is the best option.

Pickpockets Risk

PICKPOCKETS RISK: LOW

This is a low risk, but never low enough to let your guard down. Limit what you carry to the bare necessities, but don't skimp on important things like fresh water, sunscreen, and maps.

Natural Disasters Risk

NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: LOW

This area is prone to flash flooding, long-term flooding, landslides, earthquakes, wildfires, and severe thunderstorms. While the risks aren't ongoing, it can get very bad very quickly if you aren't paying attention to the forecast and emergency updates.

Mugging Risk

MUGGING RISK: LOW

This is another low risk, with one of the few recent robberies being a tire store where $40,000 in semi-truck tires were taken. Muggings are highly unlikely, but it's still wise to practice smart safety steps, like not walking around at night alone.

Terrorism Risk

TERRORISM RISK: LOW

This is another low risk, as the area is rather remote and has a minimal population. One of the biggest concerns here would be drug or human trafficking on the interstate or highways. If you see anything suspicious, please call the local sheriff's office, even if you aren't sure something illegal is being done.

Scams Risk

SCAMS RISK: LOW

Check local law enforcement social media sites for the latest scams. Several Facebook Marketplace scams have been reported in Emery County. The risk is low, but you should know the common tactics to keep it that way.

Women Travelers Risk

WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: LOW

Assuming women travelers know about wilderness and survival safety, the risk is low. If you're traveling with kids, be sure any trail or river adventure is kid-friendly.

Tap Water Risk

TAP WATER RISK: LOW

The U.S. has strict standards for tap water per the Safe Water Drinking Act. Communities are required to provide a Water Quality Report (Consumer Confidence Report) once a year by July 1. While Green River doesn't have a water quality report posted online, the risk is low due to the high standards expected. If you would like a copy of the latest report, contact city hall.

Safest Places to Visit in Green River

You have to be very careful when searching for websites about Green River, as there are cities with the same name in several states, including Kentucky and Wyoming.

GreenRiverUtah.com is the city’s website.

Scroll down and look for the section called Discover Green River to find tourism information.

I recommend bookmarking the website theswellutah.com, as it doesn’t come up easily in search results as of this publication.

However, it covers Emery County and Green River things to do.

The John Wesley Powell River History Museum is a standout attraction dedicated to the famous explorer and his expeditions along the Green and Colorado Rivers.

This museum offers exhibits that detail Powell’s explorations, Native American history, and the natural history of the region.

Just outside the museum is the world’s largest watermelon slice, a wooded icon 20 feet long and 10 feet tall.

It is the star of the show every third weekend in September when Green River Melon Days is held.

The tradition started in the early 1900s.

One of the best starting points for a paddling adventure is at Green River State Park.

Several local outfitters provide guided tours and equipment rentals, making it easy to get on the water.

Floating down the river, you’ll encounter stunning canyon views and abundant wildlife, providing a serene and scenic experience.

Labyrinth and Stillwater Canyons are stunning sections of the Green River in Utah.

Labyrinth Canyon, known for its winding, scenic waterways, features towering red rock walls and serene, reflective waters, perfect for calm paddling and exploring side canyons.

Stillwater Canyon, downstream, is more rugged and remote, offering dramatic landscapes with deeper gorges and striking geological formations.

Both canyons are rich in history, with ancient petroglyphs and remnants of early settlers.

For a unique local experience, consider visiting Crystal Geyser, a rare cold-water geyser located just outside of town.

Unlike most geysers, which are driven by geothermal activity, Crystal Geyser is powered by carbon dioxide gas.

It erupts sporadically, shooting water up to 80 feet into the air.

The Swell, formally known as the San Rafael Swell, is a large, rugged geological feature in central Utah.

This vast uplifted area spans approximately 75 miles long and 40 miles wide, showcasing dramatic landscapes of eroded sandstone, deep canyons, towering mesas, and striking buttes.

In fact, some of the most popular places in The Swell are Little Grand Canyon, Goblin Valley State Park, with its unique hoodoo formations, and The Wedge Overlook, providing panoramic views of the canyons.

Green River is also less than an hour from the Arches National Park entrance, where you can see the longest natural arch in the world among 2,000+ other arch formations.

A short distance further is Dead Horse State Park, made famous in the closing scene of the hit movie Thelma & Louise, and then Canyonlands Island in the Sky District is just beyond that.

Places to Avoid in Green River

There aren’t dangerous parts of town in Green River, so you can freely explore all the public areas.

You’ll find most people gathering by the river or in the local mom-and-pop restaurants.

One thing to avoid in Utah is trying an adventure beyond your skillset or going too far out without enough energy or navigational wherewithal to get back.

For example, a first-time slot canyon hiker should choose Little Wild Horse Canyon, even if it is more crowded, over places like Ding & Dang Canyons.

As another example, if you’ve only rafted during a day trip before, choose a two-day adventure over a 10-day long-distance option.

Avoid going into the wilderness on a rainy day, as numerous risks can happen when the landscape is wet, including flash flooding in slot canyons, mud pits, and sections of hills sliding down.

