|Sign at Utah entrance to Dinosaur National Monument
Dinosaur National Park was given a name to mark it's most amazing feature - hills of sedimentary rock filled
|Dinosaur skeleton in Quarry Exhibit Hall
Here is how to recreate this adventure...
We only had one afternoon to explore this massive 200,000 acre wilderness, so we chose to focus on three activities. Listed below...
|Tram to Quarry Exhibit Hall
|Exhibit Hall built around a wall of fossilized bone
|Visitors get an up-close view of million-year-old fossils
2. Fossil Discovery Trail - From the Quarry Exhibit Hall, you can take the tram back to the Visitor Center, or you can hike back on the easy, 3/4 mile (one way), trail. The sandy path winds through the nearby hills where you will observe dazzling rock and discover million-year-old fossils still embedded in sandstone. A description of the rock, fossils, and trails can be found HERE or a guide can be purchased at the visitor center. I LOVED this short hike. The layered bright orange and red rock was an exotic sight to a non-desert native like me! Although short, pack at least 1 L of water a person and protect yourself from the sun. It was hot.
|Walk between colorful hills on the Fossil Discovery Trail
|Flowers bloom against brightly colored rock
3. Cub Creek Road - Once back at the Visitor Center, we filled our water bottles, and drove down the Cub Creek Road. To get there, simply exit the parking lot of the Visitor Center and turn left. This road winds along the Cub Creek, providing pull-out stops to important and impressive sights including 1,000-year-old petroglyphs and pictographs of the once-abundant Fremont people. More information about the people at the their art can be found HERE. At the end of the road, visitors are offered a small, shady picnic area and pit toilets along with the historic Josie Bassett Morris homestead - the cabin of the famous pioneer woman. In total, the road extends 10 miles from the Visitor Center to Josie Morris's cabin, but we spent at least an hour stopping and walking/photographing the scenery and petroglyphs.
|Faint petroglyphs of the Fremont people
|Lizard Petroglyph made a thousand years ago
|Amazing scenery along Cub Creek Road
It's truly a shame we didn't get to spend more time at Dinosaur National Monument. One afternoon only gave us a small taste of what the park has to offer - stunning scenery, pure wilderness, and evidence of those who have lived there. I can't wait to go back and explore more of this national treasure.
- Bring water bottles and sun protection - it's hot and sunny!
- Don't drive Cub Creek without stopping and walking to the points of interest. This provided some of the best views in the park as well as a chance to see ancient petroglyphs.
- This is a great "family-friendly" park. It wasn't crowded and all three places listed are very family friendly.
|Pulled out to view petroglyphs (on rock on left)
Please leave questions and comments below...