DescriptionDinosaur National Monument's Utah section is reached via SR 149, which joins US 40 at Jensen. One of the world's largest concentrations of fossilized dinosaur bones is found in the park, which encompasses about 325 square miles in Utah and Colorado. Fossilized bones of the Allosaurus and other prehistoric reptiles have been revealed in a single sandstone cliff. Several of the region's exhumed skeletons are exhibited in the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh.
Exceptional natural features include deep, narrow gorges with strangely carved and delicately tinted sheer sandstone cliffs along the Green and Yampa rivers. The Canyon of Lodore, cut by the Green River, ranges from 1,000 to 3,300 feet deep.
More than 1,500 fossilized bones are on display at the Quarry Exhibit Hall, just north of Jensen; shuttles to the cliff face run from the Quarry Visitor Center. Located a half a mile away from the quarry, the visitor center has exhibits as well as information about recreational activities and ranger-led interpretive programs. A mostly paved 10-mile road that begins nearby leads to petroglyph panels, overlooks and a historic cabin. Several marked hiking trails, including Sound of Silence, Desert Voices and Hog Canyon, can be accessed from this road.
From the Canyon Area Visitor Center in Dinosaur, Colo., a 31-mile paved road leads north into the heart of the canyon country. There are no fossil bones in this section, but scenic overlooks and a 2-mile-long trail at Harpers Corner provide spectacular views of the Green and Yampa rivers and their confluence at Steamboat Rock, 2,500 feet below.
One- to 5-day river trips can be arranged from mid-May to mid-September by contacting private companies. Other activities include camping and fishing.
Admission is $20 (per private vehicle); $15 (per person on a motorcycle); $5 (per person arriving by other means). Camping fees are $6-$40 (free from late fall to early spring). Backcountry camping is free with a permit. For further information contact the Superintendent, Dinosaur National Monument; phone (435) 781-7700.
Things to SeeCanyon Visitor Center
GEM DescriptionThe park boasts one of the world's largest concentrations of fossilized dinosaur bones.