Safety Tips for Traveling to Green River

  1. Law enforcement in Green River comes from the Emery County Sheriff’s Office. You can follow them on Facebook @Emery-County-Sheriffs-Office. Call (435) 381-2404 if you have specific safety questions.
  2. Sign up for CodeRED emergency notifications through the county’s emergency management agency website section. The program is free and will include severe weather threats, major road closures, evacuation information, and other public safety hazards.
  3. Utah Highway Patrol keeps an updated dashboard of accidents and fatalities on roads statewide. You can search for an incident near Green River or in Emery County, including what caused the accident. For example, in Emery County, between 2019 and 2023, there were an average of 261 accidents each year. Nearly 290 people were hurt, and 26 died in that time frame. Most accidents happen during the “100 Deadliest Days,” which is between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
  4. Cell service can be unreliable in remote areas. Bring a detailed map and a GPS device, and ensure someone knows your itinerary. Make sure that person can call for help if you don’t return by the designated time.
  5. Ensure your vehicle is in good condition; carry extra water, a spare tire, and emergency supplies, especially if exploring remote areas. If you drive a traditional passenger vehicle, don’t go on back roads. You’ll need a high-clearance vehicle with four-wheel drive. Most roads will be impassible when wet, no matter how tough your vehicle is.
  6. If you plan to treat river water to make it safe to drink, you should know this region has very silty water. That will require you to let the sediment fall to the bottom and be removed before treating it to be safe to drink.
  7. Since off-roading is popular here, there will be trails designed for vehicles and some designed just for hikers. You should know what kind of trail it is before you head to the location.
  8. This region was created by erosion, and that’s a process still in progress. That means rocks can tumble down from high above, cliff ledges can give out, and in some places, the earth below you might shift in sand or rocks. Stay on designated trails, avoid ledges, and don’t lean on rock formations.
  9. As there are many petroglyph sites here, you should resist any temptation to touch them or outline them with paper and pencil. Do not carve into the rock or make any mark on the rocks. It is even against federal law to take rocks, sand, or plants.
  10. Before you choose a rafting outfitter, you should talk with each one about the physical and mental limitations of your preferred trip. There can be age restrictions, weight/size restrictions, or health conditions that are too risky to attempt this type of adventure.

So... How Safe Is Green River Really?

We can’t get an exact picture of the crime data in Emery, as the city has just 800 residents while the county, where law enforcement comes from, has 10,000 people.

Then, add in the thousands of people who visit each year and the fact that the sheriff’s office hasn’t reported crime data since 2016, and the best we can do is give you a rough estimate.

On the plus side, Green River hasn’t had any shocking headlines in recent years involving crimes of any kind.

However, Emery County has released information about several drug busts on the nearby interstate.

Speeding seems to be a big problem, with several major accidents in recent years.

Even though the area is remote, you should still stick to the speed limit.

A lot of how safe Green River will be for you depends on how well you prepare water, wilderness, and wildlife safety.

You need to stay aware of the weather and wildfire risks.

Assuming you have those concerns covered, you’ll enjoy the oasis of Green River in Utah and the surrounding beauty of Emery County.

How Does Green River Compare?

CitySafety Index
Green River83
San Diego67
Miami55
Honolulu65
Chicago65
Dallas64
Memphis54
Melbourne (Australia)80
Montreal (Canada)81
Sydney (Australia)80
Santiago de Chile (Chile)71
Vienna (Austria)88
Hong Kong (China)70

Useful Information

Visas

Visas

All international visitors need either a visa defining the purpose of the trip (tourist, work, school, etc.) or a visa waiver. Start the process using the Visa Wizard module on the U.S. State Department website. You’ll quickly find out which one you need. Also, keep in mind that your passport must be valid for at least six months after our trip, or you’ll need to apply for a new one.

Currency

Currency

Only the U.S. Dollar (USD) is accepted in the United States. International airports usually have a currency exchange desk on site, while regional airports won’t. Your home bank offers the lowest fees. Try to book as many tours and attractions as possible ahead of time to avoid pulling out your wallet more often.

Weather

Weather

It's no surprise that being along a river will put you at a lower elevation, and that means hotter summers than in places like Bryce Canyon. On the flip side, winters usually mean above-freezing days and less snowfall than in the higher elevations. You'll want comfortable outdoor clothing with several options for swimsuits and rafting clothes. Water shoes will protect your feet from sharp rocks and other debris. Wear sunscreen year-round.

Airports

Airports

Salt Lake City International Airport is three and a half hours away, and that's the largest airport nearby. It is well worth the drive due to the convenience of the flights.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance should protect your belongings, health, rental car, and travel investments. You might want to look into travel adventure insurance if you plan on doing extreme activities outdoors.

Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

Green River Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan -4° C
Feb 1° C
Mar 8° C
Apr 12° C
May 18° C
Jun 23° C
Jul 27° C
Aug 25° C
Sep 20° C
Oct 12° C
Nov 4° C
Dec -2° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
High
°C
491621273337353021126
Low
°C
-11-7-13812161592-4-9
High
°F
394861708191999586705443
Low
°F
121930374654615948362516

Utah - Safety by City

CitySafety Index
Bicknell81
Brigham City82
Bryce Canyon City82
Cedar City86
Green River83
Hurricane83
Kamas79
Kanab79
Layton81
Lehi74
Moab84
Ogden72
Orem82
Panguitch78
Park City78
Provo94
Salt Lake City55
Sandy93
St. George94
Vernal83
West Jordan94
West Valley City65

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