John Wesley Powell River History Museum

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The John Wesley Powell River History Museum is located in Green River, and charges a nominal fee to teach you about the history of the river. Powell was an early explorer in the area, and of course, Lake Powell is named after him. When we visited, we were able to use our Get Out Pass and get free admission. Check the Get Out Pass for current offerings and discounts. This museum has a bunch of displays and a gift shop.

This museum is focused on John Wesley Powell.


The museum has some interesting displays, but it is not a highly interactive museum like many of its newer counterparts. We enjoyed a 30 minute movie that was based off the journals of the John Wesley Powell expedition. These men were the first to document a trip down the river, and [spoiler alert] they didn’t all make it out alive. This movie was a nice break from the hustle and hikes of the rest of our vacation. We found it so interesting to see their adventure.

We really enjoyed the movie.

First Floor

The rest of the museum is located on two floors. The ground-level floor has many displays and boards that talk about the history of the area. One old mechanical miner tells stories about the river. Other displays explain the mountain men, and our boys liked listening to folk songs about the river. There are also some of the boats and watercraft there were used by early river travelers. We learned a lot about the local Henry Mountains and the rivers. There are also some unique statues about John Wesley Powell in this area, too.

We liked this talking mountain man.
There are a bunch of different artifacts.
Make sure to look at the sculptures on display.
There is a lot of information in this museum.

Exhibit Room

The main level also has a rotating exhibit room. This one changes seasonally, but it was the most interactive of any of the rooms when we visited. When we visited in 2024, this room had a display about a local river guide from the area. He had shared this experiences, pictures, and memories. Our boys liked the interactive buttons and activities of this display.

This exhibit changes throughout the year.
There were a few hands-on and interactive spot in the museum.


The basement level has just a few rooms, but they were some of our favorite spaces in the John Wesley Powell River History Museum. One has some large fossils and other ancient displays. It was so fun to look at the dinosaur displays and to see what had been found in the Green River area. The second room has a few more watercraft that have been used on the river.

The boat displays were interesting.
There are some awesome Dino fossils.
We love fossils.


There is also an outside area of the museum. There are signs with information about the museum, but also the Green River area. So if you stop by when the museum is closed, you can still learn a little bit about John Wesley Powell. We even walked down to take a look at the river. The path is paved and wheel-friendly, so we would encourage you to enjoy the river, too.

Make sure to check out the outside museum, too.
The museum is located right along the Green River.

If you have some time in Green River, or need a break on your way through town, stop and check out the John Wesley Powell River History Museum. This museum is super affordable to visit with a family entrance fee of $15 (2024). Check their website for current hours and pricing. For other fun indoor adventures, use this post with over 50 ideas.

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