The festival is postponed due to the Covid-19 coronavirus.

TBD OCTOBER, 2020

 

John Wesley Powell River History Museum | Green River, UT

Schedule

2020 Festival Schedule

The Swell Utah Speaker: Dr. Tim Riley

FRIDAY, MARCH 27 | 6:00 PM

“Who Painted the Buckhorn Wash Panel? Rediscovering the Human Communities of the Northern San Rafael Swell”

Dr. Riley excavated a larger rockshelter just upstream of the Buckhorn Wash Pictograph panel, one of the best known examples of Barrier Canyon Style rock art. This prominent rockshelter has been known to locals for over a century, but no formal attempt to evaluate its cultural deposits has been undertaken to date. Join Tim as he discusses the results of his recent excavation as well as past research along Buckhorn Wash.

Dr. Riley is the Curator of Archaeology at the Prehistoric Museum at Utah State University Eastern in Price, Utah. He received his undergraduate degree at the University of Chicago and his doctorate at Texas A&M University. He has participated in fieldwork across the Midwest and Southwestern United States. Within the field of archaeology, his specialty is paleoethnobotany, or the study of past human use of plants for subsistence and other aspects of material culture. His research has ranged from assessing diet with coprolites in Texas to examining changes in vegetation associated with agricultural intensification along the Mississippi river. There is a strong ecological approach to his research, focusing on past cultures as an integral part of their environment. He currently serves on the Society for American Archaeology’s Committee on Museums, Collections and Curation and as the Utah Public Education Coordinator.

Dr. Riley’s presentation is made possible by The Swell Utah – Emery County Travel Bureau.

Field Trips

How to sign up for a field trip:

  • Attendees can sign up for trips during the Friday evening lecture and on Saturday and Sunday at the Festival Booth outside the John Wesley Powell Museum. The booth will open at 9am on Saturday & Sunday.
  • Field trip sign-ups are first come, first serve and must be done in-person during the festival. There’s no way to sign up in advance.
  • Field trip leaders will meet their group in the museum parking lot. Prepare to caravan to field trip sites in your own vehicle. Pack plenty of water and a sack lunch, and fill your gas tank ahead of time.
  • Send all field trip questions to info@greenriverrocks.com. Staff at the John Wesley Powell River History Museum will not be able to answer any questions.
  • PREPARATION FOR ALL FIELD TRIPS: Wear comfortable walking shoes or hiking boots; bring plenty of water and snacks; pack a full lunch for longer trips; and remember sun protection.

Fossil Point Dinosaur Graveyard (Free)
Saturday @ 4:00 pm & Sunday @ 10:30 am
Capacity: 23 people per trip

Access/Preparation: Medium to high clearance vehicle recommended. Mostly dirt road driving with good conditions, some driving on rough, bumpy dirt roads that can get very muddy in wet conditions. Site is adjacent to the road with optional hiking around.

Join paleontologist Greg McDonald on a tour of Fossil Point, a site where many boulders yield large dinosaur bones that date as far back as the Jurassic Era, 145 million years ago. This extraordinary site, very close to Green River, is home to large dinosaur vertebrae, leg bones, colorful geological strata and fantastic views of the La Sal mountains.

Greg McDonald is a regional paleontologist for the Bureau of Land Management. Based out of the Utah State Office of the BLM, he works with the field offices in Utah, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and Colorado.


Grassy Trail Creek Archaeological Site (Free)
Saturday @ 9:15 am
Capacity: 5 Vehicles (up to 23 people total)

Access: Accessible for all vehicles with some dirt road driving. Expect short hikes.

Join Dr. Tim Riley as he explores the cultural landscape of Grassy Trail Creek. One of the major drainages along the Book Cliffs, Grassy Trail Creek has been called home by human communities for thousands of years. Visit a Fremont village site, learn about the radical labor disputes and martial law of the early 20th century, investigate the Sunnyside coal coking ovens used to fuel the steel industry, and wonder about the artists who made the rock art in this lesser known area of eastern Utah.

This field trip meets at the Junction of Hwy 6 & Route 123 (to East Carbon) at 10 AM. Attendees should depart Green River by 9:15 AM. Trip time from Route 123 turnoff is 3-4 hours. Round trip travel is 120 miles. 

Dr. Tim Riley is the Curator of Archaeology at the Prehistoric Museum at Utah State University Eastern in Price. Within the field of archaeology, his specialty is paleoethnobotany, or the study of past human use of plants for subsistence and other aspects of material culture.


Crescent Junction Rock Art (Free)
Saturday @ 11:00 am
Capacity: 15 people

Access: Vehicle clearance is dependent on road conditions- be prepared for travel on dirt roads. Expect short hikes up to 1 mile.

Join Steve Acerson on a guided trip to cultural sites where early inhabitants created fascinating imagery to document significant events and everyday life during their existence. Participants will respectfully explore cultures that date back to thousands of years ago all the way up to the present, appreciating the geological features of the region along the way. 

Steven Acerson, past President of the Utah Rock Art Research Association (URARA), is currently a regional representative to the BLM Salt Lake Field Office. As a member of URARA, he’s been leading field trips for the past 9 years. Raised in Green River, he enjoys the canyons and rock art images the native cultures left behind for us to ponder.

