Dinosaur National Monument
Dinosaur National Monument Review
Straddling the Colorado–Utah border, Dinosaur National Monument is a must for any dinosaur enthusiast. A two-story hill teeming with fossils—many still in the complete skeletal shapes of the dinosaurs—greets visitors at one of the few places in the world where you can touch a dinosaur bone still embedded in the earth. The Colorado side of the park offers some of the best hiking in the West, along the Harpers Corner and Echo Park Drive routes and the ominous-sounding Canyon of Lodore (where the Green River rapids buffet rafts). The drive is only accessible in summer—even then, four-wheel drive is preferable—and some of the most breathtaking overlooks are well off the beaten path.
Dinosaur Quarry. After its predecessor was closed for five years because of structural damage, the much-anticipated Dinosaur Quarry Exhibit Hall opened in 2011, showcasing an estimated 1,500 dinosaur bones that date to the late Jurassic Period still embedded in the clay. Open daily, the Exhibit Hall is ranger-guided only in the winter. A half-mile away is a massive 7,595-square-foot visitor center. Visitor center: 7 miles north of Jensen, Utah, on Rte. 139, 84035. 970/374–3000.
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