Things To Do Near Dinosaur National Monument
Rafting & Adventure In Northern Colorado
Dinosaur National Monument
Explore the world’s best window into late-Jurassic-period with fossils and rock formations at Dinosaur National Monument where dinosaurs roamed! Their incredible remains are visible, embedded into the rocks of the canyon walls.
Today, the mountains, desert and untamed rivers flowing in deep canyons, support an array of life. Petroglyphs hint at earlier cultures. Later, homesteaders and outlaws found refuge here. Whether your passion is science, adventure, history or scenery, Dinosaur offers much to explore.
Since Dinosaur National Monument covers more than 200,000 acres, you will want to have a clear sense of which parts you want to see before heading out into the wilderness. The Colorado side of Dinosaur National Monument is an excellent destination for accessing deep canyons along the Yampa and Green Rivers. Also near here is Harpers Corner Road, which affords glorious river views. Nearby, you’ll also find the Canyon Visitor Center, open all summer and parts of spring and fall. The Canyon Visitor Center is two miles east of Dinosaur, Colorado, just off U.S. Highway 40.
If your goal is to see dinosaur fossils and footprints, you should head to the Utah side of Dinosaur National Monument. This is where the world-renowned dinosaur quarry is located, where dinosaur digs have uncovered a wealth of prehistory. More than 1,500 fossils are still embedded in the cliff face here. Half a mile from the quarry, you’ll find the Dinosaur Quarry Exhibit Hall and Visitor Center. You can take a shuttle bus in the summer between the Visitor Center and Exhibit Hall. In other seasons, rangers lead car caravans up to the Quarry.
One of the most unique and colorful areas in the entire National Park system is Dinosaur National Monument with it’s outstanding scientific and scenic interests. The Dinosaur Quarry, six miles north of Jensen, Utah, is world famous for the quantity, variety, and fine degree of preservation of the fossils it has produced. Twenty-three nearly complete skeletons were recovered, representing twelve different species of dinosaurs, most of which were beautifully preserved and as hard as the enclosing rock. The quarry and Split Mountain section nearby is replete with a great variety of material of geologic interest. The dinosaur fossils themselves occur in the Morrison Formation of Upper Jurassic Age and were laid down in an old stream channel one hundred forty million years ago. The quarry represents a sandbar or quiet cove in this ancient stream where the dinosaurs were washed in and lodged in large numbers just as driftwood lodges along sandbars in rivers today.