• "Two boat loads of Utah publishers and their wives push off for a short river trip with Hatch River Expeditions, June 26, 1958." Courtesy of the Uintah County (UT) Library via Mountain West Digital Library.

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    Rafting on Green River
    • Date
    • 1958-06-26
    • Description
    • Two boat loads of Utah publishers and their wives push off for a short river trip with Hatch River Expeditions.
    • Rights
    • Digital image, copyright 2003 Uintah County Library
    • Partner
    • Mountain West Digital Library
    • Contributing Institution
    • Uintah County (UT) Library

  • Whirlpool rapids on the Green River in the Echo Park area. Courtesy of the Uintah County (UT) Library via Mountain West Digital Library.

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    Whirl Pool Rapids on Green River
    • Creator
    • Thorne, L. C
    • Description
    • The whirl pool rapids on the Green River are in the Echo Park area.
    • Rights
    • Digital Image, copyright 2009 Uintah County Library
    • Partner
    • Mountain West Digital Library
    • Contributing Institution
    • Uintah County (UT) Library

  • This video explores the ways that the Forest Service balances public access to areas with environmental concerns and sustainability. Courtesy of the Utah Government Digital Library, Utah State Library Division via Mountain West Digital Library.

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    Improved access to the Reeds Valley area on the Dixie National Forest
    • Date
    • 2011
    • Description
    • The Reed's valley road relocation project in Utah is a great example of the Forest Service balancing resource needs and recreational demands. With the new motorized travel plan across the forest, there's over 2,700 miles of open routes for the public... more
      The Reed's valley road relocation project in Utah is a great example of the Forest Service balancing resource needs and recreational demands. With the new motorized travel plan across the forest, there's over 2,700 miles of open routes for the public to come and enjoy this world class scenery and recreation on the Dixie National Forest. less
    • Rights
    • United States government publications are not subject to copyright in the United States under 17 U.S.C §105. All informational materials in this government publication are in the public domain, and as such, are not restricted by copyright law unless... more
      United States government publications are not subject to copyright in the United States under 17 U.S.C §105. All informational materials in this government publication are in the public domain, and as such, are not restricted by copyright law unless otherwise stated. For more information please see http://www.gpo.gov/help/index.html#public_domain_copyright_notice.htm less
    • Partner
    • Mountain West Digital Library
    • Contributing Institution
    • Utah State Library

  • "Map of the Hell's Revenge Jeep Trail. Routes designated for open Off-Highway Vehicles (OHV) recreation." Courtesy of the Utah Government Digital Library, Utah State Library Division via Mountain West Digital Library.

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    Hell
    • Date
    • 2014
    • Description
    • Map of the Hell's Revenge Jeep Trail. Routes designated for open Off-Highway Vehicles (OHV) recreation.
    • Rights
    • United States government publications are not subject to copyright in the United States under 17 U.S.C §105. All informational materials in this government publication are in the public domain, and as such, are not restricted by copyright law unless... more
      United States government publications are not subject to copyright in the United States under 17 U.S.C §105. All informational materials in this government publication are in the public domain, and as such, are not restricted by copyright law unless otherwise stated. For more information please see http://www.gpo.gov/help/index.html#public_domain_copyright_notice.htm less
    • Partner
    • Mountain West Digital Library
    • Contributing Institution
    • Utah State Library

Visitors to the Mountain West have always been intrigued by the vast rivers and lakes, rising mountains, and open plateaus. As time passed, they were able to traverse these natural wonders in new ways—from riverboats to rafts, from horses to cars and even to ATVs.

The Green River, which runs from Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area (established in 1968) near Vernal, Utah, to Dinosaur National Monument (established in 1915) is a popular route for contemporary river dogs to travel. Other options include the Colorado River and the White River. White water rafting offers unique geological views, a glimpse into lands important to America’s frontier and outlaw history, plus Native American ruins and rock art.

Likewise, the Mountain West region offers opportunities for off-roading over red rock, desert, or mountains. The Paiute ATV trail in central Utah is touted as being the best organized trail system in the country with a main loop of 250 miles providing views of the natural landscape. West of Marysvale stretches the mouth of Utah’s “Canyon of Gold,” the landscape where, from at least 1865, flecks of gold in the creek and veins of gold inside the canyon walls have drawn thousands.

Access can be a double-edged sword. In many areas, ATV use is damaging the environment through increased erosion, introduction of noxious plant species, and impact on wildlife. As with rafting, which has increased traffic (and trash) in protected areas, national parks administrators continue to work to provide area access while balancing environmental concerns and protections.