Dinosaurland and Eastern Utah

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The rugged beauty of Utah's northeastern corner, wedged neatly between Wyoming to the north and Colorado to the east, is the reward for those willing to take the road less traveled. Neither I–80 nor I–70 enters this part of the state, so most visitors who pass through the western United States never even see it—that is part of its appeal. Small towns, rural attitudes, and a more casual and friendly approach to life are all part of the eastern Utah experience.

Northeastern Utah is home to superb boating and fishing at Flaming Gorge, Red Fleet, and the Steinaker reservoirs. Hundreds of miles of hiking and mountain-biking trails (available to cross-country skiers, snowmobilers, or snowshoers in winter) crisscross the region. The Green and Yampa rivers entice white-water rafters as we... Read More

The rugged beauty of Utah's northeastern corner, wedged neatly between Wyoming to the north and Colorado to the east, is the reward for those willing to take the road less traveled. Neither I–80 nor I–70 enters this part of the state, so most visitors who pass through the western United States never even see it—that is part of its appeal. Small towns, rural attitudes, and a more casual and friendly approach to life are all part of the eastern Utah experience.

Northeastern Utah is home to superb boating and fishing at Flaming Gorge, Red Fleet, and the Steinaker reservoirs. Hundreds of miles of hiking and mountain-biking trails (available to cross-country skiers, snowmobilers, or snowshoers in winter) crisscross the region. The Green and Yampa rivers entice white-water rafters as well as less ambitious float-trippers. The pine- and aspen-covered Uinta Mountains offer campers and hikers hidden, pristine lakes and streams surrounded by amazing mountain views. Even if you don't get out of the car, exploring this region on the road takes you through vast red-rock basins, over high mountain passes, and between geologic folds in the earth.

Dinosaurs once dominated this region, and in many ways, they still do. Excavation sites such as Dinosaur National Monument make northeastern Utah one of the most important paleontological research areas in the world. Paleontology labs and fossil displays can be found at roadside stops and on off-road adventures, along with kitschy dino statues and impressive life-size skeleton casts.

Ancient Native American cultures also left their marks throughout the region. Cliff walls and boulders are dotted with thousands of examples of rock art of the Fremont people (AD 600 to 1300), so called because they inhabited the region near the Fremont River. Today, the Uintah and Ouray Reservation is the second largest in the United States. It covers a significant portion of eastern Utah, though much of the reservation's original land grant was reclaimed by the U.S. government for its mineral and timber resources. The Ute Tribe, whose 3,000-some members inhabit the land, hold powwows and host other cultural ceremonies available to the public.

Museums throughout the region are full of fascinating pioneer relics, and there are a number of restored homesteads in and around Vernal. The rich mining and railroad history of the Price–Helper area fuels the tall tales you're certain to hear of outlaws, robberies, mine disasters, and heroes of the past.

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