Visited: July 26th, 2019
Duration: 6-7 hours, a full day
Accommodations: IHG points in Vernal, Utah (highly recommend this town)
Dinosaur National Monument is going to be divided up into 2 parts in the post. Canyon area of the park and the Quarry area of the park. We were heading west from Steamboat Springs so we started our morning off at the Canyon Visitor Center where we picked up our Junior Ranger books and handed in our Archeologist books and got badges for those as well. The Canyon visitor center is small but the ladies there were fun. Gunnar went to the restroom and then came in the visitor center and said to the rangers, “Don’t go in that bathroom extincts!!” They got quite the chuckle out of that.
We headed off onto the Harpers Corner Road, 31 miles of road that crosses sagebrush-covered plateaus. There are several overlooks and little hiking trails to the overlooks. This is a great place to get out of your vehicle and get some great views.
We enjoyed the drive along the Harpers Corner Road and it allowed the kids to finish up their Junior Ranger books. We headed to Dinosaur, Colorado in hopes of doing a little shopping and getting some lunch. Don’t hold your breath. This town is a ghost town. No food places were open and the shopping is super scarce. We chugged along hoping for something good to pop up. This Utah sign was about the only thing to stop for between the Canyon Visitor Center and the Quarry Visitor Center. We love state line signs and this one “triceratops” our other Utah sign.
We didn’t find anything of interest until we pulled into The Quarry Visitor Center along Hwy 149. Photo stop to get some pics of big stupid roadside dinosaurs. We stopped at the Quarry Visitor center and had a picnic lunch, there were great tables with sun shade. This is about the only place you can find around here to eat, so pack a lunch and enjoy a spot in the park.
At the Quarry visitor center there are many more things to do. We signed up for the tram ride up to the exhibit hall, where there is a wall with fossils still in them for you to see, it was amazing. While waiting for the tram we walked around the VC and got our supplies; magnet, stickers, stamps, cancellations and all of the collectible things we just can’t live without. Tram ride up was fun and informative. They have built a beautiful museum up here to view the fossils in.
We rode the tram back down, got our Junior ranger badges and then went on a very rewarding drive along the Cub Creek Road to see if we could find some Petroglyphs.
This drive was amazing. Lots of stops for pictures and getting out to look at things. I would highly recommend doing this drive.
We headed to Vernal, Utah for the night, a fantastic little town FULL of dinosaurs, shopping and great food. If taking a trip to Dinosaur National Monument, this is a town not to be missed. What a great little town and a fantastic monument. Another Colorado NPS site checked off our list. I hope you enjoyed our visit to the monument and maybe we sparked some inspiration for you to visit some day.
With a 3 year old who loves dinosaurs and a 6 year old who merely likes them, I’m embarrassed to say that I didn’t know about this park! Thanks for the info. I’ll add it to our list. 🙂
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