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Help Needed Touring Dinosaur National Monument

Help Needed Touring Dinosaur National Monument

Jun 1st, 2019, 12:41 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 111
Help Needed Touring Dinosaur National Monument

Husband and I are seniors (66 and 71) and would LOVE to visit this area of the country. Willing to do 2 or 3 shorter hikes (2 miles AT MOST in a day's time if that's possible!). Can you see it all in a day, or even just knowing the not to miss areas/sites. I have discovered hotels about 30 miles from the park in Vernal which would work out well right before going to the park. How much time do you need to see it, and what towns have decent lodging towards the Colorado side? We are not campers. Looks like two scenic roads are paved (would have a non-4WD rental car). Any help would certainly be appreciated.
TravelinVic is offline  
Jun 1st, 2019, 03:51 PM
Join Date: May 2005
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Vernal has the best lodging options. The main feature is the quarry building, a fascinating way to spend an hour. There are several fairly short walks amid the rocks and nearby petroglyphs. The DNP website has a lot of info.
sylvia3 is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2019, 11:53 AM
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Thank you so much!
TravelinVic is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2019, 03:26 PM
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If you click on my user name, you will see a trip report for taking kids to DNP. Stay in Vernal. You can see everything you really want to see in 2 days.
StantonHyde is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2019, 03:41 PM
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Sure appreciate it! What is the title of the trip report - seems to be alot of them! Thanks
TravelinVic is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2019, 05:22 PM
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If you are interested in Native American rock art be sure to drive down the road past the VC, and look for the images on the left. There are more in the part of the park called Mckee Springs. Ask the rangers for directions. Click my name and then "view public profile" , scroll down to find the TR for 2015 where we visited the park.
emalloy is online now  
Jun 2nd, 2019, 06:15 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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For short hikes, the fossil discovery trail and also the box canyon and hog canyon trails near Josie's cabin. We stayed in Vernal too.
Patty is online now  
Jun 4th, 2019, 04:56 AM
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Emalloy - Thank you so much for this information. I do not see a TR dated 2015? Was looking at your other TR's. Have been to the majority of parks in Utah - what an absolutely fantastic part of the U.S.!
TravelinVic is offline  
Jun 4th, 2019, 04:57 AM
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Thank you Patty!
TravelinVic is offline  
Jun 11th, 2019, 09:27 AM
Join Date: Jun 2011
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Most people seriously underestimate what the monument consists of. While it began as a way to keep the dinosaur quarry protected it was later expanded to contain the confluence of the Green and Yampa Rivers. There are four distinct areas of the park on each side of the rivers. No, you cannot see the whole monument in a day. Yes, stay in Vernal for the easiest access.

You'll want to visit the State Field House in Vernal while you are there. It is where you'll see the fossils that have been dug up. The main draw of the monument of course is the wall at the quarry site which is amazing. And there is the short trail for petroglyphs there as well.

You should also spend some time driving past the quarry, up Cub Creek Road to Josie's Cabin.

If you have the time and are heading into Colorado then another nice drive is to Harpers Corner. There is an easy walk to the top where you can see the rivers down below.

For the rest you'll need more time and in some areas a 4x4 drive to get there, or need to be able to walk longer. If you have a day a wonderful drive around the Colorado side takes you to the Gates of Lodore named by John Powell and through bucolic Brown's Park. Take 191 north to Flaming Gorge and then 318 to 83 and then the River's Edge drive.

And while you are in the Flaming Gorge area you should visit the Red Canyon visitor Center and the dam, and take the Sheep Creek Geologic scenic backway.

While in the neighborhood though I also highly recommend visiting both the McKonkie Ranch and McKee Springs Petroglyph sites. But you'll need another day for that.

How about a river rafting trip through the Split Mountain??
InSandy is offline  
Jun 11th, 2019, 03:11 PM
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The Flaming Gorge area is beautiful and we saw deer, bighorn sheep and a moose! on the Sheep Creek loop.
Patty is online now  

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