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Trip Report Trip Report - Dinosaur National Monument- UT/CO

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I probably never would have visited this park (in fact I didn't know it existed) until my friend insisted we stop on our drive from Park City to Steamboat Springs. We only had one afternoon to explore this massive 200,000 acre wilderness, so we chose to focus on three activities. I HIGHLY recommend you visit! I wrote about it on my blog here: http://thefreelanceadventurer.blogspot.com/2014/07/dinosaur-national-monument-uncovering.html
but below are the three recommendations...

1. Quarry Exhibit Hall - Instead of leaving fossils exposed to the "elements", the park has constructed an impressive structure around the "wall" of over 1,500 bones. Visitors can walk the two-storied viewing area and use an interactive touch-screen monitor to find out what each bone belonged to. To get there, enter the park from the Utah side (near Jensen, UT). Once through the park gate, park at the Visitor Center. During the summer, motorized trams take visitors every 15 minutes up to the exhibit hall (5 minute ride). Once there, you can stay as long as you want, view the "wall" as well as see full dinosaur skeletons and interpretive signs.

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 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.

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. 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.

This is an amazing piece of preserved history and wilderness. I highly recommend you add it to your list of "must visit" places. I want to go back!!!!!!!

For photos and more recommendations in the park, you can visit my blog post: http://thefreelanceadventurer.blogspot.com/2014/07/dinosaur-national-monument-uncovering.html

- The Freelance Adventurer -