October 6 – 10, 2020
After three years we were in the right part of the country with the right weather and finally got our chance to visit Dinosaur National Monument. Actually, I had already visited the monument some 32 years ago. I remembered a huge wall of Dinosaur fossils but not much else. So although we love fossils and had been on a quest to find them, we were happily surprised to find that there was much more to the monument than old bones.
The monument is a 210,000-acre park that straddles two states, Utah and Colorado. It is stunningly beautiful. There are trails and vistas. There are petroglyphs and an old homestead. There is a river that runs through the middle of the monument flanked by canyon walls. There are wildlife and birds. Lots of birds. And there are, of course, dinosaur fossils. After 32 years those old bones were still there and they seemed to have held up pretty well!
All the fossils are found on the Utah side. A Dinosaur Quarry Exhibit Hall encloses a huge wall of ancient bones. Because of the pandemic we were had to acquire timed tickets to visit the exhibit. The tickets were free but required a one dollar processing fee. We were able to get two for first thing in the morning the day after we arrived.
After exploring the fossils, trails, and other sights of the Utah side we moved on to the Colorado side of the monument. There we found hiking and off-road driving trails. Someday we will own an off-road vehicle and leave no part of a National Park unexplored! Unfortunately, it got cold and we left in a hurry and didn’t get to see any White-tailed Prairie Dogs. Next time!
There is also a northern part of the park we have time to explore before the temperature started to drop. The Green River flows south into the monument here on the Colorado side. It streams southward until it intersects with the Yampa River then flows west into the Utah portion of the park while the Yampa flows east through Colorado. Rafting and camping along these rivers is a unique way to explore the lesser-seen parts of the monument.
But enough of my words, it’s time for photos with captions by Greg. So put your thinking caps on, you’re bound to learn something just like we did.
*All pics are click to enlarge.
Quarry Exhibit Hall
Do you like fossils? Do you have a favorite dinosaur? Do you enjoy bird facts? Leave us a comment below. We’d love to hear from you!
This week I will be sharing this post on My Corner of the World, Travel Tuesday, Wild Bird Wednesday Through My Lens, and Sharon’s Souvenirs. Check out these links to see what other people are doing all over the world.
19 thoughts on “Dinosaur National Monument”
I love this post, Duwan. I read a book about Utah dinosaurs you’ll want to find once you’re close to a library–Raptor Red (by Robert Bakker). It puts the reader in a Utah raptor’s head (her name is Red) and we get to follow her life. It is amazing. I’d be surprised if they didn’t have it at that exhibit.
That does it–I need to read that book again.
I will keep an eye out for Raptor Red. They don’t have it in any of my digital libraries. Sounds interesting! Thanks for the recommendation.
I did a quick Google search and despite being an older, I didn’t find it. Even my favorite free press, Project Gutenberg, failed me. Sigh.
Again, I was thinking about you when reading this blog post, Jacqui, knowing it would be right up your alley. The book you mention sounds intriguing!
I’ve often wanted to do just what Duwan is doing but at early man sites. Of course, I’d have to go to Africa!
Thanks for a great tour of a place that’s been on my must visit list. Where did you spot the sandhill cranes?
The sandhill cranes were on the Utah side of the monument not far from the monument campground. There weren’t there one day and the next there were hundreds. I assume they were just passing through. I highly recommend Dinosaur – a good one for your must-see list!
Sandhill Cranes makes me think of the novel ” Even Cowgirls Get the Blues ” !
It has been sooooo long since I read that one – maybe 40 years. I don’t remember the sandhill cranes but I do remember enjoying the book.
Thank you for an informative tour with beautiful scenery and photos. The petroglyphs look amazing. I like fossils and am interested in birds. I see a lot of sparrows and warblers where I live. Last week I was excited to see two red cardinals and their nest. #MCoW
I’ve never seen a cardinal out west but we used to have them in the Midwest where I grew up. Such pretty birds!
Wow! What a superb series of photos! It’s amazing what the world has in its history. Love your scenery and critters, too.
Your link at ‘My Corner of the World’ this week is an exciting addition! Thanks for joining us!
Thanks! We love being amazed! And thanks for hosting MCotW!
WOW! What a captivating tour!
I enjoyed the info and fabulous photos, Duwan!
Thanks Veronica! Happy day to you too!
The scenery is, indeed stunning. The dinosaur bones are a nice bonus! 🙂 Seriously, though, I’d love to visit that NP one day. So diverse! You are the second one to post a blog about it this year (I think it was this year), so now I’m double intrigued. I first read about it on the Gallivance blog. Well done on this informative and detailed post, you two. One to be savored and stored for later as well. 🙂
I found the Gallivance blog post. It was posted last September.
I think you’d really enjoy this park. And there is some stellar free camping right on the park boundary. I’d love to visit again.
I love Utah. The big 5 and beyond. Great petroglyphs and critters. So much to see on your blog. Thanks for visiting mine too.
Thanks Sharon! Utah never disappoints!