Dragon Valley Ammolite ($75/person*)
Saturday @ 9:30 am & Sunday @ 9:30 am
Capacity: 15 people per trip

Access & Preparation: Accessible to all vehicles. Expect a short hike to Dragon Valley site (less than a quarter mile). This is a full day trip; pack a lunch. Bring rock tools (hammer, chisel) if you have them and specimen bags/containers. Since these are established mining sites, there is a $75 per person fee for collecting. *Kids 14 years and under are free.

Join Dr. Janet Bertog for a full day of digging at Dragon Valley, a collecting site for scaphites, fossils and ammolite, the rare iridescent pieces of shells of large ammonites. The cost for collecting at this site is a one-time fee of $75/person (kids 14 years and under are free). Under this cost participants can keep whatever they find excluding rare museum quality specimens (in which case Janet works with the Prehistoric Museum to have the specimen donated, and the person who found it will be recognized for the contribution).

Dr. Janet Bertog has a PhD in geology and paleontology and has been working in the San Rafael Swell for 16 years. She recently retired as a professor at Northern Kentucky University and is now operating the mines at Septarianville and Dragon Valley.


Rockhounding Cretaceous Ash Disaster (Free)
Saturday @ 12 noon
Capacity: 15 people

Access & Preparation: All vehicles. Bring digging tools (i.e. rock hammer and chisel) and wear clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty. Bring a paleo-pick if you have one!

Join John Foster for a plant fossil collecting trip in the ash beds of the the Cretaceous-age Naturita (Dakota) Formation. The white ash layers of this formation preserve abundant plant fossils including the ferns Matonidium and Gleichenia. Participants will be collecting fossils from a BLM outcrop located near Westwater, and can keep up to 25 lbs of collected specimens for personal use- the ash is lightweight, so that will most likely be more than needed. The ash is also very dusty, so come prepared to get dirty! Keeping in line with public land restrictions, each person must keep their diggings to a small surface pit less than one square meter.

John Foster is the curator of collections at the Utah Field House of Natural History State Park Museum in Vernal. He mainly works in the Morrison Formation but has been known to stray into the Cretaceous now and then.


Buckhorn Wash Rock Art (Free)
Sunday @ 10:00 am
Capacity: 15 people

Access/Preparation: Medium-high clearance vehicle recommended; road conditions can vary with the weather. Round trip travel is around 120 miles, 4-6 hours. Camera and binoculars recommended.

Join Steve Acerson on a guided trip to cultural sites where early inhabitants created fascinating imagery to document significant events and everyday life during their existence. Participants will caravan through Buckhorn Wash all the way to Cedar Mountain to view and discuss the rock art panels of the San Rafael Swell.

Steven Acerson, past President of the Utah Rock Art Research Association (URARA), is currently a regional representative to the BLM Salt Lake Field Office. As a member of URARA, he’s been leading field trips for the past 9 years. Raised in Green River, he enjoys the canyons and rock art images the native cultures left behind for us to ponder.


Canyoneering: The Goblin’s Lair ($4/person)
Departs Sunday @ 8 AM
Meets at Goblin Valley Visitor Center @ 9 AM
Capacity: 8 people (ages 7+ only)

Access/Preparation: Accessible to all vehicles. Come prepared for easy to moderate hiking and scrambling with solid hiking boots or shoes, lightweight and flexible layers of clothing, and plenty of food and water. This trip includes a 90 ft, free-hanging rappel- a reasonable amount of physical capability and mental preparedness is required for this field trip.

Join Get In The Wild’s Christopher Hagedorn for a family friendly canyoneering adventure in Goblin Valley. Hidden amongst the spectacular hoodoos and mesas of Goblin Valley State park lies a truly fantastic hidden gem. Following a short and fun scramble through the Valley of the Goblins, participants will enter a beautiful slot canyon that disappears into a dark and mysterious chasm in the Earth, passing through several geological layers. Canyoneering gear will be provided, and adventurers will have the opportunity to rappel into the Goblin’s Lair- a spectacular and awe-inspiring chamber that resembles a gothic cathedral.

Christopher Hagedorn is a professional outdoor educator, wilderness guide and leadership expert based out of Woodinville, Washington and Hanksville, Utah. He has been climbing, exploring and teaching throughout North America for 25 years, and has an MS in Geotechnical Engineering.

Pop-up Market

Vendors and artists from near and far will be selling mineral specimens, jewelry, polished stones, and much more at the Pop-up Market on Saturday from 9am-4pm. There will also be concessions and educational booths, including a mobile museum by the Natural History Museum of Utah.

Email us for more information and/or a vendor application.

Lodging & Directions

Plane

CNY – Canyonlands Field Airport – Moab, UT (34 mi)
GJT – Grand Junction Regional Airport, CO (102 mi)

Car

Rent a van from Rabbit Rentals (South Broadway in Green River)

Bus

Greyhound stop from East and West

Train

Amtrak Green River station (GRI) – California Zephyr line

Hotels

Robber’s Roost Motel, River Terrace Inn, and Skyfall Guestrooms

Camping

Swasey’s Beach, Goblin Valley State Park, and Green River State Park